• Q1. Where can tiles be used?

    Ans. Tiles can be used in virtually any part of the house like bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, portico, foyer, drive way, drawing / living rooms, study, lobby, pooja room etc. They can be used both on the walls and floors. Some special tiles can be used in industries too.
  • Q2. Is it possible to fit new tiles on an old tiled floor?

    Ans. Yes, it is definitely possible to fit new tiles on top of an old tiled floor provided that none of the underneath tiles are loose or uneven. However it is not advisable as the cost would be high and you would be reducing the headroom (height between the floor and the ceiling). However if you still want to go ahead, then see that the existing surface provides a good grip. If the existing flooring is of glazed tiles then they have to be roughened to give a good grip for the new floor.

    There are some other factors also that you have to take into consideration before deciding to fit new tiles on an old tiled floor. The most important being the finished floor level. You need to allow for the thickness of the tiles that you are laying, plus approximately 6-12 mm for the cement slurry/adhesive, depending on the type of flooring to be laid. Once this thickness is added on top of your existing floor, will you still be able to open doors, etc.
  • Q3. What's the best way to calculate the quantity of Tile I'll need?

    Ans. Length times width of the area to be covered will give you square footage. For most installations, add 5-7% for cutting loss, and enough to keep on hand for any repairs. When the installation is on a diagonal, or when you are using a multi-size pattern, you should add 12-15%.
  • Q4. What are the different types of fixing tiles?

    Ans. The tiles can be either dry fixed or wet fixed. In dry fixing the tiles are fixed by using conventional cement mortar. In wet fixing this is done by using special adhesives that can fix tiles directly on the existing flooring.
  • Q5. Is there any way to repair chips in the surface of a ceramic tile?

    Ans. Yes, any good glue (epoxy based) will satisfactorily repair a ceramic tile. But that will only repair; when it comes to looks such repaired tiles don’t match up, as refinishing the surface to match the original tile is the tough part. The best thing would be to replace the chipped tiles along with those adjacent to it.
  • Q6. What is laying with spacers?

    Ans. Tiles can be laid with readily available spacers, thereby achieving a uniform gap, and the same can be grouted with suitable grouting compounds.
  • Q7. Why is a Vitrified tile superior to the ordinary Ceramic tile?

    Ans. The manufacturing process of the Vitrified tiles is far more superior to Ceramic tiles. The Vitrified tiles are also homogeneous and consistent in composition. Ceramic tiles have merely a decorative coat on the top and hence their composition is not consistent.
  • Q8. What is the difference between polished and unpolished?

    Ans. Vitrified tiles come in polished and unpolished finishes. As the name goes, the polished tiles have sheen while the unpolished ones do not have sheen.
  • Q9. What are the advantages of Ceramic Tile over other floor covering materials?

    Ans. Ceramic Tile is the most durable flooring and facing material available. It is color permanent, abrasion resistant, and will not cut, tear, gouge or puncture. There are no seams to separate, and "little accidents" are easily cleaned.
  • Q10. How do I maintain and care for Ceramic Tile?

    Ans. No need to wax or polish glazed Tiles. Simply wiping glazed Tile with a damp sponge or sponge mop is all that is necessary for daily maintenance. In case stains persist if it is not removed with detergent, use diluted hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid.
  • Q11. In ceramic tile the rough stone-look is "in". I like the look but I'm concerned about dirt getting caught in the crevices doesn't this make it hard to clean?

    Ans. The manufacturers of these tiles have taken this into consideration. If you look closely at the surface of these tiles you will notice that although some areas are indented to achieve a natural stone appearance, these indents are wide enough to prevent dirt particles from being embedded in them. A good mopping will wash away dirt even from these indented areas.
  • Q12. I can buy one tile for X amount and another tile for 2X. Is one so much better than the other?

