Tile Style for Flooring
Ceramic and quarry tiles make attractive, hard-wearing flooring surfaces. Preparing the surface and laying is, in many ways, similar to the techniques used for wall tiling. Preparation of the floor is very important if the tiled area is to be level and present a pleasing look. Tiling can be done out of doors-though ceramics need treating, in some situations, to make them resistant to frost.
Clay or ceramic floor tiles are made from refined natural clays fired at high temperatures.
To vitrify the surface certain additions are made to the natural clay. Fully vitrified clay tiles are frost resistant and can be used externally. They are available in a wide range of colours, patterns and textured effects. The surface can be matt or highly glazed and, in some cases, slip resistant.
Mosaic ceramic floor tiles are another way of making an attractive hard-floor finish. Made in the same way as ordinary ceramic tiles they can be either glazed or semi-glazed, semi- or fully-vitrified, in one colour or in random patterns.
Quarry tiles get their name from the French word, carre, meaning square. In addition, tiles in octagonal and hexagonal shapes are available. They are made from natural clay, unrefined, and hard burnt.
Quarry tiles are a more porous material than ceramic tiles and only top-grade ‘quarries’ should be used externally.
This type of flooring, as a natural material, is available in random colours: buff, natural browns, reds and blues. The random quality of the colours give the attractive decorative finished effects.
L-shaped coving tiles, are available to make internal corners. The tiles can then be taken a little way up the wall to make a skirting area.
Quarry tiles are made in a variety of thicknesses and in sizes of 102mm x 102mm to 305mm x 305mm. Generally, the larger and thicker the tile the more expensive, but also the more hardwearing it is.
These tiles are dense and hard and cutting them is not an easy job. Accurate cutting is necessary and as some tiles will crack, it is essential to buy extra tiles to allow for wastage.
To cut the tiles, a hammer, small cold chisel and a pair of pincers are needed. An abrasive disc or a carborundum stone are needed to smooth cut edges.
When laying a quarry-tile floor, as in all floor-laying operations, it is essential to have a level sub-floor. To level the floor, a 20mm thickness of 1:3 mortar should be laid.
Soak the quarries in clean water and then proceed to lay them in a further mortar bed 6mm thick-bedding the tiles down to a level surface.
Grouting is done with a mixture consisting of equal parts of cement and sand. When grouting, stand on a board of about lm2. This will take the weight of the body and prevent the tiles from spreading.
Once the floor is laid, the tiles should be covered with sand or sawdust, to keep the surface clean, and left for four to five days before being walked on.
10. November 2011 by admin
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