We unravel the main myths and truths for you to clear all your doubts about porcelain tiles. Check it out right now. Porcelain tiles are one of the favorite coatings worldwide. After all, it is beautiful, resistant, versatile and sustainable. However, there are several myths and truths about this product.
To clarify the main doubts, we have listed some of them, which you can follow in the following topics!
Table of Contents
1. Myths and Truths: it’s only Porcelain if it’s Shiny
Myth. Porcelain tiles can have various surface finishes. Basically, this idea comes from the first coatings of this type.
When they appeared in the country, they were imported, and there was only this option. Over time, the product began to be produced following two typologies: technical and enamelled porcelain tiles. The first has a single mass, that is, the coating is all the same color. As the name suggests, the second receives a layer of enamel on its surface.
Anyway, it is not the polished finish that will define whether a product is porcelain or not, but the low water absorption.
Furthermore, it is important for you to know that, in these two typologies, you can find the three types of surface finish: polished, natural and external. Polished is the glossy finish. The natural one provides a satin touch.
On the other hand, the external one has a higher coefficient of friction to provide security in external areas. This is possible because it has relief and grit on the surface that help prevent slipping.
2. Myth or Truth: the Higher the PEI, the Better
Myth: PEI is the acronym for Porcelain Enamel Institute, which classifies the enamel resistance of ceramics.
That is, enamelled porcelain tiles can have this classification. However, it does not exist in the technical product, which does not have enamel on the surface. PEI is one of the myths and truths that caused enormous confusion at the time of purchase because customers did not understand what it was for.
Basically, it is used to classify the transit resistance of people and equipment. This means that a porcelain tile with PEI 5 can be installed in a place with high traffic. However, for use on walls, it is possible to use PEI 0 without problems. However, as this concept raised many doubts, ceramic manufacturers started to inform only the place of use, not the PEI.
Thus, it is easier to identify the ideal product for your work.
3. Myths And Truths: Striped Porcelain Tile
True : Among the myths and truths about porcelain tiles, this is a frequent question. After all, no one wants to have a scratched floor. But the friction of abrasive material on the coating causes scratches, which can be superficial or deep.
Superficial stains come off easily with a cleaning product, such as Creamy Soap. Already the deep ones cause irreversible damage. To identify what scratches or not, there is a scale of hardness of materials known as Mohs.
It ranges from 1 to 10, where 1 is the softest material in nature and 10 is the hardest—Respectively, gypsum and diamond. To find out, tests are done. They consist of scratching one product against another to find out which one will suffer damage. Anything crossed out receives a lower rating.
Polished porcelain tiles are classified on the Mohs scale between 3 and 4, while natural porcelain tiles are between 6 and 7. The latter is the same classification as sand, which is very common in coastal regions. Therefore, the natural finish is ideal for these areas.
To prevent the porcelain tile from scratching, it is essential to keep the environment clean, be careful when moving furniture and protect the legs of chairs and tables with felt.
4. Myth or Truth: Porcelain Tiles Stain
It depends: When porcelain tiles are polished, small pores are opened that can only be seen under a microscope. However, they make you more susceptible. To avoid stains, all Portobello products receive a waterproofing layer after production. It is water-based and one of the best on the market.
Therefore, our porcelain tiles do not stain. However, it is not possible to make this statement for all brands, as each one has its own manufacturing process. Now, all coatings must pass cleanability tests, which are governed by standards. The document also provides guidance on chemical resistance and water absorption.
The stain rating goes from 1 to 5. In this case, 5 is the easiest to clean, while 1 is not possible to remove. The regulations require that porcelain tiles have a maximum grade of 3. Some may wonder how to find out this information. In the product report for Portobello coatings, for example, you can find this note according to the staining agents.
To get an idea of the advantage of choosing those rated 5, in these cases it is possible to clean using only warm water. At 4, it is necessary to use a neutral detergent, while at 3 it is necessary to apply a creamy soap or some product with active chlorine.
However, in class 2 coatings, it is essential to use a solvent. Now, if the porcelain tile fits 1, it is impossible to clean. At Portobello, these tests are very strict to guarantee a high-quality product. Therefore, in addition to standard staining agents (chromium oxide, iron oxide, iodine and light oil), five others are also used.
Thus, it is possible to prevent the porcelain tile from staining with things that are present in people’s routine. They are: coffee, shoe paste, grout, overhead projector pen and rubber hammer.
5. Myths and Truths: you have to Buy More Porcelain Tiles than you are Going to Use
True. For every coating you buy for the work, you need to consider a surplus, the so-called technical reserve.
This is because breakages or damage may occur in the stages of transport, storage, cutting or laying of ceramics. Not to mention that the product you chose may be discontinued. In the future, this tends to become a problem if you need to replace any parts. Now, regarding porcelain tiles, there is a difference from other types of ceramics. In the past, it was common to calculate about 10% more on the environment footage.
However, this account is valid for pieces that are up to 60×60 cm in size, especially when we are talking about traditional pagination. Today, with the large formats of porcelain tiles and Lastras, that number has become fiction. Therefore, the calculation must be updated. The tip to find out how much more you will need to buy starts by simulating the pagination in space. Check the required quantity of whole and cut pieces.
Understand if there will be a reuse of the cut part. If there is no utility, it should count as an integer. Only then can you have a real idea of how many boards you will need for the environment. To find out the number of spare parts, you will need to buy, talk to the store salesperson or the architect responsible for the project.
6. Myth or Truth: to Glue Porcelain Tiles, I need to buy AC3 Mortar
Myth. Most people who work with floor laying choose mortar based on its typology, which can be AC1, AC2 or AC3.
Each one has different characteristics, according to the quality and time they can be opened, among other specifications. However, the choice of the AC3 type usually raises doubts due to the bonding of porcelain tiles.
The truth is that there are AC2 products, for example, that are ideal for this coating. Therefore, in addition to observing the typology, it is important to consider the place of use. Therefore, just check the manufacturer’s specifications to understand if the AC2 mortar can be used in your project.
It is worth remembering that AC3 tends to be more expensive, increasing the cost of the work. So, the idea is to prefer products that cost less and perfectly meet the needs, providing a better cost-benefit ratio. If in doubt, look for a specialized store with all the information about your project and ask a professional for help, or you may see capital smart city for an idea.
7. Myths and truths: floor and wall joints need to be aligned
Myth. There is no rule about aligning floor and wall joints. The choice will depend on the preference of each one and what is considered aesthetically more beautiful.
Leaving aside the issue of myths and truths, here are some tips for both cases:
· If you want to align the joints, choose porcelain tile models of the same size and caliber
· But if you prefer them to be misaligned or if the tiles are different sizes, start the pagination in the middle of one of them
In the first situation, it is important to observe the format of the coverings. At Portobello, for example, there are several calibers for a product, which makes it a lot easier.
Therefore, the ideal is to find options that have the same caliber if you want to align. However, if the finish is bold, there is no way to align the joints. If the products contain different calibers, a trick to disguise it is to start pagination in the middle of the piece. However, this will misplace the joints.