WHAT IS PORCELAIN?

ceramicaPorcelain is a vitrified impervious material with high technical features which guarantee a high wear resistance over time. The complex production process at high temperatures transforms the precious raw materials into porcelain tiles, frost and acid attacks resistant, and characterized by a refined aesthetic elegance.

Far away from the old and sad tile, the new porcelain floors are the result of interesting experimentations that gave birth to materials similar to natural stones, woods and murbles, sometimes hi-tech.

Porcelain floors are widely used in the market in innumerable sort

Basically, the chromatic range has no limits and it includes every basic color, with particular effects, such as textures, shades, mix of colors and so on.

Chromatic options then increase thanks to the possibility to realize, through lapping, different brilliance areas.

The format is a characteristics that significantly affects the visual aspect of the tiled surface. According to the format, the floor joints density changes: they become more visible for small tile shapes and less visible if the tiles are bigger.
The most representative companies placed on the market bigger and bigger tile formats (the most common are 60x60, 90x90, 60x120) that allow to reach an excellent aesthetic result. The efficacy of a big format can be seen in placing a 60x60 format into a bathroom: the result is very harmonious and the floor is completed with few tiles.

Unlike in the past, when different floors were used in the different rooms, the current trend is to cover the whole house with a unique floor, sometimes using the same even in the bathrooms.

As you can see in our presentations, the trend is to use only one series in all the rooms, with a result of precious aesthetic effects.

I would like to underline that, a part from the proposals given in the website, we are able to analyze particular exigencies requested via email.

WHICH ARE PORCELAIN FEATURES?

SLIPPERINESS

scivolositàIn this test, an operator stends on an horizontal tiled surface that has been oiled. The operator, wearing special footwear, remains on the surface while it is being inclined until he begins to slip.

The following classification is detemined by the angle of the tiled surface when he starts slipping:

  • R 9 from 6° to 10° natural indoor
  • R 10 from 10° to 19° non slip minimum outdoor
  • R 11 from 19° to 28° non slip outdoor
  • R 12 from 27° to 35° structured outdoor

The more structured is the product, the more difficult is the ordinary cleaning.

FROST RESISTANCE

freddoOutdoor products must have microstructural features able to resist to stresses with abrupt temperatures changes.

Water cannot permeate into this material, therefore frost cannot occur.

(According to the rule, in order to be frost resistant, the material must have an absorption grade not higher than 3%)

SURFACES

superficiChromatic options increase according to the possibility to realize, through smoothing, surfaces that differ according to brilliance, polishing, lapping..

  • NATURAL: the tile has no variation after burning phase
  • LAPPED: treatment that removes the most vitrified and resistant part of the tile (surface and lateral) and then the edges are adjusted
  • POLISHED: treatment that polish the surface according to the grain size and the abrasive used
  • FLASHED: superficial treatment reserved to Granito to give the plan a rough appearance with the crystal grid in evidence through the use of a blowtorch
  • BUSH-HAMMERED: treatment that transforms the raw surfaces into milled surfaces in different grades. As a result, they are very rough, coarse, but at the same time homogenous

RESISTANCE TO ABRASION

abrasioneUNI EN ISO 10545-7

Abrasion resistance is the ability of the polish surface to resist to the wear caused by the walkay or by the rubbing of machines (i.e. carts). Such wear is striclty linked to the mechanical agent (rubber sole, leather sole, and so on); to the materials (water, sand, mud and so on) and to the intensity of traffic. According to the rule, the tiles are classified based on their usage in the following classes:

  • PEI I Products used in rooms with small traffic and with no abrasive dirt (i.e. bathrooms, bedrooms)
  • PEI II Products used in rooms with regular traffic and low-regular abrasive action (i.e. closets, living rooms)
  • PEI III Products used in rooms with high-regular traffic and regular abrasive action (i.e. entrances, private kitchens)
  • PEI IV Products used in rooms with intensive traffic: i.e. restaurants, offices, shops, public offices (exception done for cash, desks and narrow unavoidable passageways)
  • PEI V Products used in rooms with particularly intensive traffic

CLEANING AND MANTAINANCE OF PORCELAIN

We can distinguish three different types of cleaning:

  1. Cleaning after laying
  2. Daily cleaning
  3. Specific cleaning for stubborn stains

CLEANING AFTER LAYING

pulizia-pavimenti_O2Normally after laying, filler residues may leave stains which are difficult to be removed, creating a cement film on the floor which absorbes all kinds of dirt, giving the impression that the tiles are dirty. According to the different exigencies of each specific case, different fillers are used and they can vary due to the type, aspect and composition. Therefore, even the nature of the products used for the removal of the residues varies according to the type of fillers used.

