• What You Need to Know About Porcelain Tile

    Porcelain tiles are made from heated and refined clay and are considered to be the best alternative to ceramic and stone tiles.

    Their high density, compared to ceramic tiles, makes them the best option for both indoor and outdoor use. Porcelain tiles are the best choice for floors transitioning to an outdoor or open space, like from a family room onto a patio, spa or pool area. Porcelain tiles are versatile in nature and come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures.

    Because of their low absorption rate, porcelain tiles can also be used in areas where a lot of moisture collects. This also means that spills that would stain other kinds of flooring materials do not stain porcelain tiles and can easily be wiped away without having to worry about leaving behind scratches and marks. These tiles can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

    Porcelain tiles need to be installed carefully. The substrate used for porcelain tile installation depends on floor spacing and floor joist framing size, the size of the tiles, nature of the grout joints, expansion joints and much more.

    One of the best substrates for porcelain tile installation is cement backer board. Many manufacturers are designing products exclusively for porcelain tiles. Basically, there are a few acceptable substrates for porcelain tile installation. Exterior-grade tongue-and-groove plywood, which is minimum 5/8-inches thick, and concrete slabs are common substrate options. Make sure you are properly installing membranes over expansion joints and cracks. Avoid using interior grade plywood, multi-layer sheet flooring, OSB and extremely glossy sheet flooring during porcelain tile installation.

    Larger tiles and small grout joints are being used more often during porcelain tile installation. However, both of these require a flat floor because you usually need to use self-leveling compounds. Tight grout joints might require rectified tile firing in order to ensure standardized size to within thousandths of an inch.

    Premium thin-set that has a strong bonding agent modified with latex should also be used during porcelain tile installation. This is because premium thin-set has the capacity to do some flexing for the porcelain tiles, which cannot move or flex on their own. You have to make sure that at least 80% of thin-set coverage is done by you.
    Mar 14, 2017
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