Porcelain FAQs

Tiling Tips

Porcelain is a versatile and durable material that has been used for thousands of years to create a variety of functional and decorative objects. One of the most common uses of porcelain is for porcelain tiles, which are popular in homes and businesses around the world. Porcelain tiles are made by firing clay at high temperatures, which creates a hard and durable surface that is resistant to moisture and stains. Porcelain tiles are available in a wide range of colors, sizes, and styles, making them a versatile choice for any design project. Whether you’re looking to create a stylish backsplash in your kitchen or add a splash of color to your bathroom, porcelain tiles are a great choice that will add beauty and durability to your home or business.

Why Porcelain Tile Flooring?

Porcelain tiles typically have greater thickness compared to ceramic tiles, imparting strength and durability, which makes them well-suited to endure the heightened wear and tear experienced by floor tiles. Additionally, porcelain tiles exhibit resistance to moisture, stains, and scratches, rendering them an exceptional choice for flooring in various areas of the home.

Where is Porcelain Tile made?

Porcelain tiles are now made in all parts of the world with Italian, Spanish and Australian made tiles leading the way.

Which Porcelain Tile is best?

Italian made porcelain tiles are world renowned for their quality workmanship and offer a strong and durable product.

What is Porcelain Tile adhesive?

Tile adhesive typically consists of a cement-based blend and serves the purpose of affixing tiles to walls or floors before the grouting process. There exists a variety of tile adhesives, each accompanied by particular guidelines and intended uses, tailored to specific tile types for optimal performance.

What Porcelain Tile adhesive is best to use?

A diverse range of porcelain tile adhesives is readily accessible, each accompanied by its unique set of application guidelines and intended purposes. We exclusively employ and endorse Mapei Australia Adhesives, a trusted choice. Their approachable representatives are merely a phone call away, always ready to address any queries you might have.

Which is the best Porcelain Tile cleaner?

To maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your porcelain tiles, a straightforward routine involves using a regular mop or a damp cloth with water and mild soap to effectively remove surface dust, dirt, and moisture. Perini Tiles suggests using Lithofin KF Active-Clean for routine cleaning. This product is safe for porcelain and helps eliminate accumulated calcium deposits, dirt, soap scum, or greasy residue from both your tiles and grout.
For occasional deep cleaning of your porcelain tiles, Lithofin KF Intensive Cleaner is recommended. To use it, you can dilute the product in a 1:10 solution of cold or lukewarm water, then scrub or brush it onto your tiles. Allow it to sit for 10-20 minutes (with intermittent brushing to prevent drying) before wiping it off with a damp cloth, mop, or wet and dry vacuum cleaner, followed by a thorough rinse. This deep cleaning method is especially beneficial for high-traffic areas like entryways, where dirt and grime tend to accumulate.
For additional information on how to effectively clean and maintain your tiles, please refer to our comprehensive cleaning guide.

Can Porcelain Tile be used outside?

Absolutely! Numerous porcelain tile collections offer selections that are ideal for outdoor use, including options designed for pool surroundings. This wide range of choices provides you with the flexibility to pick the ideal color scheme for your outdoor spaces.

Can Porcelain Tile be sealed?

Most porcelain tiles will not require sealing at all offering a low maintenance option for your design.

Do Porcelain Tiles chip?

Porcelain tiles are typically resistant to chipping due to their inherent strength and durability. However, it’s important to be cautious, as they can still chip if subjected to unexpected force. Keep an eye out for potential sources of chipping, such as metal beneath stools, work boots with small stones stuck underneath, and even certain stiletto shoes with metal bottoms.

Can Porcelain Tile be polished (Cleaning)?

Polished porcelain tiles cannot be further polished to enhance their shine. However, if you have polished porcelain tiles with a glossy surface that have lost their luster, you can rejuvenate them with a straightforward cleaning process. Simply dilute mild soap in water and mop or wipe down your tiles as you normally would, effectively removing any surface residue, dirt, or dust to restore their shine.

