Today it is very common in homes, in the kitchen, in the living room, in the bathroom or around the pool to see Italian ceramic tiles, which are always part of any decoration. We are used to tiles being everywhere, always invisibly present in our lives. But what do we know about her? If we need to buy tiles to build a new house or to renovate an apartment, is our knowledge of them enough to make the right decision for our own needs?
Of course, every buyer wants to have the most complete information necessary for the correct choice of Italian ceramic tiles, for a deliberate and conscious purchase. We will talk about this. But not only. In addition, this article will provide tips on italian ceramic tiles placement, cleaning and maintenance, as well as interesting tips and ideas for using a versatile material with unique safety features.
You will also discover why Italian ceramic tiles are considered an ecological material, what characteristics make it perfect, eclectic and functional for all living spaces and for the implementation of architectural projects.
What Are Italian Ceramic Tiles Made Of?
Italian ceramic tiles can be of different formats and thicknesses from 6 to 15 mm. In the process of its production, a batch of clay, sand and other natural substances is prepared, plates of the required size are formed, which are then fired in high-temperature ovens. Italian ceramic tile is the most advanced industrial technology that brings products to market in an almost infinite variety of formats, colors, surfaces and decorative effects.
Where Can I Use Italian Ceramic Tiles?
Italian ceramic tiles are used for digital flooring, wall cladding and architectural volumes, both indoors and outdoors. Any place in the house, be it a large hall or a small room, can be creatively and tastefully decorated with elegant italian ceramic tiles materials.
What Are the Functions of Italian Tiles?
Despite the wide variety of options for Italian ceramic tiles, they always fulfill three different functions at once:
- Aesthetics: Italian ceramic tiles are involved in the implementation of projects for the design of premises together with other finishing materials
- Technical: Italian ceramic tile bears the burden of people’s lives, without collapsing and without losing its characteristics
- Functional: Italian ceramic tiles contribute to the hygiene of the premises, is resistant to the loads caused by the movement of people, has high resistance to frost and fire and is resistant to the elements. New features, although still of limited use, include the antibacterial, photocatalytic and photovoltaic properties of ceramic.
Cleaning Italian Ceramic Tiles Is Always Easy
By using Italian glazed ceramic tiles In order for floors and walls to always look perfect and to be easy to maintain in the future, the first cleaning after laying the tiles is of fundamental importance and must be carried out according to strictly defined principles.
Cleaning the Italian Ceramic Tiles After Installation
After laying the Italian ceramic tiles, the ceramic surface is acid washed to remove residual building materials (glue, paint, dust). This cleaning should be done after the grout has completely dried, no earlier than 24-48 hours for fast-setting and quick-drying formulations, and always in accordance with the grout manufacturer’s instructions:
- Sweep the floor thoroughly and apply the cleaner with a normal brush.
- Let the agent act for a few minutes.
- Vigorously remove accumulated dirt with a stiff brush.
- Pick up dirt with a cloth and wipe the floor with clean water.
When using epoxy grouts, use special detergents and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparation, application, and cleaning.
Routine Care of Front Surfaces
Italian ceramic tiles are extremely easy and quick to clean. Floors and walls can be cleaned with lukewarm water and a commercially available solution of a regular neutral detergent.
- Repair of Damaged Italian Tiles
Although modern ceramic tiles (and especially porcelain stoneware) are a fairly durable material, they are still subject to some mechanical damage. If cracks or small chips appear on its surface, you can try to repair them. If such damage is in visible places and is clearly conspicuous, it is better to replace a similar surface area. How to do this so as not to damage the adjacent cladding elements?
First, repair of damaged italian ceramic tiles should begin by drilling a series of holes diagonally through the damaged tiles and then connecting them using a notch line. A hammer and chisel are used for this. Then using a crowbar, with extreme care, you need to remove the formed tile pieces.
The vacant place is cleaned of dust and glue residue and only, then a new layer of glue is applied with a notched trowel. A new italian ceramic tile is laid on the place prepared in this way.
Before replacing italian ceramic tiles, make sure the new item is not slightly above the level of the general surface. To level the tiles, use a wooden mallet or the handle of a common hammer to squeeze out the excess mortar.
To protect the tile from possible damage, use a board on top of the tile and then tap gently in different places until the tile sets. This can be verified, in principle, with the help of any direct object, but the most reliable verification is preferably carried out with the help of a long building level.
Once the italian ceramic tile is installed, allow the mortar to set properly. Depending on the individual characteristics of each specific mixture, this time period can be 24 to 48 hours.
Only after making sure that the glue is completely dry, you can begin to finish the joints with grout. If you need to treat them further with a sealer, you should definitely wait until the adhesive solution has completely dried.
Some Tips for Italian Ceramic Tiles
Always reserve a few italian ceramic tiles from the lot you are buying, or specifically buy 5-7% more tiles than you need. If you ever did not show such a foresight, then in the future it will be almost impossible to choose a mosaic that is as similar as possible in texture and color tone.
So that the repaired area does not stand out against the general background, you should also pay attention to the coincidence of the width of the joints and the color of the grout.
Grout for Ceramic Tiles
In the final stage of coating, specialized dry mixes based on various polymers or cement mixes are used for the grout. Before choosing a grout, it is necessary to study its properties and specifications so that in the subsequent operation of the ceramic coating there was no soaking of the joints, a change in the color tone of the grout and the deterioration of the overall integrity of the structure.
After laying Italian ceramic tiles, trowel works are mandatory, while professional craftsmen skillfully mask the joints or, using “play in contrast” techniques, create unusual effects for the floor and walls.
Cement grout for Italian ceramic tiles can be produced in various versions, depending on the components included in the mix. The first type includes grouts made from Portland cement. The second type is a mixture of Portland cement with sand. To give the necessary qualities, special additives are used.
Plain cement grout for italian ceramic tile joints consists only of cement and additives that improve flowability and slow set. Water or liquid latex is added to this mixture to give it the desired consistency. Typically, cementitious grout is used to seal 1 to 5mm joints.
Adding sand to the cement mix improves the strength of the joint. Sand grouts are designed to fill joints wider than 5mm. In this case, the mixtures may differ in grain size, which depends on the size of the sand grains. These grouts are white or gray.
Tiles for Tiles Based on Epoxy Resins
Epoxy Italian ceramic tile grout is a mixture of epoxy resin, color pigments, and a hardener. The use of hardeners allows you to increase the density, resistance to moisture, and resistance to the effects of various chemicals, which is one of the most important characteristics.
Due to the high cost of such grouts, they are mainly used in the decoration of industrial or commercial premises. The width of the joints must be more than 6 mm, otherwise, the mixture cannot fill the space between the tiles.
Epoxy Italian ceramic tiles grout can also be produced with the addition of Portland cement. In this case, only chemical resistance is lost, and the rest of the properties are completely identical to conventional epoxy grouts.