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Testimonials

Thank you Tile Cleaners ® for dealing with the solvent sealer I had and resealing my hallway; I know it's a pain but you did a great job. I will definitely call you again as I need help with my tiles in the office.

Paul Gold, Gold Coast, QLD

I noticed that some of the tiles in my bathroom walls were loose and the grout was coming off. I am a very busy so kept on postponing calling someone to fix it. One day I got home and the loose tiles were lying broken on the floor. Can you imagine my frustration? I rang my brother in panic and he gave me Tile Cleaners' contact details. I rang them straight away. The guys told me I needed a tiler and professional regrouting work done so I thought it would take ages to fix my problem. However they organized the work very well. I had my tiles fixed on Friday night the same week and the entire bathroom regrouted on Saturday. Thank you some much for your quick help; it was such a relief.

Kerry McMyre, Mosman, NSW

When I moved into my new house, I was shocked by how dirty and old the tiles in the entire house looked. I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be like that or if they were just really dirty. I decided to call Tile Cleaners and ask them to have a look and tell me what I could do to improve the look of my tiles. Tile Cleaners ® came the same weekend and managed to make my tiles look brand new. They also informed me that the sealer would protect my tiles for years to come. Amazing! Thank you guys! My floor looks gorgeous.

Amanda Burtender, Brighton East, VIC

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Types of Tiles

Tiles are made from a wide range of materials, all with individual characteristics suitable for different tiling applications. It is essential to choose the right tile for the right tiling application; knowing what features a particular tile has is key to establishing what type of tile is suitable for your project


CERAMIC

A ceramic tile is a mixture of clays that have been pressed into shape and fired at high temperatures; this gives the tile its hardness and durability. The bisque, or body, of the ceramic tile may then be glazed or left unglazed depending on its intended use.

KEYS FEATURES & APPLICATIONS:

GLAZED (MOST COMMON)

Liquid glass is applied to the body of the tile and fired at high temperatures. The glazing becomes hard and non-porous resulting in a tile that is:

Suitable for floor and wall tiles

Suitable for domestic and commercial applications

Suitable for internal use and some external use

Stain resistant

Scratch resistant

Water Resistant

Easy to Clean

Light resistant (colour fast)

Fire resistant

Hygienic

Cost effective

Note. Shiny glazes are softer, can be scratched easier, and can be more slippery than the satin or rustic finishes

UNGLAZED

No glazing or any other coating is applied to the tile. The colour is the same on the face of the tile as it is on the back. An unglazed tile is:

Suitable for floor and wall tiles

Hard wearing

Does not show the effects of heavy traffic

Ideal for use in commercial areas

Suitable for internal use ONLY

Fire resistant

Cost effective

Note. Slight colour variations may occur between production batches, so it is essential you always measure accurately and order sufficient for the whole job. Check random tiles before fixing to ensure that all tiles purchased were from the same batch and match your expectations.

Ceramic Porcelain Quarry Stone Glass Floor Tile Suitability Testing

PORCELAIN

Porcelain and ceramic are not different kinds of tile. Porcelain is just one of many varieties of ceramic tile. It has all the benefits of a ceramic tile but is made from china clay with very few impurities, enabling it to be pressed at higher pressures and fired at 1250 to 1300°c. This allows porcelain to have higher impact resistance, stain resistance and frost resistance etc.

KEYS FEATURES & APPLICATIONS

GLAZED (MOST COMMON)

Liquid glass is applied to the body of the tile and fired at high temperatures. The glazing becomes hard and non-porous resulting in a tile that is:

Extremely hard wearing

Suitable for floor and wall tiles

High impact

Suitable for domestic and commercial applications

Suitable for internal and external use

Stain resistant

Scratch resistant

Water Resistant

Easy to Clean

Light resistant (colour fast)

Fire resistant

Hygienic

Cost effective

Note. Shiny glazes are softer, can be scratched easier, and can be more slippery than the satin or rustic finishes

UNGLAZED

No glazing or any other coating is applied to the tile. The colour is the same on the face of the tile as it is on the back. An unglazed tile is:

Extremely Hard wearing

Suitable for floor and wall tiles

High impact

Does not show the effects of heavy traffic

Ideal for use in commercial areas

Suitable for internal use ONLY

Fire resistant

Cost effective

Note. Slight colour variations may occur between production batches, so it is essential you always measure accurately and order sufficient for the whole job. Check random tiles before fixing to ensure that all tiles purchased were from the same batch and match your expectations

