7 Frequently Asked Questions About Ceramic Tiles
Egyptians started using ceramic tiles in home decor and architecture way back in the fourth century BC. Later, the trend of using decorative ceramic tiles was spread across Mesopotamia, Roman Empire, China, Turkey, the Middle East, etc.
Even today, ceramic tiles are the first choice of architects, interior designers, and style-savvy homeowners – to beautify various corners of homes.
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Knowing the ins and outs of ceramic tiles, understanding the technicalities related to cleaning, maintenance, installation, and even choosing ceramic tiles will help you decorate and maintain the aura of your home for years to come.
This article compiles the 7 FAQs about Ceramic Tiles to help you understand various aspects of ceramic tiles in one place. Let’s go through the 7 questions that throw light on different aspects of ceramic tiles:
1. Why are ceramic tiles durable and versatile?
Ceramic tiles are made of fine clay and other raw materials. Tile manufacturers blend these raw materials in a typical proportion, form the tiles using molds, and take them through a firing cycle in a furnace or oven. Glazed ceramic tiles go through another firing cycle after applying the glaze.
The manufacturing process makes ceramic tiles harder, water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and wear-resistant. That’s the reason ceramic tiles last for years ahead.
Similarly, ceramic tiles can be made in different attractive colors, patterns, finishes, and styles. You can install ceramic tiles for various tiling applications in various parts of your home. They are versatile as they can be implemented as kitchen backsplash tiles, bathroom, and shower tiles, fireplace tiles, floor tiles, swimming pool tiles, and much more.
2. How to choose appropriate ceramic tiles?
Here are some significant selection factors in choosing ceramic tiles for your home renovation projects or new tile installations:
- Consider the decor theme.
- Choose tile colors that go well with the overall color scheming of other decorative elements in the particular space.
- Select tile patterns based on the area to be tiled, the size of the room, and the overall visual effect you wish to achieve.
- Choose tile style according to the interior design idea – classic, modern, or transitional.
- Consider the cost – Use the tile calculator to determine the tile quantity and the price.
3. How to install ceramic tiles?
Here are the steps to install ceramic tiles:
- Clean the surface to be tiled. – For flooring, you may use subfloors made of concrete, plywood, or cement board.
- Mark the center lines, and draw a rough outline of the tiles on the surface to understand the required tile cutting and tile quantity.
- Dry-lay the tiles before installing.
- Prepare a suitable thin-set in an adequate viscosity for proper adhesion.
- Apply the thin-set on the backside of the tile and the surface to be tiled – using a notched trowel.
- Place the tiles on the surface and push gently to make them adhere.
- Later, prepare the grout (in an appropriate color) and apply it to the dried tiled surface using a trowel.
- Let the grout dry.
- Remove the excess grout using a sponge.
- Clean the surface using a damp cloth and let it dry.
4. How to cut ceramic tiles?
Here are some methods to cut ceramic tiles:
Using a hand tool
You can use a hand tool for cutting ceramic tiles. It has a cutting edge and a snapper. You need to mark a cutting line, force the cutting edge, and pass through the line creating a deep mark. Then place the snapper keeping its faces on both sides of the cut lines, and snap the tile by applying pressure.
There are some limitations to this method. You may need to force too hard to draw the cutting line, and it may be difficult to draw a straight line as there is nothing to guide you through.
Other tile cutting methods provide better results:
Using manual tile cutter
Mark the line where you need the ceramic tile to be cut. Place the tiles on the cutter matching the marked line with the snipping tool on the assembly. Gently pass the cutter edge through the line guiding through the parallel bars.
The tile cutter has a handle to pass the cutting tool and snap the tile. Place the snapping hammer on both sides of the cut line and press the handle to snap the tile in two pieces.
Ensure you have a robust, more extensive version of the cutter to snap the thick and dense ceramic tiles. If the force applied by the cutter handle is insufficient, use a wooden mallet to snap the tile across the cut line.
Using a Wet Table Saw
This equipment has a rotating cutting blade and a sliding table. Place the ceramic tile on the table – keeping the cut line aligned to the rotating blade. Switch on the saw and pass the table towards the blade holding the tile.
As you pass the tile below the rotating cutting blade, and continue sliding ahead, it is cut exactly on the marked line. You get a lubricant water nozzle spilling water when you make the cut. That ensures chipless and smooth cuts.
5. What is the ideal method to clean ceramic tiles in the bathroom?
There are many methods to clean ceramic tiles in bathroom and shower areas. Here is an easy and effective way that any typical homeowner can adopt to clean ceramic tiles in the bathroom:
Mix one portion of distilled white vinegar and one part of clean water. Pour the mixture on the tiles, and apply it with a sponge on the walls and grout. Scrub the surfaces using a soft nylon brush for about 5 minutes. Ensure you pay special attention to mold, mildew, watermarks due to hard water, and other minor stains.
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Leave the surfaces for an hour. The vinegar mixture absorbs the dirt. Later, scrub with a soft nylon brush for another five minutes. Then, rinse the surfaces thoroughly with water and let them dry.
Always use safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, to avoid any spillage of dirty and itchy liquids in your eyes and protect your hands. Set a periodical cleaning schedule and retain the aesthetic appeal of your ceramic tiles installed in the bathrooms.
6. How to remove stains from ceramic tiles?
Mix one portion of hydrogen peroxide with two parts of baking soda to form a consistent paste. Pour this paste on the stained portions of ceramic tiles. You can pour hydrogen peroxide directly on more stubborn stains.
Retain the paste on the surface for at least 30 minutes. Scrub the surface using a soft nylon brush. Rinse the surface with clean water thoroughly. Let the surface dry.
Avoid using harsh cleaners and chemicals that can damage the ceramic tile surface. You can test a cleaner by applying it on a small surface before proceeding with the entire surface.
Remember – stains may not be clearly visible on matte finished ceramic tiles. However, never use a highly abrasive material like a wire brush for scrubbing. It can harm the texture of your ceramic tiles.
7. What type of paint to use on ceramic tiles?
Apply the best quality, high adhesion primer on the ceramic tiles first. After leaving the primer to dry, you can apply latex, acrylic latex, or enamel paints on ceramic tiles. You can apply two to three even coats to achieve complete coverage and a decent appearance.
It is wise to paint ceramic tiles with more minor possibilities of water spillage and heavy wear. It is suggestible to paint backsplashes and accent walls. However, avoid painting tiles lining a bathtub or shower area and floor tiles if you expect moderate to heavy foot traffic in the rooms.
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The article takes you through 7 FAQs about ceramic tiles. We hope that the brief answers will clear many doubts in your mind and help you effectively select, install, and clean ceramic tiles. Pick the best-suited ceramic tiles for beautifying various parts of your home and maintain them to retain elegance for years to come.