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How Ceramic Tiles Are Made

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The earliest known example of ceramic tiles being made and used was in 4th millennium b.c. Egypt. From there, the trend spread outward through Africa and the Middle East, reaching Europe around the 10th century a.d. and to our tile shop in Perth today!

As one of the more affordable tiling options available, ceramic is a popular choice among customers buying tile in Perth. While they can still easily be handmade just like they were hundreds of years ago, advances in manufacturing now also allow them to be mass produced by specialised machines.

The Basics

For both handmade and industrially manufactured tiles, a tile body must be mixed. This body is made from clay, which can now be produced with a mixture using the dust of pulverised rocks or even recycled material such as post-industrial glass, instead of having to source it from a riverbed.

After this first step in prepping the material which will make the tiles, the process begins to shift depending on the production process.

Shaping

Handmade

Tiles produced by hand are shaped by hand-rolling the clay. The clay must be flattened to an even thickness, and this is achieved by either pressing the clay out within a wooden frame or using a roller machine. After this step, the tiles are ready to be cut to whatever shape is desired using wire or shaped metal die.

Industrial

In a ceramic tile manufacturing facility, the clay body will be flattened and cut evenly by machines.

An option called dry pressing places the clay body in molds and evenly compacts it at a high pressure Another method extrudes the clay through a mold in the desired tile shape, then slices the tiles evenly with a wire cutter.

In both process, the unbaked clay, or greenware, is then dried to remove any moisture that may cause it to crack later in production.

Glazing

Handmade

After the greenware has been dried, the decorative accents that make each tile unique can be applied.

Glaze is the glossy finish on the top of tiles. It can be layered onto the greenware before or after a first firing. Many ceramic artisans prefer to glaze ceramic as bisqueware, which is unglazed greenware that has been fired once.

Glaze can be painted, sprayed, or rolled with hand tools onto the ceramic tiles, generating about 50 pieces per day that are ready to be fired.

Industrial

Industrial machines apply glaze to the cut tile blanks with a variety of machines.

Primers are applied to the tiles as they pass under a steady, curtain-like stream of glaze along a conveyor belt. After this step, additional glazes that may react with the primer or produce different decorative effects are applied.

Machines such as glaze slingers, glazing drums, disc sprayers, or even inkjet printers expedite this step in industrial settings. All together, these types of machines can glaze around 2,000 square feet of tile each day.

Firing

Handmade

Clay must be heated to harden into tile, and to bring out the colours of a tile’s glaze. The ovens used for this process are called kilns.

Handmade ceramics are made in smaller batches using smaller kilns than the industrial process. Periodic kilns with a singe oven door are the most popular type used in smaller production studios and production rates are limited by their size.

Industrial

Large scale tile manufacturing sends glazed tiles through a roller oven or other style of continuous kiln. This specific conveyor style kiln can heat up to 4,000 square feet of tile on its 125 meter journey through the oven.

Similar to firing practices in the hand-made process, shuttle kilns may also be used, but they are less efficient than the roller oven.

Delivery

After the tiles have been fired and cooled, they are ready to be shipped out to stores such as our tile shop in Perth. Contact us online or stop in to one of our locations to see the new styles we have in stock today.

Choosing the Right Grout Colour—What You Need to Know

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Have you finally picked out the perfect kitchen tiles? Don’t get too comfortable. Your design work isn’t done quite yet.

Now, you’ll need to find the right grout colour. This might seem like an insignificant factor to consider. However, your grout colour can make or break the look of your whole kitchen.

As specialists on tiles in Perth, Ceramic Tile Supplies has you covered. We’re going to go over everything you need to know about choosing the right grout colour for your kitchen tiles.

Match, Complement, or Contrast

One of the main things you should consider is the style you are going for. For your tiles in Perth, you essentially have three options:

Match

Many people choose to make the grout the same colour as their kitchen tiles. This has many benefits.

For one, it will create a uniform look. Other pieces in your home will be able to take centre stage. This is especially important with modern designs that already have enough flair.

Matching is also good in that it makes a room look bigger. The consistent design gives the illusion that the area is more spacious than it actually is.

Complement

The complementary option is a middle ground between matching and contrasting. It can create space while making a subtle yet impactful statement.

