Professional installation of porcelain stoneware tiles

Since the advent of porcelain stoneware in the 1980s, these special ceramic tiles have grown rapidly in popularity because of their excellent properties. However, when laying porcelain stoneware tiles, the special features of these ceramic shards must be taken into account. This is reflected in the laying technique as well as in the additional building materials used, such as tile adhesive.

Porcelain stoneware - what you should know before buying and installing

Porcelain stoneware tiles look like traditional ceramic tiles, but they are different

Tiles and slabs of earthenware and stoneware

Basically, they can distinguish between three different variants in ceramic tiles, which show themselves through a different production technology. Conventional ceramic tiles are usually earthenware or stoneware, with stoneware having the inferior quality features. Tiles from stoneware are at 950 to 1.100 degrees Celsius burned.

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In addition, fluxes that take the porosity to the shards. Therefore, a stoneware tile takes over 10 percent water, which is why she is not frost-proof. Also, it is not so hard and dense (based on the physical density of the material) like stoneware. Stoneweller becomes about 1.150 to 1.Fired at 300 degrees, flux is also added. As a result, these tiles absorb a maximum of 3% water.

Porcelain stoneware

Porcelain stoneware tiles are significantly harder. They are extremely pressed and at least 1.200 degrees and 1.Fired at 300 degrees. This process reaches the quality of sintering. Hence the extreme hardness. Conventional porcelain stoneware tiles absorb less than 0.5 percent of water. For these reasons, they are now preferred to other ceramic tiles in many living and working areas.

However, the low water absorption also suggests low porosity. When laying porcelain stoneware, this means that conventional tile adhesives cannot be used. Normal tile adhesive penetrates the pores and attracts there. Like needles, there is a firm connection to the adhesive in the adhesive bed. However, this only works inadequately with porcelain stoneware tiles.

Lay tiles and slabs made of porcelain stoneware

The tile adhesive for porcelain stoneware

This is why you have to use a highly flexible adhesive for the long-term successful laying of porcelain stoneware. The specialist trade often speaks of a special tile adhesive for porcelain stoneware. Most of the time, however, the point is to only advertise your own product efficiently. This adhesive is then described in such a way that it is specially coated with plastic. But this is nothing more than a flexible adhesive for tiles.

However, you should never fall back on "no-name" products, because only the well-known manufacturers guarantee the necessary high quality of the coating that is required. The adhesive itself is then applied using the buttering-floating process: on the substrate by combing ridges with a notched trowel or notched trowel, as well as on the back of the tile with ridges at right angles to those on the floor.

Installation techniques for porcelain stoneware indoors and with underfloor heating

In addition to the tile adhesive, the laying technique is also important. In particular with existing underfloor heating, you should only lay square tiles or slabs made of porcelain stoneware. If you decide on rectangular tiles, they should never exceed 1.5 times the width. A particular problem arises in the even connection, i.e. a quarter, three-quarters or half offset from one row of tiles to the next.

The expansion of the tiles can usually be done by the stoneware. At the latest, when it cools down, cracks will form. With conventionally laid tiles (from row to row at the same distance) the invisible cracks form in the joint. In the case of offset rectangular tiles, however, the cracks form through the tiles.

Installation technology for porcelain stoneware outside and on surfaces with significant temperature fluctuations

If you are installing porcelain stoneware tiles without underfloor heating, you should also take this into account in areas that can become very hot and cold. Typical areas would be outside areas or especially in front of large window fronts to the south. If you use a flexible branded tile adhesive, note the tile joints and the circumferential expansion joint and choose the right tile format (as square as possible), you will enjoy your porcelain stoneware slabs or tiles in the long term.

Tips & Tricks Please also note the special features of polished porcelain stoneware. Polished porcelain stoneware on tiles or slabs means nothing else than that the surface was sanded during the manufacturing process. As a result, these tiles or slabs are now open-pored and must be impregnated immediately after laying. Also test the grout (€ 6.99 at Amazon *) on test tiles to see whether you can remove the grout without any problems (as it will be the case after the actual grouting). In this case, match the grout to the porcelain stoneware and choose the grout recommended for the tile from your specialist dealer (€ 17.59 at Amazon *) . You will find further informative articles on [impregnating porcelain stoneware] in the in-house journal.

Tiles are between 0.8 and 1.2 cm thick. Above that, they are no longer called tiles, but slabs.

When laying porcelain stoneware on soft or vibrating floors (wood, chipboard, sometimes laying panels) there is a risk of cracks. The information here is based on an even, clean screed sub-floor, as is standard in newer houses.