    Ans. The short answer is probably not. Although there are some substandard tiles imported into the country, given the competitive nature of ceramic tile retailing, chances are you wouldn't be exposed to these when you go shopping, you can avoid these by shopping at established reputable tile retailers. There are many factors that go into the price of a ceramic tile.
    Economics of manufacturing plays a role. This is highly simplified here but we think you'll get the point. There are certain costs involved in manufacturing a X tile that are the same as manufacturing a 2X tile, if a run takes an arbitrarily assigned 8 hours to produce, the manufacturer needs labor for those 8 hours, the kiln must consume 8 hours of fuel, lights in the factory have to be on, etc. One variable is how many square feet of tile the manufacturer will produce of a certain tile during those 8 hours. If the market for a certain style of tile calls for a very large run (let's say 100,000 square feet) the manufacturer gets to apply the costs of the run to a large number of tile thus making the cost per tile small. If on the other hand the manufacturer is producing a tile with a smaller demand, he will have fewer tiles to cover his production costs and thus a higher per tile cost.

    Another relevant factor that influences the cost of ceramic tile on the manufacturing end is the design and coloration of a tile. Today the most commonly used method of applying color to a ceramic tile is by use of a screen print. Some of today's designs are heavily dependent on a wide variety of colors to achieve the look the manufacturer desires, and of course the more colors, the more screenings and the higher the cost of the finished product.

    Another important factor that goes into pricing of ceramic tile at the retail level is how the retailer themselves purchase the tile. If a retailer buys container loads of tile from a wholesaler or directly from a manufacturer, the retailer will get a bigger break in price per square foot than if they purchase a pallet or less from their source.

    Finally we need to talk about "seconds" material. Seconds are tile that for one or more reasons the manufacturer could not release as standard grade material. Usually "seconds" are sold at reduced pricing. Some reasons a manufacture will designate a tile as a "second" have absolutely no affect on the performance of a tile. A case in point is, run of tile emerges from the kiln with far different shade of color than the manufacturer intended. This happens because many variables go into the production of a tile and if one isn't precise, color shifts occur. It should be noted that all ceramic tiles are subject to dye lot variations. The manufacturer maintains a range that the variation can fall, if it is outside those parameters, the tile is sold as a "second". Functionally, this tile is the same as its cousin the "standard"; it just doesn't look the same. If you like the way this tile looks, you may get it at a bargain price.

    Another reason a tile may be a second is because of glaze defects. You must inspect seconds well before you buy them (once you purchase them it is unlikely you will be able to return them), unlike wide dye lot variation, glaze defects will affect the look and possibly the life of the finished floor.
    A couple of last points about purchasing "seconds". As mentioned once a "second" grade material leaves their warehouse, a retailer or wholesaler will usually not take it back. Also note that manufacturers will generally not honor any guarantees on material they designate as "seconds". This brings up a big red flag, be aware that there are retailers who knowingly sell second grade material as first quality and hide this fact from the consumer. Many times the consumer only finds out after they have a problem with the floor and the manufacturer refuses to honor the guarantee. Always know whom you are dealing with, if a deal is too good to be true, there is always a reason.
  • Q13. I am redoing my bathroom and my brother-in-law has advised me to get nothing less than a grade 5 tiles. What is he talking about?

    Ans. He's not really sure. What he is referring to is one of the most misused (by retailers) and misunderstood (by consumers and some retailers) designations given to ceramic floor tiles. The grading, which he mentioned is known as the P.E.I. (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating. This is a rating derived from standardized testing. Basically this tests the hardness of a ceramic tile, for a consumer’s purpose, the abrasion resistance of the glaze of the tile.

    Here's what you should know about P.E.I. values:
    • Residential bathroom floors use grade 2 or above perhaps with an Anti-skid property.
    • Entire residential areas and light commercial areas (like a ceramic tile showroom, for example) use grade 3 or above.
    • Heavy commercial use (like a restaurant) use grade 4 or above.
    • Heavy industrial use (like a shopping mall) use grade 4+ or above.
  • Q14. In reference to the above discussion of P.E.I. ratings, is 3 really good in a residence, I have a lot of traffic. What about under my kitchen chairs?