Can Porcelain Tile be polished (Buffed)?

No, unfortunately it is not possible for porcelain tiles to be polished or buffed.

Can Porcelain Tile be polished (Edges)?

No, unfortunately it is not possible for porcelain tile edges to be polished or buffed.

Can Porcelain Tile get wet?

Indeed, porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for wet areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms. However, when considering porcelain tiles for wet areas or outdoor use, it’s crucial to choose tiles with the appropriate anti-slip or external surface finish to ensure safety and durability.

Can Porcelain Tile be scratched?

Porcelain tiles should not scratch with proper use and wear however; the surface can be marked with excessive force.

Can Porcelain Tile be stained?

Porcelain tiles offer stain resistance, creating a durable and low-maintenance surface for all areas of your home. However, it’s important to avoid letting acidic substances like vinegar or lemon juice, as well as soap suds in bathroom applications, linger on the surface of your porcelain products. Prolonged exposure to such substances can potentially lead to discoloration or damage to the product’s finish.

Are Porcelain Tile slippery?

Porcelain tiles come in a variety of finishes, ranging from high gloss to textured and semi-gloss choices. Before releasing each tile collection, rigorous testing is conducted to assign a Slip Rating, indicating the level of traction the tile surface provides. Your Design Consultant will work with you to explore the best options, especially when Slip Resistance is a priority for your specific requirements.
It’s important to note that, in general, any flooring, including porcelain floor tiles, can become slippery in the presence of moisture. Therefore, we always recommend placing mats in high-moisture areas, such as in front of the shower or bathtub in the bathroom, as well as at entrances from the outdoors to enhance safety and prevent slipping accidents.

Are Porcelain Tile porous?

While porcelain tiles are not entirely non-porous, they possess a remarkable density. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to promptly clean any spills, particularly those involving acidic substances, calcium buildup in showers, or soap scum, to prevent potential discoloration of the tile’s surface finish.

Are Porcelain Tile waterproof?

Porcelain tiles are waterproof and will not absorb liquids.

Is Porcelain Tile durable?

Porcelain tiles are extremely durable for both floors and walls. Not only do they offer immense flexibility in your choice of colors and finishes, but their durability means that they are an extremely low maintenance option that will normally only require a simple rinse and wipe down to keep tidy.

Is Porcelain Tile heat resistant?

Indeed, porcelain tiles exhibit remarkable heat resistance, making them an ideal choice for areas where high temperatures are a concern. For instance, in accordance with Australian Standards, kitchen splash back tiles positioned within 200mm of a gas cooktop burner must be made of a non-combustible material. Porcelain serves as a non-combustible material perfectly suited for this purpose, offering the added advantage of accommodating a wide range of styles and patterns to enhance and complement your kitchen design.

What is Porcelain Tile PEI rating?

PEI stands for Porcelain Enamel Institute. A PEI rating is determined by evaluating the glaze hardness of tiles through a standardized test. This rating provides valuable information about the tile’s intended use, helping to identify whether it is best suited for floor or wall applications and whether it is suitable for outdoor or indoor use.

Will Porcelain Tile scratch?

With normal use, porcelain tiles should not scratch as they are incredibly dense and durable. Scratches can occur however with misuse of the product.

Will Porcelain Tile stain?

Porcelain tiles come with built-in stain resistance, which makes them a superb option for areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic spaces where maintenance is a key consideration. However, it’s important to avoid letting acidic substances linger on the tile surface for extended periods, as this can potentially lead to discoloration or damage to the glaze. To maintain their longevity and aesthetic appeal, be sure to promptly and thoroughly wipe away any liquids or residue from the surface of your porcelain tiles.

Will Porcelain Tile crack in heat?

Porcelain tiles are temperature resistant making them an ideal choice for applications where heat is a factor.

Will Porcelain Tile crack in cold?

Cold temperatures will not cause porcelain tiles to crack as they are resistant to temperature fluctuations. Adhesives used need to comply with climatic conditions.

