Floor Tile Size by Bob Urbanowski
Size matters when it comes to large format floor tiles. New ranges have recently been introduced to satisfy a demand for larger sized tiles. Large format tiles are popular because they are stylish, they can create an illusion of more space making a room feel larger, plus there is a modern chic feel to them. There are many different styles and colours available to suit most room colour schemes.
One of the largest sized tiles in stock at Tileflair (https://www.tileflair.co.uk/category-is-floor-tiles/) is the 1000 x 500 mm Maxima tile range. This size may be what your client is seeking, especially if size is the most important factor. But it is also important how you use it (the tile that is), the surface being tiled may not be able to support and cope with such a large tile. We class 600 x 300 mm tiles as large format, which may still create the desired effect. It is always best to double check if the surface you are fixing tiles to is suitable for the weight of the tile.
This significant increase of large format tiles has encouraged companies such as Rubi to adapt the techniques and tools used when laying down tiles to make the job easier...
Large format tiles do, generally, weigh more than normal tiles and, therefore, it is important to take some personal precautions. The use of a lumbar protector and knee pads will reduce tiredness and lower the risk of physical damage. Large format tiles and especially glazed porcelain floor tiles are more difficult to cut, therefore the use of a tile cutter specifically for this purpose should be used.
When laying down large format tiles, it is more difficult to reach all the tiles to correct levelling. In these cases, the rubber mallets with long handle will allow the user to reach easily those more remote areas (including those tiles already laid down) in order to retouch or verify their position and levelling.
Support and application of adhesive mortar: When laying down large format tiles, the base support must be a completely flat surface, because these materials must be laid down by using the "fine layer" technique (on occasions the "medium layer" technique). For this reason, it is necessary to use a notched trowel when applying the adhesive material. Normally, it is recommended to apply a double layer of adhesive mortar, however, if the tiles are going to be placed on walls the application of a double layer of mortar is essential.
Manipulation: Manipulation of tiles of great format is substantially improved by using DOUBLE or TRIPLE suction pads. Thanks to these tools, rectifying the position of the tile or checking the adhesiveness ofthe adhesive mortar is made a lot easier.
Alignment and joints: With the exception of rectified tiles, large format tiles normally present small dimensional variations however this can easily be corrected by using spacers and "T"-shaped spacers in the joints.
Levelling: Due to the large surface covered by each tile, the lack of level between tiles is a habitual problem when laying down this type of tile. In order to make this task easier RUBI manufactures the RUBI Tile Level, a new and quick levelling system, designed exclusively to be used when laying down large format tiles. The RUBI Tile Level allows the user to improve the levelling of the surface, avoid the movement of the tiles during hardening and make the process much quicker.
Specific adhesives are available for laying large format floor tiles, for example BAL Stone and Tile ptb. Large format tile adhesives (compared to normal adhesives) are thicker, stronger and more flexible to cope with the larger sized tiles and also allow for underfloor heating. Speak to your tile supplier for technical advice.
Other sizes of floor tiles are of course available. Popular floor tile sizes include 300 x 300mm, 333 x 333mm, 400 x 400mm, as well as modular floor patterns. Modular floor patterns can consist of 3 or 4 different sized floor tiles that fit together in a uniform pattern (usually 1 metre squared) that is repeated across the area of the floor being tiled. Modular floor patterns vary the grout lines and the different sizes of floor tiles add variation, creativity and style to the floor. It is a popular choice to have a natural stone or natural stone effect modular floor pattern in a country or rustic style kitchen. Other styles are available as well. It is common and useful to purchase modular floor pattern in a metre squared box, so that you do not have to calculate how many of each sized tile you require. All good tile shops or tile distributors will have modular floor patterns to give you and will work out how many tiles you will require for the area you are tiling. Examples of modular tile ranges at Tileflair include ST/ONE, Toscano, MarmiAntichi, Tivoli and Himalaya.
Bob Urbanowski works for Tileflair, who are experts in wall and floor tiles and have local stores and an online store. Tileflair has a range of kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaic, decorative, border tiles, ceramic, porcelain and glass tiles to suit all tastes and budgets.
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