Things You Should Know When Shopping for Tiles in Singapore

As an Essential feature in Homes, it is more than just meeting the eye for the Variety and Aesthetics of Tiles. When it comes to tile, technological improvements and lifestyle preferences have brought forth pivotal changes in its design themes and characterized many imaginations. Tiles are akin to apparel, they have become a defining element.

>Wide Expression of Styles

The choice of texture, colour, materiality, and design are some of the Myriad options available. They share a common ability to reflect one’s individualistic style; complementary or contrasting, bold or muted, colourful or monotone. The Right selections can be transformed into light Scandinavian, Contemporary, Industrial, Victorian, or Resort styled interior vibe.

HDB Tampines Shuwen

>Understanding the Nature of Tiles

Faced with plentiful choices, it is advisable to understand the properties and nature of tiles in form and functionality, incorrect selection could lead to grievances issues, ranging from perceived pattern differences, tile spacing, slip resistance, warpage, prone to staining and scratch marks, hairline cracks and many more.

>Negative ion and Anti-Bacterial Tile

The physical and mental well-being of occupants in the building takes precedence. In searching for the right material to tile, more emphasis is now placed on tiles that exhibit functional and holistic abilities.

The advent of Negative Ion tiles and Anti-Bacterial tiles that promotes wellness and protection are now extra considerations creating demand for such functional tiles.

Matt Porcelain tile can be smooth satin finish or textured/treated achieving the desired anti-slip effect. Depending on usage needs, the selection of time finish should follow its functional and design requirements. Anti-slip tiles need higher maintenance as their crevices and pore trap dirt, homeowner’s habit of dry-mopping or wet-scrubbing play a part in determining whether they should be used for kitchen or toilet flooring.

Polish Porcelain tiles can be further subdivided in composition and production technique; half-homogenous body polish porcelain with a less vivid design pattern could be re-polished to achieve the seamless marble feel; however high gloss Glazed Polish Porcelain with digital printed lifelike marble, woodgrain, or any conceivable designs are not polish-able.

>Types of Tiles

Expounding on this topic to reduce misconception, tiles can be classified into ceramic, half/coloured body printed porcelain and full-body homogeneous porcelain.

>Ceramic

Ceramic tiles have higher porosity which means their low-density body is not suited for newly constructed walls where contraction may subject them to stress cracking. Overlaying ceramic on existing tile is also not advisable unless proper back substrate and curing are done. Their myriad design patterns, lightweight and lower cost mean they remain immensely popular with both designers and consumers.

>Porcelain

Porcelain tiles have low water absorption and with the high-density body, can withstand higher stress and heavier loading. Porcelain tiles if termed Homogeneous are full-bodied and comprised of the same composition throughout. In this regard, the patterns are not that varied as compared to half/coloured body digital printed porcelain tiles.

>Attributes & Maintenance

Tiles are fired under high temperature and their body density more or less determines their functionality and usage. It is mindful to note tiles are not 100% in flatness or sizing, tolerance has to be accepted. Caution is advised on this aspect as minimal tile spacing enhances the feeling of unevenness and likelihood of de-bonding due to contraction and expansion of tile and substrate.

Like apparel, tiles need to be properly maintained. Cleaning with light detergent will ensure they remain like new. If strong detergent is needed, do consult with Tile Supplier on its suitability.

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This Write-up is Inspired by Patrick Puah, Sales Director, Lian Seng Hin Trading Co Pte Ltd

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