For this reason, we suggest to carefully read the technical specifications of the fillers (you can usually find them on line), since they generally contain useful information for specific cases. Generally, for the deep cleaning of cement filler residuals the following products are indicated:

  • BONACLEAN  by Bonasystems (www.bonasystemitalia,it)
  • DETERDEK by Fila (www.filachim.com)
  • KERANET by Mapei (www.mapei.it)
  • DELATAPUS by Kerakoll (www.kerakoll.com)
  • CEMENT REMOVER by Faber (www.faberchimica.com)

In any case, for how to use, it is important to follow the indications of the manufacturers, paying particular attention to the dilution, action time, protection of the joints and final rinsing.
It is important to make a preliminary test on a small part of the material, possibly on  not particularly evident areas.

We always do not suggest to use products that contains hydrofluoric acid which can damage every kind of tile.

DAILY CLEANING

pulireFor daily cleaning you can use regular household cleaners and degreasers easily available on the market.

It is preferable to use products diluted in hot water and according to the manufacturers indications.

The following products are recommended:

  • CIG liquid degreaser by UNILEVER ITALY
  •  AJAX CLASSIC by COLGATE PALMOLIVE
  • MASTRO LINDO by PROCTER & GAMBLE
  • SMAK TOT VERDE by BOLTOM HOME CARE

It is useful to remember that for the effectiveness of the cleaning, the mechanical action of the tool and application is often as important as the properties of the detergent used: for example, in many cases, a sponge can be far more effective than a cloth.

And finally it is not recommended the use of impregnating products, waxy and oily, often recommended to terracotta tiles floors or natural materials tombstones. These impregnating products can create patinas that alter the gloss level of the original tiles.

It can happen that these patinas, usually polish, are removed in a non-uniform way by the products commonly used, such as daily cleaning detergents or by substances such as cola, wine, lemon, that cause a final effect of non-uniform scrub zones or alternating opaque and shiny patches on the floors and finished coatings.

CLEANING FOR LOCALIZED STUBBORN OR SPECIFIC STAINS

macchiaEven in this case the mechanical action of the instrument used for cleaning is very important: actually, often the combined action of a good sponge - even slightly abrasive (like SCOTH-BRITE for dishes and surfaces) and a creamy and viscous cleanser, solves the problem of cleaning of stubborn stains, facilitating mechanical removal of dirt.

Only after the lack of effectiveness of this operation it is recommended to use specific agents, choosing according to the specific type of stain. As it is known, in fact, it can be indicated a solvent product, or an acid one, or an alkaline product. In this regard you can refer to the following table as a general guide.

SOLUTIONS AND ADVICE FOR LAYING

THE INSTALLER

posatoreThe choice of the installer is important, as there are many professionals, but also improvised people who assert their professionalism, but do not use modern techniques according to the new types of materials. (Often their inability is masked, imputing to the materials the problem of incorrect installation). It is recommended  to check the work of the installer, since in case it is placed incorrectly, the only solution will be to demolish it.

FLOOR LAYING

In order to lay the floor in a proper way it is necessary to start from the screed, the substrate must be stable, dry, not frozen and not too hot; however it is necessary to follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the materials for foundations and specific adhesives used. Cementitious adhesives must be applied at room temperature and generally between + 5 ° C and 30/35 * C. It is intended that for the installation it is recommended to respect the time frame specified by the manufacturers of adhesives used.

posatoreThe pose can be achieved either through cement dusting, both with glue, with the use of specific high-performance adhesives for porcelain.

