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Modern bathroom of Porcelanosa Tiles collection Hannover Topo 120x120

Tiles: Spiga Noir Caliza

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles for Walls and Floors

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are available in a wide range of designs, finishes, formats and shades, making them perfect for modern and stylish walls and floors. In addition, due to their high durability and strength, tiles can be integrated into projects involving interiors, exteriors, residential and commercial spaces, as well as high-traffic areas.

The aesthetic advantages of ceramic and porcelain tiles

Along with their practical advantages, the countless types of tiles offer the customers the opportunity to express their personality in a space. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are also ideal for creating a sense of continuity and uniformity in the home. They allow the different rooms to merge into a single space, contributing to the coherence of the environment. Moreover, they can easily combine with other materials, surfaces, colours or patterns, for an eye-catching look.

Suitability of ceramic and porcelain tile as a building material

Its inexpensive maintenance and low environmental impact, in addition to its high degree of resistance to chemicals and atmospheric agents, make ceramic and porcelain tiles the ideal material in terms of efficiency and strength.Tiles are also environmentally friendly since the material is reusable, easily degradable and manufactured via increasingly cleaner production methods.

FAQs regarding Tiles

Grouting tile-to-tile joints is easy, but requires specific tools and techniques. The basic procedure for grouting tiles with a cementitious grout is as follows:

  • Allow the bonding material used in laying tiles to dry, then check the grout joints are dry, and clean and have a uniform depth.
  • Protect all elements sensitive to cement mortar abrasion, such as aluminum profiles or bathroom decoration, with light masking tape to prevent damage.
  • Prepare the grout mixture according to the manufacturer's instructions, taking special care with the amount of water used for mixing.
  • In case of high temperatures, strong draughts, or porous ceramic tiles, wet the joints with clean water before applying the grout.
  • Spread the product and press using a hard rubber trowel, until the joints are completely filled. Pick up the excess with the same trowel, making movements diagonally to the pieces. Do not use metallic tools that may scratch the tile surface.
  • Before cleaning the joints, wait a few minutes until the mortar begins to dry, but do not allow it to harden completely. The waiting time may vary depending on water absorption, ambient temperature and ventilation.
  • Wipe off excess with a slightly damp, fine-finish stiff sponge, mounted on a trowel, to cleans without emptying the joint.
  • Clean diagonally against to the joint pattern, with a well-wrung-out sponge. Rinse in clean water as many times as necessary.
  • Once the tiles have been cleaned, wipe the joints with a dry cloth to avoid changes in tone from the surface moisture.

For more information, please refer to this blog post, in which we explain the step-by-step and present the tools and materials to be used in the grouting tiles process.

Porcelanosa Tile collection - blog article How to grout tiles

How to grout tiles

When it comes to laying tiles the importance of the grouting and its professional execution is hard to over estimate. Whether it be flooring or wall tiling the choice of grout will impact greatly on the aesthetics and the performance of the finished surface...

There is no general rule that explains how to cut a tile, as it depends on the size and type of tile you want to cut. Therefore, we recommend you ask the supplier which tools to use and how to use them before you get started.

Currently, the most commonly used tools for cutting tiles are manual dry cutting machines. Choose the machine size according to the maximum length of the cut to be made and the appropriate roller for the hardness and relief of the tile.

That said, the basic cutting procedure is as follows:

  • First, measure the space in which you want to lay the cut tile.
  • Then, mark, with a pencil, the line along which you want to cut the tile, so that it fits exactly into the available space. At this point, take into account the perimeter joints.
  • Once done, place the manual cutter on a flat, firm surface and align the rip fence with that pencil line.
  • Slide the roller over the marked line, without applying too much pressure. It is recommended to mark the two ends of the tile that delimit the cut line.
  • Press the tile with the cutter arm to break it cleanly and easily.
  • To avoid cuts when handling the tiles, polish the two cut sides with an abrasive stone.
  • For curved cuts, use an electric grinder equipped with a cutting disc suitable for the hardness of the tile.
  • When drilling tiles, different tools are used depending on the diameter of the hole to be drilled:
  • Up to 8 mm diameter: electric drill with water-cooling drill bit (for floor tiles) and dry-cutting drill bit (for wall tiles).
  • Over 8 mm diameter: Grinder (radial cutting machines) equipped with dry cutting drill bit suitable for the hardness of the tile.

