Monday, 29 September 2014

12 benefits of ceramic tile.

If your customer is uncertain about what flooring type to specify for their project, ceramic tile is just about the easiest choice to motivate.
·        1. Low maintenance – Ceramic tiles are easy to maintain, from simple cleaning to optional sealing over time. Beside cleaning, there is no special maintenance involved.
·        2. Easy to clean – Sweep and wash! It doesn’t get simpler and cleaner than that. Ceramic floors make excellent kitchen floors as they can be easily wiped and disinfected from spills. If the grout gets dirtier than you like, you can use a specially formulated grout cleaner to help get the dirt off.
·        3. Cost – Ceramic tiles are cost effective. As with all tiles, the more high end the tile you choose, the higher the cost of the project; the more detailed the design, the more you’ll pay.
·        4. Repairable – Got a crack? Make sure to keep a few extra tiles around in the event of a crack. You can attempt to replace the tile yourself or find a handyman or tile contractor to do it for you.
·        5. Vast style and design options – There are literally thousands of different ceramic tiles around the world. The shapes, colors, styles and designs are vast.
·        6. Increase your home value – Ceramic tiled homes have greater resale value and homes with ceramic floors have a higher general home value when appraised.
·        7. Scratch resistant – Class 3 and Class 4 ceramic tiles (tiles which are made for moderate to heavy floor traffic) don’t scratch.
·        8. Reduces household allergens – Unlike carpets and rugs, ceramic tile does not attract dust and dust mites. Homes with ceramic floor tiles have less dust in the air, making the air in your home much healthier by reducing the amount of household allergens. This is a fantastic benefit, especially for those who suffer from dust-related allergies.
·        9. Environmentally friendly – Ceramic tiles are made from raw materials, including clay, sand and glass. These materials are combined with other recycled materials to form ceramic tile. Many ceramic tiles are made from recyclable content. Ceramic tile can also help to reduce your energy use by keeping your house cooler in the summer. They also add some insulating qualities to your home for the winter.
·        10. Moisture resistant – You won’t have to worry about accumulation of moisture in ceramic tiles. You can also wash the floor with lots of water if desired. Unlike wood floors, water will not damage ceramic tiles.
·        11. Fireproof - No more need be said.
·        12. Fadeproof - Because tiles colour and pattern is fired in a kiln, the colour is chemically fixed and impervious to UV fading.

Ceramic tiles? Sold!
Download our ceramic tile brochures or browse our website here.
For any other inquiries about Porcelain or Ceramic tiles please drop us an email.

The Link International team.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

7 Ways to Tell Porcelain Tiles from Ceramic.

Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of clay and other materials which are pressed into a dense mass then kiln-fired at over 1000 degrees C. Although both porcelain and ceramic tiles are called “ceramic tile”, porcelain is by definition harder, denser and absorbs less water which is why it is less prone to cracking when exposed to cold. Specifically porcelain should absorb less than 0,5% of its volume in water. But how do you tell whether a tile is porcelain or ordinary ceramic?

1. Check the packaging. Look for the word “Porcelain”, a water absorption of <0,5% or a Mohs hardness rating of 7 or above. Ceramic tiles generally only have a water absorption of <3% at best. If the tile is marked ‘Polished’ it is likely to be porcelain.

2. Check the price. Porcelain tiles usually cost around 40% more than ordinary ceramic tiles and could be even higher depending on other technical factors.

3. Try the spit test for water absorption. Turn the tile on it’s side. Apply a little spittle to the edge. If it is absorbed into the tile within a minute or less it’s ceramic. On a porcelain tile the liquid will remain on the surface in a shiny meniscus for many minutes or even until it evaporates

Porcelain tiles are generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clay like kaolin, which result in a tile that is denser and more durable than ceramic tile. The finish is a finer grained and smoother with sharply formed faces. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and are more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles.

4. Take a close look. Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application. If the colour on the surdace is the same through the cross section it is a good but not infallible indication that you are looking at a porcelain tile.

5. Compare the hardness. Ceramic tiles are softer and easier to cut than porcelain so if you are comparing two tiles the one that is easier to cut is probably ceramic.

6. Test the hardness. A more accurate way would be to actually test the hardness using a reference material. Hardness is measured using the Mohs scale which rates hardness from 1 (talc) to 10 (diamond). Ordinary ceramic tiles will have a hardness of 5-6 whereas porcelain will have a hardness of 7 or better. You can use the following commonly available materials to firmly scratch the tile. If the material leaves a distinct mark the tile has a hardness less than the test material
· Penny (a bronze coin) - 3.0
· Knife blade (a good straight edged kitchen knife or penknife) - 5.0
· Glass (a broken piece of window glass) - 5.5
· Quartz (a sharp piece, available at new age lifestyle shops or a mineral scratch patch) - 7.0

...and lastly
7. Contact the manufacturer and request a laboratory test report. Porcelain is classed B1a.

Download our brochures or browse our website here.
For any other inquiries about Porcelain or Ceramic tiles please drop us an email.

The Link International team.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

What Exactly is Resilient Flooring?

What Exactly is Resilient Flooring?

Unlike brittle tiles made of minerals, resilient flooring is made of material that has some elasticity, giving the flooring a degree of flexibility called resilience. Resilient flooring is available in large sheets or pre-cut tiles or planks. It either comes with pre-applied adhesive for peel-and-stick installation or requires adhesive to be troweled on to the substrate or in the case of most planks, is made with an integrated glueless click and lock mechanism along the edges. Resilient flooring includes many different manufactured products including old fashioned linoleum, sheet vinylvinyl composition tile (VCT)cork (sheet or tile), rubber and ultimately Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). Performance surfaces used for dance or athletics are usually made of wood or resilient flooring. Hospitals, schools and pre-school children's centres often use sheet vinyl. Increasingly both commercial and residential spaces are using LVT for its resilience, texture waterproofing and sound absorbing qualities.

We currently supply Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) in planks 1,2m x 186mm in 12 different colours under our own Lamadeira brand. We are planning on dramatically expanding our range to include Vinyl performance surfaces and sheet vinyl soon.
Download our brochure comparing Laminate, Composite and Vinyl flooring here.
Download our LVT brochure here.
For any enquiries please drop us an email.
The Link International team.