Why Do I Need To Seal My Floor Or Wall Tiles?

Here at Wellington Tile we quite often get asked, why do i need to seal natural stone?  Natural stone like Terracotta, Slate, Polished Porcelain & Quarry Tiles ect.

Well its because they are Naturally porous, and if left unsealed every piece of dirt and grime will be absorbed by your natural stone, giving you a really big clean up job, to prevent this from happening we would definitely recommend sealing them.

 There are essentially three aims when sealing a tile.

  • Stain Prevention
  • Surface Protection
  • Surface Enhancement

It is not always possible or indeed necessary to achieve all the aims, however stain prevention tends to be the overriding aim.

To achieve these aims there is the choice of two types of sealers

These will either be spirit based or water based.

These two types of sealers can be used independently or together depending on the type of surface being sealed and depending on the type of finish required:

Essentially there are three types of finish:

The first two are achieved with impregnating sealers, and the third with Surface sealers

 Impregnating Sealers:

Unsealed, most natural tiles are absorbent to some degree or other, just  pour a tea

Natural stone protected with LTP Mattstone

spoon of water on to an unsealed tile and observe how quickly the water is absorbed. English Limestone, Sandstone, Marble  and Terracotta tend to be the most absorbent and denser surfaces such as Granite and basalt? Much less absorbent, Travertine and Slate sit somewhere in the middle.

Full bodied Porcelain and Quarry Tiles may seem highly vitrified, but they can still be absorbent. On the whole the cheaper the tile here, the more absorbent it is likely to be..

 Tiles have small pin-holes and open fissures as part of its natural texture. This texture will tend to accumulate grit and stains as part of the natural wearing process and unless they are impregnated will cause the floor to stain.of water on to an unsealed tile and

An impregnating sealer will have a carrier, often white spirit and a sealer within it. Once absorbed the carrier evaporates leaving the sealer in situ protecting the tile just below the surface

Depending on the porosity of the tile, a second or third coat of sealer may be needed.

In some cases a secondary seal is required to protect the surface of the tile, or to give the surface a gloss or satin finish.

Impregnating sealers are absorbed into the tile sealing it just below the surface, they tend not to alter the characteristic of the tile and whilst they offer mechanical strength to a tile and in some cases ..colour enhancement.., they will not offer surface protection.

 Surface sealers

 To achieve surface protection and a different finish to the tile , a surface sealer is used, these will provide the tile with a gloss or satin finish. In this case clearly the natural look of the tile is being altered.

As a general rule surface sealers tend to be water based, rather than spirit based and

Apply LTP Glaze Protector

depending on the nature of the surface being sealed can be used on their own or in conjunction with an impregnating sealer.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of Spirit Based & Water Based Sealers

Spirit based and water based sealers now perform equally well provided you purchase a water based sealer rather than a water based water repellent.

In our experience whilst water based impregnating sealers are becoming more widely used for environmental reasons, spirit based sealers are still much more popular for the simple reason: they are easier to apply.  Spirit is a better carrier than water, so spirit based sealers transport the sealer deeper into a tile.

However, as with paints the trend is away from solvent/spirit based products to waterbased sealers.

Another reason for considering waterbased sealers is they have much less odour than spirit based sealers.

External Use:  Swimmimg Pool surrounds: Wet Rooms:

In most circumstances impregnating sealers will be breathable allowing use in wet area’s and outside.

This is not always the case with surface sealers:

Whether they are polyurethane varnishes or waterbased;  surface sealers are not breathable and should not be specified for wet area’s or externally.

And finally

 Everything above applies to grout joints as well as tiles. So remember to seal the grouting as well to achieve a perfect durable finish for your tiled surface with LTP Grout & Tile Protector.

LTP 600ml Grout & Tile Protector Aerosol

 

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How To Remove Grout Stains From Wall & Floor Tiles

Removing Grout stain or grout haze from glazed tiles such as ceramic and porcelain can be relatively straight forward, for cases in which the grout stain is on natural stone you have to make sure that Grout stain remover is not used on surfaces that are calcareous, sensitive to acids (e.g. stainless steel, chrome, enamel etc), Surfaces to avoid using on are Marble, limestone, travertine, granite terrazzo and encaustics.

For mild cases and on absorbent tiles:

Dilute 1 part Grout stain remover in 4 parts warm water, apply with a cloth or sponge wrung out in the solution, then wipe off thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.