Cleaning tile grout is easy if it's done when the grout has not yet hardened completely and the right cleaner is available. Special attention should be paid to anti-slip tiles, embossed tiles, or rough-textured tiles, which are more difficult to clean.

The usual procedure for cleaning tile grout is as follows:

  • Immediately after applying the jointing material, use a damp sponge to remove the jointing residue.
  • It is recommended to wipe off excess with a slightly damp, fine-finish stiff sponge, mounted on a trowel, to cleans without emptying the joint.
  • Clean diagonally against to the joint pattern, with a well-wrung-out sponge. Rinse in clean water as many times as necessary.
  • In case of using epoxy grouts, clean the tiles with a sponge or damp cloth with a 50% mixture of clean water and methyl alcohol or use specific cleaners such as Butech's Epotech cleaner.
  • Once the tiles have been cleaned, wipe the joints with a dry cloth to avoid changes in tone from the surface moisture.

In most cases, this will work, but if the tiles are still stained, then check with the grout manufacturer to find out which cleaner can be used. In the case of cementitious grout, an acid type cleaner such as Butech's Acid Net should do the job; it is recommended to test beforehand to ensure that no abrasion to the ceramic tile occurs.

Removing ceramic floor or wall tiles is simple, although very labour-intensive. Follow the instructions below:

  • Removing ceramic tiles produces a lot of dust and debris, so it is recommended to close the work area with plastic sheeting and tape.
  • Remove mouldings, doors and door frames that may interfere with tile removal.
  • Protect yourself with dust masks, safety goggles, ear protection and work gloves. Pay special attention to ceramic fragments, as they can cause cuts.
  • Use metal tools that allow leverage under the tiles, such as scrapers or chisels, hammers or iron mallets, shovels and use wheelbarrows to remove debris.
  • Find a point from which the underside of a tile can be accessed and from which it can be levered out. If this is not possible, break one tile with a sledgehammer to get started.
  • The ease of removing a tile will depend on how it has been glued. Look for hollow areas under the tiles to make it easier.
  • Use a chisel and hammer to remove any adhesive residue fixed to the substrate.
  • Remove ceramic and bonding material residues, taking special care to avoid cuts.
  • Before laying new tiles, check that the stability of the substrate and fixing surface are suitable to receive the new tiling. Where necessary, waterproof again.

There are now primers, adhesives and other materials available that can be used directly on the ceramic floor or wall tiling, without the need to remove the tiles. In order to use them, you need to assess the state of the ceramic tile installation and whether the load-bearing capacity of the substrate allows for this.

At PORCELANOSA we always recommend using a qualified installer, preferably with demonstrable experience, to lay tiles.

That said, the main aspects to take into consideration when installing tiles are as follows:

  • Before starting to lay tiles, check the information on the packaging and strictly follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Make sure the fixing surface is completely flat and stable and check that it is clean, dry and levelled (using a spirit level).
  • Tile joints shall be at least 2 mm in interiors and 5 mm in exteriors. The use of self-levelling spacers is recommended.
  • The adhesive choice depends on the type and format of the ceramic tile, the fixing background and the intended use. Don't worry if you don't know which type of adhesive to use for which type of tile. You will find the recommended adhesive for each tile on the product page (under "You will need").
  • The most recommended tile installation system is thin-bed tile installation, using a notched trowel for spreading the mortar onto the substrate. For tiles larger than 1,000 cm2, the double gluing technique is recommended.
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the adhesives preparation and use. Apply the bonding material with a notched trowel suitable for the size of the chosen tile; check the wetting capacity of the adhesive and press the tile onto the bonding material using a back-and-forth movement.
  • Likewise, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the preparation and use of jointing materials. Make sure that the material and tools chosen will not damage the surface of the ceramic tiles.
  • Wait until the grout starts to dry and clean it with a sponge dampened with clean water, before the jointing material hardens completely.
  • When cleaning, use products that are suitable for the chemical resistance of the tiles; check with the manufacturer for advice on which product to choose.

More detailed information can be found in the Laying Instructions that come with the PORCELANOSA catalogues.