Tile Talk- A guide to popular tile terms and handy things to know- Part 1

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Tile Materials & Finishes

Navigating the tile industry can be quite the task; there are many things to take into consideration when selecting tiles for your project, from which materials will be best suited for your desired application, to which surface finishes will tie in best with your chosen design scheme. Our friendly staff at Perini Tiles will guide you in sourcing your dream tiles and finishes and in the meantime, our two part Tile Talk guide will keep you informed while you start your renovation journey. Look out for part two of this series next week! 

Select your Tiles Early

If you are hiring a professional Tiler to complete your project, it is important that you have already gained an idea of what type of tile you are after. Better yet, make your selection early, prior to gathering quotes from your local Tilers as they will be able to offer you a much more accurate and informed quotation with this information. As we will explore further in this post, each type of tile is different and as such, will also require unique installation requirements to ensure a quality finish.

Choosing A Tiler: Things to Know & Questions to Ask

TYPES OF TILES

Porcelain Tiles

Best suited for flooring, porcelain tiles possess the strength, waterproof nature and ease of maintenance that make them a perfect fit for both indoor and outdoor installation, as well as for high traffic areas thanks to their incredible endurance and longevity. A quality porcelain tile will last a lifetime in any home! Porcelain tiles also offer an ideal solution for a gas cooktop surround; as a gas cooktop emanates heat much further than their electric or induction counterparts, they require a non-combustible splashback material when installed with less than 200mm clearance between the burner and your splashback. Porcelain is an excellent solution in this installation, meeting Australian Standards in terms of fire safety in the kitchen.

Italian porcelain tiles

Rustic and raw, the Rigo collection is made of Italian porcelain. The realistic timber texture creates a delightful coastal vibe in the home, perfect for Hamptons style design schemes. 

 

Ceramic Tiles

Made of clay and then baked in a kiln at an extreme temperature. Usually being an inexpensive tile to produce, ceramic tiles are an ideal fit for projects where a large amount of wall coverage is required. Ceramic tiles are treated with a glaze that is baked onto the surface of the tile. Our team at Perini Tiles will be able to assist you in finding a ceramic tile that is best suited to your intended application.

Mosaic Tiles

For the ultimate feature in your design, look no further than luxurious mosaic tiles! With so much creative freedom on offer, mosaic tiles allow for the creation of a multitude of designs, from intricate indoor or outdoor wall murals to a lavish patterned floor. Mosaic tiles are available in an astonishing amount of shapes, colours, finishes and even materials making the design possibilities truly endless! Many mosaic tiles can be used as both floor tiles or wall tiles, allowing for yet more creativity in your design. 

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone tiles offer pattern and rustic charm to any style of home, from the more traditional schemes to the more contemporary, modern designs. Natural stone tiles are available in a variety of materials, including: marble, granite, limestone, terrazzo, terracotta, sandstone, etc. with each material offering its own unique properties to the final product. Natural stone tiles do require sealing and maintenance throughout their lifespan however, with the right care, will create a stunning feature in any home for years to come!

natural stone tile

A perfect example of a natural stone tile, our Labyrinth collection is made entirely of Carrara, Thasso and Nero Marquina marbles.

 

TILE FINISHES

Rectified Edges

The process of creating rectified edge tiles involves the machining of  porcelain tiles to create a perfectly sharp and true 90 degree angle. This process creates a more consistent edge in your selected tiles, eliminating the slight cushioned edge that is seen on most traditional tiles that have not been rectified, which in turn allows for an extremely fine grout line of approximately 3mm or less. Australian standards recommend a grout joint of no less than 2mm allowing for any expansion and contraction in the flooring. prevent chipping along the edges of your tile after installation if there is any movement in the floor.  The final outcome is a high quality finish with minimal grout, offering an extremely low maintenance solution with incredible strength and endurance, making rectified tiles a definite contender for the modern home.

Surface Finishes

Referring to the surface texture and sheen level of a tile, you will find a wide selection of finishes available, from a sleek matte to an intense high gloss. 

Honed Finish Tiles

Honed finish tiles feature a smooth, satin surface that shows a minimal reflection of light.  Normally refers to natural stone finish. Honed can also be referred to as Lappatto finish

Lappato Finish Tiles

An Italian word for semi-polished, lappato refers to a medium level sheen tile.

Matte Finish Tiles

Smooth and sleek, matte tiles lend themselves extremely well to contemporary home styles, offering a soft, rustic element in your design. Matte tiles feature a non-reflective surface finish and some (with a slip rating) also possess excellent slip resistance in the home. 

Textured Tiles

Once again offering excellent slip resistance  and grip (if they have a slip rating), textured tiles lend themselves well to wet areas of the home such a as the bathroom, kitchen or laundry. Their uneven surface finish provides a rustic charm in any design, with designs available with a slight sheen to add a bit of light to your design.

High Gloss or Polished Tiles

The surface of these tiles is intensely polished to achieve a consistent, ultra-high, smooth gloss finish. Polished or high gloss tiles act as an excellent way to add light to an otherwise dark room as they allow light to reflect and travel through the space. These tiles are also extremely easy to wipe clean, making them ideal for any area of the home, from the kitchen to the bathroom. 

Glazed Tiles

A glazed tile includes a thin glass layer that is most commonly applied to ceramic or porcelain tiles. Available in several different finishes including matte, gloss or textured, glazed tiles are easy to clean and maintain. 

Unglazed Tiles

Created from kiln fired clay, unglazed tiles contain a layer of glaze that is applied prior to the firing process. Without the final protective coating that is normally applied to glazed tiles, unglazed tiles offer a more natural colour being determined by the deposits found in the clay used in their manufacture. We recommend unglazed tiles be sealed.

Tile Variation

Certain collections of tiles will vary in colour, pattern or surface texture from tile to tile. Hand made tiles can have extreme variation in size, colour and thickness. Marble inspired porcelain tiles will each feature a different pattern or variation in the featured veining, creating a stunningly realistic simulation of natural stone. Although each tile is different and varied, they all fit in together to create a consistent look, ensuring each installation is truly unique.

tiles melbourne

Our Jumble collection provides an exquisite replica of stone using varying textures and patterns on each tile to achieve a natural finish.

As you can see, each type of tile offers its own unique qualities to your project, with each different material lending itself well to particular applications. Our next post will further explore the terms used in the tiling industry with a discussion about tile formats, installation layouts, as well as variations in manufactured tile batches.

For more information on creating the perfect colour palette for your next project, visit our showroom to discuss your needs with our friendly team of Interior Designers.