Will Porcelain Tile crack?

With proper use and installation, porcelain tiles will not crack. When substrate is properly prepared and correct adhesives are used the tile should not crack. If there is any movement in the substrate tiles may crack.

Will Porcelain File crack outside?

Porcelain tiles should not crack when used outdoors provided that they have been installed correctly with proper preparation of the surface prior to laying.

Will Porcelain Tile fade in the sun?

Porcelain tiles are generally resistant to fading however brightly colored glazed tiles may fade if in direct sunlight over time.

Will vinegar damage Porcelain Tile?

Vinegar is a common ingredient in homemade cleaning solutions, but it’s essential to handle this potent cleaning agent properly to avoid any damage to your porcelain tiles. Because vinegar is acidic, it should always be heavily diluted with water when used to clean porcelain surfaces. Furthermore, it should not be allowed to remain on the surface for an extended period, as this can potentially result in discoloration or corrosion of your tiles and grout.
If you choose to include vinegar in your cleaning routine, ensure there is no residue left behind by thoroughly wiping the surface with a damp cloth or mop after use. This precaution will help maintain the integrity and appearance of your porcelain tiles.

How is Porcelain Tile made?

Porcelain tiles are crafted from a blend of dense natural clay, sand, and water. These tiles undergo high-temperature kiln firing, which effectively eliminates excess moisture, rendering them highly water-resistant, dense, and exceptionally durable. One fundamental distinction between ceramic and porcelain tiles is the firing process. Ceramic tiles are fired at lower temperatures and for shorter durations, resulting in a softer, more porous product that is typically better suited for vertical applications.

Can Porcelain Tile be used outside?

There are many collections of outdoor porcelain tiles available that are suitable for outdoor spaces, including alfresco areas, outdoor kitchens and even pool surrounds.

Can Porcelain Tile be used in a shower?

Porcelain tiles provide an excellent choice for the shower as they are extremely hard wearing and simple to maintain. It is recommended that any residual soap scup be rinsed away after using the shower to ensure ease of cleaning.

Can Porcelain Tile be used for kitchen countertops?

Yes, porcelain tiles can be used for kitchen countertops. Aside from traditional porcelain tiles, there are also many porcelain benchtop options available.

Can Porcelain Tile be used for showers?

Porcelain tiles are an outstanding choice for shower installations, as they can be applied to both the shower floor and walls. They offer a highly water-resistant surface that is easy to clean and maintain. To prevent the accumulation of calcium deposits, grime, and soap scum, it’s crucial to regularly rinse the surface of your porcelain tiles in the shower. This practice helps keep your shower enclosure looking pristine and in excellent condition.

How can I calculate how many tiles I need?

First, you need to know the size of the space. Also, plan to buy a larger amount of tiles than you need, due to breakages and cutouts. Generally, add 5 to 7% more tiles if the space you’re planning to lay tiles on is in a simple shape (in the shape of a square or rectangle with several cuts). If, on the other hand, the space is diagonal or if it has an organic shape, you will have to cut a lot of tiles at the corners. In these scenarios, it is important to provide a surplus of up to 15% to avoid material shortages during installation.

Can I place tiles on existing tiles?

Usually, yes, but only if the surface below is placed correctly and is not broken. But this is generally not the smartest option, as you may have higher costs later. Keep in mind that the height of the room will be slightly reduced and you will have to change how the door open.

How to cut and drill through the tiles?

For straight cuts, a special tool is usually used which creates a clean cut and a good finish when cutting tiles. For other details or smaller cuts, a disc saw can be used. If you need to create a hole in your tile, hire a pro in order to prevent cracking through the entire tile.

How much wastage should I add when ordering my tiles?

It is generally recommended to add an extra 10-15% for wastage when ordering tiles. This will account for any cutting or breakage that may occur during installation, and ensure that you have enough tiles to complete the project without having to order additional tiles later.

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