Your questions on different types tiles, their prices and tiling contractors. Answered right here.
You often hear the term ceramic. Ceramic refers to an inorganic, non-metal substance. Thus, ceramic is an overarching category. It is a generic term that, in fact, includes porcelain. When you shop for tiles, “ceramic” tiles refer to non-porcelain types. These are of higher water absorption rates at about 4%. They differ from porcelain in type of clay used. They are less strong and can chip off to reveal their red core body. However, at the same time, their price is very affordable. Ceramic tiles begin from $2 psf. They range widely. They can come in many textures, colours and veins.
Porcelain tiles is commonly referred to as homogeneous tiles in Singapore. Porcelain is a very dense material with water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. These are what make them different from ceramic tiles. As such, they are very strong, even suitable for outdoor purposes. In your reno, use them for living rooms and high traffic places such as commercial areas. They are more expensive, roughly $3 psf, which is the price most IDs or contractors assume for in their quotations.
Deco-wise, they can be thought of as shiny/glazed or not. Reflective tiles are susceptible to some level of foot marks. Some argue they are easier to clean. Non reflective tiles are matt. These are meant for a certain looks. With texture differences, cleaning can be marginally harder. Though we think you should definitely still place the design over maintenance. This is because in general, all homogeneous tiles are very durable and relatively easy to maintain.
Talking about maintenance, popping is a frequently raised question. Popping is when tiles come out of their original position. This can create a lot of inconvenience or even a small injury. Your craftsperson should leave a 2-4mm grout gap that will prevent popping. This is why gaps are of a minimum size and tiles cannot be too close.
Mosaic and glass tiles are indurable. Mostly they cannot be used for flooring. They are mostly used as an accent space. Or a design feature. As a design feature, they are interesting in your shower wet area. Though less common, having living room walls and other areas accented are also unique and creative. Craftstone is a more recent trend, though there is a large selection of other types of feature walls catering to your own construction ideals.
Other tiles are wood-like tiles. They come in 15cm x 60cm instead of more classic 30cm x 30cm and 60cm x 60cm for homogeneous tiles. Whereas there are cheap variations that can be around $3 psf (same as homoegeneous tiles), there are also more expensive types. These are from Europe and can range from $5 psf to $15 psf. These are still ceramic, and combine the plank look of parquet or vinyl flooring, with the durability and strength of the ceramic and porcelain family.
Tiling Contractor Prices
Tiles in general cost $3 psf. To lay for a whole living room of say 300sqft, would cost $900 for tiles alone.
Besides the cost of the tiles itself, there is the cost of manpower, the materials cost, wastage costs and skirting costs. Manpower is the bulk of this. This is paid to the tiler that knows which layers to place first. As a masonry expert, he will place for example, a layer of waterproofing screed necessary for your kitchen and toilets. Materials include cement, sand (and from June 2015 HDB requires pre-packed mix). Grout and chemical strength intensifier is also needed. Wastage and skirting are additional square footage upon your original estimation. This is about 10% in general. More tiles are needed than the area per se. This is for shape fitting and to build the skirting. In all, these are commonly about $5 psf.
Contact Home Design for Tiling Services
Contact us today to make an appointment. As a one-stop design centre, we provide you with the best selection of tiles. With over 150,000sqft of floor room to select from, there will definitely be a design suitable for your house renovation.