SPARKLE QUARTZ TILES GUIDE
One trend we’ve seen grow into a well established product range is Quartz Stone, but you may know these better as Starlight Quartz, Glitter Quartz or Sparkle tiles. Predominantly used in commercial projects a decade a go, the only place you would see this glamorous tile was in a trendy club, restaurant, luxury hotel or international airport first class lounges…well how that’s changed.
Quartz tiles have now transcended into our own homes as we want to recreate a touch of luxury and glamour. Due to the increase in demand, factories around the world have now looked into the production of Quartz Stone tiles and the way in which they're made, innovating their techniques so we can all add a splash of luxury to our homes for a fraction of the old cost.
WHAT ARE QUARTZ STONE TILES?
Quartz Stone tiles are a man-made conglomerate produced by combining a mix of natural quartz stones, resin, crushed mirror flecks, and colour pigment. Unlike Ceramic & Porcelain tiles, Quartz is manufactured in large slabs, calibrated and polished. The slabs are then graded and cut into the individual tile sizes.
WHERE CAN YOU USE QUARTZ STONE TILES?
You can use Sparkle Quartz stone in all areas of the home. Whether you're looking to bring some sparkle into your kitchen, open up your living space and make your lounge a shimmering statement or tackling a new bathroom design; quartz stone tiles will undoubtedly bring the 'wow factor'. Their high-gloss finish not only looks great and reflects light around the room but also makes them extremely easy to clean once they’re fitted.
We often get asked what the implications might be when it comes to Quartz tiles and underfloor heating. You have a fantastic and quite costly heating system that'll efficiently heat your home and the Quartz tile just so happens to be your dream floor finish.
So the burning question is, can the Quartz tiles deal with that condition?
The short answer is: sometimes.
Quartz with the correct ratio of quartz to resin can be used with electric underfloor heating up to 150 watts. However we would not recommend Quartz tiles with piped underfloor heating as they can reach excessive heat levels of 60 to 70 degrees centigrade unlike electric underfloor heating.
Quartz Stone should not be in direct sunlight or close to intense heat for prolonged periods such as in a conservatory or as a splash back behind a hob as this intensity can cause colour fading in the tiles.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT QUALITY QUARTZ STONE TILES?
Prices vary considerably when comparing high street to internet retailers where some can be double the price! Our range of quartz tiles are relatively inexpensive but that doesn't mean they are low quality, just better value for you. The best way to know if a quartz stone tile has the right quality is making sure the Quartz to Resin ratio is correct; a hardwearing tile is 93% Quartz and 7% Resin. Premium quality Quartz tiles will also have a micro bevel, this is an additional finishing process, it makes the edges of the tiles very finished and sleek.
We would always advise getting a sample to compare. When you receive your samples, the finish should be a consistent high gloss and not have any scratches, or imperfections on the surface. The base colour of the tiles you’ve sampled should be clean and crisp with an even distribution of quartz stone. If the resin to quartz ratio is incorrect the tile can look a little plastic.
WHICH ADHESIVE & GROUT SHOULD YOU USE?
It is recommended to use a rapid setting, low water content cement-based adhesive to ensure the tiles are not affected by moisture from the adhesive. We sell UltraTile ProFlex S2 which is premium quality adhesive which is fibre reinforced. It's great to use with larger tiles too as it has a slightly longer pot life so gives you a little more time to work. We also recommend using a rapid setting cement-based grout or an epoxy resin grout.
FITTING QUARTZ STONE TILES
Check your substrates suitability for tiling before proceeding. The surface must be properly prepared, suitably level, sound, clean, dry, and free of dust, grease or any loose material. It is essential that the substrate to which it is intended to fix the tiles is fully cured and dry as the tiles may show varying degrees of moisture sensitivity. On new cement we recommend disconnecting sheets to prevent cracks from movement.
Due to the natural characteristics of the Quartz used to produce this product, shade and texture alterations are possible. It is important to sort your tiles into colour batches prior to fixing. This will mean opening all crates or pallets of materials supplied and stacking them vertically against a wall in the appropriate colour groups. We then recommend that you dry lay them to blend them visually before final application to your floor or wall, this will ensure that you are happy with colour variation. Dry laying will also allow you to determine which tiles you can select for the external cuts of your project.
Adhesive & Grout – We recommend a rapid setting, low water content cement-based adhesive to ensure the tiles are not adversely affected by moisture from the adhesive. A specialist fibre reinforced adhesive is advised like our Proflex S2 Adhesive. Its also recommend to use a rapid setting cement-based grout or an epoxy resin grout.
Cutting - The design and quality of the cutting tool selected will always determine how successful the cut through the tile will be. We recommend a Wet Tile Saw.
Drilling Holes - When installing Quartz Stone Tiles you may need to work around pipes and other elements. This can be easily done through the use of a diamond drill bit and diamond hole saw. Make sure that when you do the drilling you will want to use plenty of water to keep the drill from getting too hot.
For a full fitting guide please refer to our Quartz Stone Tiles Fitting Guide.
DO QUARTZ STONE TILES REQUIRE SEALING?
These tiles aren't porous, but with all man-made polished tiles, the process of polishing could mean that there are microscopic pores left that could hold dirt or grout. If you are planning to use in a high traffic area or with a coloured grout we would recommend that you seal them prior to grouting with LTP MPG Polished Porcelain sealer that is specifically formulated for machine polished tiles.
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR BEAUTIFUL QUARTZ TILES
Thanks to the extensive process that happens in the factory and fitting, Quartz tiles are super easy to maintain. Vacuum or brush your floor weekly and then mop with a mild detergent diluted in warm water, we recommend LTP Floorshine as its a high quality liquid soap which cleans without damaging the most delicate natural stone surfaces – we do recommend that you always test on a small inconspicuous area first. For wall tiles fitted in a bathroom area just use dilute LTP Floorshine and wipe clean. Never use acidic or alkali detergents as these will be harmful to your tiles.
If you spend a little time following our guide before you select your Quartz Stone Tiles you will be assured that your tiles will be premium quality and will last a lifetime.