Contrast

Choosing a grout that contrasts with your tile is a bold choice. It should be a decision made with intent. Make sure it matches the theme of the room and your stylistic vision.

If done right, contrast can make your kitchen tiles stand out without looking too busy. It will add a pop of colour and mesh well with your decor.

Take Maintenance into Account

The colour you choose will affect how much maintenance your kitchen tiles require. Lighter shades tend to collect more dirt, requiring you to clean more frequently.

Darker shades, however, aren’t free of maintenance. They tend to produce efflorescence that needs to be scrubbed and removed.

No matter what kind you get, consider sealing options. This will prevent staining and help your tiles in Perth last for years to come.

Test It Out

This probably isn’t the most important decision you’ll ever make. However, you’ll want to be happy with it. You don’t want to feel regret when you look at your kitchen tiles every day.

So why not test it out? Use a piece of plywood to make a mock-up. Place the sample in the room you are renovating. Leave it there for a few days to get a feel for it. This will help you determine if the design is a good fit.

Talk to the Experts

Still can’t decide? We know it can be overwhelming. There is a lot that goes into selecting the right grout colour.

If you are feeling unsure, don’t worry! We are here to help. You can stop by one of Ceramic Tile Supplies‘ showrooms. Our professionals will give expert advice and help you put the finishing touches on your tiles in Perth.

Tile Design Trends of 2019

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While other types of home design trends remain steady throughout the years, trends in tiles change quickly. Out of date flooring can really stick out like a sore thumb.

Homeowners looking to update their tiles in Perth should know what the latest styles are; although, they should ultimately go with what they like best. The following are some of the biggest tile design trends you’ll notice in 2019.

Hexagon-shaped

This year hexagon-shaped tiles have become the preferred choice for bathroom floors. The traditional rectangles and squares that have decorated these spaces for decades have slowly been replaced by other geometric shapes.

Hexagons offer an appealing aesthetic that looks good in a variety of colours, textures, and sizes. They’re a great and interesting replacement for your shower floor and the rest of your bathroom.

If you really want to go out of the box, you can try alternating complementary coloured flooring in a repeated pattern throughout the area. Having a bold graphic floor can create a space you’ll be excited to get ready in during the morning hours.

Timber Look Tiles

Wood flooring is a staple in home renovation. However, the upkeep of hardwood has seen the material fall out of favour. Water can easily damage the wood, but people still want the look.

Luckily, timber look tiles has been created to serve as the ultimate solution for homeowners that want hardwood but the not the hassles associated with it. timber look tiles come in tiles that are made to be water-resistant and are durable, saving them from scratching. The material is perfect for areas in your home that experience high traffic.

The appeal of timber look tiles in Perth isn’t just thanks to their ability to deter water but also their affordability.

Marble Subway

While flooring is one of the ever-changing elements of the renovation world, there are still some options that are timeless.

If you’re looking to install tiles in your Perth home, consider white subway tiles. The slightly elongated design of these tiles is still popular in bathrooms, especially in the shower area. Getting ceramic subway tile may just be the best way to get the sophisticated update you need.

A great way to put a modern twist on this classic design is to get this option in marble.

Cement

Sustainability has become more important in today’s society. If you’re a homeowner who’s worried about the environment, you will want to consider installing cement tiles.

The material to make this flooring combines clay, sand, and colour pigments, making them not only eco-friendly but also durable. The use of natural pigments to colour each tile make them extremely customisable. You can ensure that every element of your new room fits your taste and the needs of your space.

Can not find an internal grade cement tile in Perth? Ceramic Tile Supplies can offer several tile collections that are concrete look in a high quality porcelain tile.


2019 has so many popular design trends that it can be hard to create a cohesive vision for your remodeling project. When considering what tiles in Perth to choose, you need to take into account the finish and style that will fit into your home.

Our team at Ceramic Tile Supplies can help assist you with all aspects of your tiling project for your home with our 50 years of experience. Contact us for all your tiling needs in Perth.

How to Tackle Tough-to-Clean Tiles & Grout

By | Bathroom Tiles, General | No Comments

Whether you’ve recently had tiles in Perth installed and are preparing to seal your grout, or regular wear has your grout looking less than brand new, there a few popular at-home, do it yourself solutions many homeowners swear by to get their grout grime free.

