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What is Shepparton Tiling FAQ

Shepparton Tiling FAQ is a series off questions and answers about tiling & waterproofing.

What is Waterproofing? 

Waterproofing is a covering layer of waterproofing membrane over our exterior walls, in bathrooms, countertop backsplashes, toilets, laundries, pools, spas, etc. This stops the leakage and moisture buildup in the walls and floors. 

On which substrates can I apply my Waterproofing on? 

You may apply waterproofing to concrete and screed. You can also apply it on wet area plasterboard, structural plywood, concrete, composite timber sheets, render and existing tiles, fibre cement sheet, and blockwork. 

Where should I do Waterproofing? 

Any area that comes in continuous contact with water needs Waterproofing. Areas like pools, spas, ponds, planter boxes, etc. need Waterproofing. Also, interior areas like shower area, toilets, etc. also need it. 

What is a primer? 

Primer is a liquid made of epoxy, polyurethane, or latex. It is used to prepare the surface for tiling, and it also improves the adhesive property. It gives a good base and is critical for tiling longevity. 

What are the benefits of a primer? 

There are many benefits. Firstly, increased water absorption of the tiled surface. This means there is more water and the curing goes longer, which is suitable for the tiling. Also, adhesive stays wet for more time. Thus, you can lay more tiles at a single go. You can also adjust the tiles once laid—lastly, the reduction of pin holding in waterproofing membranes. 

Is primer needed before applying a waterproofing membrane? 

Yes, applying primer before applying a waterproof membrane is necessary. There are many benefits of applying primer as the waterproof membrane can adhere better to the surface beneath, it seals the dust particles of the surface beneath, and also aids in decreasing pin holding. 

Is primer necessary? 

Except for waterproofing membranes, primer is a must over all other substrates. Waterproofing membranes are non-absorbent, thus there it is not necessary. Primer is also necessary to not void the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Can primers withstand high temperatures? 

No high temperatures can affect primers. Because they evaporate before they can trap contaminants and control porosity. 

What do you mean by a waterproofing bond breaker? 

Waterproofing Bond breaker helps manage the effects of building movement on a waterproof membrane. Bond breakers are installed to use the elastic properties of the waterproof membrane, and this, in turn, copes up with the building movement. 

Is waterproofing bond breaker necessary? 

Yes, waterproofing bond breaker in all the areas like joints, internal corners, and other areas that are prone to the effects of building movement is must by the Australian standards.  

What are some reasons for waterproofing failure? 

Your waterproofing system can fail because of many reasons. Some of them are, first of all, the incorrect placing of waterproofing components, wrongly applied bond breaker or primer, usage of incompatible sealant, or an incompatible tile adhesive. A lot goes in to create a correctly working waterproofing system. 

What do you mean by efflorescence? 

Efflorescence is the hazy white substance building up on the concrete, because Calcium Hydroxide salt, which is present in all types of cement is surfacing through grout joints or directly through concrete walls. Once this salt comes on top of the surface, it reacts with carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere forming Calcium Carbonate. This Calcium Carbonate is the white hazy/flaky efflorescence you are seeing. 

How do I know it is efflorescence and not discolouration? 

Efflorescence becomes invisible when the surface is wet, and you can again see the vivid colours. But it reappears as soon as the surface is dry once again. It appears more prominently on darker coloured paints and tiles. 

How can I control efflorescence in my tiling system? 

To prevent it from appearing it in tiles, you can use a fast drying adhesive and a special low efflorescence grout. After installing the tiles, use less water for cleaning. Less amount of water must flow inside the tiling system, to avoid efflorescence from coming up. 

How does efflorescence affect my walls? 

Efflorescence can even weaken the walls and can result in loss of structural integrity to the walls. 

What are ceramic tiles? 

Ceramic tiles are red or white clay and fired in a kiln. But they are inferior to porcelain tiles as they have a higher absorption rate and are less dense. This makes them more prone to chipping, although they are quite famous for indoor household tiling. 

What are porcelain tiles? 

Porcelain tiles are a mixture of porcelain and some more added minerals, baked at a temperature higher than that of ceramics. Usually at 1200 Degree Celsius. Porcelain has lower absorption rates and very dense tiles. They are great for commercial projects and are very resilient. 

What is a rectified tile? 

Rectified tiles undergo a cutting process called ‘grinding’. This cuts all the tiles to the same size and requires minimum joints. Thus lesser grout appears between the tiles, and the look is much more aesthetically appealing as it appears like one big consistent piece of tile/stone. 

What is a vitrified tile? 

A vitrified tile is a mixture of clay mixed with silica, quartz, or feldspar. This gives the vitrified tiles a lot of durabilities, and its most important feature is its water resistance. It has deficient water absorption. Also, they have a glossier look. 

What are other types of tiles available? 

Many types of tiles are available in the market. Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles are the most famous of the lot. But there are also glass tiles, cement tiles, mosaic tiles, stone tiles like marble, granite, limestone, and travertine, etc. Also, there are metal tiles and resin tiles. 

Can I put tiles inside my fireplace? 

Even heat resistant porcelain tiles may be put to a temperature of 80 Degree Celsius. So, they are not a good option for the firebox where the fire will kindle. But you can use tiles for the surrounding place and the hearth. Tiles can render a great look and feel to any fireplace. 

