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How to choose a ceramic tile

If you are going to make repairs and it’s the turn to choose ceramic tiles, do not rush to buy the first one, focusing on the “nice little texture.” When choosing a tile, you need to consider the many technical nuances of the application. Remember that, although there are many types of tiles in the market, each of them is designed for its own tasks.

To begin with, you should decide which room you are going to decorate with tiles and where exactly to put it – on the floor or on the walls.

For bathroom or kitchen

The bathroom has high humidity, so here you will need a low-porous and waterproof tile so that it does not develop fungus, bacteria, and mold. So that you can safely wash it with detergents, it must be resistant to household chemicals, otherwise, it will quickly lose its attractive appearance.

Humidity and temperature in the kitchen are unstable, so ceramic tiles must be resistant to their differences. It is also better to choose a low-porous stove so that it does not absorb kitchen odors. An additional parameter of the kitchen finish is hardness, which saves from scratches and chips.

Floor or walls

First of all, the floor should not be slippery. Therefore, do not put glossy tiles on it: as soon as the water gets on it, it will instantly turn into a dangerous ice rink. It is better to put a rough tile in a rustic style or a tile with anti-slip splashes. The second important quality that you should pay attention to is the wear resistance of the tile.

But for walls, sliding and wear resistance is not very relevant and you can save a lot on this by focusing on choosing the texture and pattern.

Read the markings

First of all, we look at the color of the markings. Color carries information about the quality of the tiles. The red marking indicates tiles of the 1st grade, blue – 2 grades, green – 3 grades.

The wear resistance class also gives information on the porosity of the tile. For the bathroom and kitchen, you need to choose a tile belonging to the 1st, 2nd or 3rd class. Classes above the fourth have high porosity and are not suitable for wet rooms.

Letters tell about the ability to resist chemical attack. If you see the letter A, then this is the initial level of resistance, the double symbol (AA) says that the tile is more resistant to chemistry.

The lowest resistance is for tiles marked with the letter O, intermediate levels are for marks B and C.

A pictogram in the form of a foot on a black background indicates that this floor tile. If the foot is black and the background is shaded, then you have a floor tile with increased wear resistance.

The palm icon means wall tiles. It must never be laid on the floor.

The pictogram in the form of a leg on a line at an angle of 45 degrees indicates the coefficient of friction on a wet surface, that is, a non-slip tile.

A circular saw blade on a black background means abrasion resistance.

Putting knowledge into practice

Having understood the markings, you will begin to more confidently navigate the types of tiles. For example, you will understand that for the bathroom and kitchen you need to choose a low-porous tile of 1, 2 or 3 wear resistance classes, with a chemical resistance not lower than class A. So you can save a lot because high-wear tile costs more. It is better to invest the saved money in the tile for the hallway, which needs 4 and higher class. And it’s absolutely not worth it to overpay for absolutely unnecessary frost-resistant and ultra-wear-resistant materials in the house, suitable for streets and shopping centers.

Of course, the seller of the store will tell you more detailed information about the manufacturers, styles, quality, but in any case, now you will begin to better understand it. The main thing is to be in a store with a wide choice, in order to figure out how the Spanish tile differs from the German one, in which cases you can use Turkish or Chinese.

Only after seeing a large number of different types of tiles with your own eyes and comparing them, you can appreciate the pattern, quality factor, estimate the composition of the styling in your mind. Each manufacturer has its own reputation and history, its own “style”, which are reflected in both price and quality.

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