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Answers from Atlas Concorde to questions about ceramic tiles, part 3





21. I BOUGHT FLOOR TILES AND PAID $20 PER SQUARE METER. HOWEVER, THE TILES WERE OF 8 CALIBER AND WHEN I COUNTED THE TOTAL AREA OF THE TILES IT TURNED OUT THAT I WAS ACTUALLY SOLD 39.5 INSTEAD OF 40 M2 –5 TILES LESS. WHY?

Tiles are normally sold by their face value indicated by the manufacturer (for example, 30x30). In fact, the tiles can be both less than their face value (for example, 29.8х29.8) or more (for example, caliber 1 or 2). However, the area covered by the tile, taking the seams into account, will always match (or even be greater) the nominal area of the tile ordered if the calculation is done correctly. The seller is expected to provide the buyer with information on the actual tile size (caliber) so as to avoid confusion when combining tiles of different colors or tiles of various batches.


22. I BOUGHT RECTIFIED TILES, WHICH CAN BE LAID SEAMLESSLY. HOWEVER, AFTER INSTALLATION, THE SEAMS WERE CLEARLY VISIBLE ON THE SURFACE. WHY?

Surfaces can be faced with tiles seamlessly only with the use of natural stone. Stone tiles have a specially processed edge without a chamfer. They are usually polished further after being laid closely seamlessly. This gives an absolutely uniform surface. However, seamless laying has negative consequences of which we wrote above. Rectified tile has a beveled edge. When laying tiles on the floor seamlessly, adhesive mortar can get between the tiles. As time goes on, dirt or dust may enter the seam. Therefore, the best way out is to lay rectified tiles with a minimum seam (1 to 1.5 mm) in which grout can penetrate. Then apply a grout the same in color with the tile.  At the end, you get a visually uniform surface resistant to possible vibration and deformations. Rectified seamless tiles can be used as wall tiles.


23.THE RED TILES I BOUGHT HAVE BLACK DOTS ON THE GLAZE, WHICH WERE NOT PRESENT ON THE TILES DISPLAYED AT THE SHOP? WHY?

These dots are not defects and can appear in a chaotic manner. They are caused by the presence of chemicals in a dye with high content of selenium. Selenium is the cause of the red color. When heated, it has an unpleasant aesthetic effect. A tile with a lot of these dots will be discarded once it comes out of the production line. According to internal standards, the seller has to always warn the buyer about these dots.


24. HOW MANY SHADES CAN ONE TILE COLOR HAVE​?

Matte tiles are usually available in two or three main shades. The darker the color of the tile, the smaller the difference in shade, and vice versa – bright colors may have more color nuances. As we said earlier, when polishing a porcelain stoneware, the top layer of the tile is cut off, thus exposing a surface with an original unique pattern whose shade is impossible to predict. Therefore, an initial batch of matte material in two shades may give a polished tile in four shades. However, difference in the shades is not so critical in terms of design because the pattern appearing during polishing imitates the heterogeneity of natural stone.


25. AFTER GROUTING THE TILES (ESPECIALLY POLISHED TILES) SPOTS STILL REMAINED AND CANNOT BE WASHED OFF. WHAT DO I DO​?

This often happens when polished porcelain stoneware or a wall tile with a porous type of glaze wears out. It is especially dangerous when dark grout is used. The coloring pigment penetrates into the micropores of the top layer thus making it very difficult to remove. Therefore, during tile grouting, it is necessary to beforehand follow a few simple rules: before grouting, the tile should be moistened with water; try to grout the seam and not spread the grout all over the tile; wash the tile immediately after grouting; after drying, do the final cleaning using special acidiferous detergents recommended by the manufacturer (for example, Detergres).


26. DO RECTIFIED TILES HAVE A CALIBER​?

Each rectified tile series has its own caliber. Skirting also have calibers. If the caliber of any series is to be changed, the factory warns about this in advance.


27. WHY ARE SOME FLOOR TILES CHAMFERED AT AN ANGLE OF 45°, WHILE SOME SERIES DO NOT HAVE SUCH A CHAMFER?

Chamfer on the top edge of tiles are removed during additional machining (cutting, polishing, rectification). No matter how high-revving and sharp the cutting tool is, micro chips will always be formed on the cutting edge. After cutting at an angle, the edge becomes perfectly smooth and accurate.


28. WHAT DOES THE ARROW ON THE BACK OF THE TILE MEAN​?

It is of no importance to the buyer. The arrow a technological sign indicating the direction of change of stamp during pressing.

29. THE CUSTOMER DID NOT LIKE THE LOOK OF THE TILED WALL (FLOOR). HE SAYS THE ENTIRE TILE IS CURVED AND SO IT CANNOT ACHIEVE THE BEAUTY NEEDED. HE IS ASKING FOR THE TILE TO BE REPLACED WITH ANOTHER TILE OR HIS MONEY REFUNDED​.

As we have already written before, all complaints against the visible defects of tiles must be made before laying the tiles. If the client or responsible worker believes that the tile has a defect in size or planimetry, which is beyond the tolerable limit or it is visible that the number of defective tiles in a batch is more than 5%, this must be reported immediately to the supplier. In this case, under no circumstances should you start (or continue) to lay the tile. This is the only way to avoid subsequent much more bigger expenses that would be involved in removing the entire material already laid, replacing and re-facing it. However, when such a question is asked, the problem is usually that the tiles were laid poorly or that the customer is simply unsatisfied with the look of the tiled surface. These problems are not related to the quality of the material, and they should be resolved with the workers that laid the tiles or with the designer. It often takes many months to choose a tile, and lay it as required by the customer, especially when it comes to construction or renovation of a large area. Within this time, unfortunately, some clients may forget what motivated them in choosing a particular material, their preferences and perception of some things may change, other ideas may come up for one reason or the other. Unfortunately, tile suppliers cannot help in this issue and perhaps can only sell the customer another tile.

30. I BOUGHT A PORCELAIN STONEWARE, WHICH THE SELLER TOLD ME WAS A VERY STRONG AND WEAR-RESISTANT MATERIAL. SO I LAID THE TILE IN THE HOTEL. BUT VERY SOON WHEN THE FLOOR CAME INTO OPERATION, NOTICEABLE SCRATCHES STARTED APPEARING ON THE TILES. WHAT COULD BE THE CAUSE?

Indeed, porcelain stoneware is mostly a homogeneous material, uniform by thickness throughout, frost-resistant, strong to break, and resistant to abrasive loads. However, for some series, the so-called surface decoration technology is applied to achieve a particular artistic effect, for example, imitation of marble or other stone. Consequently, the tile surface becomes softer (hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale) and, accordingly, its abrasion resistance reduces. Such a surface is exposed to relatively rapid wear and it partially loses its form (light scratches may appear), especially in high traffic areas (entrances, halls, counters, reception, lift platforms, stairs). The general wear resistance characteristics may still remain unchanged (frost resistance, etc.). In your case above, the material was wrongly used. This is most likely attributable to incomplete information on what kind of place exactly will the material be laid. In such places, unglazed porcelain stoneware tiles should be used because they retain their original appearance on the surface without changing color or structure due to their uniform composition throughout their thickness.

See also:
First part: Answers from Atlas Concorde to questions about ceramic tiles
Second part: Answers from Atlas Concorde to questions about ceramic tiles, part 2


This information was provided by Atlas Concorde
http://www.atlasconcorde.it


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