In more severe cases:

Dilute 1 part Grout Stain Remover in 1 part warm water, Apply liberally and spread over surface of tiles. If necessary, agitate with a scrubbing brush and leave to react for 5-10 minutes, keeping wet with additional Grout Stain Remover solution. Mop up and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

In extremely severe cases:

Use undiluted and agitate with scrubbing brush or mechanical scrubber if necessary. Neutralise treated surface with clean water after use.

Epoxy Grout Residue is cleaned differently to the above steps and requires a different product and method to clean the residue.

Epoxy Grout is made up of two parts, a resin and a hardener, the hardener also contains a detergent in it to improve work-ability and the cleaning of the residue. Epoxy grout can discolour porous surfaces as can the cement based option, its best to seal any porous surface before grouting.

 

The foregoing advice, whilst given in good faith and from experience gained in various installation situations is for guidance purposes only. If in doubt at any stage, experiment before proceeding further or seek further advice. Neither the supplier nor the manufacturers will be liable for any dissatisfaction resulting from these instructions nor will they in any circumstances accept responsibility for any damages.

 

TEATREE HANDMADE TERRACOTTA IS BACK!!

 

Handmade Teatree terracotta 34cm x 34cm

Handmade Teatree terracotta 34cm x 34cm

 

As  sales director of Wellington Tile, one of the west country’s most established Tile Showrooms, Mark Atkins is well qualified to comment on trends in the market for floor tiles. What he has noticed is an interesting increase in demand for a tile that was last popular 20 years ago.

“Five years ago it was all travertine and stone, but recently the trend has moved back to Terracotta which was last at its most popular in the 1990’s.”

Over the past decade stone, especially travertine has made such an impact in interior design that despite its obvious attraction, home owners are beginning to look around for something different.

For those who like a machine made tile, porcelain with its durability and ease of maintenance is the obvious choice, however when it comes to a natural tile finish, terracotta is back in favour.

With its natural warm tones and depth of colour, terracotta flooring  not only works well both in modern and tradition settings, but it also has some practical benefits:

The  natural insulating qualities of this baked earth tile , makes it the ideal surface to place over underfloor heating systems: Terracotta retains and releases warmth in a most efficient manner.

“Our business was founded in 1980 as an importer and distributor of terracotta and now that we are re stocking our warehouses with the same tile a generation later, is rather pleasing “ .

Teatree terracotta looks aged and full of rustic character from the first day of laying once sealed. These tiles are entirely handmade, therefore no two tiles are the same.

This terracotta has all the characteristics associated with a handmade tile – beautiful colour tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, nooks and crannies on surface and edge, together with the advantage of the clay being able to retain heat. This floor will never be ice cold to the touch. Stated sizes are nominal and imprecise and there can be different porosity within a batch.

Teatree_handmade_34cm_terra

Fixing & Sealing Guidelines

PRIOR TO FIXING – Please inspect the tiles as soon as they arrive. This will give you a chance to rub down any chipped edges with a emery cloth. Make sure the sub floor is sound, level, free from dust and paint etc.

FIXING – Lay tiles into a flexible floor tile adhesive, it is important that sufficient adhesive is used to enable the tiles to be well ‘bedded’ without hollows beneath. If tiling onto a wooden floor, the floor has to be sound with no flexing. If there is any movement we recommend overboarding with either 18mm plywood or specific backer boards. Flexible adhesives and grouts must be used along with the correct board fixings as per manufacturers instructions. Once the adhesive has set clean the surface of the tile using a dry white emulsifying pad and wipe with a dry micro fibre cloth to remove any loose matter and dust.

FIRST STAGE SEALING – Apply a generous coat of LTP Boiled Linseed Oil with a paint brush, the oil is designed to soak into the tile, thus filling the pores from within. The oil then hardens within the pores, remove any excess that has not absorbed after 30 minutes. Leave for a minimum of four hours and repeat.

Rough Guide – 

20 x 20 cm = 2 to 3 coats

34 x 34 cm = 3 to 4 coats

Leave 24 hours after the final application of Boiled Linseed Oil, remember to remove any unabsorbed Oil after 30 Mins.  NB: Used Boiled Linseed Oil cloths can be a fire risk, dispose of any soiled cloths as per instructions on bottle.

Apply a generous coat of LTP Antique Wax with a micro fibre cloth and leave for 15 minutes, then buff well using a soft brush or buffing machine.

