Q- WHAT ARE PORCELAIN FLOOR TILES?
A- Porcelain tiles are made by adding specific clay to moulds and exposing them to searing hot temperatures. During this intense heating process, all the individual grains and particles of the ingredients are completely fused together. This gives the porcelain a single mass and its low porosity of less than 0.5%, making it exceptionally resistant to water and humidity and extremely hard wearing. It is a versatile option for both interior and exterior floor surfaces, and is also suitable for walls.
Q- SHOULD I CHOOSE STONE OR PORCELAIN FLOOR TILES?
A- This is of course down to personal preference and each option will have individual pros. Porcelain doesn’t require sealing on installation and overall is less maintenance. Porcelain tiles are often so highly sophisticated due to improvements in digital technology it is difficult even for experts to tell the difference between porcelains and their natural counterparts. Porcelain can be produced in thinner, large format tiles allowing you to lay extremely large tiles in minimal thicknesses on floors and even walls. Porcelain floor tiles can cleverly replicate wood, stone, marble, concrete and terrazzo to name just a few.
Natural stone flooring is naturally dense and hard-wearing. It requires sealing initially, but will stand the test of time and ages beautifully. There are many finishes and formats to choose from and whilst a stone floor’s patina will change over time, that’s part of its charm. If your heart lies with having the real, natural material with all of its inherent natural beauty and imperfections, nothing else quite compares.
Q- WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF FLOORING IF I HAVE PETS?
A- Hard flooring, including both stone and porcelain, is an ideal option if you have pets, unlike carpet, it can be easily cleaned by sweeping, vacuuming or mopping. It is also useful for temperature control being warm in the winter with underfloor heating, whilst remaining cool in the summer. Floor tiles are easy to clean, they do not trap odours and are resilient to stains and hard to scratch. As with all flooring, tiles with more variation will be more forgiving underfoot than surfaces that are very plain.
Q- CAN FLOOR TILING BE A DIY JOB?
A- Yes, it can, the key is, as always, ‘measure twice, cut once’. The more prepared you are the smoother the job will go. Dry lay some tiles so that you can plan out any awkward cuts and distribute shades or patternation evenly. If laying a random mix of patterns have an idea before you start to ensure you achieve your desired results. Nevertheless, depending on the size of the area, your knowledge and ability, it will be well worth getting an experienced fitter to lay your tiles. Choose someone who is experienced in laying hard floors, when purchasing floor tiles from Mandarin Stone a list of suggested fixers is available on request.
Q- WILL MY TILED FLOOR BE COLD? CAN I USE UNDERFLOOR HEATING?
A- Stone and porcelain tiles are excellent conductors of heat so will hold onto heat and make the perfect option to use with underfloor or undertile heating. By the same token, hard surfaces will have a cooling effect during our recent warm British summers.
Q- DOES MY FLOOR NEED SEALING?
A- Natural stone will need sealing during the installation process to protect the tiles. Porcelain generally doesn’t require sealing but the grout can be sealed to make routine cleaning easier.
Q- HOW DO I CLEAN MY FLOOR TILES AND GROUT?
A- You should avoid the use of harsh detergents and cleaners sticking to a pH neutral routine cleaner. Keep acids (such as vinegar & lemon juice) away from natural stone.
Q- CERAMIC VS PORCELAIN FLOORING?
A- Ceramic and porcelain are part of the same family and some often use the terms interchangeably. However there are some important differences that affect how they can be used. They are made from different clays and porcelain is fired at higher temperatures. This means that porcelain has a much lower water absorption rate and is more dense and hard- wearing. Whilst some Ceramic tiles can be used on floors, they are mainly used as wall tiles. Porcelain can be used on walls and floors and also outdoors.
Q- TOP FLOOR TILE INSTALLATION TIPS?
A- We have a series of guides in our help and support section that can be referred to but below are some essential tips to bear in mind
Make sure you order enough tiles. If you need to order more, your original batch may not be available and variation will occur between batches of both stone and porcelain tiles.
Don’t spot bed, tiles should always be laid on a solid bed of suitable adhesive.
Dry lay a few tiles beforehand. This will let you plan out any awkward cuts and distribute any variation.
Use a suitable tile cutter. A wet, bench cutter is best so that you don’t break too many tiles when cutting.
Good housekeeping. Clean as you go, make sure you remove any adhesive or grout residue as you go.
Movement joints. Always leave a movement joint around the perimeter of the room. You may have to add more depending on the size and layout of the room.
Q- WHAT IF MY FLOOR GETS STAINED?
A- Accidents happen, but rest assured there are usually ways and means to overcome any issues that arise. Grease, wine and organic stains all have remedies. We have a wide range of Fila products suitable for most situations.
For further guidance our expert teams can help with both design and technical aspects of your projects, please get in touch today. Alternatively, you can visit one of our 14 inspirational UK showrooms and see our beautiful tiles in person.