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"At MICA STONE DESIGN, we sell pretty much every kind of tile you can imagine"

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Ceramic tiles are made of clay that is baked (known as firing) in a kiln. They can be either monocottura (single fired), where the glaze is applied before the initial firing; or bicottura (double firing), where the tile biscuit is fired, and possibly decorated, before the glaze is applied for a second firing. The wet clay, usually quarried, is extruded into shape before firing.

 

Ceramic tiles are always glazed as they are fired at a lower temperature than porcelain

Finger and Pencil Tiles

The main difference being that pencil and finger tiles are long and thin as their names suggest. These can be used in the same way as mosaic tiles, or individually to create a thin strip. Finger and pencil tiles are decorative tiles similar to mosaics,

Glass Tiles

Many small mosaics are made from glass for its reflective properties, but larger format glass tiles are often used for splashbacks and feature walls. Glass is a popular material for decorative tiles. Many tiles, such as ceramic and some porcelain tiles, the glaze is a layer of glass that protects the tile biscuit and makes it more slip resistant. The glaze is added to the tile biscuit by firing in a kiln at temperatures greater than 1000 degrees Celcius. have a glazed surface. Glaze is available in glossy, matt, and textured finishes.

Listellos

Listello (or border) tiles are long, narrow decorative tiles mostly used to create a border around a room.

Metal Tiles

Being a less common choice, metal tiles are bound to stand out and have visual impact: but beware that they may wear over time. Metal tiles can either be made entirely of metal, or be made of a different material (such as a ceramic tile) that has a metal plating.

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Mosaic Tiles

Small tiles, often square, are laid together to create a larger effect. This is usually either a picture or a block colour for a high visual impact. Mosaic tiles are one of the most popular choices for decorative tiles or a feature.

Polished Finishes

Honed tiles are semi-polished, meaning that they are less shiny than fully polished tiles, but are also less slippery and less likely to show dirt. Honed tiles are a popular choice for commercial and high traffic installations.

The surface of unglazed tiles (like that of porcelain tiles) can be polished and honed. While it is common, and quite popular, to polish tiles to a high shine (such as polished porcelain); tiles can also have a semi-polished finish.

Porcelain Tiles

Being strong and nonporous, porcelain is usually unglazed and can have a polished, natural, or textured finish; but is also available with a glaze which can have a gloss, matt, or textured finish.

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Porcelain tiles are also known as 'vitrified' tiles, and are a high quality tile that is extremely strong and virtually nonporous. Polished porcelain is one the most popular choices for floors, and often walls. This makes them almost impervious to liquid. We recommend anyone thinking of polished porcelain read through our Everything You Need to Know about Porcelain brochure.

Rectified Tiles

Tiles that have been rectified can be laid closer together with smaller grout joints, giving them a sleeker and more modern look. Rectifying tiles also removes any rounded or 'cushion' edges that may be on the tiles, further enhancing their contemporary look. Rectified literally means corrected and refined and rectified tiles are those that have been cut after firing (baking) to ensure their size and shape is perfect.

Sealed Tiles

Tiles that are more porous, including those made from natural stones, often need to be coated with a protective sealer to prevent liquid from being absorbed into the tile biscuit. Some tiles requiring sealing will be presealed, but some will not. Always check with your tile retailer when buying unglazed tiles or natural materials.

Stones and Natural Materials

Natural materials like stone, slate, marble, sandstone, granite, and travertine are still popular choices for tiles; but some care needs to be taken selecting them. With the exception of granite, these are all porous and can easily be stained. Stone tiles can be sealed, but you may not get the same level of protection as glaze on a ceramic tile.

Porcelain tiles are also known as 'vitrified' tiles, and are a high quality tile that is extremely strong and virtually nonporous. Polished porcelain is one the most popular choices for floors, and often walls. This makes them almost impervious to liquid. We recommend anyone thinking of polished porcelain read through our Everything You Need to Know about Porcelain brochure.

Rectified Tiles

Tiles that have been rectified can be laid closer together with smaller grout joints, giving them a sleeker and more modern look. Rectifying tiles also removes any rounded or 'cushion' edges that may be on the tiles, further enhancing their contemporary look. Rectified literally means corrected and refined and rectified tiles are those that have been cut after firing (baking) to ensure their size and shape is perfect.

Sealed Tiles

Tiles that are more porous, including those made from natural stones, often need to be coated with a protective sealer to prevent liquid from being absorbed into the tile biscuit. Some tiles requiring sealing will be presealed, but some will not. Always check with your tile retailer when buying unglazed tiles or natural materials.

Stones and Natural Materials

Natural materials like stone, slate, marble, sandstone, granite, and travertine are still popular choices for tiles; but some care needs to be taken selecting them. With the exception of granite, these are all porous and can easily be stained. Stone tiles can be sealed, but you may not get the same level of protection as glaze on a ceramic tile.

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Structured Tiles

A tile is 'structured' if it has any kind of three-dimensional effect or structure on its surface. This could include waves, dimples or pimples, or any other 3-D shapes.

Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta, or cotto, is a type of ceramic tile popular in outdoor areas or where a rustic effect is wanted. When using terracotta for a wet area (especially a salt water pool), be sure to select a high quality low-porosity tile.

Textured Tiles

To have enough grip, and to be slip resistant enough for outdoor and wet areas (like around pools), some tiles need to have a 'rougher' textured surface.

Tile Trims

Tile trims are used where a row of tiles finishes or where a tiled area meets another surface. The main kinds of trim tiles we sell are bullnose, capping (which features a small ledge or rail), and cove (usually used where walls and floors meet).

Tiles for Stairs

There are also special tiles for use on stairs and around pools. These allow you to continue you tiled look throughout your home or space while adding an extra bit of slip resistance where it is needed most, such as on stairs.

Tumbled Tiles

It sounds like this term would be misleading, but it actually isn't. Tumbled tiles are literally 'tumbled' in a large drum (a bit like a clothes dryer) to wear down the face and edges of the tile, chip its corners and edges a little, and give it a rough aged look. Tumbled tiles retain all their strength, and are still just as strong and durable as any other tile.

Tile Ratings

When selecting ceramic tiles, you need to consider the job they are intended for to ensure they are suitable. Most tiles are rated - 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for the following uses:

Class 1

Floor coverings in areas that are walked on essentially with soft soled footwear or bare feet without scratching dirt (eg., domestic bathrooms and bedrooms without direct access from the outside).

Class 2

Floor coverings in areas that are walked on with soft soled or normal footwear with, at the most, occasional small amount of scratching dirt (eg., rooms in the living areas of homes, but the exception of kitchens, entrance ways and other rooms which may have a lot of traffic).

Class 3

Floor coverings in areas that are walked on quite often with normal footwear and small amounts of scratching dirt (eg., halls, kitchens, corridors, balconies, lobbies and terraces).

Class 4

Floor coverings in areas that are subjected to considerable traffic with some scratching dirt so that the conditions are the most severe for which glazed floor tiles are suitable (eg., entrances, work rooms, restaurants and exhibition and sales rooms as well as other rooms in public and private buildings not mentioned in Classes 1, 2, 3).

Class 5

The maximum resistance achieved for glazed tiles against footwear traffic and resistant to staining agents. Specifically designed for heavy traffic commercial applications and locations.

 

Always check tiles for shade variation (tonality) before commencing to lay them

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