Fixing Large Format Tiles

Over recent years, the combination of improved tile production technology and interior design trends has seen a huge increase in demand for larger format tiles.

Extra consideration has to be made when fixing these bigger tiles and we have outlined a few of the points to bear in mind.

Substrate

Prior to fixing large tiles, it is important to ensure the suitability of the surface to be tiled (there are industry specifications for weight per m2 depending on the surface being tiled ). Extra time should be spent checking the flatness of the wall or floor, the larger the tile the flatter the surface will have to be. Good tilers can overcome problems, but it is a matter of compromise, experience and skill.

Adhesive

Many of the large format tiles are what as known as porcelain tiles. These tiles are fired at very high temperatures which makes the tile very hard and virtually non-porous. Because of this, it is important to use an adhesive specifically designed for use with porcelain tiles. Commonly this would be a cement based, polymer enhanced tile adhesive such as Bostik’s One Part Flexible (OPF). Once water is added to the powder it creates a chemical reaction, which cures the adhesive, unlike most tub adhesives which cure based on the water within the adhesive drying out which can potentially be a problem when the tiles are non-porous and large sized.

Cutting

The cutting of porcelain tiles is much harder than standard ceramic tiles. Professional tile cutters such as the Rubi TX700 make the job simple because of the longer cutting bed, larger breaking bar and re-enforced carriage rails which allow for increased breaking pressure.

Drilling Porcelain Tiles 

Drilling holes in porcelain tiles can also be tricky because the tiles themselves are so hard, although this problem can be minimised by careful placement of grout joints. Where holes are needed for the fitting of sanitary-ware etc, we would recommend the use of purpose made diamond borers such the Armeg Porcelain Tile Drilling Range available from our Tiling Accessories section.

So what about the look ? Does it justify the choice ?

Emphatically yes! While the fixing of large format tiles, paricularly porcelain tiles probably requires more skill and specialised tools than smaller ceramic tiles, the extra effort is well worth it.

With less grout joints and larger sizes, small tiled areas can appear to look larger and less fussy, so as to compliment a room, not overtake it.

Please note that this advice is for general information only and whilst we aim to ensure accuracy ,it may contain errors or inappropriate information for use under certain circumstances. No responsibility for loss or damage whatsover can be accepted for reliance upon it.