Clinker tiles are a popular finishing material today. It is versatile, but not everyone knows how to properly use it for decoration. In addition, it has a number of advantages and some disadvantages, which are important to study before choosing.
What it is?
Some people think that clinker is a new finishing material with unusual characteristics and innovative production technology. But this is not true. Clinker tiles are a popular finishing material that has been popular for many years. It's just that not everyone knows its correct name. It allows you to return to old traditions and resembles the work of old masters. Externally, this finishing material is similar to brick or stone masonry.
The history of clinker tiles is very long. When in the 19th century in European countries there was a sharp increase in demand for building materials due to the increase in urban construction, the craftsmen had to look for new types of finishing materials, since there was simply not enough stone and brick, the quarries were overloaded. Then the masters from Germany came up with a technology for the production of a new material, which was clay fired at high temperatures. Moreover, for this, not ordinary clay was used, but a selected, high-quality type of material.
Clay was used to produce "bricks", which were even better than the original analogue in terms of their quality characteristics. They were waterproof, durable and of high quality. In addition, they were used for the construction of roads, squares, plinths, walls of street buildings and much more. And such buildings survived for a very long time.
And now the same technology is used in the production of clinker tiles. Of course, it is produced in factories using new equipment, but in general the process remains the same: the clay is selected and fired at a temperature of more than 1200 degrees. Sometimes minerals and some other additives are mixed into it, which improve its quality characteristics.
Modern clinker tiles are dense and their texture is uniform. If you hit such a material with a hammer, you will hear a lingering clear sound. It is from this that the name of this material comes from. "Klink" is Dutch for sound or ringing. This is where the material got its name. From the German language, the word "clinker" is translated as brick, so some believe that this word is of German origin, like the material itself.
At first, clinker tiles were brick blocks, now they are available as tiles. It is used for cladding buildings. It is capable of imitating natural brickwork. The facade finished with clinker will not look different from the brickwork. Now manufacturers present a wide selection of clinker tiles. Moreover, the models have a specific purpose and are necessary for different types of construction and decoration. This is because the material is versatile and therefore suitable for many finishing works.
What is it for?
Clinker tiles are often used for cladding houses and industrial buildings. She is able to give any facade an aesthetic look, as well as protect it from negative factors. Clinker is used to finish a previously prepared and leveled surface to make the appearance of brickwork. Also, clinker can be the primary material for creating solid panels with which facades are finished. It is used in various forms for decoration.
In addition, clinker is even used for wall insulation. In private homes, it is often used to trim the exterior pipes of the house, as well as other ventilation systems. They are used to decorate houses and other buildings made of concrete, stone, wood and other materials.
With its help, they make beautiful ladders and other elements of landscape design in summer cottages, lay out garden paths, as well as floors in the gazebo or on the terrace. Another purpose is cladding fences of artificial water sources, such as a fountain, a pond, a stream at a summer cottage. With its help, the pool is also trimmed.
Clinker is most often faced in a house with fireplaces or stoves in a bath. This is due to the strength and reliability of this material. She decorates the walls inside industrial and residential premises. In addition, in garages, auto repair shops and other industrial premises, where the floor has a large load, floors are even made with its help. Thus, the range of application of this finishing material is very wide.
Features of the
Clinker tiles have a number of advantages that attract buyers and determine their popularity. It is very durable and durable. Such material is practically impossible to damage, it is resistant to external influences of a technical type and many natural factors.
A big plus is the durability of this material. But this applies only to those cases when its installation was carried out correctly and efficiently. The service life is not limited in time, since such tiles practically do not wear out.
Over the years, outwardly, the material practically does not change, especially if you provide it with proper care. Moreover, these advantages also apply to those cases when the tile is in unfavorable conditions.
Once finished, an element of the facade will not lose its decorative qualities. The material is completely environmentally friendly and natural. In the process of its production, manufacturers do not use toxic substances harmful to human health. Moreover, the tile does not emit harmful substances even when exposed to high temperatures.as is the case with many other materials.
