How to choose ceramic tile for bathroom
Manufacturers of ceramic tile, while trying to get ahead of the competition, produce new collections each year, while striking the unsophisticated user with bright colors, forms and reliefs. The popularity of this cladding material is so high that the consultants can offer a few dozen options to choose from even in small shops that sell building materials. If buyer can determine the color and size of ceramic tiles fairly easily according to their own tastes and preferences, to determine the quality one needs to have certain knowledge.
How to choose ceramic tile for bathroom and kitchen?
Quality ceramic tiles
Characteristics of the tiles. Ceramic tile is tested repeatedly even before the moment it hits the shelves of stores. Organizations for quality control randomly check on the compliance of individual elements according to the manufacturer specifications. Any kind of tiles is checked for compliance with the shape and size. Floor tiles are tested for resistance to mechanical stress and abrasion. Outdoor tiles are tested for frost resistance and reaction to temperature and humidity. All the information about the characteristics of the tiles (durability, frost resistance, etc.) can be found on the packaging. Be sure to ask for the packaging and to carefully to inspect it.
How to choose ceramic tile? Let’s look at the icons.
If you want to choose ceramic tiles for the floor, look on the package for the icon representing a foot. If the foot is on a black background, so the tiles can be used for the floor. If the background is light-colored (or shaded), then this ceramic tile has a high level of wear resistance. Most likely it will cost more. If you are buying tile for the kitchen or bathroom in an apartment where 2-3 people live, you do not need to pay more for increased wear resistance. And if you choose tiles for office, better to buy more durable ones.
If the on package you discover an icon that shows a hand, it means the tile is suitable for walls. If you lay it on the floor, this tile will not last a long time.
Snowflake on the packaging means that ceramic tile is frost resistant — you can use it for outdoor work. The icon depicting the flames, reports the number of glazing; which are shown by numbers 1 or 2. Double glazing is an old technology. This tile has lower durability and higher porosity. For walls in dry interior premises this tile is perfectly fine. For the for the floor and walls in the bathroom and kitchen sink apron, it is better to choose single glazed tile. There is still code marking showing how resistant the tile is to moisture and chemicals and to mechanical stress. AA – the most robust, And – very robust, and C – average and D – semi-robust. Therefore, if you want to choose ceramic tiles for the bathroom, pay attention to products with marked AA or A. Ceramic tile is divided into classes of durability: from I to V. For the kitchen floor it is better to buy tiles with no less than class III durability, and for the hallway and corridor — III, IV, or V.
The grade of ceramic tiles.
According to international standards, each batch of ceramic production is assigned a certain grade. There are three varieties of ceramic tiles. This information is important if you are going to choose a ceramic tile once and for many years.
What is the first grade ceramic tile? The term “under the first grade” refers to the products in which no more than 5% of the elements do not correspond to their declared characteristics.
In the batch of the second grade the fifth portion of the tiles will be far from perfect. Third grade ceramic tiles are the most low-grade and therefore inexpensive.
In fact, even the second grade ceramic tiles are quite difficult to find on the market, and if you are lucky, the price will be much lower than for first-class tiles.
Quite often, foreign manufacturers generally do not indicate the grade of its products. in this case, what it means is that the ceramic tile at the hands of the consumer will be presumed to be of the highest quality.
When choosing a tile for floor or walls (imported or domestic), you need to look at the color of the labels on the packaging. According to the same international standards, all marking on the packaging of ceramic tiles of the highest class must be red, for second-class blue markings are used, and for the third class they are green. In general, as a rule, the imported tiles are better than domestic ones.
How to choose ceramic tile for kitchen and bathroom?
The simplest, but at the same time one of the most reliable ways to determine the quality of ceramic tiles is visual inspection. And carefully inspect not only the outer surface, but also the “underside”. The reverse side of the ceramic tile must be perfectly smooth: you can verify this by attaching one tile to another. There should not be bulges, bubbles, depressions, large inclusions of another color, but required the presence of the relief pattern, which provides the most reliable coupling with a cement or adhesive composition.
On the outer surface of the ceramic tiles there should be no smudges, chipped and poorly painted edges. When buying tiles of one type, but from different batches, be sure to ask a store representative to open several boxes and compare the color of the tiles. Very often, the intensity of the color or even the shade of tiles from different batches is not the same as that may eventually disappoint you, because the mismatch will be visible to the naked eye on the wall or on the floor.
If you correctly choose the ceramic tiles, it will allow you to forget about the repair for many years, because high-quality coatings of ceramics will last for many years, while pleasing to the eyes with their initial appearance and strength.