    Ans. Yes, even in a very high traffic residential area a grade 3 is every bit as good as a grade 4 in fact you will never see the difference. As for under your kitchen chairs, any grade tile will eventually show wear in the form of scratches from chairs or shoes grating across them day after day in the same place. Some things you can do to prolong the life of these tiles are the (1) use of chair protectors (change yearly because dirt particles which do the actual scratching get trapped in them), and (2) if possible occasionally reorient the position of your chairs so you spread the wear over different tiles.
  • Q15. Can Ceramic tiles be used outdoors?

    Ans. To be used outdoors, the tile must be unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less.
  • Q16. Can a floor tile be used on wall and vice versa?

    Ans. We do not recommend because the floor tile is much heavier than a wall tile. It is less porous and absorbent. The chances to adhere to the vertical surface is lesser than in a wall tile. This will result in the floor tile being easily dislodged from the surface and also cracking. However it is an individual's choice if he is still ready to take risks, he can use the floor tiles on the wall.
  • Q17. Is it necessary that one should use a particular design or colour or size for a particular application?

    Ans. Well, design, color and size preference is based on purely individual or personal choice or taste.  However here are some basic guidelines and tips on selecting the right design, colour and size for different applications.

    • The tiles you choose should match with the existing, or intending decor of the room where they are to be used.
    • In a plain area (areas devoid of furniture, an open area), you could use a pattern type or geometric tile design. This will help generate a little fullness where none existed before. By the same a plain tile will help calm down a busy and cluttered room.
    • Larger tiles tend to look better in larger rooms, and converse is true for smaller size tiles.
  • Q18. In most of the catalogs there is a table talking about test results what do they mean? What's best?

    Ans. Test results provide purchasers information on product performance. Most of the relevant terms are explained below:
    • Friction Coefficient is the relative slip resistance of a Ceramic Tile. The friction test is a laboratory or field test established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to provide comparable slip resistance values for floor tiles. The measurements provide a valuable insight in evaluating slip resistance. Other factors can affect slip resistance, such as the degree of wear on the shoe and flooring material; presence of foreign material, such as water, oil and dirt; the length of the human stride at the time of slip; and type of floor finish. The higher the friction coefficient, the more slip resistant the tile.
    • Scratch hardness of a tile refers to the exterior surface of the tile and how easily it will mar. It is therefore not a big issue for wall tiles but is for floors. Higher the number the better. A value of 7 or greater is normally recommended for commercial applications.
    • Abrasion Resistance measures the hardness of the glaze and measures the overall durability of the tile. There are 4 categories (or classes) of differentiation. The classes range from Class 0 (not recommended for floors) to Class 4 (heavy commercial floor).
    • Water Absorption measures the susceptibility of the body of the tile to absorb water. Tiles range from impervious (less than 0.5%) to Non-Vitreous (more than 7.0%). Exterior applications will require an impervious tile. The water absorption may impact the installation method, as well. Although this test is used primarily to evaluate glazed and unglazed product, it is sometimes used as a good indicator to predict the stain resistance of unglazed tiles. Generally, for unpolished, unglazed tile, the lower the water absorption the greater the stain resistance.
    • Breaking Strength measures the expected load bearing capacity of various installations. The higher the breaking strength, the stronger and more durable the tile.
    • Chemical Resistance measures the resistance of the tile to various chemicals. An application where there is exposure to staining chemicals and substances should select only tiles identified to be resistant.
  • Q19. Will ceramic tile crack or chip?

    Ans. When tile is installed properly it will not crack. It is possible to chip a tile when heavy objects are dropped on the surface.
  • Q20. What are the different textures of tiles available in the market?