Clinker tiles have a low level of water absorption. This indicator does not exceed 3%. Thus, this tile can be used in almost all rooms, including those where the air humidity is too high. Therefore, with its help, baths and swimming pools are trimmed.
The advantages are the ability to choose one or another type of product, depending on the purpose of the room where this tile will be used. You can save money and buy a model for the decoration of residential premises, which, for example, will have a lower level of water absorption.
Clinker tiles are fire resistant. She is also not afraid of temperature changes. From this, it does not deteriorate, does not change its external characteristics. It is considered a frost-resistant material and is able to endure more than 150 complete freeze and thaw cycles. Thus, it can be used outdoors in all weather conditions, as well as for finishing walls or floors in unheated rooms. The tile does not burn at all, which once again confirms the safety of this material. The clinker is not afraid of direct ultraviolet rays.
The great advantage is the ability to choose different textures or colors of this material. You can even select models of different sizes in the form of small items or large solid panels. You can choose a model for every taste, both for external and internal decoration.
The material is chemically inert. It does not give any reaction to the effects of chemical irritants, even very aggressive ones. When decorating the premises, even in smog or other harmful influences, the tiles do not collapse.
Clinker is easy to maintain. She does not collect dust on herself. In addition, this factor slows down the spread of mosses. Therefore, building facades will always be clean and tidy.
But this material still has several disadvantages, although they are all fairly obvious. Firstly, the high cost of this material should be noted. Not everyone can afford it. On average, 1 sq. m of clinker tiles cost from 1,500 to 3,000 rubles, but hand-molded models are much more expensive. Thus, decorating a house with this material will cost a round sum. Of course, there are also cheaper models, but their quality is usually appropriate. All high quality products are expensive.
It should also be noted that there is a relatively low choice of design options for these products. All types of tiles will look like brick or stone.
Among the disadvantages, many buyers note the fragility of this coating. This is due to the fact that the technical characteristics of the clinker are very similar to glass. This material must be transported very carefully and soft elements must be inserted between the tiles or the stacks must be tightly bound to the tiles. Even with a slight impact, such tiles can easily break even before installation. In addition, the material can easily crack.
The complexity of its processing during the installation process is also considered a big disadvantage: in some cases, clinker tiles have to be cut to do the joining, and this is quite difficult to do. Cracks or chips may appear at the cut site. It is almost impossible to do this with your own hands without spoiling the cut of the material.
Since the clinker completely imitates brickwork, its dimensions generally correspond to this material. The main difference is the thickness of this finishing material.
Clinker tiles can vary in thickness. It depends on the purpose of this material, as well as on where it will be used: inside or outside the building. Manufacturers present clinker with a thickness of 5, 7, 12, 17 mm. But the most popular are models with a thickness of 7 mm.
For interior decoration, the thinnest products are selected, since they look more aesthetically pleasing and do not overload the room. But for external decoration they are trying to acquire the most durable thick models.
In addition, the thickness of the tiles should depend on the climatic conditions. The lower the temperature drops in the region, the thicker the clinker tile should be. As a rule, the standard size of clinker tiles according to GOST is 11.5 cm by 24 cm. But you can also find other options for the formats of this product. Moreover, they differ depending on the manufacturer. Domestic manufacturers present models according to the following size range:
- L-NF –29.5 x 7.1 x 1.5 cm - these are long models;
- WF –21.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 cm - medium-sized models;
- WDF –2.1 x 0.5 x 0.2 cm - small size models.
The tiles produced in Europe have different parameters. As a rule, its length also remains 240 mm, but its thickness starts from 9 mm. The European type clinker differs in width. Manufacturers present models in width:
- DF - 5.2 cm;
- 2DF –11.3 cm;
- NF –7.1 cm;
- RF –6.5 cm.
You can also find American-made clinker. Its thickness is standard - 1.5 cm. The length varies from 19 to 30 cm. But in width, they may differ. There are models with a width of 5.7, 7 and 9 cm. Thus, when purchasing different tiles from different brands, it is necessary to calculate the consumption of materials per square meter. This figure varies from 34 to 73 elements per square.
