Tiling: A modern way to cover walls and floors

Classic glossy wood look finishes: tiles come in many colors and designs.

The classic: Glazed tile

Easy to clean tiles that are not always abrasion resistant.

Ceramic tiles have a smooth, closed surface, so they are easy to clean with a broom or damp cloth. However, enamel is not necessarily resistant to scratches and abrasion, which is why glazed tiles are divided into different categories of abrasion resistance. Category 1 types are suitable as wall and floor tiles for low traffic areas, such as bathrooms, where people usually walk barefoot or with soft slippers. Category 2 types are also suitable for floors in rooms with low traffic but in which heavy footwear is used.

HSL-Technik recommends using abrasion category 3 or 4 tiles for hallways and stairways, and using category 5 tiles, the most abrasion resistant, in garages or public buildings.

The robust version: Unglazed tile

Tiles of which the surface structure is resistant to abrasion and wear, but which have cleaning properties that are somewhat problematic.

Unglazed tiles have an irregular surface, with the same hardness and strength as the base material. Sealing makes unglazed tiles resistant to dirt and stains. Impregnation is particularly important for polished porcelain stoneware tiles, as their pores are opened by removing the protective layer. Ideally, the tiles are colored in such a way that even deep scratches or nicks remain inconspicuous. We usually apply the sealer before grouting unless the tiles are already impregnated at the factory.

Our tiler recommends sealed, unglazed tile for rooms where heavy footwear is used, but where there is a slight risk of oil or colored liquids penetrating the material.

Ideal for bathrooms and kitchens: Wall tile

Smooth surfaces off which you can easily clean grease stains and calcium deposits

Since wall tiles do not have to withstand the pressure of footwear, there are no requirements for scratch or abrasion resistance. To ensure easy cleaning, the surfaces are sealed with a glaze. Therefore, relatively thin glazed tiles with low abrasion resistance are generally suggested for wall tiling. Wall tiles are lighter and cheaper than floor tiles because they are less dense. They are easy to clean and add beauty to any bathroom or kitchen. This is why they are available in many colors and sizes.

For an aesthetic wall decor, we like to combine plain-colored tiles with border or patterned tiles, which many manufacturers offer to match with plain-colored designs.

Durability and longevity: Floor tile

Ideal flooring for rooms with underfloor heating, hallways, bathrooms, showers and kitchens.

Floor tiles are significantly thicker and more load bearing than wall tiles. There are glazed floor tiles of different abrasion categories that are easy to clean, and unglazed tiles that are extremely resistant. Tiled floors were traditionally reserved for kitchens, bathrooms and hallways, as they were considered too uncomfortable for living areas. This has changed with modern design (e.g., wood look tiles), and the fact that an increasing number of homes are heated through the floor. Floor tiles are now also popular in living and relaxation areas. They are also preferable to other types of flooring near fireplaces, as they are unlikely to cause ember burns. In addition, ash and soot can be easily removed from this type of flooring.

Our tiler will be happy to show you the wide range of tile flooring options that are available.

Easy to install: Glazed stoneware tile

Very popular indoors, as it is available in many sizes and designs.

Glazed stoneware tiles are classic glazed tiles with fine, crystallized chips. The production is done either in single firing where the glaze is applied directly after shaping, or in the double-firing process. In the latter case, the glaze is applied after a first firing, followed by another slab. Glaze firing takes place in a temperature ranging from 850 to 1150 degrees Celsius. Since glazed stoneware is soft and susceptible to damage, glazing is necessary to protect the material.

The material is relatively soft and easy to cut. As such, cutouts to go around electrical outlets or piping are easy to make. However, glazed stoneware tiles are porous; they absorb water easily, and therefore are not frost resistant and not suitable for outdoor use.

Hard and frost-resistant: Porcelain stoneware tile

Quality tiles with low porosity, therefore suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Porcelain stoneware differs from glazed stoneware mainly by its higher firing temperatures, between 1,150 and 1,300 °C. This makes the material harder and can absorb as much water as possible. The porosity is further reduced by the addition of fluorite and other fluxing agents. Stoneware tiles are available in glazed and unglazed versions. Without glaze, the tiles are slip-resistant. Porcelain stoneware consists of ceramic materials containing higher proportions of quartz, feldspar and other fluxing agents, which absorb even less water.

HSL-Technik recommends porcelain stoneware tiles for areas subject to very high levels of wear and for outdoor use. For example, they are better suited than glazed stoneware tiles for floors where there are wood stoves.

As natural as any stone found in nature: Natural stone tile

Since they’re simply cut from stone, these tiles retain all their natural properties.

Unlike ceramic tiles, the production of natural stone tiles does not require a complicated working process. Generally speaking, multi-blade stone circular saws cut discs about 10mm thick from slices of natural stone. These tiles have the same exact properties as those of stones found in nature. Marble, for example, is sensitive to acids, while granite tiles are extremely resistant. Volcanic stone is considered the hardest natural stone, with very good resistance to abrasion and weathering, as well as to acid and heat. In addition, granite tiles come in many colors to choose from.

Our tilers recommend granite if you are looking for a tile that is extremely resistant and easy to maintain, and that has a stunning natural look.

Create a modern atmosphere with mosaic tiles

Use extra small size tiles for a creative and unique room design.

The generic term ‘mosaic tiles’ refers to all very small size tiles, which are usually glued to 30 x 30 cm mesh supports. They can be made of glass, natural stones or ceramic. In addition to the many possibilities for arranging mosaic surfaces, this type of design has the advantage of being able to tile small, angled surfaces very easily. Mosaic tiles are not recommended on walls and floors that are exposed to water, for example, in bathrooms. The reason for this is the high proportion of porous joints compared to the density that mosaic tiles have. In general, mosaics make a room look messy and smaller. This can be both a disadvantage and an advantage.

Indistinguishable from woodwork: Wood look tile

As beautiful and cozy as natural wood, but with all the benefits of tile.

Wood paneling set up in a damp room provides a pleasant look. This is the trend of transforming a bathroom into a genuine place of well-being. Unfortunately, wood is not as easy to maintain as tile. It degrades when frequently exposed to water and high humidity. Wood look tiles are the ideal solution because they combine the warm appearance of wood with the favorable properties of tiles. They are scratch resistant, water-repellent and very easy to clean. This makes it a great flooring in bathrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms because you can clean wet floors without worrying. Wood look tiles are also ideal as wall tiles, as they add a warm and pleasant touch to the room.

Walls as if carved out of rock: Stone look tile

Rustic wall design reminiscent of a natural stone wall or a rock wall.

Stone look tiles should not be confused with natural stone tiles. The latter have a smooth surface like ceramic tiles but are made of natural stones. Stone look tiles, on the other hand, can be made of a ceramic material or of natural stone. It always has an irregular surface reminiscent of natural stone. Depending on the finish, the tiles can look similar to fired bricks or rock-like material. The finished tiled wall may look like an uncoated brick or stone wall. Stone look tiles are suitable for bathrooms and living rooms, as well as outdoor spaces, such as terraces. Stone look wall tiles are often combined with wood look floor tiles.

If you want to ensure that you receive professional quality tile installation, contact us via the form!

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