    Ans. There are different effects/ textures available for Ceramic tiles for Wall & Floor. Majority of them available are listed below:

    Effects available on Floor Tiles:
    • Matt, High Matt
    • Glossy
    • Semi Glossy
    • Reactive, Channel
    • Luster, Colored Luster
    • Vitrossa
    • Smooth, Rustic
    • Opaque, Transparent
    • Raindrop
    • Antiskid
    • Embossed (Temptation, Impression, Creation, Sensation, Elation)
    • PEI tiles for traffic dependent areas.

    Effects available on Wall Tiles:
    • Ordinary Screen Prints.
    • 3D effect.
    • Luster series with special gold and silver finish.
    • Satin Matt.
    • Smooth, Rustic.
    • Embossed.
    • Opaque, Transparent.
    • Designer.
  • Q21. What are the different sizes of tiles available in the market (Wall & Floor)?

    Ans. Typically the following sizes of tiles are generally available in the market:

    Wall Tiles
    • 24x12
    • 16x12
    • 12x8
    • 8x6
    • 8x4
    • 4x4
    • 6x6
    • Third fired luster tiles and listellos.
    • Wall Borders (Varying sizes)

    Floor Tiles
    • 24x24
    • 18x18
    • 16x16
    • 15x15
    • 12x12
    • 8x8
    • Hexagonal shaped tiles
    • Octagonal shaped tiles
    • Floor Borders (Varying sizes)
  • Q22. What are the recommended sizes of tiles to be used in my house?

    Ans. Ultimately depending on your house area and the area of the room to be tiled, the exact look and feel depends upon individual tastes. If you are tiling your walls, the general usage is as follows:

    • Small Kitchens: 4x4
    • Medium-sized Kitchens: 8x4 or 8x6 or 12x8
    • Large-sized Kitchens: 16x12 or 12x8

    Corridors: 24x12 or 16x12
    External walls: 24x12 or 12x6
    Small Service Areas: 4x4

    If you are tiling your floors, the general usage is as follows:

    • Small to Medium bathrooms: 8x8
    • Medium to Large bathrooms: 12x12

    Living rooms
    Small to Medium sized: 18x18 or 12x12
    Large sized: 24x24
    Lobbies & Verandahs: Hexagonal or 18x18
    Halls & Public places: 24x24 or 18x18

  • Q23. What are the different manufacturing processes involved in the manufacture of tiles?

    Ans. The tile making process has broadly four routes:

    • Tunnel Bisquet and Tunnel Glost Firing (Also called Tunnel-tunnel or Double firing).
    • Tunnel Bisquet & Roller Glost Firing (Also known as Tunnel Roller).
    • Single Roller Firing (also known as Single Fast Firing for producing Monoporosa (Wall) or Monocottura (Floor) tiles)
    • Roller-Roller Firing or Double Fast Firing.
  • Q24. What are the different advantages of the various processes?

    Ans. The advantages of each process are as follows:

    • Tunnel-Tunnel: It is the oldest manufacturing process for tiles. The advantage of this process is that it can handle very small size to medium size tiles. The other processes are not geared up to handle such small sizes.
    • Tunnel-Roller or Double Fast Firing: The main advantage of this route when compared to the previous is that it can produce very large size products, which cannot be made in the tunnel-tunnel route of manufacturing. Other advantage is the size control as well as good surface.
    • Single Roller firing / Single Fast Firing for producing Monoporosa or Monocottura tiles: This is the most modern technology in the production of tiles today. The advantages are higher productivity, lower fuel consumption, & reduced losses.
    • Roller-Roller technique: The advantage of this technology is that tiles of better surfaces can be produced.
  • Q25. Will the bathroom tiles crack if my servant uses a baton to wash clothes?

    Ans. While a cheap un-branded tile could crack for almost no reason at all, quality branded tiles will definitely take their share of stress and strain. Cracking however, is usually a result of poor tile fixing which results in weak uneven surfaces, air pockets below tiles, improper bedding which are the chief causes of cracking. And this has nothing to do with tiles, but baton washing damages the garments fabric.