The most optimal finishing material for the kitchen is ceramic tiles. It is hygienic, easy to clean and, importantly, has a long service life. In our country, probably due to climatic conditions, a tradition has developed to use tiles in the kitchen only for wall cladding. We usually put linoleum or parquet on the floor, which we then carefully cover with carpets. For several years now, floor heating has been successfully practiced in Russia – and many people choose tiles for the kitchen floor..
If you also decided to stay on this material, then here are some practical tips for choosing tiles..
The floor in the kitchen, perhaps more than other rooms in the apartment, is exposed to a variety of influences: walking on it, and there are places that are especially exposed to the effects (for example, near the stove, sink and refrigerator); furniture is most often moved here. In addition, kitchen floors are more likely to get dirty than other floors, so they need to be washed intensively. Here, various objects most often fall to the floor. In general, all this suggests that it is necessary to choose floor tiles with high mechanical and chemical characteristics. The mechanical properties of tiles include bending resistance and hardness of the tile surface..
Bending resistance is measured in mega pascals (MPa). For domestic tiles, according to GOST 6789-90, the ultimate bending strength must be at least 25 MPa. According to the European standard EN 100 and international ISO 1054-4, the flexural strength of ceramic glazed and unglazed tiles must be at least 27 MPa. The surface hardness for domestic floor tiles in accordance with GOST 6789-90 must be at least 5 class. According to the European classification (PEI), floor tiles are classified into five classes. For the kitchen, we can recommend class III and IV tiles..
For lining the walls of the kitchen, you can use tiles with low strength, since the surface of the kitchen walls is practically not exposed to mechanical stress. Particular care should be taken about the resistance of the tile to chemicals. In the kitchen, perhaps more often than anywhere else, the tile comes into contact with acids and bases harmful to it. Food products, oils and detergents have an increased chemical effect on tiles. It is important to choose tiles with high alkali-acid resistance, as well as high thermal stability of the glaze. According to GOST 6141-91 glaze tiles for walls must withstand up to 125 degrees Celsius.
According to the European standard EN 122, corresponding to the international ISO 10545-13, alkali and acid resistance must be at least class B. European standard EN 122 defines the resistance of tiles to stains as at least second class. Also important is the resistance of tiles to chemicals, determined by the same standard – not less than class B. Compliance of tiles with the above standards can be seen in the accompanying documentation (certificates of conformity, catalogs), sometimes some characteristics are placed on the back of the tile.
Make sure that there are no chips or cracks on the tiles you buy. The tile surface must be perfectly flat. To check the latter, put two tiles “facing” each other – there should be no gaps between them. Having decided on the choice of tiles, calculate the area of the surface to be faced. It is recommended to buy the material 10-15% more than the cladding area.