Tips From The Professionals:

At the tile shops in Perth, we all know nothing ruins the appearance of a beautiful tile like dirty grout. Before we begin looking at the different approaches to cleaning grout, keep in mind these important tips to get your tile looking brand new.

  • Don’t rush: Let your grout cleaner sit for ten to fifteen minutes before you continue for the best results.
  • Use the right tools: A small, stiff brush than can fit within your grout lines is the key to getting any and all buildup off.
  • Rinse, don’t repeat: Mop or wipe down your recently cleaned tile and grout with warm water and mild cleaning detergent to pick up any remaining loosened residue and prevent streaking.
  • Test a sample: Especially on coloured grout, test all of these solutions on a small corner to confirm that any chemical reactions will not produce discolouration.

OPTION ONE: STEAM CLEANING

The least strenuous, time consuming, and least chemically abrasive option, particularly suitable for those who don’t want to be scrubbing tile on their hands and knees or who are concerned about chemical contact around themselves, children, or animals, is steam cleaning.

Be advised that this solution will remove any sealant on your grout so it is best used on older grout that is due to be resealed. However, as there is no chemical reaction in this cleaning process, it is ideal to use on coloured grout as there is no risk of discolouration.

If you do not wish to purchase your own steam cleaner, many hardware or home improvement stores offer rental options that may be suitable for your needs. Be sure to use the appropriate grout cleaning attachment, such as a steam hose and a small brush, for the best results.

Tile Grout Cleaning

OPTION TWO: BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR SOLUTION

This option is not suitable for grout used on natural stone, as the vinegar may stain or damage natural tile, but is otherwise very convenient as the ingredients are very commonly found already within your home.

The first step is to mix a 3:1 solution of baking soda and water to produce a thick paste that can be generously applied directly on the grout lines. You should then spray a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water onto the paste which will cause the two ingredients to react by bubbling. Once the bubbling ceases, scrub away the paste then wipe or mop up any remaining residue.

OPTION THREE: BAKING SODA, DISH SOAP AND HYDROGEN PEROXIDE SOLUTION

Similar to the option above, this solution can also be made with commonly found household items. A solution of 1 tablespoon dish soap, 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, and 3/4 cup of baking soda creates a cleaning paste that can be applied in a similar manner to the baking soda and vinegar solution. Let the solution bubble and sit for the recommended ten to fifteen minutes then scrub, rinse, and mop.

OPTION FOUR: OXYGENATED BLEACH

Chemically, using bleach is the strongest cleaning option we can recommend, though not necessarily the most effective depending on the state of your grout. Mix two tablespoons of bleach thoroughly into two cups of water, and use as quickly as possible for the best results. Make sure to also use a synthetic bristle brush to prevent your tools from breaking down in reaction to the chemical agents in bleach. Apply the solution in sections to your grout, let sit, scrub, and rinse as usual.

Particularly tough to clean spots with deeper stains or more build-up can be treated with small amounts of pure bleach. It is recommended you wear gloves and use sufficient ventilation when using this treatment option to protect your skin, lungs, and eyes from the harsh chemicals found in bleach.


If you are struggling with tough to clean grout, and would like more information or a professional assessment of your cleaning needs, contact us today at our premiere tile shops in Perth to see how we can help you get your tile and grout gleaming like new.

Laying Tiles for Beginners

By | General | No Comments

Tiles are one of the most popular flooring choices for home renovations. It’s an attractive and functional choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Plus, they’re easy to maintain. However, installing tiles in Perth can be daunting for someone who’s never laid flooring. The following is a breakdown of how you can easily lay tile as a beginner.

Keep Safety First

You want to keep yourself safe if you decide to lay your own floors. To do so, wear heavy-duty gloves and protective goggles to guard your feet and eyes against the broken shards of your old flooring.

Prepare and Purchase the Product

Before you make any purchases, you want to measure the area to account for any awkward or jutting areas. When you measure, round to the nearest whole number. This will help you figure out how many packs of tile you need to buy. Each pack covers a specific surface area.

To further prepare your floors, ensure they’re level and dry. Ideally, you’ll lay your flooring on the concrete floor.

