Your floor tiles are a fundamental part of your home and have a huge role in defining its theme. It also takes quite a large amount of time, effort, and finances to choose and install your tiles, so they should be given high priority in your home construction. The quality and condition of your tiles greatly affects your home’s aesthetic and financial value, so any damage to them should be prevented in any way possible.
Prepare the floors properly
When the base floor on which your tiles are to be laid is being made, you should ensure that the concrete or cement has been completely levelled out and has no cracks or bumps in it. When the floor is laid, ensure that a primer is applied on top to seal any hairline cracks in the concrete. If tiles are installed on a cracked or uneven floor, then they are bound to crack or even break with changes in moisture or further cracking of the floor. Contractors also recommend protecting your tile floors by installing sheets of geomembrane between the tiles and concrete. Such membranes are available from companies like Decora, which provide a wide variety of these sheets according to your needs.
Protect your tiles from moisture
During installation and while living in your home, do your best to avoid moisture from affecting your tiles. Ensure that the tiles are installed when the concrete is completely dry. Moisture can cause expansion to occur and result in tiles ‘tenting’,i.e, cracking and pushing upwards. Tenting ruins your floor and means that extensive construction work will have to be done to fix the underlying problem.
Pick the right material
You should pick the best material according to your home’s aesthetic as well as practical needs. Porcelain and natural stone tiles are popular choices that come in a variety of colours and finishes to suit your tastes. However, you also need to consider their practicality. Whenever stone tiles are installed be sure to seal them as they are naturally porous and will absorb moisture. Also ensure that you use stronger materials in high usage areas like the kitchen. In this regard, experts prefer using porcelain rather than ceramic tiles as they can bear much heavier usage and are also resistant to chipping and scratching. Its thick density also allows it to withstand more moisture without cracking or tenting.
Care for your tiles and grout
The grouting and finishing of tiles also has a large impact on how they stand up to wear and tear. The grouting is the most penetrable part of a tile floor and has to be sealed off efficiently to prevent moisture from building up between tiles and causing them to crack. Contractors also state that where a tile floor meets a wall or another area, there should be a gap left to accommodate any natural expansion. The first sign of tiles being ruined is grout discolouration and chipping. It is essential to get your contractor to seal off grout properly and for you to have it cleaned regularly. Do not let water get into the grout or it could result in major cracking issues and you might have to go to the hassle of completely replacing your flooring. Do not have your tile floors washed as that could leave water standing there. Instead, wipe them with a damp cloth so that moisture is not retained in the tiling.
Therefore, protecting your tiles from cracking is very important to preserve the value of your home and to avoid any trouble in the future. By taking steps both during installation and when living in the home, you can get the best out of your tiles and keep them looking brand new. Head over to our Forum to get more information and advice on tiling.