Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a ceramic tiles?
“Ceramic” comes from the Greek term Keramos, meaning "a potter" or "pottery”. Since the infancy of ceramics, up to this very day, the process is still very much the same; for the creation of all ceramic materials, one needs to bake a mixture of clays at a very high temperature. A ceramic tile, therefore, is the resulting product, after a mixture of clays have been treated appropriately, pressed, fired at a high temperature and cut to size. A ceramic tile consists of two parts: the body, which is called the “bisque” and the surface, which is called the “glaze”.
What are vitrified tiles?
Vitrified tile is a tile produced using vitrification. By this process the tiles created have very low porosity. making it stain-resistant and strong. It is an alternative to marble and granite flooring.
Vitrified Tile is made by baking fine minerals like clay and silica, at extreme high temperatures where the individual grains or particles melt and fuse make a vitreous surface. Thus creating a single mass making them extremely hard with low porosity.
What are Marble Sandwich Slabs?
This is also an entirely new concept. Marble sandwich slabs have a porcelain (8mm) base and a surface of polished natural marble (4mm).
The advantages of marble slabs are that they are cheaper than natural marble, easy to install whilst they also retain the beauty of natural marble. Another advantage of these slabs is that they don’t need polishing once purchase (as opposed to natural marble) because they have already been polished. If, however, after 6-8 years, the surface requires re-polishing, it ought to be polished in the same way as natural marble.
What is natural and engineered marble?
Design'O Tiles distributes two types of marble:
1. Natural marble
2. Engineered marble
Natural Marble, as the name suggests, is procured directly from marble mines and is extracted in block-form. It is then cut into slabs and strengthened by a layer of fiber, which is smeared onto one side. This fiber then dries, giving the marble slab the necessary strength for its transportation. Since natural marble possesses gaps, these are filled in with a resin. The entire marble surface is then polished, using special polishing and waxing machinery.
Below are some of the more popular natural marbles:
Australian White, Brazillian White, Carrara, Statuario, Statuario Venatino and White Thassos.
Antique Beige, Bottochino, Crema, Crema Marfil, Crema Novita, Danish Cream, Dyna, Florentino, Beige, Marfil Supreme, Moon Cream, Perlato Savoy, Parlato Sicillia, Regal Beige, Royal Beige, Royal Pearl, Serpegantte, Silvia and Sunny Valencia.
Black Marquina, Crema Flurry, Fire red, Grey Chegin, Grey William, Olive Green, Red Alicante and Brown Emperador.
Beige Travertino, Red Travertino and Yellow Travertino.
Honey Onyx and Tiger Onyx.
Because natural marble differs from slab to slab, it is impossible to state the precise properties of natural marble.
What is a highlighter?
Highlighters are a small number of tiles presented in such a way so as to give the main tiles a stronger look and to make the entire decoration more interesting. For example, on a wall of cream colored tiles, you may want to add a single or double row of darker tiles in order to give the colored tiles a greater definition.
What things should I consider when buying a tile?
First of all, you must be sure that you are investing in a brand that you can rely on. More specifically, however, there are a number of technical factors (please see below) which one should be aware of when buying tiles. For all the tile properties mentioned below, All Companies always maintains the highest standards in the testing of the tiles; from the laboratory all the way through the manufacturing process. Throughout the manufacturing process, the following elements are in constant check; deviation in length, deviation in thickness, straightness of sides, rectangularity, surface flatness, modules of rapture etc.
Water absorption refers to the quantity of water a tile absorbs when it gets in contact with water. A precise percentage is calculated by the loss of weight when a wet tile is dried in the laboratory oven. As a customer you will be interested about this percentage, because it will determine how stain resistant your tiles are, and whether they are frost resistant (i.e. if a tile absorbs water, which subsequently freezes, the tile will expand and crack).
Generally, ceramic tiles with a water absorption between 3 to 6% are used as floor tiles and ceramic tiles with a water absorption between 10 to 15% are used as wall tiles. This is because the lower the water absorption, the less likely it is that there will be stains after contact with liquids. The lower the water absorption, the longer your tiles will look new.
Floor tiles can also be used as wall tiles depending on their aesthetic features. We would, however, very much recommend not using wall tiles as floor tiles because of their low strength and high water absorption. Although this may be cheaper at first, such tiles will not be aesthetically pleasing for a long time.
Here is a list of tiles and their corresponding levels of water absorption:
Vitrified tiles - < 0.1 %
Glaze Porcelain tiles - > 0.5 < 3%
Ceramic floor tiles – 3 to 6%
Ceramic wall tiles – 10 to 20%.
Slippery surfaces can be a hazard, especially when there is a possibility of water spilling onto the surface (e.g. in the bathroom). We therefore offer glossy (slippery) and non-slippery tiles. Our very successful Naturoc series, for instance, is an example of a non-slippery tile. Surface hardness/Scratch resistance.
An aspect of tiles is their surface hardness and resistance to scratches. The level of the hardness is measured in MOHs. The Mohs scale ranges from 1 to 10, level 10 being the hardest. As you will see in the technical specifications for all our tiles,
For Glazed tiles the PEI method used to measure abrasion resistance, is rated by the following scale:
- Group I: Tiles that are suitable for residential rooms with light foot traffic. Generally wall tile products fall into this group. Only rarely, are wall tiles able to be used as floor tiles.
- Group II: Tiles that can be used in residential medium-level traffic areas. Only in some cases may they be used in high traffic areas such as in kitchens, bath rooms bed rooms etc.
- Group III: Tiles that are recommended for use in all residential areas.
- Group IV: Tiles that are suited for all residential areas and also light to medium commercial areas (which usually have higher traffic).
- Group V: These tiles can be installed in almost any commercial and residential setting
This is the ability of a tile to withstand very low temperatures. The frost-resistance of tiles is dependent on it’s water absorption levels. This is how it works; if a tile absorbs water, which subsequently freezes, the tile will expand and crack.
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