Ceramic Porcelain Quarry Stone Glass Floor Tile Suitability Testing

QUARRY

A quarry tile is composed of natural clay or shale. It is squeezed and pressed into shape, then fired to harden the tile. This will increase its durability and minimises its absorbency rate. It is available in a wide range of various natural colours from brick red, buffs, blacks, browns, and purple mingles; in a limited size selection. Quarry tiles, unlike some glazed tiles and porcelain products, have 'through the body colour', which never wears off. As quarry tiles age they acquire a natural patina, which enhances the colour and character of the tile (quarry tiles are not glazed)

KEYS FEATURES & APPLICATIONS

Susceptible to stains (requires sealing)

Extremely hard wearing and durable

Suitable for domestic and commercial use

Suitable for areas of high traffic - impact resistant

Non slip

Only comes in natural colours

Low cost

Suitable for large format floor tiles

Suitable for internal and external use (i.e. patios)

Note. Quarry tiles are slightly porous and can suffer from mild staining if not properly sealed - check out our Sealing, Cleaning & Maintenance section for more information.

Ceramic Porcelain Quarry Stone Glass Floor Tile Suitability Testing

STONE

Travertine, Limestone, Slate, Marble, Sandstone and Granite - are all types of natural stone popularly used in tiling applications because of their abundance, ease of quarrying, workability and their good working characteristics

Natural stone is cut using sophisticated machinery, to create a wide choice of quality finishes, i.e. honed, sawn edged, sandblasted, riven and tumbled. Natural stone often differs in colour and shading from tile to tile and batch to batch. There are also large variations in the quality of natural stone available, including porosity, sizing, pitting and general appearance, therefore it is always advisable to ask to view the current tile stock, as some tiling companies are not as stringent in their selection of natural stone.

Natural stone is incredibly hardwearing and durable, however, it does require initial sealing to protect it from staining, and ease cleaning and maintenance processes. (Check out our Sealing, Cleaning & Maintenance section for more information).

FIXING ADVICE/RECOMMENDATIONS
PREPARATION

Once delivered move the Natural Stone to a dry location and if damp allow to dry. Care in handling the unsealed Natural Stone is required to avoid marking, staining or chipping the edges

LAYING

Natural stone is susceptible to fracture and should therefore be fixed over an decoupling membrane on new screeds or timber floors, to compensate for any vibrations / movement between the substrate and stone tiled surface

Natural stone, even the best, will have some variation in size, therefore care must be taken when spacing and bedding

ADHESIVE & GROUT

Natural Stone can be susceptible to staining from the wrong type of adhesive and grout. Usually a white rapid set adhesive is used to reduce the chance of this happening, and a rapid setting grout of a similar colour to the stone is normally used. Care will also be needed to ensure the surface of the tiles are not contaminated with adhesive residues

CLEANING, SEALING & MAINTENANCE

Tiles will require cleaning following instalment and allowed to dry before the first sealing coat is applied. Protect the floor during the drying process using a breathable membrane i.e. a dust sheet, NOT polythene sheeting (see the Sealing, Cleaning & Maintenance advice page for more details on appropriate natural stone tile cleaners)

The purpose of sealing is to reduce the porosity of the Natural Stone, to avoid staining. The correct seal application will make maintenance much easier. Sealing takes place before grouting with a final coat after grouting to totally saturate the stone (see the Sealing, Cleaning & Maintenance advice page for more details on appropriate natural stone tile sealants)

Natural Stone requires a little more care than ceramic tiles and using the correct cleaners is very important, i.e. acid based cleaners can damage calciferous natural stone products. Sealants will also require replacing periodically, especially in showers (see the Sealing, Cleaning & Maintenance advice page for more details on appropriate natural stone tile maintenance products)

Note. Fixing costs are generally higher for natural stone than other man-made tiling products

KEYS FEATURES & APPLICATIONS

TRAVERTINE

Travertine is a form of limestone formed along streams, particularly hot mineral springs

Available in a variety of white, tan and cream colours

Can be cut finer than most natural stone - therefore can be used as wall and floor coverings

Extremely strong, hard wearing and durable

In a wide range of sizes from large format floor tiles to mosaics

Suitable for domestic and commercial use

In a variety of different finishes (sawn edge, honed, tumbled & filled)

Vulnerable to etching and staining by water and chemicals

Suitable for internal and external use

LIMESTONE

Limestone is a sedimentary rock, formed from deposits of marine invertebrates

Each stone is unique, featuring natural fossils

Vulnerable to etching and staining by water and chemicals

Relatively resistant to corrosion and weathering (not acid rain)