Clinker tiles are also distinguished by such characteristics as their texture. So, manufacturers present several different options:
Smooth clinker. Most often it is used for interior decoration, but sometimes for cladding the facades of residential buildings. Such a tile is the most unpretentious: it is easiest to care for it, dirt and dust do not clog into it. Moreover, it is the most subtle. In general, such a coating looks monolithic and therefore harmonious
Raised. This type of clinker resembles a brick not only in appearance, but also in its texture. It is heterogeneous and has some bulges. In addition, embossed clinker in texture can be similar to stone or other interesting natural finishing materials. But such a tile must be regularly looked after, since dirt accumulates in the relief elements, over time the product can get very dirty, which will significantly reduce its presentability.
- Antique … This is the most embossed type of tile, which has artificially created chips, cracks and other visible defects that make the texture look older. Such tiles are used for finishing the facades of buildings or some elements of semi-antique premises, as well as for the restoration of famous architectural buildings.
There are also different types of clinker, depending on the exterior finish and texture:
- Glazed tiles … It is a smooth tile with a slight glossy sheen. Most often used for decorative finishes.
- With rough edges. Such clinker is used for exterior or interior decoration. It has a rough texture and looks more natural, which allows it to completely repeat brickwork.
- Completely unprocessed models. Such clinker is suitable for finishing paths, industrial premises. Also, some use it to decorate semi-antique premises. It looks as natural and simple as possible.
The clinker can be presented not only in a piece format, but also in the form of panels.
Clinker thermal panels
Separately, it should be noted the tiles in the form of front thermal panels. This material is already assembled tile elements. Thus, you can significantly simplify its installation. During production, the clinker is installed on ready-made facade thermal panels so that it can be mounted in this form on the frame of the house. Such cladding will take a little time, but it will also look presentable. The tile is pre-installed in a thermal panel - a polystyrene foam plate with ceramic sheathing … You just have to prepare the frame and all surfaces, fix the panels on them and grout.
The heat panel allows you to "kill two birds with one stone": it will insulate the house and make its cladding beautiful and decorative. In addition, the cost of such panels is quite low and starts from 1,500 rubles per sq. m.
Thermal panels are a two-layer material that includes a warm insulator and clinker. As a rule, the role of a thermal insulator is performed by polyurethane foam, expanded polystyrene or mineral wool. On average, the thickness of the insulating layer is from 3 to 10 cm. Polyurethane foam models have high thermal conductivity and good density. In addition, such panels do not rot at all.
The panels are mounted spike in the groove, therefore the coating becomes tough and resistant. It is not blown by the wind and does not get cold. Thanks to such thermal panels with clinker tiles, you can reduce the cost of heating a house by up to 50%.
Since such panels are rather large, the number of joints on the facade of the building becomes minimal. In this way, the number of cold bridges can be reduced. The manufacturer assures that the service life of such panels is at least one hundred years. But thermal panels are solid, so they do not bend. That is why it is necessary to prepare the foundation well for them.
Thermal panels have different quality characteristics and depending on where they are installed. So, the basement panels are not so large, but their thickness is rather large. Front thermal panels, on the other hand, are large, but not so thick.
Depending on what such a structure consists of, insulated clinker panels are divided into:
- two-layer - they include only insulation and clinker;
- three-layer - in them, manufacturers include a substrate of moisture-resistant OSB boards, which make them more rigid and durable;
- four-layer - a fourth is added to the previous three layers - a refractory substrate between the layers of insulation and OSB.
The clinker can be glued with a special compound to such panels. The glue is used only if the clinker is attached to polystyrene foam. Thus, the panel already has a recess initially, where the tile elements will be fixed with glue. They are fixed under great pressure so that the panel grips completely.
Pressed type models are more reliable. The clinker is first laid on the mold, covered with a foamed polymer, and then left under high pressure so that the insulation completely solidifies.
Clinker non-insulated panels
They are presented in the form of a sheet material that is durable and resistant to bending, on which clinker elements are fixed in the form of brickwork. The clinker is attached to the glue and holds quite firmly. The front part of the facade is presented in the form of a constructor, in which adjacent elements continue the previous ones. There are also brackets between the rows to allow such panels to be fixed to the wall.