Grouting – After at least one hour after waxing grout in the joints and sponge off residues. After allowing the floor to dry (Approx 30 minutes), dust off any residual grout from the surface, making sure that all grouting smears have been removed and then leave to dry for a couple of hours.

Final Sealing Stage – When the grout has cured/dried apply a final coat of LTP Antique Wax over the tile and grout joints, rubb in a with a fluff-free cloth and buff with a soft brush or buffing machine. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least three days.

Close up of Teatree Terracotta 200 x 200 x 20mm once sealed

Close up of Teatree Terracotta 200 x 200 x 20mm once sealed

General Maintenance – Do not wash your floor with detergents or bleach as these will strip the waxes, for best results maintain with LTP Waxwash for general cleaning and maintenance once a week.

The foregoing advice, whilst given in good faith and from experience gained in various installation situations is for guidance purposes only. If in doubt at any stage of floor laying, experiment before proceeding further or seek further advice. Neither the supplier nor the manufacturers will be liable for any dissatisfaction resulting from these instructions nor will they in any circumstances accept responsibility for any damaged or incorrect tiles once they have been fixed.

A Collection Of Images From Finished Projects.

TERRACOTTA
Terracotta Hand made 30x30

Terracotta Hand made 30×30

Terracotta Hand made 30x30

Terracotta Hand made 30×30

 

DSCN2173

 

TRAVERTINE/LIMESTONE

Dinning Room Floor 3 SAMSUNG TECHWIN DIGIMAX-340 Around Swimming Pool 2 Wet Room Walls & Floors 1 wet room 1 Kitchen Diner Floor 1

Olive Flagstone

Olive Limestone Flagstone

SLATE

DSC_1415

Brazilian Black Slate

Brazilian Black Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

GLAZED WALL & FLOOR TILES

DSCN2286

Oxida

Oxida

Bronzea

Bronzea

canamia secoyva (1) IMG_20140319_200115

 

DSC_1413 DSC_1392 DSC_1390 DSC_1388

 

For More Images Please Visit Our Facebook Page Wellington-Tile-Company Or Our Twitter Page @Wellytile

What Colour Grout Should I Use?

Deciding what grout colour to use is purely a personal preference, but there are a few hints and advice we have accumulated over the years, on how to achieve the look your after.

BronziaBronzia

 

 

 

 

The above images show the effects of different grout colours, the picture on the left has a very light grout colour and frames the tiles. Whereas the image on the right has grout more to the colour of the tiles and so blends in with the tiles. Grouting is an important part of the decision process. 

If you wish for the tiles to stand out and be “framed” then go for a contrasting colour, but be careful as sometimes all you will see is the grout and not the other way around, try with some grout swatches first, or have a look in our showroom, as we have nearly all the tiles on display with grouting to show the different choices available.


jose sempra 15x30

 

 

 

 

Another important aspect of tiling is choice of grout size, often wrong grout width choice can ruin the look of a tiled area. Have a go with a few tiles on the floor, put a 3mm joint between them and have a look, keep going until you find the space you prefer the most.

In our showroom you will see many displays of tiles with various grout widths and our fully trained staff will be more than willing to advice you on the correct choice to give you your required look.

Or call us on 01823 667242 

Alternatively visit Our website www.wellingtontile-online.co.uk

Is My Floor Suitable For Underfloor Heating?

Yes, Underfloor heating can be installed under just about any floor covering.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Underfloor heating is simply a heating system installed underneath, rather than above the flooring, providing radiant heat to the room. Once installed electric underfloor heating will perform significantly better than radiators. If you are considering installing underfloor heating in your home, but are unsure as to whether it is really worth your while, take a look at the many advantages below:

Comfortable temperature 

The heat given off by underfloor heating makes for a much more comfortable depth of warmth in the home. The heat is distributed closer to the bottom of the room than the top, so all of the heat given off is felt.

Energy efficiency                                                                insulation

In general, less heat is lost via ventilation when an underfloor heating system is used. This means rooms stay warmer, improving energy efficiency.

It is also the case that underfloor heating uses less energy, again improving energy efficiency and, lowering household energy bills.

Room control

With underfloor heating, it is possible to control the temperature of each room individually, from a central location. This means that people who like their bedroom to be cooler than their living room, for example, can easily adjust their system to their preference.

Interior design

Finally, an often overlooked benefit of underfloor heating is the fact that there are no bulky radiators cluttering up the room, so homeowners are freer to make the best use of their space.

