• Sandstone

    Sandstone

  • Sandstone Before

    Sandstone Before

  • Sandstone After

    Sandstone After

SANDSTONE, LIMESTONE

SANDSTONE — is mined (cut) from rocky beds formed millions of years ago. These rocky slabs are then machine cut to size, its texture and hardness are attributed to its origin. Sandstone consists of sand bonded together with minerals such as silica, clay and iron oxides by mother nature. Some sandstone even contain fossils of plants. Sandstone has natural earthy appeal and is available in many colours (light creams to deep reds) and sizes. No two sandstone tiles are alike. Sandstone has excellent anti-slip properties making it suitable for use on patios and pool surrounds. Sandstone is available in its rough natural finish through to honed (smooth and matt) to polished (smooth and gloss). Sizes vary from 150mm x 200mm to 600mm x 600mm tiles. Sandstone is generally very porous and needs to be sealed with suitable sealers. There are two recommended sealers for sandstone. They are HP Sealer and Top Seal. Top Seal will not change the colour of the tile (which is important in this type of tile), and will have a satin finish. HP Sealer will colour enhance the tile and sometime cause the tile to acquire a greenish tinge. That is why it is important to test in an inconspicuous area before sealing the whole floor. Natural Stone Sealer Matt and Natural Stone Sealer Satin can also be used for colour enhancement

LIMESTONE — is very similar to sandstone in almost every aspect, except that it consists mainly of calcite so it is particularly sensitive to acids.

  • Cement

    Cement

CEMENT TILES

CEMENT TILES are available in many earthy colours, shapes and sizes. The cement tiles are full bodied and generally quite thick and heavy. Although the surfaces are rather smooth the body of the tile contains stone chips. They have a cottage/rustic appeal. Cement tiles are manufactured using white cement, colour fast dyes and hardening agents. The mixture is poured into moulds, shaken to rid it of air bubbles and excess water and then allowed to set in the mould. After the cement is sufficiently set the tile is taken out of the mould and stacked to dry.Once dry, a protective coating of Top Seal is applied to the tile to protect the surface during transportation and most importantly during installation.

Cement tiles are the only tiles to which we prescribe a pre-seal. The reason is that most other tiles may be washed with Grout Off (acid) to rid it from grout stains. If an unprotected cement tile is washed with an acid it will be damaged and is likely to lose its colour and surface texture. When protecting cement it is of the utmost importance to protect the surface, thereby protecting the colour. If the surface is not protected then it is likely to be abraded away and will expose a different colour and possibly the stone aggregate below. The two ways to protect cement are to apply a surface sealer that will protect the tile from the top, or to apply a penetrating sealer that will bond and strengthen the tile. See choice of sealer below.

PORCELAIN TILES

PORCELAIN TILES are manufactured from raw materials that do not differ much from that of vitreous china. The tiles are pressed dust, mixed with colouring oxides in order to give them their colour. They are full bodied and have excellent mechanical and chemical properties. Porcelain tiles can come in various finishes, mostly natural, honed or polished. These processes give them their level of gloss. Porcelain tiles are extremely low in porosity and absorb less than 0.5%. All the above factors make the tile suitable for almost any application from exterior home patios to airport floors and walls. Although unglazed porcelain tiles are highly vitrified they still need to be treated in order to prevent them from becoming dirty and then ultimately staining. The treatments specified for porcelain tiles are Nano Boost or Invisible Sealer.

Nano Boost and Invisible Sealer are the only sealers that are able to penetrate (impregnate) and seal the tile from within. The sealants are very effective repellents and help keep the tile clean. These sealants will make no visual change to the aesthetic finish of the porcelain. Nano Boost is a refined version of Invisible Sealer and has nano particles to penetrate into nano porcelain. Porcelain tiles can also be glazed during manufacturing. Glazed porcelain tiles do not need to be treated.

GRANITE, MARBLE & TRAVERTINE

GRANITE comes from previous molten lava that made its way to just beneath the crust of the earth. The molten lava crystallized under pressure while it was cooling down over 750 million years ago. The granite that is now close to the surface is mined from the earth in large slabs. The granite is then cut to thinner slabs and then again to make tiles and counter tops and other decorative ornaments. The tiles and countertops are mechanically polished to give them their high gloss finish.

MARBLE occurs when limestone which is sedimentary stone is recrystallised due to extreme heat and pressure. The stone is mined from the earth in a similar manner to granite. Marble is mechanically polished to a high gloss but also available in matt and in many different colours. Marble is relatively soft and needs to be protected from wear and tear as well as staining. Marble is extremely sensitive to acids and easily etched by common products such as cool drinks, lemon juice and vinegar.