The role of the substrate for such clinker tiles is performed by fiber cement, particle boards or glass-magnesite boards. All of these types of substrates have a homogeneous structure and are quite durable and moisture resistant. In addition, they provide good sound and heat insulation. In this case, the structure does not become heavier, since all these types of panels weigh quite a bit.
Typically, these panels are tiled with polyurethane glue. It provides good adhesion and reliable fixing of the tile to the surface. Such clinker panels cost from 2,000 to 3,000 rubles per sq. m.
Thus, the cost is about the same as the cost of individual standard elements of clinker tiles, but at the same time, the installation of such a coating is very simple.
For interior decoration, glass-magnesite slabs with clinker are used. They have a very small thickness - no more than 8 mm. Moreover, they are resistant to temperatures, chemicals, and ultraviolet rays. Also this material will provide good sound insulation, which is why walls in rooms are often made to it.
It also retains heat well. This type of slab is versatile because it is very flexible. That is why it can be used to finish coatings that have some defects. The cost of these panels is approximately 3000 rubles per sq. m.
Manufacturers even provide the ability to customize such panels, in which you can reflect any tile laying option. So, you can choose the type of layout, texture, as well as the color of the clinker.
You can even make mosaic models. But such differences greatly increase the cost of finishing materials.
Many people think that the design of decorative clinker tiles is uninteresting and boring. But this is not the case. For example, artificial gypsum tiles can look very interesting and even more original than their natural counterparts. In addition, manufacturers present a wide selection of models with different textures, as well as interesting color schemes. Thanks to this, brick laying does not look so cold and not at all monotonous.
The antique designs are simply mesmerizing. They look stylish and natural. Separately, it should be noted the models, the design of which has a specially emphasized uneven firing of bricks. It alternates between light and dark areas. This design looks stylish and interesting. This finish will remind you of noble antiquity. In many interiors, it looks more sophisticated than simple sleek modern designs.
Models that have additional elements in the structure of the material that imitate pieces of coal, fragments of stones and minerals are very popular. Usually, this type of material has a more interesting and varied texture.
Manufacturers present not only the traditional brick clinker color, but also more interesting options. So, red and white clinker tiles look bright. Such solutions attract attention and fascinate. Moreover, white clinker tiles can be perfectly white, or they can have a yellowish tint.
Ivory clinker looks quite elegant. This is especially true for interior decoration in the Provence style.
Yellow clinker tiles will help make your home more comfortable. It will fill it with warmth and make being in it more comfortable.
Black clinker tiles look very restrained and stylish. This is an excellent solution for interior decoration in a modern style, such as hi-tech, loft, minimalism. At the same time, the grout for such models is chosen the same black.
The overall design is influenced by the color of the grout. It can be similar, or it can be a couple of shades lighter or be contrasting. Red clinker from white grout looks the most striking.
Some models of clinker tiles are colored in bulk. Such coatings are painted not only on the outside, but also throughout the texture. If the tile is suddenly damaged, its color will not change. The cover will look even more vintage and unusual. Colored decorative coatings do not deteriorate from scuffs and scratches. It's just that during the production process, such clay is painted in different shades.
The design of the decorative clinker tiles for the bath is very interesting. It perfectly replaces ceramics and looks very stylish. Glazed tiles are more often used to decorate this room. Moreover, for the coating, you can choose both transparent and colored glaze. Such products look brighter and more modern.
The design of the tiles may differ depending on the size of the bricks. The most standard is the size of a regular brick, but there are also larger or smaller models.
Fine, narrow clinker is used to decorate modern interiors, and for more traditional styles, standard models or products with a larger width are used.
When choosing clinker tiles, initially calculate the required amount of material. To do this, you can use a special program or calculate the area of the site that you plan to do with this material. Please note that the planned thickness of the tile joints will affect the consumption of materials. This rule especially applies to cases when a large surface area is finished with clinker tiles.
Try to purchase tiles with a margin. This is necessary so that you can cut it off at the joints of adjacent walls or replace elements in cases of damage. Therefore, approximately 10% more clinker should be purchased for finishing.