Easy to cut to size

Hard wearing and durable

Suitable for domestic and commercial use

Suitable for use on floors and walls

Suitable for internal and external use

SLATE

Slate is a fine-grained, foliated metamorphic rock

Available in a wide range of colours; from traditional grey and black to a mix of metallic tones

The stone splits straight and even creating a smooth flat surface

Easy to install

Hard wearing and durable

Water resistant

Suitable for commercial and domestic use

Suitable for use on floors ONLY

Suitable for internal and external use

Excellent heat retention - ideal for underfloor heating

MARBLE

Marble is a crystalline compact metamorphic rock

Available in almost an endless variety of colours and shades with variegated patterns from impurities within the stone

Unique - each stone varies in shade and markings

Capable of taking a very high polish

Hard wearing and durable

Suitable for use on floors and walls

Vulnerable to etching and staining by water and chemicals

Suitable for internal and external use

SANDSTONE

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains

Available in a wide variety of colours, sizes and textured finishes (riven, tumbled and sandblasted)

High mechanical strength, hard wearing and durable

Improves with age

Suitable for use on floors ONLY

Water resistant

Resistant to corrosion and weathering

Acid and alkali resistant

Thermal resistant - (ideal for areas surrounding fireplaces)

Suitable for commercial and domestic use

Excellent binding with cement

Suitable for internal and external use (i.e. patios and garden / driveway paving)

GRANITE

Granite is an intrusive, felsic, igneous rock, formed from liquid magma

Extremely hard wearing and durable (approaching the strength of diamond)

The use of granite is almost limitless from a worktops to tiled floors and even stair treads

Capable of taking a high polish

Water resistant

Resistant to corrosion and weathering

Acid and alkali resistant

Suitable for domestic and commercial use

Suitable for internal and external use (i.e. patios and garden / driveway paving)

Ceramic Porcelain Quarry Stone Glass Floor Tile Suitability Testing

GLASS

Glass tiles are fully water resistant and extremely versatile, suitable for use in wet rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and shower areas. They come in a wide range of finishes, textures and colours, ideal for use as decorative mosaic wall designs. They are usually square, but can come in any shape, size and depth. Glass tiles are both decorative and functional. They can be used as a stylish solution to let more light into a room, whilst providing privacy

KEYS FEATURES & APPLICATIONS

100% Water resistant

Easy to clean

Hygienic

Colour fast

Hard wearing

Suitable for domestic and commercial applications

Suitable for use on walls ONLY (due to the possibility of chipping, leaving sharp fragments)

Note. Glass tile manufacturers often use recycled glass for their products - a green solution to glass tiling

Ceramic Porcelain Quarry Stone Glass Floor Tile Suitability Testing

FLOOR TILE SUITABILITY TESTING

Floor tiles can be categorised in a number of ways, including the way they are produced and the way they are finished. Choosing the appropriate floor tile for your project is subject to its suitability to the location and application of the tiled surface, i.e. internal or external, domestic or commercial, wet or dry environment etc. It is therefore necessary to consider the wear, porosity and slip resistance of the tile; use the tests below to assess the suitability of your chosen floor tile/s

Note. Remember, whatever the tile type and suitability, it is essential to maintain the tiles surface as dust and dirt accumulation etc. will drastically reduce a tiles lifespan and reduce the slip resistance of a tiles surface

WEAR RATING

While the composition of tiles may differ, one of the most important attributes of a tile is its wear rating. The wear rating is a tile's ability to resist scratching from surface abrasion. When choosing a tile to install for your floors, it is essential you consider both quality and wear/durability

GLAZED TILE WEAR GRADES

The PEI Scale was established by the Porcelain Enamel Institute as a unbiased solution to determine the resistance of an enamelled surface (i.e. tile) in relation to traffic and wear. The PEI scale creates standards consumers can rely on, and assists them in the decision making process by identifying tiles best suited to their specific project requirements

There are 6 grades; a description of each is given in the table below

PEI Class Description & Usage
0 Unclassified, Wall tile only.
1 (I) Very light Domestic. Floor coverings in areas that are walked on essentially with soft soled footwear or bare feet (e.g. master bath, spa room).
2 (II) Light Domestic. Floor coverings that are walked on by soft soled or 'normal' footwear (e.g. main bathroom or bedroom).
3 (III) Medium Domestic. Any residential area with the possible exception of some entries and kitchens if extremely heavy or abrasive traffic is anticipated
4 (IV) Light commercial & ALL Domestic. High foot traffic, areas where abrasive or outside dirt could be tracked. (residential entry, hallways, restaurants).
5 (V) Commercial. Subject to heavy pedestrian traffic over sustained periods (e.g. public areas such as shopping centres, hotel foyers)

