Whether you are building a house or simply remodelling one, shopping for construction material can be a little overwhelming. Not only do you have to keep your preferred designs and budget in mind, but also keep an eye on the quality of material you purchase. For instance, if you are buying marble or ceramic flooring for your home, there are a few field tests you can conduct to check the quality of tiles at the site.
Since tile flooring is not exactly cheap, you need to make sure that you don’t get duped into purchasing low-grade marble or ceramic tiles for your home. In order to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of simple tests that will help you determine if the material you are buying is actually of good quality.
However, before we discuss how to check the quality of marble and ceramic tiles, let’s take a brief look at the properties of these two popular flooring materials.
Differences between Marble and Ceramic Tiles
There are quite a few significant differences between marble and ceramic tiles.
Firstly, marble is a naturally occurring stone that is formed through the metamorphic crystallization of limestone. The stone is then sized, cut and polished into tiles of different shapes and sizes with uniform thickness. The surface is also finished for an even texture.
Meanwhile, ceramic tiles are manufactured using natural clay, sand and water. The raw mixture is moulded and then is baked at a high temperature in a kiln to remove moisture. The finished material is polished from one side for a smooth surface.
Secondly, the difference in their appearance is also quite notable. Since ceramic tiles are manufactured in a controlled environment, they are available in a wide variety of colours, patterns and designs with little to none variations between each tile. On the other hand, marble stone has different shades and stripes owing to the different geological processes it goes through. It is quite difficult to find even two marble tiles that look exactly the same.
For further clarification, you can take a look at our detailed guide on different types of floor tiles and their rates in Pakistan.
How to Check Quality of Marble before Buying
Marble flooring can make your home look elegant and expensive. Here are a few tests you can conduct yourself to check the quality of marble tiles:
- Measure their thickness from all sides. If the tile does not have a uniform thickness, it is not of good quality as it might crack or break easily.
- The veins in each tile may differ, but make sure the colour of marble is uniform as specified.
- All four sides of each tile must be machine cut and have straight lines. If the tiles are of uneven sizes, cutting and installing them would be a hassle.
- One flat side of the marble tile must be polished while the other should be free of any wire-mesh. The presence of wire-mesh indicates that the marble tile is soft and easy-to-break. These tiles are generally cheaper but are not of good quality.
- The backside of the tile should also be checked for cracks and fissures.
- Carefully check the tiles to make sure there aren’t any cracks present along the veins.
- One of the most commonly known properties of marble is its porosity. You can squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on marble to check the quality of tiles. Low quality marble is more porous, thus it quickly absorbs the juice. Meanwhile, if the lemon juice causes white stains on the tile, it indicates the presence of calcite, which means the marble is not of good quality.
- Dull patches on the surface of marble indicate poor quality. The simplest way to check the quality of tiles is to examine the marble under light at a 45-degree angle.
- Some manufacturers use artificial colours to make the marble tiles look more attractive. You can confirm that by scratching the surface. If the tile remains virtually unscratched, it’s artificial and can fade after a while.
You can find more about types of marble and their rates in our detailed guide on the topic.
How to Check Quality of Ceramic Tiles before Buying
Ceramic flooring is an ideal choice for home as it is resistant to scratches and pretty durable.
These are some of the things you can check at the site to determine the
quality of ceramic tiles and ensure the product you are buying is long-lasting.
- All ceramic tiles must have the same colour and texture. The patterns and designs may vary, as specified.
- The size of each tile must be perfectly square or rectangular with straight edges and uniform thickness.
- The top finishing and glazing must be smooth and free of cracks, holes and scratches.
- You may also scratch the surface of a ceramic tile to ensure it is of good quality.
- Look out for chipped edges and uneven surfaces. The best way to check the quality of ceramic tiles is to put them on a levelled surface. If the tiles have some curvature or are warped, they won’t lie flat.
- Measure the diagonals of ceramic tiles. They should be of the exact same length.
- Ceramic tiles are usually 5 mm thick. If thinner, they might break easily depending on the usage.
- Submerge ceramic tiles in water for a day. Their water absorption should not be more than 10 percent of their dry weight.
- Use a regular cleaning product that’s used in homes to check the quality of glazing on the tiles.
So, these were simple tips on how to check the quality of the tiles. You can also take a look at our pick of budget-friendly ways to clean floor tiles to make them look brand new.
To learn more about different construction materials and flooring options for homes, stay connected to Zameen Blog – the best real estate and construction blog in Pakistan. Feel free to send your queries and concerns on email@example.com. Also, you should definitely subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest property trends and developments in the country.