Ceramic

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are the most cost effective option for your floors. They are available in almost any decorative glaze and are a durable tile. They are usually made from either red or white clay and are heated to about 1400 degrees to become permanently hardened. Ceramic tiles are so versatile, they can be installed almost anywhere in the home or office. Ceramic tiles are usually compared to porcelain tiles, but, in reality they are extremely different tiles. Ceramic tiles have loosely packed molecules in comparison to porcelain and therefore, are less dense and more absorbent. They are prone to discolouration over time due to wear and tear or exposure to the elements of mother nature. They are also easier to cut making them easily installed in a variety of places; which makes it a popular option in any circumstance.

Ceramic tiles come in two varieties: Glazed ceramic and Unglazed ceramic.

Unglazed ceramic tiles was the popular option in the past. They are the same colour throughout the tile and have no print on them unless a pattern was carved or molded into them before the hardening process. Usually handmade, unglazed ceramic tiles have a lot of character in each individual tile. Although beautiful in its own way, Unglazed ceramic tiles are prone to absorb almost anything and having them professionally cleaned and sealed is in the best interest of anyone who owns them.

Glazed ceramic tiles are the most popular tiling option for homes today. Made in the same way as unglazed ceramic, glazed ceramic gets its name from entering the furnace for a second blast after a customised print is embedded on its hardened surface. This glazed surface may provide more protection then its unglazed counterpart, but don’t be fooled, nothing is 100% resistant to dirt and staining.

To protect the beautifully printed patterns or images on its surface, a layer of topical sealer will provide an added layer of protection; almost eliminating wear and tear from the surface of the tile and creating a buffer for unexpected mishaps such as scratching of the surface.

PORCELAIN

PORCELAIN

Whether it be on your living room floors, shower walls or balcony floors, porcelain tiles are a great and versatile option in any home or workspace.

Porcelain tiles are made from the same clay as ceramic tiles but also contains Silicate minerals which gives procelain’s characteristic white seashell colour. The only way to bond the clay and mineral together to form the porcelain is to heat it up to temperatures around 1500 degrees celsius. Because of this specific composition and extremely high temperatures, porcelain tiles are extremely dense making them heavier and almost non-porous.

 

With such extreme processes required to make porcelain, the finished tile is one of the hardest flooring surfaces you can have; even harder than granite!

 

The colour of porcelain tile is not just on the surface but runs down through the tile. This means that the color will stay the same as it wears down which will take some considerable time and the hard wearing nature of porcelain allows it to be used in any area, be it wet or dry.

 

There are two types of porcelain tiles installed in the average home – glazed porcelain tiles and unglazed porcelain tiles.

 

Glazed porcelain tiles undergo an extra process in which liquid glass is bonded on top of the porcelain. This allows for a variety of different patterns and colours to be given to the tile other than your usual earthy mineral colours that unglazed porcelain characteristically has. Glazed porcelain is practically non-porous so the need for sealing them is eliminated. The only downside is that the grout between the tiles are so porous that any imperfection tends to show up right away. A professional clean and a good quality sealant will help keep your Glazed Porcelain floors and grout lines looking fantastic for years to come.

 

Unglazed porcelain tiles undergo a polishing process from the factory to refine the overall aesthetic look. This process, although it brings up a shine, opens up the pores of the tiles just enough that they become absorbent. All unglazed porcelain tiles require a quality penetrating sealer in order to stop staining and absorption of dirt over time. In most cases, a professional clean of unglazed porcelain tiles will bring them back to new again and then a quality penetrating sealer will keep them looking that way for years to come.

 

Due to the dense nature of porcelain, the surface is very smooth and floors can become extremely slippery when wet. One the best ways to combat this is an anti-slip treatment applied by a professional. When applied by a professional, it won’t deflect from the aesthetics or shine that porcelain gives.