How do you lay a tile? 

Firstly, prepare the surface which includes Waterproofing and making it even and clean. Next spread the adhesive. You can add an additive to the adhesive. Now, lay the tiles by inserting spacers so that there is the uniform spacing between tiles for grouting. Next, do grouting and also apply sealant if necessary. 

What is grouting? 

Grouting is adding grout which is usually a mixture of sand, cement, and water, between the spaces of tiles. Grouting helps keep the tiling safe in building movement and tile movement and thus keeps the tile structure sturdy. There are many types of grout, like unsanded grout, epoxy grout, etc. 

What is Epoxy, Grout? 

Epoxy Grout is a highly flexible grout made from epoxy hardener and resin. Also, this type of grout is made for rough usage. For example, in places like restaurants, hospitals, public toilets. Also, it is very less water-absorbent. Thus it does not stain as quickly as its cement counterpart. 

What is an additive? 

Mix additives to grout or adhesive to enhance their performance. Depending on the type of additive you choose and for which purpose you are using it, it can increase resistance to water, stains, and chemical reaction. It can also increase bond strength and flexural strength.

What is a tile adhesive?

Tile adhesive is used to help bond the tile to the surface beneath. There are two types of adhesives- pre-mixed paste and cement-based. And the type of adhesive used depends on the type of surface beneath, type of tile, i.e. whether stone, ceramic or porcelain, area, and other conditions as humidity and temperature. 

What are movement joints? 

Movement joints are empty spaces left between tiles that are not grouted. This leaves space for tile floor movement. Movement joints are of two type- Field and Perimeter movement joints.  

What are field movement joints? 

Field movement joints are grout joints that are left ungrouted. The speciality is that they extend from wall-to-wall. These joints are filled with caulking. 

What are perimeter movement joints? 

Perimeter movement joints are along the walls. It is the space between the tile and the wall that is left ungrouted. 

Why can’t I use butt joint on my tiles? 

Grout joints are the ideal way to lay tiles because firstly, these give space for tile movement and avoid compressive stress buildup. Secondly, it gives a medium for the adhesive to cure correctly and form a good bond. Minimum 5mm gap in ceramic tiles and 3mm in porcelain tiles is required.

Can I tile over tiles? 

Yes, you can, but mostly you should avoid doing it. You need to study a lot of factors before you proceed. Firstly, the tile must be smooth, unbroken, and not hollow. Next, make sure they are adhesive-absorbent. After that de-grease it and apply primer on the tiles. Next, apply adhesive and set tiles on it. 

Can I tile directly over brickwork? 

No, it is advised that you shouldn’t. First render with an acrylic modified render, then apply primer, then adhesive, and finally, place the tiles. 

Can I tile over a wooden floor directly? 

Again, it is not recommended to tile over the wooden floor. You first need to place a layer of 6mm ceramic tiles and then your new tiles.  

What effect does low humidity have over cement-based adhesive? 

Low humidity means that the water will evaporate faster. But adhesive needs water to bind with cement crystals. If the water evaporates sooner, then the bond will not be secure, and it may lead to less longevity to the tiling. 

What effect does high temperature have over cement-based adhesive? 

Higher temperatures mean that the cement-water reaction is faster. And when this reaction works faster, smaller cement crystals are formed. These smaller cement crystals form a weaker bond than those when the temperature is favourable. Temperature more than 35 degree Celsius is not suitable for tiling. 

What special care to take while tiling exterior walls and floors? 

Exterior walls and ceilings are subject to thermal expansion which interior tiles do not experience. Thus, they demand special care during installation. Like, using proper additives in the adhesive and grout. Use a significant amount of adhesive. In the case of wall tiles, mechanical fixing is necessary every 2 meters. Also, use joint sealant between tile and background to protect from water collection behind tiles. 

What special care should I take while installing large format tiles? 

Tiles bigger than or of the range of 600mm x 600mm size need special attention as they create more stress on the joints. Use high strength adhesives that are maybe latex-modified and are rapid setting. Also, large tiles may contain bents in them, thus, buttering them on the back with adhesive is essential. And the joint width in case of large tiles must be a minimum of 3mm for porcelain and 5mm for ceramic. 

Why does tiling fail? 

Tiling can fail due to lack of care while preparing the base like tiling over uneven or porous surfaces. It can also be the result of lousy application processes like wrong products to use or using an insufficient amount of that product. For example, exterior tiling demands more adhesive. 

How to care for my tiles? 

Regular brushing and mopping are quite enough to care for tiles. Also, remember to clean up spills as soon as possible. You can also make use of doormats and rugs. These go a long way in keeping tiles looking good for many years. Once in awhile, do a deep clean and clean the grout as well. 

How do you clean the grout at home? 

Simply mix baking soda and water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the grout and let it rest overnight. In the morning rinse it with a toothbrush and lastly mop it up with warm water and you will be left with clean grouts. 

Why choose Shepparton Tiling? 

Shepparton Tiling is an old and experienced entity of Shepparton tiling industry. Our continued presence taught us a lot about delivering quality service and maintaining long-term relationships. We take pride in our quality of service, in-depth knowledge, and attention to detail. Our list of happy customers testifies this. We assure you will have a smooth and memorable experience with us.