You can lay flooring over existing quarry tiles and vinyl, but you need to make sure that that flooring is laid down firmly and properly. When you lay over vinyl tiling, ensure that you also coat the surface with a primer. If you’re laying over concrete or wood, then you should use an adhesive for your primer purposes.

Once you’ve figured out the type of flooring you’re working with, you’re ready to select your tiling. Contact your local tile shops in Perth, such as our team here at Ceramic Tile Supplies, for help on design and colour options.

Plan the Layout

The first tile you lay is your “key tile”. It determines the entire layout of your tiling, making it the utmost importance that you get the positioning right. You’ll want to ideally start somewhere near the centre of your room and work out in each direction. Since many rooms aren’t perfect squares, starting out at the edge will leave you with a huge mess.

To ensure you don’t mess up the process, dry lay a row from the centre to the wall. If you end up with a tiny slither of tile against the wall then move that entire line of tile one tile width away. Once this line is laid correctly, keep dry laying your floor in the opposite direction and move your key tile around if things are not lining up.

When you’ve found the perfect location for that first tile, mark it down with chalk. If the edge pieces are not perfectly aligned, you’ll need to mark where they meet the wall and cut it to shape.

Start Tiling

Lay down the tiling the same way you dry laid it, starting with your key tile and working out toward the walls. Keep in mind, as you choose your direction, you want to avoid stepping on your newly laid floors. If you see no way of avoiding your newly laid tile while you work, think of working in sections per day.

When you first start, spread out about a metre’s worth of adhesive in the centre of the area. To spread it evenly, use a spreader or notched trowel. A spreader leaves just the right amount of product so that the tile actually sticks. Lay your first trowel down, onto the mark you’ve placed before starting, and twist it slightly as you lay it to get rid of any air bubbles.

Work out from the key tile, using plastic spacers, toward one wall. Whenever you get done with every metre or two, check to ensure that your floor is level with a spirit measure. Once you’ve completed this row, redo these steps at right angles so that your tiles are crisscrossing the room from your centre tile. Continue this pattern in rows in one corner of the room and work in quarters.

Once you’re done, wipe down all of your flooring to ensure there is no adhesive left to ruin your perfect new floors. Don’t put your edge tiles in just yet.

24 Hours Later

Once you’ve got your tile shaped by cutting it, you can fill the edges after the rest of the floor has set. Put a layer of adhesive onto the back of these cut tiles and press them into position, leaving them for 24 hours to set.

Get It Grouted

Before moving onto the grouting phase, make sure your tile is solidly set. Mix your grout well so that there are no lumps. Leave your grout sitting for 2 to 3 minutes to help break down these lumps and to release air bubbles.

If the tile you’ve laid is glazed, you can pour the grout over the flooring and spread it with a tool with a rubber edge to move it into place. For non-glazed, you have to gently place it into the cracks so that it doesn’t get on the floor’s surface and stain. As it begins to set, press the grout down with a wooden dowel to fill any air pockets or gaps. Have a damp sponge with you so that you can wipe away any excess.

The grout should harden in approximately an hour. When it is hard, you’ll want to wipe each tile with a damp cloth to make sure there are no grout stains that have escaped your attention. Be very gentle over the next 48 hours. Finish up your floors by sealing around the corners of the room with a flexible sealant the same colour as your grout.

Getting Started

Installing your own tile can be a huge job that takes a lot of time, energy, and patience. For those looking for help from tile shops in Perth, contact us today. We can give you a list of experienced and qualified professionals.

The Difference Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles – What You Need to Know

By | General | No Comments

There’s a lot to consider when designing your dream home. When it comes to flooring, homeowners will often find themselves deciding between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles. 

Although these two materials may appear similar at first glance, they actually have some important differences.

In this article, we’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of porcelain and ceramic so you walk away with a better understanding of what they are and how they can work with your dream home. Happy tiling!

Advantages of Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain is a dense and highly durable material. In fact, it’s one of the toughest flooring materials on the market today and is well known for being able to resist high impact stresses.

Thanks to its high density, the material is essentially liquid resistant. Most porcelain tiles have a liquid absorption rate of less than one-tenth of 1 percent!

