I recently completed a porcelain kitchen floor in Fort Collins. The tile is 12 x 24 inch ‘bronze wood’ porcelain tile in a running bond, or ‘brick’ pattern. The homeowner chose this particular tile to match the dark cabinets they had installed in their home.
Large format tiles such as these are becoming a very popular flooring choice for many homes. A large format tile simply means that a given tile is at least 15″ long on one side. If it is larger than that it is considered large format. These tiles require much more exacting installation methods to achieve a lasting floor. The substrate needs to be very, very flat in order to get the entire floor level.
The quality of tile plays a very large part in the look and feel of the finished floor as well. Any ceramic or porcelain tile will ‘cup’ when heated. This means that as the tile is heated it will warp a very tiny bit. If a straight-edge is placed on the side of the tile from end to end you will notice a small bow. The center of the tile will curve up a little bit. With large format tiles this is enhanced – the larger the tile the larger the bow.
New industry standards enacted this year require any running bond, or brick, pattern to be offset only by 1/3 the length of the tile rather than 1/2 tile like I’ve done here. The reason for the new specification is the growing popularity of larger format tiles coupled with the aforementioned ‘cupping’ of these tiles. If you have a large bow in the tiles and you offset the pattern by 1/2 tile you would be placing the lowest part of the tile (end) right next to the highest portion (center). This leads to a lot of lippage, or uneven tiles in many installations. The new standards minimize this by only offsetting by 1/3.
These tiles, however, were dead-flat. Very, very nice tile. As such I was able to offset the pattern by 1/2 with no lippage and end up with a very flat installation. Proper substrate preparation, as always, is a key component of any successful installation.
If you need large format tile installed in Fort Collins, Loveland, or any part of Northern Colorado just give us a call or fill out our contact form. You may click on any of the images below for a full-size version.