We recommend to use glue, since it offers more tightness guarantees, especially on large formats (larger than 45x45).

During installation it is necessary not to mark the material on the surface of use with pencils (graphite) or permanent markers, especially for lapped and polished products.

LAYING OUTSIDE

It is mandatory to use adhesives and materials for the joints suitable for outdoor installation, therefore water repellent. The joint must not be less than 4 mm.

LAYING THE TILES

fugaWhen we choose a floor and a coating of a different size, we generally cannot connect to the joints. But even when we lay a 30x60 floor and wall, we can make them fit on two walls while on the other two it will not be possible.

When we place a square format on the floor and a rectangular one on the wall, it is recommended to choose a diagonal mounting, in order not to give a direction to the joints.

WHAT IS A RECTIFIED TILE?

The rectification is the procedure performed with cutting machines, which allows to obtain a ceramic tile with perfectly square and monocalibre edges. Consequently, you can lay tiles with almost imperceptiblejoints.

It should be noted that also this kind of floor must be layed with a minimum joint of 2 mm. This requirement allows to absorb the deformations and structural movements of the entire system, in addition to dimensional registration of the tiles.

WHAT IS THAT THE CALIBER OF A TILE?

rettificaThe caliber is the difference in size of the ceramic tile from a nominal value. In the industrial production of the tiles it is impossible to achieve products of the same size. Therefore, during the choice, the tiles are grouped into batches of similar size, in compliance with the tolerances established by the rules, which differ at the worse a few mm. As well as to the tone, even the caliber isindicated on the package through a number.

WHAT IS THE CHOICE?

The choice is the classification of ceramic tiles, in compliance with the regulations, on the basis of defects. The tile in fact can be the First choice that means with zero defects, Second or Third choice if the defects are more or less evident.

WHAT IS THE TONE OF TILES?

coloreThe tone is the chromatic variation that can have a production of tiles from the reference sample. In industrial production it is almost impossible to obtain ceramic products with the same chromatic tone. This is identified in the packaging with a letter and a number. Example (TONE B50)

Our consideration for you leads me to point out behaviors that may allow you to avoid problems in the evolution of design and order management.

When different sizes with the same color are layed, the tone will never be the same, as it comes from different productions and it would be technically impossibleto have exactly the same result.

This is possible only when a single batch of a large format (eg. 60x60) is obtained by cutting modular formats (eg. 30x30 - 30x60 - 15x15).

The tone of the samples that you will order are indicative, since each production has different tones identified by a code.

When purchasing flooring deliberately shaded effect (V3, V4), in order to obtain the best aesthetic and cromatic result, it is appropriate to lay the material taking the pieces from several boxes: in this way you will have a better mixing.

To lay veined products, like natural stones, it is recommended to lay the grain of the plates in a way that allows to obtain the best aesthetic and chromatic effect, distributing harmoniously the different shades of color.

WHICH ADHESIVES MUST BE USED FOR LAYING OF FLOORS AND WALLS?

Adhesive mortarThe use of a suitable adhesive is of fundamental importance for the laying. Please follow the instructions of the manufacturer of adhesives for tiles. Generally, the appropriate adhesive is identified considering the following variants: tile size, type of tile (porcelain or double cooking), intended use (outdoor / indoor).

WHICH FILLERS MUST BE USED FOR THE JOINTS ON THE LAYING OF FLOORS AND WALLS?

stucco_mapeiIt is important to use an appropriate filler mainly depending on the intended use.

The filler for the joints  should not be too bright, since they would be nice to see but they would also easily get dirty and would compromise the aesthetics.

For an added aesthetic value, we recommend the use of fillers in every color of the tile in order to reduce the contrast.

HOW MANY TILES SHOULD I BUY?

Before purchasing the tiles, you should calculate in detail the surface to be covered, taking into account the tile pattern, if it is a floor or coating, the quantity that must be ordered considering a scrap about 10-15% higher than the material needed to tile the entire area. This is due to the fact that up to 5% material, also first choice, can present some defects: therefore, you should keep some tiles for eventual future work and you must consider some discards due to the cuts of the tiles where needed.