Porcelain tiles are a modern material widely used for flooring in residential, commercial, and public spaces. The combination of attractive appearance and good performance makes it extremely popular. But today on sale many varieties differ not only in color but also in other parameters.
What to look for to buy a porcelain tile for floors that best suits the design challenges you face?
What does the packaging tell you?
Packaging can say a lot about porcelain tiles. Manufacturers mark boxes with special signs, each of which has a certain meaning. For example, a foot on a black background shows that the package contains porcelain floor tiles, that is, the material we need.
A foot on a shaded background indicates greater durability, a snowflake indicates that this variety is not afraid of low temperatures, etc.
Packaging Of Porcelain tiles for floors
Slightly different marking systems are indeed used in different regions. Indian companies apply packaging designs that differ from those used by Europeans. But, in general, the main parameters of materials are displayed in such a way that buyers can get a basic idea about them without the need to contact a sales assistant.
Surface Of Porcelain Tiles
The type of surface is an important feature that should be paid close attention to. Modern industry produces the following types of porcelain tiles:
Matte – After undergoing heat treatment, it is not further processed and its surface is slightly rough. It looks low-key, but it is extremely durable and has excellent slip-resistant properties.
Polishing – the surface of the material is processed with the use of abrasive substances so thoroughly that it looks like a mirror. These porcelain tiles look great and are ideal for creating luxurious interiors. But it also has drawbacks: the surface decorated with it will be quite slippery, and it must also be carefully cared for to avoid clearly visible scratches on the glossy floor. When wet, polished porcelain tiles become especially slippery, so it is best not to use them in the hallway or kitchen, as well as in the hallway.
Satin – The surface of such porcelain tiles is treated in a special way, which gives the material an interesting look. In terms of mechanical strength and abrasion resistance, it is not the best option, but it has good anti-slip properties.
Structured – has a textured surface that convincingly mimics natural materials.
Glazing – A special glaze is applied to the surface before firing, making it look extremely attractive. However, this material should not be used in rooms with high traffic, otherwise, it will quickly lose its spectacular appearance.
Lapping: the surface of these porcelain tiles is treated with abrasive substances, but not so thoroughly as to obtain a polish close to the ideal. The result is a material with a mixed texture, part polished, and part matte. It is a good option for those who need to create a beautiful but abrasion-resistant floor.
Shape And Dimensions Of Porcelain Tiles
Standard porcelain tiles are supplied in the form of square tiles, the most popular formats are 300×300, 450×450, and 600×600 mm. There are also other solutions. It is better to select the size according to the area of the room. If you need to arrange a relatively small room, it is better to take smaller slabs, and larger elements are suitable for a spacious room.
Rectangular porcelain tiles are also for sale. Often its surface imitates natural wood, and with the help of such material you can create a floor that practically does not differ from high-quality parquet, and it is much easier to care for it.
Connoisseurs of original interiors should pay attention to the round triangular hexagonal tiles.
It is not easy to install, but experienced professionals will take care of this task.
Thickness Of Porcelain Tiles
The thickness of porcelain tiles varies from about 3 to 30 mm. Since we must choose the material to decorate the floor, it must be strong enough and resistant to abrasion, especially when it comes to a floor in a room with a lot of traffic. Therefore, ultra-fine porcelain will not work.
The thicker the better? I guess so. But you don’t need to overpay for thick and expensive material either. In most cases, it is enough to buy tiles with a thickness of 8-10 mm.
As a result of heat treatment, the edges of the tiles are slightly deformed, therefore, two elements taken randomly from the package may differ slightly, but. This creates some difficulties during installation, and if you make a mistake with the amount of material you need and then buy a certain number of tiles, the problem can become more serious.
Therefore, it is recommended to pay attention to such a parameter as the gauge. Ideally, if this parameter is 0, and if it differs from zero, but the actual sizes of the tiles may differ slightly from those indicated. Do you buy porcelain tiles in two batches? Note that they have the same gauge.
A good solution is rectified porcelain tiles. With this material, the edges of each tile are processed in special equipment to ensure perfect compliance with the indicated dimensions. This not only simplifies installation but also creates a floor that is a visually solid surface. Plus, the absence of seams means that dirt and moisture are kept out.
Coefficient of friction
Attention is not always paid to this parameter, and it is in vain. It shows how slippery the surface of porcelain tiles is.
On the BCR scale, each material is characterized by a number from 0 to 1 in increments of one-tenth. If the indicator is less than 0.1, then we have a material that is highly undesirable to place on the floor, its surface is especially slippery. The closer this parameter is to 1, the less slippery the surface will be.
As you can see, choosing porcelain tiles is not that complicated. You just need to take into account a few basic parameters. As a last resort, you can always ask a sales assistant for help.