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Use a carbide tipped masonry bit or diamond drill bit. Regular twist drill bits can't cut through the fire-hardened glaze.
Tiles are usually sold by the square meter, so the area to be tiled needs to be carefully measured to establish how many square feet are involved. This can be done by your architect, builder or preferably your tile contractor. Note that there is always a degree of waste resulting from the cuts required to achieve your tile layout. The contingency allowance for wastage is best estimated by your tile contractor, but is typically between 5% on a straight lay and 10% on Diagonal lay, depending on the tiles being used and the complexity of the particular design and layout. Also, consider that it is always wise to keep several spare tiles just in case replacements are required at a later date.
It depends. With proper installation, ceramic tile is very durable. If you drop a glass or dish, the glass or dish will most likely break, while the tile may chip or crack.
Not necessarily. There are a lot of contractors who will tell you yes, and still others who will tell you no. The reason for sealer is to make cleaning and maintenance easier. There has been a trend in recent years to use light colored grouts in the main floors of the home in order to match lighter colored tiles, and a sealer is used to prevent "wear paths"-- darkening of the grout joints in areas of main traffic in the home. Unfortunately, in my experience, sealers will not prevent this. They'll only delay the inevitable. You're much better off to use either a medium or darker colored grout. As for using sealer in the bathroom, sealer will help, but again, over time, grout will discolor somewhat, or "age", and cleaners will be, for the most part, just as effective, with or without sealer.
Nothing is going to help keep grout looking fresher then choosing a medium coloured grout that hides the inevitable dirt that will end up on a grouted floor. In showers and tubs areas, you usually have the opposite effect with lighter coloured soap scum and hard water.
As long as you don't chip at the tile with any heavy or sharp objects, tile should last for the life of the home. Tile was found intact in the ancient ruins of Rome and various other places. After all, it's made of finely ground stone, and hardened in a kiln. Just basic maintenance and avoiding heavy drops should definatly keep your tile lasting and looking great for many years to come.
New concrete reaches full strength after 21 days but it is recommended to wait the full curing period of 28 days before installing tile.
Cleaning tiles is simple. Wipe tile with a damp sponge or mop, using a small amount of soap-less detergent in warm water. Heavy duty cleaning can be accomplished with a bleach and water solution. Avoid abrasive household cleaners
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