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Maxine Mueller Ceramic Tile November 08th, 2019 - 15:46:29
There are three main types of floors (or subfloors) that you might encounter when starting on your ceramic tile installation: a. A concrete floor - Working ceramic tiles over a concrete subfloor is the most ideal but you have to check and clean it of debris before you start. All the cracks and holes need to be repaired and filled in before your ceramic tile installation can start. Once your start working on your project each of your ceramic individual tiles will be bonded directly to the concrete floor. If the cracks widen this will affect your tiles as well.
Such a cermic tile would not be suitable for certain applications. For example if you intend to use the tile for a backsplash counter top or tabletop you will need a very durable tile that will hold up to frequent cleaning and in the case of a countertop or tabletop some hard use too. Stoneware clays are the most suitable for this sort of use. Stoneware is normally fired to about cone 6 (around 2200 degrees F) and is very strong. But in your inquiry dont stop with what kind of clay the tiles are made from. Glazes vary enormously and even so-called food-safe glazes can leach out chemicals stain and lose their color.
Many manufactured tiles are poorly made and will not hold up to the uses they are marketed for. Of course there are many quite excellent manufactured tiles too so you need to inquire to be sure. That information however may or not be readily available. The kind of ornamentation of the ceramic tile is important too. For a ceramic countertop or tabletop the tiles should be flat. For a backsplash the tiles can have low relief but high relief will be difficult to clean and is not generally advised. Fireplaces murals mosaics and facades can be either flat have low relief or high relief and low fire glazes are OK in these applications.
An additional consideration with flooring tiles is slickness. A glossy glaze on a floor is not recommended. A heavily textured glaze or a matte glaze is best. Outdoor use in cold climates demands high fired tiles and dependable glazes especially if on horizontal surfaces. Low fire and even porous tiles can be used outdoors in cold climates if on or in a vertical surface. But you are still better off with a frost proof tile in cold climates. Finally there is the issue of a ceramic tile being food-safe. Many decorative ceramic art tiles are used as serving trays for a variety of hot and cold foods and it is important that these not leach out chemicals.
Some cracks may even be that large that it would be best to replace the larger sections of your concrete floor rather than patching up all the cracks. If you have a lot of large cracks especially ones that run up the wall consult a specialist before your start working on your tiling project. b. A plywood subfloor. If youre moving into a second floor apartment most likely youre subfloor will be in plywood. Because you will be putting ceramic tiles over wood your plywoord subfloor has to be structurally sound and capable of supporting your ceramic tile installation.
During installation tiles should be placed so that there are no gaps left between the individual tiles. Otherwise the tile can leak and seepage will occur in the spaces left behind. Seepage is a common problem in many households and the tiles are also harder to clean as dirt and dust will build up in the cracks and cannot be reached with a vacuum or sponge. Quickly clean ceramic tile will become a hopeless dream. Clean ceramic tile is also safer tile. Not only does cleaning help to extend the life and quality of tiles it can help to extend the life of the family.