Talking About Tiles


Prior to installation

Image Ensure that you discuss the design of your job and your expectations with the installer. Include any special arrangements in the contract; for example, the extent of cleaning required.

  • Ensure that there are sufficient tiles to complete your job, as there are no guarantees that extra tiles of the same colour and shade can be supplied at a later date.
  • It is suggested that a small quantity of extra tiles be kept on site once the job is finished. It can be very difficult to match tiles if repairs are necessary at a later date.
  • Shade variations are inherent in all kiln fired clay products. It is possible that the tiles you receive will be slightly different from the sample or display shown to you in the showroom; this is normal.
  • Arrange for your tiles to be delivered well ahead of time. Check the tone or shade markings on all tile cartons to ensure that you have been supplied with tiles from the same batch. Open two or three cartons and inspect the tiles for correct colour and acceptable shade. Failure to ensure the latter may result in disappointment as fixing of the product constitutes acceptance of the product.

During laying

Image As tiling commences make sure that the light in the room being tiled is a close as practically possible to the permanent lighting. Ensure the tiler mixes tiles from three or four different boxes so as to ensure proper blending of any colour variation that may exist.

As the work progresses take the time to have periodic checks:

  • Ensure that the blend and effect is maintained.
  • No defective tiles are laid.
  • It is highly recommended that hidden areas (under stoves, fridges, in pantries and cupboards) or detached areas (toilets and laundry floors) are tiled last so that if extra tiles are needed, batching will not be crucial.
  • It is essential that, if you have any doubts or concerns as the job progresses, you stop the tiling and immediately contact your tile supplier before proceeding any further.

After laying

Cleaning is the next step of the installation process. Ensure that the tiler removes all waxes, grout and grout residues. In the production of ceramic tiles certain technical limitations will occur; these may manifest themselves in the form of minor marks and blemishes. The latter are generally considered to be a characteristic of the tile and not considered a defect. Under normal lighting conditions these characteristic marks may not be noticeable. However, they may become obvious when highlighted by some forms of oblique lighting e.g. halogen and high illuminate white lights. All tiled surfaces should be viewed from a distance of 1.5m under non critical light.

Make sure your expectations have been met by inspecting the finished job whilst the tiler is still on site.

Mosaic tiles

Image Due to the technical limitations in the manufacturing process, mosaic tiles are subject to greater shade variation than other ceramic tiles. Ensure that you are happy with the colour and shade variation before installing the tiles. Suppliers will generally credit the tiles at this point of time; however no claims can be made once the tiles have been installed.

Polished Porcelain tiles

Image Polished porcelain tiles are different to other ceramic tiles in that they are unglazed. It is therefore recommended that unless advised otherwise these tiles should be sealed.

Important note: Before sealing the tiles it is essential that all cementitious and wax residues are removed from the tiles. Failure to do so will result in these contaminants being trapped below the surface of the tile. It is recommended that the cleaning and sealing be done by the same contractor.

Optical hazing: Whilst polished porcelain has a glossy surface, the latter does not mean it has the characteristics of a mirror and therefore will not perform as a mirror. As such it is subject to a natural phenomenon known as optical hazing presenting as a smoky haze when the surface of the tile is struck by oblique light sources. For example, early morning sun, halogen and white lights.
The effects of optical hazing can be minimised by careful design planning, such as, the use of curtains and blinds, and the careful placement of furniture.




This website is published primarily for the dissemination of information to GNS Ceramic’s customers. Any opinions expressed are just that; an opinion. Any technical information presented on this website is believed to be correct at the time of publishing. No person should rely on the contents of this website without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. GNS Ceramics and its employees, expressly disclaim all and any liability and responsibility to any person in respect of anything and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or part of the contents of this website.

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