Tuesday, 9 December 2014

From now to next year!

It's almost the end of the year again so here's a quick rundown of our office openings and closings.
We're having our annual office party this Friday 12th so we won't be in the office on Friday afternoon but we will be back on Monday.
Tuesday 16th is a public holiday.
We'll be closing for year end around noon on Wednesday 24th.
We'll be back in the office on Monday 5th of January for the start of a brand new 2015.
All the best for the festive season
the Link International team.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What do you know about Thin Porcelain Tile?

This year, tile professionals agreed on a name for the new type of ultra-thin, large-format porcelain tile. This product is now to be known as ‘Thin Porcelain Tile’ or TPT. this distinctive product has been steadily rising in popularity because of its unique format and mechanical properties.

The material, which has been referred to as “thin tile,” “thin tile panels,” “thin porcelain tile,” among many other things, before finally being called TPT, is characterized by its minimal thickness of between 3 and 6 mm and generally larger, rectangular dimensions. The TPT we supply at present, for example measures 60 x 120cm.

There are no industry standards for the manufacturing or installation of the tile yet as they are still being developed but certified tile contractors that have experience using TPT have recommended some installation guidelines. The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the Tile Contractors’ Association of America (TCAA) and The International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC) came together to provide the recommendation that tile contractors not install thin porcelain tile panels in any thickness less than 5.5 mm for floor installations.

TPT is produced using a high-pressure, high-temperature kiln sintering process. See my earlier blog on sintering here. A point to mention is that the kiln temperature for TPT is significantly higher than even porcelain, in the region of 1800O. This creates one of the most resilient surfaces; resistant to scratching by sharp objects, extreme heat or cold, moisture and harsh chemicals. Since many TPT designs use full body colour the tiles are completely resistant to fading when exposed to UV. But the big advantage of TPT is that it’s very lightweight for the area covered.

TPT can be used in residential and commercial applications providing unique wall and vertical surface cover for retail environments, cafeterias, coffee shops and hospitality areas to residential bathrooms.

When thin tiles first became available around five years ago, they were hard to find and in very limited neutral colors. Now, there’s a full spectrum of wood, stone and artistic looks. At that time many installers were quoting prices that were double, even triple, the price of a typical installation because of their inexperience with the product but the fact is that once an installer learns the installation method it is faster to install. A contractor can cover a lot of area with this product in a very short amount of time. Thin porcelain panels are competitive in terms of pricing because of the expansive dimensions of the panels, fewer pieces can cover much surface area.

One of the advantages and benefits of TPT is its mechanical properties. Most brands that companies have created are easy to clean, scratch- and fire-resistant, waterproof, and 100% natural and recyclable. There are numerous green benefits to TPT. It can be laid over existing floors if they’re perfectly smooth and level, reducing the material that goes into landfills. Their durability also means they’ll last longer, which is another form of sustainability. Their light weight means less fuel is required to transport them and the material itself is considered green.

For any other inquiries about TPT, other tiles, taps, sanitaryware, laminate & vinyl flooring please send us an email.
Download our laminate & vinyl brochures here
Download our Digital ink-jet KREM and TESSCERA tile brochures here.