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Last edited 24 Mar 2023
 What are floor tiles?
Floor tiles are a type of hard, modular surface covering used to cover floors in homes, commercial buildings, and other structures. They are typically made in relatively small, repeating units, from materials like ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass, vinyl, or cement, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and designs. Floor tiles are popular because they are durable, easy to clean, and can add aesthetic appeal to a room. They are commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, entryways, and other areas that see heavy foot traffic.
The ancient Egyptians also used ceramic tiles for flooring, with evidence of tiled floors dating back to around 2,500 BC. The were typically made from clay or mud, and were often decorated with geometric patterns or images of animals.
The Romans used floor tiles extensively in their buildings. They developed a technique called tessellation, which involved arranging small square tiles in repeating patterns to create intricate designs.
During the Islamic Golden Age (8th-15th century), floor tiles reached new heights of beauty and sophistication. Islamic tiles were known for their intricate geometric patterns and were often used to decorate mosques and palaces.
In the 15th century, Italian artists and architects began to experiment with new techniques for creating ornate tile designs. They developed a method called maiolica, which involved painting designs onto glazed ceramic tiles before firing them in a kiln.
The Industrial Revolution brought about significant changes in the production of floor tiles. Mass production techniques made tiles more affordable and accessible to a wider range of people, and new materials such as vinyl and linoleum were developed.
Today, floor tiles are available in a wide range of materials, styles, and colours, and are used in homes and commercial spaces all over the world. Modern manufacturing techniques have made it possible to create tiles that are highly durable and low maintenance.
 Properties of floor tiles
- One of the most significant benefits of floor tiles is their durability. They are made from materials such as ceramic, porcelain, or stone, making them resistant to scratches, dents, and other types of damage. This can make them a good choice for high traffic areas such as entrances, kitchens, and bathrooms.
- Floor tiles are generally low maintenance, requiring only occasional. They can be wiped down with a damp cloth or swept.
- They can be arranged in different patterns and designs to create unique and eye-catching designs.
- They can be a cost-effective option, are long lasting, and can be installed quickly and easily.
- Many floor tiles are made from natural materials such as clay, stone.
There are several different types of floor tiles:
- Ceramic tiles are made from clay that has been fired at high temperature, making them durable and long-lasting.
- Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tile that is denser and more water-resistant than standard ceramic tiles. They are often used in bathrooms and other areas where water is present, such as shower enclosures.
- Natural stone tiles are made from materials such as granite, marble, travertine, and slate. They are extremely durable and have a unique, natural look.
- Glass tiles come in a variety of colours and shapes. They are often used as accent tiles in bathrooms or other areas.
- Vinyl tiles can be a cost-effective flooring option that is easy to instal and maintain. They come in a variety of colours and patterns, and some are designed to look like natural stone or wood. They can be indented or have raised profiles to increase grip and to introduce variety.
- Cement tiles are a type of handmade tile made from cement, sand, and pigments. They are often used in kitchens and bathrooms.
 How to fit floor tiles
The process of fitting floor tiles will depend on the type of tile being used and the surface it is being installed on. However, here are some general steps that are typically involved in fitting floor tiles:
- The surface that the tiles will be installed on must be clean, dry, and free of debris. If the surface is uneven, it may need to be levelled with a patching compound.
- Use a measuring tape or rule and a chalk line to measure the area where the tiles will be installed and mark out a grid pattern. This will help ensure that the tiles are straight and even.
- If the tiles need to be cut to fit around the edges of the room or around obstacles like pipes or fixtures, use a tile cutter or tile saw to make precise cuts.
- Apply a thin layer of adhesive to a small section of the floor using a trowel. Be sure to only apply as much adhesive as can be covered with tiles in a short amount of time.
- Begin laying the tiles in the pattern specified in the grid pattern. Place spacers between the tiles to ensure even spacing and use a level to make sure they are even.
- Work in small sections, applying adhesive and laying tiles until the entire area is covered. Be sure to check the level periodically to ensure the tiles remain even.
- Once the tiles are in place, allow the adhesive to dry completely, and then remove the spacers. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's instructions and apply it to the gaps between the tiles using a rubber float. Wipe away any excess grout with a damp sponge.
- If necessary, apply a sealant to the tiles to protect them from stains and moisture.
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