NON-GLAZED TILE WEAR GRADES

Non-glazed tiles are placed in 6 different wear grade categories, each grade signifying its durability/wear and suitability to different situations and applications i.e. grade 0-2 is suitable for light domestic only, whereas grade 6 is suitable for heavy commercial etc. Check out the table below to find out the different environments and applications each wear grade tile is suitable for

Wear Grade Description & Usage
0-2 Might domestic - we unlike other suppliers do not supply floor tiles in these categories
3 Medium domestic use with limited scratching dirt; living rooms, dining rooms
4 Light commercial. Suitable for all domestic and limited commercial use
5 Commercial. Suitable for all domestic and medium commercial; hotel foyer, restaurants
6 Heavy commercial. Through colour unglazed porcelain for heavy duty applications
Note. Some manufacturers grade floor tiles by the MOHS measure of hardness scale, where 1 is talcum powder and 10 is diamond; however it is a relative measure and does not give the entire picture of how durable the material being measured is

POROSITY RATING

The porosity of the tile, dictates where the tile can be used; it is therefore essential to know what the porosity of a tile is, especially when choosing tiles for a kitchen, bathroom or wet room area where moisture-proof flooring is required

All tiles are measured for porosity. Water absorption is the medium by which a tile's porosity is measured, i.e. the more porous the tile, the greater the quantity of water it will absorb

Water absorption is directly related to the tile's fundamental physical and mechanical properties

As a general rule, unglazed products that have a low porosity are generally more suited to applications that require a higher physical and mechanical performance i.e. external use. This is due to the additional benefits low porosity tiles offer, i.e. frost resistance, resistance to staining, etc. Another benefit of low porosity unglazed tiles is that they require less cleaning, sealing and maintenance!

The porosity of glazed tiles, however, does NOT necessarily determine the tile's physical and mechanical performance, as it may be the glazed surface not the internal substructure of the tile, which decreases its porosity etc. A low porosity 'body' (not just glaze) is better suited to external use

Check out the table below to discover the varying levels of absorption for different unglazed tile types, i.e. terracotta, quarry, porcelain etc. to help you find the right tile for your project!

Absorption Range Description

10% - 20% Hand made terracotta. Terracotta will require careful sealing & maintenance. Suitable for most dry domestic internal areas.
5% - 10% Machine made terracotta, requires careful sealing & maintenance. Suitable for most dry domestic internal areas.
1% - 4% Vitrified floor tiles & quarry tiles, unglazed tiles benefits from sealing with modest maintenance. Unglazed products suitable for internal heavy wear areas.
0.5% - 1% Fully vitrified, unglazed tiles do not normally require sealing with modest maintenance, use inside or out in heavy wear areas.
Less Than 0.5% Porcelain, unglazed tiles don't require sealing unless, polished or heavily textured, highly suited for outside and very heavy duty use.
SLIP RESISTANCE RATING
The slip resistant requirements of a tile, is largely dependent upon the location and application of the tiled surface, for example areas subject to wet or damp conditions i.e. a wet room, bathroom or kitchen would require a higher level of slip resistance than a dry internal environment, i.e living room or bedroom

Generally in domestic, dry and level internal environments, any floor tile is suitable, however in domestic bathrooms etc. a textured surface or 'orange peel' glaze is required. Ramps, domestic shower areas and all commercial ramps, wet areas or external walkways, require a much higher level of slip resistance. Commercial flooring in particular requires specific, slip resistant properties (largely for insurance purposes) so if you are planning a commercial tiling project and would like further information and guidelines.

Another method of increasing the slip resistance of a tiled wet area, you might consider using an absorbent mat or underfloor heating system to reduce the surface water

There are several different tests to measure the slip resistance of a tile including; the Inclined Ramp Test, the Tortus Test and the Pendulum Test

Client Range

We clean and restore a
huge range of tiles and surfaces in all locations including:
Kitchens, Bathrooms, Showers, Swimming pools, Pool pavers, Restaurants, Cafés, Bars, Homes, Schools, Clinics, Hospitals, Companies, Offices

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