Help with tile choice

23 Jan 2009
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United Kingdom
Hi, we are about to embark on a bathroom project and I have some questions re tile choice and tiling.

We have been drawn to two choices from the tiles we've seen; Travertine or Porcelain.

I understand that the travertine ones need sealing, both the wall before they are put up, but also maintainance afterwards. What does this involve and how often?
The travertine ones we've seen vary quite a lot in price although I notice that some seem to have a lot of filling - Is this the sign of a cheaper tile and therefore more difficult to keep waterproofed?

The porcelain ones we've seen are large 600 x 600 tiles. The fitter has said this is tricky to lay on an upstairs floor. He has said he'll lay them on 9mm WBP, but you still get movement in an upstairs floor, which means the grout may crack. He has said a 400 x 400 tile would be a better option to try and deal with any flex.

Finally, the fitter has asked if the tiles have rectifed edge, as these are apparently harder and more time consuming to lay?.... could someone please explain. :confused:

Many thanks

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I would spend a bit more time choosing your fitter before deciding on the tiles. 9mm ply is not thick enough to prevent movement and cracking. If over boarding it should be 12-15 mm.

Movement in a suspended timber floor has to be dealt with, fitting smaller tiles in the hope the movement wont effect the tile or grout is not the right way to approach things.

A rectified edge means the edges of the tiles have been processed to give them a very straight edge. This means they can be installed with a smaller grout joint. It also means it is harder to install them perfectly flat with no lipping. Why does the fitter want to know, is it to modify his quote accordingly or is it because he isn't confident fitting them?
agree with iwaters on above.

travertine varies massively in quality, but none of that affects waterproofing, its an asthetic thing mostly - some are more filler than stone!

on a floor the voids need to be filled which takes time and material, some cheap trav is false economy. light trav needs to be fixed with white adhesive. Sealing is a once a year job, involving a roller and a clear liquid - not a big job.

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