In this article, we’ll be tackling the concept of acclimation; specifically, you’ll learn about whether tile does need to acclimate. Certain home materials, such as tiles, react to different environmental conditions. Thus, installers and contractors often employ the concept of acclimation to materials before they install them.
Yes, it is the short answer to whether tiles need to acclimate. Acclimation is a necessary procedure, especially in places where temperature differences can be high.
But, what exactly is acclimation? How do you acclimate tiles?
We’ll discuss all that further in the article.
What Is Tile Acclimation?
Materials such as tiles can expand or contract depending on the temperature and surroundings. Conceptually, invariable of the material, a warm climate will cause material expansion while the cold contracts. Acclimation allows the materials to settle down or get used to the environment where they’ll be permanently placed.
Among many home builders, acclimation is important in all circumstances. The process allows materials to stabilize in size based on the local temperature and the like. This measure is especially important for materials with interlocking features. Allowing acclimation prevents material rigidity that can cause shock or stress during installation.
Additionally, acclimation also ensures that your floors will not expand or contract beyond expected levels. Furthermore, it allows the adhesives and grout to have a chance to be properly cured.
Conditions Requiring Tiles To Acclimate
The period of acclimation gives the material to ease out and get accustomed to the installation location. This process is important if you are transporting the materials from a distant place to another. Generally, it is more crucial if there’s a vast difference between the temperature of these locations.
For example, vinyl planks have a porous condition, even how compact they may appear. These pores or spaces permit air entry which reacts to humidity. During high humid conditions, the planks can expand or “swell.” Meanwhile, during low humidity, it will theoretically return to its original size or shrink.
These environmental effects may seem to be unnoticeable. However, if neglected can cause surface buckling or installation issues. Furthermore, a cold-weather especially adversely affects the floor curing process. In worst-case scenarios, it can cause material embrittlement and installation difficulties, specifically for precision designs.
For best acclimation results, it is advisable to leave the tiles on the floor for 48 hours in their respective installment locations. Doing so allows the tiles to adjust to the room’s temperature and humidity levels.
Furthermore, this allows you to skip transition strips that may be necessary for material expansion and transition. Hence, you’ll get to achieve a continuous flooring installation.
Everything You Need To Know For Different Types Of Tiles
Now, you might be done installing your tiles and perhaps be wondering about their properties? Or you might be in the prospect of buying and stumbled upon this article? Whatever the reason may be, we collated below useful information about different tile types.
Ceramic tile is a great choice for home improvement projects because you can use them in many ways. It is moisture resistant and a perfect choice for any room, including the bathroom, kitchen, and porches. Additionally, it is durable and resistant to stains or scratching; considerations wherein other materials like wood, carpet, and planks can be weak too.
Porcelain is the next evolution of clay tile, manufactured using a higher ratio of silica and quartz. It is durable, cost-effective, and beautiful. However, these improved features can be costlier in comparison to their ceramic tile counterparts.
Furthermore, a special tool called a diamond blade saw or cutter is necessary to cut porcelain as it is tougher. Thus, you may have difficulties if you are planning to install porcelain tiles without prior experience.
Nevertheless, the benefits do outweigh the caveats as porcelain tile can be very satisfactory. It comes in a wide selection of colors and patterns. Also, it gives you the unique opportunity to use the same tile for different purposes.
Glass tile is the perfect choice for your bathroom, shower, or kitchen. It is more stain-resistant and more impervious to a variety of acids and fluids. Furthermore, it is an amazing option for clean and non-toxic surfaces. However, it falls short on the aspect which is fragility.
These tiles can easily crack or chip upon impact, so you might best reserve this material for walls. Another viable and safe option is to use them for locations with lesser foot traffic.
Cement tiles are classic flooring materials dating back from the 19th century. They are an incredibly versatile and sustainable alternative to carpets and hardwood floors. Additionally, it offers a modern, clean and simple look to your home and can be installed in multiple sizes.
These tiles are incredibly versatile, and you can use them in a variety of patterns and colors. It can even get more beautiful as it ages because of its porosity and patina. And, if discoloration happens, sanding and resealing can easily restore it.
However, cement tiles maintenance can be extensive as it requires at least once a month of resealing to maintain appearance. You should best consider placing cement tile in areas that have less traction.
Marble is a high-quality stone material that’s beautiful and easy to work with. It’s perfect for clients who want a bold statement on their countertops. Since it is a natural material, the grains and streaks are unique and hard to replicate. It remains on the top of the list of premium tiling materials.
Granite is a stone that has been used since ancient times. It has many benefits, including its ability to make countertops look good and create sleek, clean floors. This tile is harder and more durable than marble. It’s also lastingly waterproof, meaning that it won’t absorb moisture or get stained. Therefore, it excels in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Vinyl tiles lean on the more artificial field of flooring materials. Nowadays, competitive technology allows more believable pattern imitations such as wood, stone, and natural flooring materials. These tiles are an amazing choice in terms of design and style versatility. However, among this list, vinyl tiles are the weakest in terms of moisture protection and scratch and stain resistance.
Tile acclimation is among the standard installation practices that should not be neglected. It is simple and only requires a bit of patience. However, allowing acclimation, especially for tiles, can save you from tons of hassle.
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