Types of Ceramic Tiles
Do-it-yourself ceramic tiling has become so popular that manufacturers now produce a range of tiles specially for this market. Most of them have spacer lugs on the edges so that they can be spaced accurately on the wall. They are available with surface finishes that are plain, patterned or textured.
Plain tiles are available in some ten colours. Most manufacturers’ ranges include blue, yellow, green, grey, mauve, pink, black and white — colours designed to match the most popular colours in sanitary ware.
Textured tiles are produced in the same range of colours as plain tiles and most manufacturers offer a choice of two or three different textured effects. These textured tiles can be used on their own or interspersed in an area of plain tiling.
Patterned tiles are usually silk screen printed and all manufacturers have a large range of stock patterns. These tiles are not usually stocked by retail stores.
Transfer tiles, with illustrations of cars, ships, fish, etc., are available on request.
Apart from the do-it-yourself tiles, there is a larger range produced for the building industry. These tiles are more expensive than the do-it-yourself type, but the variety of colours, patterns and embossed effects is much larger.
Details of these tiles can be obtained direct from the manufacturers or through a builders’ merchant.
Heat-resistant tiles are for use on the surrounds of fireplaces and on areas adjacent to solid fuel cookers where the surface temperature can rise to over 150°C (302°F).
In most cases, the thinner tile is adequate up to that temperature. Above it, the thicker tile will offer better resistance and withstand cracking. These heat-resistant tiles do not all have spacer lugs — sticks must be used to ensure correct spacing of tiles not made with lugs.
Frost-resistant tiles are for use in areas where the temperature is likely to fall below freezing point. They are essential for all exterior work.
Any tiles can be treated to render them frost-resistant, but this can be done only at the factory.
Sizes and sections
The table below shows the range of tiles normally used for do-it-yourself work. The smaller tiles are the more readily available and are more commonly used.
The measurements of 100 and 200 mm
Tiles are inclusive of the joint widths.
Tiles can be obtained from builders’ merchants and tile specialists or direct from the factory. Pamphlets showing ranges of sizes and colours can usually be obtained direct from manufacturers.
Only three different tile sections will be required for do-it-yourself jobs: field tiles, RE tiles (one rounded edge), and REX tiles (two rounded edges).
Field tiles. These will be used on the bulk of the area to be covered. They have square-set edges, and most have spacer lugs for accurate spacing when laying.
Some special purpose field tiles have no spacer lugs, and they must be spaced by the use of sticks in the joints.
RE tiles. These have one rounded edge and are used for finishing off the edges of the tiled area. Manufacturing difficulties prevent these tiles from being made with spacer lugs.
REX tiles. These have two rounded adjacent edges and are used to finish off the corner of a tiled area. They also are made without spacer lugs.
Easy-to-fit bathroom accessories
Most of the major tile manufacturers produce a range of surface-fixing bathroom accessories in colours to match their plain and patterned tiles. These accessories can be applied in the same way as ordinary tiles and are available in the same dimensions.
Use ceramic edging cove to seal the gap between the bath and the wall.
The edging is sold in packs which contain sufficient pieces to complete an average-sized bath, as well as four pre-cut mitres for the corners, and two shaped finishing pieces for the ends.
Theis also supplied with the pack — it is rubber based and remains permanently flexible to allow for movement in the bath due to contraction and expansion. The will stick to glazed tiles, enamel and porcelain, but may have a solvent action on paint, which must be stripped off first.