Purchasing Ceramic Tile


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Old 10-18-04, 01:58 PM
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Question Purchasing Ceramic Tile

WE're about to purchase ceramic tile for our l.r./d.r/entrance/lanai/kitchen area.
We know that we're supposed to get a grae 4 or first quality tile. This is stated on the one we are looking at. But this one has a surface which is not totally smooth. I don't know the word for it but there are raised sections or swirls in it. I'm not talking about the gloss. Will this create a problem with installing or cleaning? This is a huge investment for us and we're really worried about getting the right product. Our installer recommended the store but we have never worked with either one of them previously. Also, does it matter what country the tile comes from? This one is supposedly from Brazil - rather a redish clay.
Thanks for any assistance.
 
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Old 10-18-04, 03:28 PM
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Purchasing ceramic tile

A PEI glaze rating of IV will give you a tile intended for heavy traffic. The glaze is achieved by applying a liquid glass to the body of the tile before it is fired at high temperatures. This is a surface abrasion resistance rating. A tile that is not smooth offers some slip resistance. The surface of the tile should pose no installation problems. It may pose some cleaning problems if not properly rinsed and dried after mopping. You will need two mop buckets, one for washing and one for rinsing the mop before returning to wash bucket. Change water as needed. Do a section at a time. Throw down an old towel and rub back and forth with foot to dry, restore shine, and to remove mineral deposits from water. A cup of vinegar per gallon of water makes for a good general cleaner and rinse for tile. Avoid ammonia and oil-based cleaners because they may affect grout color. Never wax glazed tile.

Cecrisa and Eliane Ceramic Tiles are the two big players in the tile industry in Brazil. Only about 10% of US tile sales come from Brazil. US consumption of tile is about the lowest of any developed country. It's obvious we need to do a better job marketing and installing tile to customer satisfaction.

Get some references of some jobs done by the installer. Go see the jobs or at least talk with the people. I had a customer in the store today whose installer did such a poor job on floor and backsplash area in kitchen, that she ripped tiles out and is redoing the job herself. Don't pay the installer in full until the job is done and you are completely satisfied. Make sure tile is installed on concrete underlayment board. This provides a stiff surface for the tile. Any movement in floor can result in cracked grout and possibly cracked tiles. If the carpenters who framed the walls and floors installed them plumb and level, then you should have a great tile job if the installer does his job properly.

High quality ceramic tile is manufactured to extremely tight tolerances, meaning tiles are all square and exactly the same size. Each piece of tile is basically an exact copy of the one before. If a wall or corner is out of plumb then the each tile in the last row along the wall will get smaller or larger than the one before. If each tile is not perfectly square and not the exact same size, then grout lines will not be straight.

Thus, the PEI rating of IV is for the glaze is not an indication of the quality of the tile. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) together with the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) establish guidelines and minimum performance levels for the manufacture of ceramic tile here in the United States. Many international manufacturers will indicate whether or not their tile complies with ASNI standards when shipping tile to the United States. Ask your dealer!
 
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Old 10-18-04, 03:46 PM
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thank you!

I'll look at a box of tiles to compare sizes plus ask the dealer about the rating you specified. I've noticed that some tiles are thicker than others and some clays are lighter than others. If this is something I should pay attention to, please advise. O/W thanks so much for your time and info.
 
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Old 10-19-04, 08:08 AM
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Purchase only consistently sized tiles. Ceramic tile may shrink a little during the cooling process and pieces may vary slightly in size. Pieces that vary more than 1/8" should be rejected. Choose tile from the same batch and lot number to maintain consistency in color and finish. Choose relatively smooth tile with straight, flush sides to make grouting easier. Use 14" x 14" or smaller tiles for floors; larger tiles require a completely level surface and may crack if installed incorrectly.
 
 

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