MML Tiles Makeover Contest: Non-winners don’t fret – here’s some tiling tips!

So the MML Tiles Makeover Contest is over. The winners are now happily choosing their new tiles and the renovations are commencing soon. For those of us who didn’t win (myself included), feel free to say Hi to cutey Curious the cat here at his virtual home:  http://www.curiouscat.my.

I’m still stalking him, missing his humour. But there aren’t much new videos now, sadly. Anyhow, surfing around I came across this page http://www.curiouscat.my/p3/choose-your-tiles.html where clicking on the tiles on the page changes the background of the site to the same tile.

Which brings me back to the topic of tiles. Here’s what I got from MML Tile Malaysia about tiling. Some of their products can be found HERE –> http://www.mymml.com/products/.

Introduction to Ceramic Tiling. 

First up, introduction to Installation of Tiles.

1. The installation of tiles involves many areas of planning; from design to selection, preparatory work during installation as well as post installation. Extreme care and attention are required during each process in order to minimize the occurrence of serious defects after tiling. Post installation such as protection and maintenance of tiles are also equally important to ensure the tiles are user friendly, durable and maintaining its aesthetic and characteristics.

During the 3 stages of any renovation or building works, adequate measures must be taken at each stage to ensure the outcome desired.

Do what?
Phase 1 – Planning 

1. Selection of Materials

a) In planning and designing for floor and wall tiles, we must have relevant data and information on work environment, characteristics and behavior of the structure and geometry of the surface to be covered.b) Although materials for tiling are usually selected by the designer, it is to the interest of the contractors to understand the characteristics of these materials. The contractors should ensure that both the ceramic tiles and the bedding materials selected are compatible for the receiving substrate.The choice of materials for the tile bed and materials for grouting are very important for different type
of tiles. It is very important to take into account the materials selection besides proper installation and
quality control. The contractor in conjunction with the supplier should ensure that the selected tiles
are able to meet the specification of the project. Technical specifications such tile water absorption,
abrasion resistance, slip resistance, crazing resistance, surface quality & dimensions, chemical
resistance and stain resistance should be considered.
2. Layout Planning  a) It is important to consider the size of tiles used, shape of the area to be tiled and the specification requirements.As a general rule, the layout should be planned from the center of the tiling area, working outward to give an even tile width around the floor perimeter.It is recommended to construct a mock-up unit for owner’s approval prior to carrying out the actual tiling work to ensure the owner’s requirements on a project’s acceptable tolerance are fully understood and within the specification.
b)Cut tiles should be placed at less visible corners and width should be bigger than half of the tile size.Generally, it’s advisable to use machine cutter to cut floor tiles or full body homogenous tiles in order to get straight cutting as the tiles are very hard and brittle. For wall tiles normal tile cutter can be used.

BELOW: Laying tiles from center area and inspect the tiles flatness by using spirit level gauge.

Tiles pg

BELOW: Using Tile Cutter to achieve straight lines.

Tiles 2

Do what?
Phase 1 – Planning 

3) Grout joint

 

a) The space between tiles is referred to as Grout Joint. There are several factors to consider in grout joints, specifically the width and the materials used. The grout joints can enhance the final appearance of any tile installation and play an important role in determining if your tiling job looks polished or otherwise.

b) When selecting grout materials, criteria such as application properties (e.g. cleaning and service times), shrinkage resistance, abrasion resistance, compression strength, chemical resistance and staining should be considered.

c) The width of the grout joint should be discussed during the planning stage – Tile joints of insufficient width could be problematic. Appropriate manufacturing tolerance should be allowed for different types of tiles. The minimum joint width of the dry pressed floor tiles should be minimum 3mm; dry pressed wall tiles should be at least 1.5mm. Much larger joint width is required for the wall tiles if they need to align with the floor tiles. The joint gap should be minimum 5mm for the workshop tiles in order to avoid dimensional problem like poor planarity, poor rectangularity and poor sizing. Correct joint width could also prevent buckling problem if the tiles are cured prematurely, with no movement/expansion joint and/or with insufficient cement mortar or adhesive.d) The manufacturing tolerance of the tiles should be considered when deciding the joint width. The minimum joint widths may be different between the wall and floor tiles. It is a good practice to adopt a uniform joint width for both tiles. This can be done by using correct size of plastic spacers that enable the joints to be consistent and straight throughout the wall and floor tiles.

Tiles 3

Any questions? Yea, I know, it took me a while to absorb all that! And this is only PHASE 1!
I’ll be doing research on Phase 2 and Phase 3 soon. Then I’ll have a complete set of articles and FAQs here to share with you 🙂

Common question regarding about tiling:

Q:What is the best way to view tiles before buying?

It is always a good practice to view several pieces of tiles at standing distance of at least one (1) meter away to have a realistic representation of a particular product.

Q:How do I know which tile to use?

Not all tiles are made equal. However if you’re considering MML, then here’s their product range:

  • For outdoors and/or areas susceptible to wetness; we advice using any of the textured surface products such as the Rustik collections.
  • If slip resistance is a priority, note that the slip resistant characteristics on the tile surface will trap dirt and will be difficult to clean. Therefore a scrubbing & an intensive cleaning regime must be instituted to keep the surface clean.(we might want to avoid recommending Natural (S) tiles for outdoor/external wet areas because our Natural tiles only have a R9 slip resistance rating)
  • polished tiles surface is a result of a mechanical grinding and calibration process on a fired tile. Therefore:
  • As dust-pressed porcelain tiles are formed under tremendous high pressure, bigger tiles of 30x60cm or 60x60cm will exhibit higher latent surface tension but within the acceptable planarity tolerance. Therefore for brick lay installations, it is recommended to provide 5 to 6mm grout joints.
  • To reduce possible planarity and shade variation on Glazed Porcelain 30x60cm & 6060cm tiles, we recommend that tiles be laid with the back logo in the same orientation.
  • We do not recommend WALL tiles to be installed on the floor.
  • Unless specifically stated otherwise, floor tiles application refers to interior applications only.
    • The dimension of polished tiles will always be slightly smaller than other surface finishes of the same nominal sizes. or When the installation requires a mixture of finishes, do plan and design for this as additional mono calibration services may be required
    • The grinding involved in the polishing process opens up microscopic pores in all MML Polished Porcelain tile surfaces. A penetrating solution is recommended to close up these micro pores if the polished tiles are to be installed in areas prone to excessive spills

Q: Some of my tile patterns are not the same although it comes from the same range. Is this normal?

A: Ceramic Tiles are designed to emulate natural stones. Each tile is fashioned to exhibit unique veining and colour distribution. Therefore, a piece of ceramic tile does not totally represent its whole range.
So, any comments?? I trust first time house owners who are considering renovations would find this useful!
Do drop me a comment or email if you require any further info! 🙂