In a major initiative by the Australian Tile Council, an online guide has been produced that is both flexible and comprehensive.

For more than 10 years, specifiers and industry professionals have relied heavily on Standards Australia AS 3958.1 – 2007 “Guide to Installation of Ceramic Tiles” and AS 3958.2 “Guide to Selection of a Ceramic Tiling System” for information about products, tile installation, materials and techniques.

These documents are still available but there have been significant changes in relation to the size and thickness of ceramic products, which has created a need for new fixing materials and systems.

Furthermore, standards are relatively expensive which can deter some specifiers, tile fixers and others from investing in a guide, which they may only require on an infrequent basis.

The Australian Tile Council (ATC) recognised the need for a document that could be amended and improved when required. It has created the online Tiles & Tiling Guide, a comprehensive 130-page fully illustrated resource. It features the key ceramic products most commonly used in this market, explains where and how they can be used, installed and maintained.

ATC president Peter Carter from Crosby Tiles in Western Australia said, “The ATC is proud its first edition of the Tiles & Tiling Guide, which was created to fill a gap in the market, by supplying specifiers, industry at large and the public with much needed technical information on ceramic tiles and tile laying in one easy to read document.”

The guide was two years in the making. Peter said, “This living document will keep pace with developments within the ever-changing tile industry.”

The guide was authored by Tony Stock, the former publisher of Tile Today magazine, with support from industry professionals in sub-committees in every state around Australia. “A lot of work has gone into the creation of the guide, and we thank Tony and all involved for their efforts,” said Peter.

Tony explains, “By their nature standards are reactive, they are created at a certain point in time and they often require frequent amendment. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. By contrast, the ATC guide is designed to be proactive in the sense that it can be quickly updated to reflect the introduction of new products and the fixing methods and materials required to successfully install them.”

Content overview

The ATC would like to emphasise that the guide is not a standard in itself, but it does refer to the main local and international standards which relate to tile production, installation and maintenance. Key chapters address the various qualities of tile, and the standards required to create an optimal product. There is information on choosing the right tile for a specific environment, identifying a suitable tile fixer and the dos and don’ts pre- and post -installation.

All the essential physical characteristics are addressed including dimensions, mechanical, chemical, water absorption, fire rating, and slip resistance. The tile’s green credentials are examined and ceramic products such as porcelain are explained in detail.

Installation of tile on walls, floors and pools is covered in depth including adhesive selection, application and grouting methods.

Slim tile products and their installation are also covered as is waterproofing, movement joints, tile lippage, and care and maintenance. There is a section devoted to problem solving which deals with issues like grout haze, mould, wax coatings and efflorescence.

Contemporary images complement the modern layout of the guide that includes useful tables and a glossary.
The ATC website has also been updated. “The Tiles & Tiling Guide now forms a significant part of the new site that has been live and ready to go since November.

“We anticipate that it will become a very valuable technical reference for our members and the design and construct communities. Regular changes to the guide will be made to ensure its validity as an accurate, up-to-date resource,” said Peter.

Pictured: The Australian Tile Council’s 130-page, digital Tiles & Tiling Guide will be subject to constant review and contains information on all aspects of tile selection, installation and maintenance.