 TRAVERTINE falls between limestone which is which is metamorphic. Travertine is characterised by sedimentary and marble vein like holes which are caused by hot springs travelling through it. Its manufacture and properties are similar to those of granite.

  • Terracotta

    Terracotta

TERRACOTTA TILES

True TERRACOTTA TILES are full bodied (the same colour and material through the tile) and made from clay and then baked in a kiln. They are very hard wearing so do not need surface protection.

They are generally anti-slip and often used outdoors and in wet areas (e.g. pool and patio areas). Terracotta tiles come in many shapes, colours and sizes. Some terracotta tiles are punched (compressed and cut) by hydraulic presses and this makes them smooth, uniform and low in porosity. Others are shaped by extrusion before baking and these are generally higher in porosity. Extruded tiles appear generally more rustic than punched tiles. The porosity of terracotta varies according to the make and model so accurate coverage of sealers is difficult to predict. See our sealer selection chart for sealer coverages. Top Seal, Deep Seal, HP Sealer, Invisible Sealer or Natural Stone Sealer may all be used. The coverage and finish required being the deciding factors when choosing a sealer.

  • Slate

    Slate

  • Slate - Before

    Slate – Before

  • Slate - After

    Slate – After

  • Multi Coloured Slate - Before

    Multi Coloured Slate – Before

  • Multi Coloured Slate - After

    Multi Coloured Slate – After

SLATE TILES

SLATE derives its properties during the change from sedimentary rock, shale and clay to metamorphic rock due to extreme heat and pressure. Slate is mined (cut) from the earth in large slabs and then split. The layer at which the slab is split determines the colour of the surface of the tile. After the slab has been split it is then cut to size by machine. There are many shapes and sizes of slate and also many colours. The colours vary from black, silver, greens and many different browns and red. The most appealing thing about slate is its natural variations in colour. No one tile is identical to another. Slate is sold most commonly with its natural textured finish, but can also be honed (smooth and matt) or polished (smooth and gloss). When protecting slate it is of the utmost importance to protect the surface, thereby protecting the colour. If the surface is not protected then it is likely to be abraded away and will expose a different colour below. For example a brown tile may be abraded away and expose a black core. The two ways to protect slate are to apply a surface sealer that will protect the tile from the top, or to apply a penetrating sealer that will bond and strengthen the tile. Hence there are three sealers that are specified for slate tiles, they are Deep Seal, HP Sealer and Top Seal. Honed and low porosity slate use Deep Seal — natural (unhoned) and high porosity slate use HP Sealer, Top Seal or Natural Stone Sealer.

BASIC PRINCIPLES ON SEALING FLOORS

PREPARATION – These principles are a generalization and are suitable for most applications however anomalies can occur, so please contact TFC if in doubt.

After installation there will always be grout residues, no matter how well the installer cleans. It is essential to remove the grout residues along with any other type of impurities before sealing. Impurities and residues will impair the finish and will cause blotchiness and streakiness, and may lead to sealer failure. Sealers cannot penetrate and bond with the tile if there are any impurities and residues in the floor or if the floor is acidic as it has not been neutralised. The preparation guide that follows applies only to tiles that are resistant to acids. Other techniques apply to acid sensitive tiles. IF IN DOUBT PHONE TFC.

  1. Allow 10 – 14 days drying time after installation before cleaning and sealing.
  2. Acid wash with Grout Off.
  3. Rinse
  4. Neutralize and degrease with Easy Clean.
  5. Rinse until there are no more bubbles and residues of cleaners
  6. Allow to dry-
    1. 8 – 12 hours when using water based sealers
    2. 48 hours when using solvent based sealers
  7. Seal using the correct applicator and waiting the correct time in between coats
    1. Acrylic / surface sealers = 3 to 4 coats
    2. Penetrating sealers =1 or more until the tile will not absorb any more sealer.

SEALING TECHNIQUES

Always use sheepskin applicators.

Do not use paint rollers or brushes or sponges.

SURFACE SEALERS – Apply medium coats in opposite directions (north to south and then east to west) ensuring to get sealer into the grout lines. Apply as many coats as necessary to seal and protect the tile (generally 3 to 4 coats).

PENETRATING SEALERS – Penetrating sealers are designed to penetrate and not to sit on the surface. So only apply as much sealer as the tile will accept. The safest, most practical way is to apply very thin coats in opposite directions until the tile is filled with sealer and will not absorb any more sealer. (At this stage the sealer sits on top of the tile).