Sizes available

They are supplied in outputs of 100w, 150W or 200W per square metre and come in a large range of sizes allowing you to select the perfect underfloor heating system whatever your room dimensions. For the prices of the 100W, 150W and the 200W please call 01823 667242 or email us at info@wellingtontile.co.uk.

In normal circumstances they do not add any build height to your tiled floor as they are so thin that they are contained within the tile adhesive layer.

HOW DO I LAY STONE FLOOR TILES, PORCELAIN OR CERAMIC FLOOR TILES?

 

DT DISPLAY final look

Customers in our showroom often ask “Can I tile myself or do I need to employ a tiler?” 

If you have time, patience & some DIY skills then tiling is a job which can be done by the customer.need to employ a tiler?”

Listed below are some helpful hints to DIY tile fitting.

Planning and preparation is key.

First make sure you know your floor substrate and the correct preparation required prior to tiling.

All surfaces, including existing tiles, must be clean, firm, dry, free from dust, dirt, oil and grease, and strong enough to support the weight of the tiles and the adhesive. When tiling on to timber floors the surface should be prepared to provide a rigid and secure base without any deflection.

Some Questions to ask

Q:What is my floor substrate?

A: Useful link: (www.tiles.org/help) 

Q:Is it suitable to tile straight on to?

A: Most substrates can be tiled onto but will need different preparations (www.tiles.co.uk/help)

Q:Can I tile on top of existing tiles?

A: Yes provided they are soundly fitted to the floor and you prepare the (surface correctly

Q:Can I have underfloor heating under tiles?

A: Underfloor heating system are available to go under most floor surfaces for further details email: info@wellingtontile.co.uk

 

Q:How many square metres do I require?

A: By measuring the room dimensions and sending them to Info@wellingontile.co.uk we will calculate your requirements and will include a suggested 10% cutting allowance or try our tile calculator

Q:Will I need expansion joints?

A:normally around the edge of the room it is good practice. (www.uofcts.org

Q:What tools will I need

A: Notched Trowel, Grout Float, Hydro Sponge, Spacers,  Cutter, and for natural stone tiles additional: Cleaning & sealing kits 

Now you are ready make sure you have the correct tiles,tools, adhesive and grout ready for your job.

Laying

Find the centre point of the room and section into quarters.

Work one quarter at a time, if possible lay your tiles out without adhesive first to check the finished effect and to arrange the cuts at the edge of the room.

You would normally lay from different boxes to avoid shade variation rather than one box at a time.

Spread the adhesive evenly using a notch trowel or spreader. Laying Adhesive still(08-01-2014 15-12) JPEGPlace the tile in position, giving it a slight twist to bed in to the adhesive. Continue laying your tiles leaving a grout joint of your choice (NEVER butt joint). 

Helpful tip: spread a thin layer of adhesive on the back of the tiles as well to achieve perfect bond.


Check from time to time that your tiles are level (by using a spirit level) and that there are no hollows under the tiles.

Lay the quarters until all that is left are the cuts around the Tiling still 2 (08-01-2014 14-54) JPEGedges of the room.

Clean the tiles regularly to avoid adhesive remaining on the tiles and remove excess adhesive in the joints.

It is recommend to leave the tiles for 24 hours before cutting and laying the edge tiles.


Grouting

Allow the adhesive to dry (cure) before grouting.

If the tiles require sealing such as natural stone, terracottapolished porcelain & slate then applying 1st coat of sealer before grouting- this not only helps ensure the grout does not stain the tile, but it also helps with the cleaning of the excess grout.

Grouting still 2 (08-01-2014 15-01) JPEG

Using your grout float apply enough grout as you can effectively work with.

Press the grout into the joints (in a diagonal direction) to an even level with the tile. Remove the excess from the tile with the grout float.

Washing Grout Still (08-01-2014 15-23) JPEG

Wait for the grout to stiffen then using a damp sponge work across the joints being careful not to drag the grout out of the joints. Clean as you work checking the grout joints are full and smoothly finished.

Useful link (www.tile.org.uk/joints) 

Leave for the entire floor to cure. Grout residue (hazing) can be removed with LTP Grout St Remover (on the appropriate tiles).

 

The foregoing advice, whilst given in good faith and from experience gained in various installation situations is for guidance purposes only. If in doubt at any stage of floor laying, experiment before proceeding further or seek further advice. Neither the supplier nor the manufacturers will be liable for any dissatisfaction resulting from these instructions nor will they in any circumstances accept responsibility for any damaged or incorrect tiles once they have been fixed.