When remodelling or updating a home, many homeowners love the look of large-format porcelain tiles. Whether replacing the flooring in your kitchen, bathroom, or entryway with this luxury material will make an impactful statement.
But even though these types of tiles can be beautiful and functional additions to your space, there are some mistakes you should avoid making when using them – otherwise, you could end up with a not-so-stellar outcome.
Read on to learn five big mistakes homeowners often make when working with large-format porcelain tiles. Having provided our clients with access to some of the finest large-format porcelain tiles on the market, these are mistakes we have seen people make time and time again.
To find out more or to ask specific questions, please speak to one of our team members here at Premier Porcelain; we are always more than happy to help you in any way we can.
What Are Large Format Porcelain Tiles?
Large-format porcelain tiles are typically larger than standard ceramic tiles. They are made of porcelain, a ceramic material denser, more complex, and less porous than traditional ceramics.
These tiles are often used for flooring, walls, and other surfaces in commercial and residential buildings because of their durability, strength, and resistance to wear and tear.
They are also available in various styles, colours, and textures, making them a versatile and popular choice for many design projects.
Layout Fails Are Common With Large Format Tiles
There are several layouts fails that can occur when using large format tiles:
Not checking for squareness: Large format tiles need to be laid on a perfectly square and level surface; if the surface is not square, the tiles will appear crooked.
Not allowing for proper expansion and contraction: Large format tiles can expand and contract with temperature changes. It is essential to allow this movement by leaving enough space around the room’s perimeter or using movement joints.
Not using the suitable adhesive: Large format tiles can be heavy, and it is essential to use an adhesive specifically designed for heavy tiles.
Not using proper cutting techniques: Large format tiles can be challenging to cut, and using the wrong techniques can cause the tile to crack or break.
Not considering traffic patterns: Large format tiles can be slippery, and it is important to consider traffic patterns and the potential for slips and falls, particularly in areas that may be wet, such as bathrooms and entryways.
Not considering the room’s aesthetic: Large format tiles can make a room look smaller, and it’s essential to consider the room’s aesthetic before deciding to use them.
Neglecting To Lay The Right Subfloor
Having the proper subfloor is essential when laying large format tiles. The subfloor provides the foundation for the tile installation, and if it needs to be prepared correctly, it can lead to issues such as cracking, unevenness, and movement.
Large format tiles are typically heavier and thicker than standard tiles and therefore require a sturdy and level subfloor to support them. The subfloor should be clean, dry, and free of any debris or contaminants, and it should be level to within 1/8 inch per foot.
A concrete subfloor is ideal for large-format tiles, but if the subfloor is made of wood, it should be reinforced to ensure it can withstand the weight of the tiles.
In addition to the subfloor, it is also essential to consider the underlayment and the material placed between the subfloor and the tile. The underlayment should be smooth and level and provide adequate support for the tile installation. A self-levelling compound can level the subfloor and provide an even surface for the tiles.
It is always best to consult a professional when preparing the subfloor for a large-format tile installation to ensure that it is done correctly and the tiles will be adequately supported.
Grouting Your Tiles Too Quickly Can Be An Issue
It can damage your tiles if you grout too soon after installing them.
After installing large format tiles, it is essential to allow them to cure or set for a certain period before grouting. This allows the adhesive to cure and bond the tiles to the subfloor fully and prevents the tiles from shifting or moving. If your grout is too soon after installing the tiles, the adhesive may not be fully cured, and the tiles may need to be adequately secured. This can cause the tiles to crack or become loose over time and can also cause the grout to crack or fail.
The curing time can vary depending on the adhesive used and the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is best to consult with a professional or the adhesive manufacturer for the recommended curing time before grouting.
It is also important to wait for the proper curing time before cleaning the tiles and applying sealers or coatings.
In summary, it is essential to wait for the proper curing time after installing large format tiles before grouting to ensure that the tiles are properly secured and the grout will bond correctly.
Damaging Large & Expensive Tiles
Large format tiles are generally more durable and less likely to crack or damage than smaller tiles; however, it is still possible to crack or damage them if not handled or installed correctly.
Some ways to crack or damage large format tiles include:
- Dropping or hitting them with heavy tools or equipment.
- They are not allowing for proper expansion and contraction, which can cause the tiles to crack or break if they cannot move freely with temperature changes.
- Using the wrong cutting techniques can cause the tiles to crack or break during the cutting process.
- Using proper support when installing the tiles can prevent them from cracking or breaking under their weight.
- Not using a suitable adhesive can cause the tiles to come loose or crack.
- Not allowing proper curing time before grouting can cause the tiles to shift and crack.
It is always best to consult with a professional and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing large format tiles to ensure that they are handled and installed correctly to avoid cracking or damaging them.
Large-format tiles are generally resilient and durable, but proper installation and maintenance are crucial to keeping them in good condition.
Order Your Large Format Tiles From Premier Porcelain Today
Now that you know more about large-format porcelain tiles, you will likely feel confident using them in your home. Of course, even with the best preparation, things can still go wrong – and that’s where we come in.
At Premier Porcelain, we have years of experience helping our clients choose and install the perfect tile for their needs. If you have any questions or need help getting started, please don’t hesitate to call us today.
We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and help you create the home of your dreams.