When purchasing tiles, most people only consider the tiles’ patterns and colours. But how to lay the tiles to create the visual effect you wanted? And how do you ascertain the quality of the tiles? Let’s find out!
With the naked eye
Take a sample tile and examine whether the surface is cracked, scratched or has tiny pores on it. Then check whether the tile is straight. Look for any variation of thickness or curling corners; these are the signs of low-quality tiles.
After the kiln curing process, ceramic tiles shrink as the temperature lowers. The shrinkage might cause the tiles to curl and warp. This is why a thorough quality inspection is indispensable.
To inspect the tile’s colouring, under normal lighting, lay the tiles on the floor and observe from a 3-meter distance. Look for any irregularities of tones and broken patterns.
The patterns on the tiles should be delicate and natural; there should not be any discoloration, fragmented lines and mispositioned patterns.
Do famous brands or certain countries of manufacture ensure quality at all?
Most home owners in Hong Kong are undecided between Italian tiles and mainland Chinese tiles, since they do not know how the two are different.
In reality, the difference between Italian tiles and mainland Chinese tiles only rests on their pattern application techniques. The lippage of the installed tiles is related not to their countries of manufacture, but by the tiles’ raw materials.
Branding is also less of a concern for tile, compared to furniture and electrical appliances. This is because within one brand of ceramic tiles, there are different quality grades. Therefore, the reputation of a particular tile brand does not speak for the quality of all the tiles the brand manufactures.
You can’t possibly know the resulting pattern by looking at one single piece of tile.
There are a few reasons for this.
First, the tiles you receive after purchase will inevitably be a bit differentfrom the sample tile in terms of colouring. This is because they might be from different production batches.
Second, when workers assemble the tiles, the visual effect might not be what you imagined would be. The result might look fragmented and irregular though the design itself is beautiful.
Therefore, looking at one piece of tile is rather meaningless. Alternatively, you can request result photos from shops for reference.