This makes them ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas as well. Its water-resistance is actually porcelain’s defining factor when it comes to separating it from ceramic.

Porcelain tiles are also known for their long lifespans. If installed correctly, they can last for decades, even in high traffic areas. Their high durability also means less frequent repairs and low maintenance care needs.

Disadvantages of Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain is a high-quality tile, and with that comes a high price tag. This means more expensive materials, cutting, installation, and repairs.

Also, because porcelain tiles are quite heavy, they can’t be installed everywhere. If you’re intending on installing these above the first level, be sure to first confirm that the floor can handle the tile’s weight.

Keep in mind that although porcelain is extremely good at not absorbing water, the grout between the tiles is not as resistant. Be sure to seal the grout to keep your floor as liquid resistant as possible.

Advantages of Ceramic Tiles

Being significantly less dense than porcelain, ceramic is a much easier material to cut. That means do-it-yourself homeowners can cut the ceramic on their own if they so choose. Also, because it’s easier to cut, its tiles can be found more often in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Perhaps ceramic’s biggest advantage is that it is cheaper than its porcelain counterpart. This is because it is easier to produce, cut, and install.

Disadvantages of Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are basically a lower-quality version of porcelain. They are more porous and thus should not be installed outdoors. They can get mouldy, damaged, and crack in freezing temperatures.

These tiles are also less durable. It is easier for them to break under a heavy impact. This could mean more frequent repairs and replacements and lead to more money being spent over time than with porcelain.

Want More Help with Your Tiling Decision?

Check us out at Ceramic Tile Supplies to learn more about how we can assist you with finding the best tiles Perth has to offer.

We feature galleries of all types of spaces on our website as well as more articles on tiling so that you’re as prepared as possible when you’re ready to install that new floor. Contact CT Supplies today and we’ll help you get started!

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing The Right Size Tile For Your Project

By | General, Subway Tiles

When redecorating a home, many homeowners overlook the tiles, not recognising just how much of an impact they can have on the look of the room being redone. While specific tiles may work for certain applications, the right choice is more than just what type of tile fits the space. The following aspects of tiling can impact a room’s appearance and should be considered when choosing tiles for a renovation project.

Picking Tiles Relative to the Space

The easiest way to pick out tile is to choose one relative to the size of the space. This means that larger areas like the floor of an open kitchen/dining room or bigger living rooms can easily handle larger format tiles. Similarly, smaller spaces like bathrooms or a kitchen backsplash would look better with medium or smaller sizes as well as mosaic tiles to add texture and design.

To begin, measure the space, whether it’s the entire room or just a section of a wall. This enables you to create a template of the square area so that you can try out different tile designs to help you determine a favourite. 

As you measure, remember that larger tiles require extra care to ensure the installation is as even and level as possible. These larger pieces will reduce the natural flow and will limit the decorating options of the flooring.

Different Measures, Different Styles

You can influence the way you feel in a room by using different sized tiles. You can create a sleeker, more streamlined appearance and make rooms feel more open or closed by tile size alone. Consider the following design tips:

Larger Squares and Rectangular Tiles

Tiles that are wide or long can make your room appear bigger. Using larger tiles in medium to large spaces will expand the space by making it feel more open. The longer dimensions to the lines of square and rectangular pieces combined with the reduced amount of grout lines give spaces a more open and cleaner feel. However, large tiles can overwhelm smaller spaces like bathrooms, creating a closed off sensation.

Subway, Plank or Small Mosaic Tiles

The shape, size, and pattern of smaller tiles can add or contract the depth of space so that a room feels more open or cosy, depending on your desires.  Linear and subway tiles will add depth to rooms and expand the appearance, especially in smaller spaces. Plank and kitchen tiles can make smaller, galley kitchens appear wider if you place the tiles horizontally.

Need Help? Call Today

Are you looking for tiles in Perth? Ceramic Tile Supplies is one of the leading tile shops in Perth. With over 50 years of experience, we are able to provide our customers with personalised care that will ensure you make the perfect choice of tile for your home, office or commercial space. Speak with one of our experts today and schedule a one-on-one consultation. You’re also welcome to visit our showrooms in Wangara or Myaree to learn about the ways we can help you with your next tiling project.