LIMESTONE

LIMESTONE

Limestone is a popular natural stone option for floors, walls, steps and outdoor pavers. It’s formed under the sea and is pressurised, which makes it durable, yet porous. While limestone is soft underfoot, luxurious and has a medium range durability, it’s cost-effectiveness and ease to cut into when building has long made it popular among architects and home-renovations.

 

Limestone’s softer and porous properties can result in surface wear and loss of polish in high traffic areas. We recommend sealing your limestone tiles or flooring with a good quality sealer every 2 or 3 years.

 

Comprising of calcium carbonate and other collections of calcite, aragonite materials and marine fossil debris (e.g. shells, coral and bones), it has a subtle natural blend. This makes it popular with current minimalist trends while still imbuing warmth. Due to it’s porous and soft properties, it’s extremely absorbent and should be sealed to prevent staining and deep dirt build up. While most limestone is resistant to salt build-up, making it ideal for pool areas, acid can dissolve the calcium carbonate properties. If acid attacks polished or fine-honed limestone it can leave etching marks on the surface.

 

Some sealers are thinner than others, due to their active ingredients, which is why they’re cheaper. A DIY solution from home hardware stores, such as Bunnings and some competitors may quote you on this. We recommend you ask any company who quotes how often you’ll need to re-seal the area. Cheaper options will see you resealing every few months, whereas a good-quality sealer, which is matched to your floors properties and area in the property, should protect your floors for a minimum of 2 or 3 years.

 

If you’re facing dirty, stained or darkened limestone floor tiles or pavers, contact us today for a free competitive quote. We beat any written quote by 10%. Our technicians have degrees in nano and biochemistry, understanding the unique properties of natural stone and tiled floors.

MARBLE

MARBLE

Acclaimed for its beauty, elegance and style, marble has graced mansions of the elite for centuries, making it a high-end, luxurious option for interiors. It’s timeless appearance, elegance and durability make it a popular choice for homes and businesses.

From hotel entrances to residential kitchens and bathrooms, marble flooring makes a statement in any space and like all stone tiles, it requires maintenance. Marble is porous, which means it stains, scratched and worn easily. It is especially vulnerable to household acids like vinegar, mustard, citrus and other food-related products. Acidic substances can cause deep stains, etching in the tile and can remove the marble’s natural, stunning shine.

Like all natural stones, marble needs to be sealed regularly. Since cleaning products for deep stains on marble are limited, it’s worth the time and effort to hire a restoration professional.

While marble was once rare and exotic, due to it only being imported from Italy, it is now mined throughout the world, making it more accessible. It is is available in smaller tiles, compared to the large slabs that once required custom-fitting. However, it is still a valuable commodity and regardless of the marble’s origin, it conveys its unique characteristics that people desire  – individuality, natural shine, timeless qualities and sophisticated finish.

TYPES OF MARBLE FLOORING

There’s a great deal of variety available, so here’s a small list of terms to be familiar with:

  • Veining: Small lines of color what gives this natural stone its unique look. In fact this veining affect is often referred to as “marbleized” when describing other items.
  • Gloss: A highly polished version of the stone that makes it reflective and shiny.
  • Tumbled: A process that distresses and ages the stone so it appears dulled. This soft look creates a milky, creamy color, making it seem buffed rather than glossy.
  • Honed: A no-gloss variety that has a flat, matte, or satin finish. It creates an earthy affect that’s become popular due to its less formal appeal. Plus, it reduces risk of etching.
  • Etching: With everyday foot traffic, the surface may slightly wear by slowly removing its initial polish.

Quarry Tiles

Quarry Tiles

Quarry tiles provide a hard wearing brick like tile for flooring which are manufactured from clay in a manner similar to bricks. Like bricks, quarry tiles are porous and will soak up spills if they aren’t sealed and waxed.

Wooden Floors

Wooden Floors

Wooden floors have been a staple since houses have been built. The different types of timber produce different colours and the grain produces different patterns so no two floors look the same. The versatility of the material means you can build an entire house from wood, but it is the preferred surface for dances.