Your Tile Qs Answered
All Your Tile Questions Answered With Dr. Tile
From expert advice before you begin to installation tips and after-care, Dr. Tile and Beaumonts are here to help!
Is There Anything I Can Do About The Discoloured Terracotta Tiles Around My Pool?
The natural ageing process and patina of terracotta forms part of its character and charm. But there may be other stains you can easily treat.
Patina is a natural form of corrosion, giving terracotta some of its natural charm and is not a ‘stain’.
There are three types of stains we have seen on terracotta around pools;
- If the tiles around your pool have a white 'stain' collecting on the surface, and it can be brushed off, it is most likely efflorescence.
- A dark 'stain' that appears on pool tiles without reason is more than likely to be mould. This can be treated, our experts will provide you with advice on the best product to use.
- A stain that is a genuine stain from food or oils or drinks is another issue. We need to remember that terracotta is a natural and porous product. It will absorb liquids and oils and these will stain the tile. A build-up of these over the years can actually be part of the character and charm of terracotta. It is a natural ageing process or 'patina.' And is accepted as very normal in countries where terracotta has been used for over 100s of years. As with all natural stone, sealing your terracotta gives you an added barrier between the tile and the party!
Our Hot Tip: All natural stone needs to be sealed to help against staining and you need to commit to repeating that process every few years, we've got the products you need in-store.
What Has Caused My Tiles To Become Scratched?
From unpacked tiles stacked carelessly, to muddy boots, gritty and sandy soles, ladders, and dragging materials over them…tiles are super strong, but like us, they’re not invincible.
There are a number of causes for scratches on tiles.
Scratches on tiles after delivery prior to laying. Softer wall tiles can be scratched when they are unpacked and stacked carelessly. It can also occur when a tile or tool is dragged across the surface of another tile.
On rare occasions during freight and delivery, glossy tiles can become scratched. This can happen if two tiles are rubbing against each other during freight and transport. If this does happen, it is usually with wall tiles that have a softer glaze than the tougher floor tiles. One of the reasons we only sell in full boxes is to reduce the possibility of transportation scratching.
Naturally, we do not want scratched tiles to be installed in your home, and neither do you.
Your tiler should not install any scratched or damaged tiles. Please ensure you are happy with your tiles before they are laid. It is standard practice and the responsibility of the tiler to put any damaged tiles aside.
In the Australian Standards, a scratch is defined as such when it can be observed easily from a normal viewing distance. A scratch on a floor, for example, would need to be seen without bending over from a standing position. If you need to get close to the tile to find the scratch, it is not a scratch according to Australian Standards.
If the tiles have not been installed, contact the Beaumont Tiles store from which you purchased them. We will arrange to exchange the damaged tiles or credit them if you prefer in accordance with our Returns Policy.
If the tiles are installed, there are two options to consider. The best option is for the tiler to replace the scratched tiles. These should not have been installed, so the tiler should repair the job before completion.
How Can I Replace a Chipped tile?
Discover The Causes For Chipped Tiles, Then Bring Out The Spares For An Easy Fix!
Tiles are generally pretty tough and durable, but they are not indestructible!
If a hard object is dropped onto a glazed tile, there is a chance of it chipping the tile. Naturally, the bigger, heavier, harder, and sharper the object being dropped, and the greater the height; the more likely it is to chip the tile.
A chip caused by impact will generally manifest as a crater in the glaze and chip through to the biscuit of the tile.
A glaze imperfection or bubble that chips off will leave the bottom part of the bubble still glazed to the biscuit.
Stones trapped in the soles of shoes and metal tips on stiletto heels can also chip tiles because the effect can be a hard impact onto the tile over a very small area.
Our Hot Tip: We always, always, always… did we say always, recommend you order 10% more tiles than you need and this may be one of those reasons.
Why Are My Tiles Wearing Out?
Your Doormat Welcomes Visitors To Your Home. It Is Also Essential To Remove Abrasive Grit And Sand From Shoes Before Everyone Comes To Visit And Starts Marking Your Tiles.
Tiles are well known for their durability and wear resistance. But we need to always remember that tiles are not indestructible. If mistreated, or subjected to harsh conditions, or wrongly selected for the purpose, the glaze on a ceramic tile will scratch or can wear.
There needs to be an understanding of the difference between 'wearing' and 'scratching.' Wearing is where the glazed surface is thinning and eventually actually wears through. Scratching is damage to the surface from a harder substance that scratches the glaze. Heavy scratching can actually dull the surface of a glazed tile. It is damage to the surface, but it is not actually wearing through. Much like granite in a heavy traffic area will dull off from scratch, but is not worn out.
The best way to avoid tiles becoming worn is to get good advice when selecting them. This way, tiles that are suited to the area can be chosen and that includes reasons such as colour, ease of cleaning, durability, and resistance to wear.
The other way is to keep the floor clean and free from sand and abrasive dirt. This is especially important at doorways to the outside of a home or building. Abrasive grit is brought in under shoes and if there is a doormat, this grit is removed and left on the doormat. Even gravel (which can be equally as hard as granite) can be trapped under a shoe and then trodden onto the tiled surface.
