KBB - March 2010 - (Page 38)
Get the skinny on how to install thin porcelain tiles
There is no question that for the “wet areas” of the home—the kitchen, bath and foyers—ceramic tile has been and will continue to be the surfacing material of choice. Durable, easy to clean and maintain, and available in a multitude of sizes, shapes, textures, designs and colors, it is one construction product offering that always seems to make sense. And when it’s professionally installed with stateof-the-art systems consisting of a fast-curing adhesive, waterproofing that protects the substrate and a high-performance, nonporous grout that comes in a full spectrum of non-fading colors, virtually any ceramic tile project will last for decades. On top of that, many of today’s best tiles and installation systems
Ideal for wet areas, ultra-thin tiles are offered in numerous sizes and styles and can be installed on existing ﬂoor coverings. Photos: Eliane USA
durable yet ultra-thin large-format, fully rectified porcelain tiles. Many measure less than 1/ 5 in. thick and still represent the per fect blend of technical finesse and design aesthetic. Some are offered in formats as large as 24 in. x 24 in., and all are lightweight and ideal for use both as indoor wall tile or in any kitchen or bath flooring project. Most notably, the cost of removing or demolishing existing floor coverings can be eliminated, since this unique category of tile can be directly installed over the previous floor or wall product. But what about installation?
THICK AND THIN
First, some history. More than 50 years ago, when tile was called for in the home, a thick mortar bed had to be used to ensure a strong installation. Housing construction had to be set up to accommodate this procedure. Translated, this meant rooms such as the “wet areas” had to be built with a recessed substrate. Over time, installation procedures changed, offering an alternative process to the thick mortar bed method. For the most part, since the adoption of those changes, most tile installations now utilize the “thinset method,” which, in very condensed wording, replaces the thick mortar bed with an efficient, thinner stratum of bonding material. This process, which was invented by Dr. Henry M. Rothberg, founder and chairman emeritus of Laticrete International, Inc., revolutionized tile installation worldwide. For new construction, areas that were formerly designated for thick mortar beds and required being recessed to a lower level than surrounding substrates could now be on the same plane. The amount of weight on the substrate when the thinset method was put in place was much less than that when a thick mortar bed was used.
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contain antimicrobial components such as Microban. This means your fantastic, long-lasting installation helps to prevent mold, mildew and harmful bacteria strains. It all sounds too good to be true! So what’s next? With all of this progress and upgrading, what could possibly be more beneﬁcial for the kitchen and bath relative to ceramic tile installations? The answer is a product category that has received high marks in those countries around the world that consume a greater amount of ceramic tile per capita than we do in the United States: thin porcelain tiles.
WHAT ARE THIN TILES?
What are these thin tiles, exactly? Most, which recently have been successfully introduced throughout Europe and the Middle East, are
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - March 2010
KBB - March 2010
Table of Contents
Easy, Breezy, Beautiful
KBB - March 2010