Our Hot Tip: To ensure you select the right tile for the job, we recommend you use our Wear Rating information and talk to our expert teams.
Why Are My Tiles Cracking In The Corners?
Some Of Us Love Pork Crackling…. Tiles Cracking Not So Much!
If you notice that one or two (or in bad cases, several) tiles have developed a crack across a corner of the tile, then it is almost certainly due to faulty application of the adhesive.
If your cracking is in straight lines across several adjoining tiles, refer to the article “My tiled floor is cracked”.
The tiler has not achieved full coverage of adhesive under the tile and there will be a 'void' under the tile. When pressure is applied to that tile, it will crack. This can be a chair leg, table leg or even someone walking over that tile with stiletto heels. The pressure on that section of tile, if it is not supported will cause it to crack or break.
It may be that your tiler is a 'dabber.' He will 'dab' blobs of adhesive onto the back of a tile and then place it in position. This leaves “voids” where there is no adhesive to support the tile. Alternatively, the tiler may not have extended the adhesive all the way to the edge of the tile, again leaving a void near the corner. The correct method is to apply the adhesive with a correctly sized notched trowel to the floor and then bed the tile into the adhesive, or with all larger tiles spread adhesive on the floor AND on the back of the tile.
It is easy to find if this will happen to any more tiles in the installation, or if it is an isolated one or two. Tap the tiles with a coin or screwdriver handle. Where there is a hollow sound, there is a void below the tile and that tile is a contender for a future crack.
Our Hot Tip: Keeping your tiler's details safe and secure is something we recommend in case you need to contact them again for something like this a year or two down the track.
Why Is My Tiled Floor Cracked?
If Cracks In Your Floor Are Running Across Several Tiles In What Appears To Be Lines, The Issue May Be Deeper Than The Surface.
Whenever people see cracked tiles, they immediately assume that the tiles are faulty. In reality, tiles are solid, inflexible flooring and any cracks appearing are a reaction to another cause. If your cracks are running across several tiles in what appears to be lines, read on. If the cracks appear to be more random, the problem may be due to incorrect surface preparation or poor adhesion or voids at the back of the tile resulting in random cracks, particularly in the corners. Everything you need to know about tiles cracking in corners is above.
Cracks that run in lines across several tiles are due to movement in the substrate. There are structural problems that need attending to. Don't be tempted to cover the problem with a rug, for example, it's an issue that needs to be fixed.
What Can Cause The Problem?
- Excessive movement in the substrate will cause a crack in the tiled surface that runs through several tiles in a roughly straight line.
- If the tiles are laid over a slab of concrete and a crack appears on the tiled surface, then that slab is moving and there is a structural issue.
- If the crack occurs at the meeting point between two slabs that were laid at different times, then there should be an expansion or movement joint at that junction in the substrate. Cracking here is due to that movement or expansion being carried through the tiles. A movement joint is needed at this point.
- If the cracking occurs along the junction of two different surfaces, such as where a timber floor and a concrete floor meet, a movement joint is necessary and must be extended through to the surface of the tiles.
Our Hot Tip: It’s time to call your builder and get the bottom of the problem!
How Do I Care For Metal Tiles?
Soft Metals Such As Gold And Silver Are Easily Scratched And Wear Just Like The Precious Metals, These Special Tiles Deserve Special Care Too.
Gold, silver, copper and other metal finishes are quite common on tiles and they can look really effective, especially in a bathroom.
While it is generally accepted that tiles are a very durable and long-lasting surface, metallic finishes are not protected by a glazed surface and can become damaged.
Gold is a very soft metal, and when applied to a tile surface, it can be easily damaged by abrasives and harsh cleaners. Silver is also a soft metal. Natural copper tiles or mosaics will age with a beautiful patina but this will be removed by any abrasion or chemical cleaners.
Why Aren’t My Tiles Totally Flat?
New Tiles Thrown You A Curve Ball? Learn What’s Acceptable And What’s Not When It Comes To Curvature Right Here.
Every tile we have made for us is subjected to individual inspection to ensure they comply with Australian Standards. Not every tile complies which is why they all go through a sorting process. From time to time a non-compliant tile will slip through. If you encounter any, we will gladly replace them. A professional tiler will put any out of standard tiles aside and not use them.
For dust-pressed wall tiles, the Australian Standard allows a curvature of + 0.5 per cent of the dimensions, providing it does not exceed + or - 2mm or -0.3 per cent, providing it does not exceed 1.5mm. Curvature can be a problem when rectangular tiles are laid brick bond on a floor. They should be dry laid first to check for any problems and the laying pattern may need to be adjusted.
If you or your tiler feels the tiles you have received are not to a standard you would expect the first thing we would do is to measure them against the Australian Standards. If they are within standard but you are still unhappy, provided the tiles are not yet laid we will be happy to exchange them or give you a refund as long as they are in line with our returns policy.
Our Hot Tip: Read out Returns Policy here.