When buying, try to check for broken items in the package with tiles. This is very important, since this material is fragile, but at the same time it is expensive. Subsequently, it will be quite difficult to change it.
If you purchase clinker for facades, it is important to pay attention to its characteristics. Facade models cost from 4,000 rubles per sq. m, so you should calculate the cost of such coverage. When buying, try to choose between popular foreign brands that represent already proven quality models. Many of them offer a long warranty period. Although domestic clinker tiles are cheaper, their quality is generally lower.
When choosing clinker tiles, keep in mind that interesting models with a relief texture are much more expensive, but they are not so practical. In addition, the maintenance of such a clinker will require additional costs for its processing by a master. Although outwardly such a coating looks presentable, it must be maintained in good condition.
When choosing clinker, pay attention to its color. It should be in harmony with all the elements of the building when it comes to exterior decoration. Moreover, this applies not only to the design and color scheme of the building, but also to its architectural features. That is why, when choosing, it is better to ask a designer or architect for advice.
Try to select the clinker in such a way that it matches the design of the roof and does not look too bright. Contrasting options look tasteless.
When purchasing clinker, you also need to buy an adhesive mixture for attaching these elements and a grout with which you will process the joints. As for the glue, in this case, a durable frost-resistant coating designed specifically for this finishing material is more suitable. It is best to select clinker adhesives that can withstand more than 50 freeze and thaw cycles. Thus, you will provide a more reliable fastening of finishing materials to the facade of the building.
Grout is also an important element, so you need to pay attention to its quality and color. It must be able to compensate for the thermal expansion of the tile. As for its color, it should be in harmony with the tiles.
But in some cases, contrasting grout options are acceptable. It is important that it favorably emphasizes the beauty of the clinker.
If you plan to do clinker cladding on your own, then it is better to take a closer look at the facade panels with clinker tiles. In this case, the most practical will be thermal panels, since they provide an additional layer of thermal insulation. In addition, laying them yourself is much easier than piece clinker.
Manufacturers and reviews
Now one of the most popular manufacturers is the brand Stroeher from Germany. He presents models with the highest quality level. Many collections are stylized antique, but at the same time have a slight glossy sheen. Such a coating looks luxurious, and its care is simplified at times. Due to the features of the coating, dust does not linger and is easily washed off with water. The manufacturer also presents non-standard models with a length of 44 x 5 cm. With their help, you can make an original and unusual styling. But the cost of this product is quite high.
Tiles from the brand are popular among buyers. Houson, which is made in China. Although usually Chinese tiles are considered rather inexpensive and of poor quality, in this case the brand proves the opposite. The clinker from this company has many positive reviews. These products are in great demand in Russia.
In terms of quality characteristics, it is not worse than German clinker, but the cost is several times lower. The fact is that the manufacturer does not make a mark-up for transport services, as is usually the case with models from Europe. He presents a wide variety of design options and colors for such products. In addition, brick-like tiles are slightly different in format from domestic and European indicators. The models are available in sizes 20 x 6 cm and 24 x 6 cm.
The Polish brand is considered quite popular. Cerrad. It presents tile models that are produced using dry-forming technology. The material is similar in quality and appearance to porcelain stoneware. It is maximally resistant to mechanical stress and external damage. Moreover, the cost of these models does not exceed 1000 rubles per sq. m. That is why such models are in great demand. Buyers indicate that such clinker tiles are very durable and of high quality.
Brand name Opoczno Is another Polish manufacturer that produces clinker-type tiles for facades and cladding around buildings. With its help, buyers often finish steps, paths, and also verandah floors. This tile is also manufactured using dry pressing technology and has a high-quality and environmentally friendly composition.
Clinker tiles Gerrard is very popular with buyers. This is due to the fact that the manufacturer presents not only standard clinker models for brick, but also products for wood and concrete. It can be used to finish floors and facades of buildings, steps and paths. The manufacturer also presents models for interior and exterior decoration separately. Buyers write that with its help they even trim window sills and the space around the windows. Also, this manufacturer presents a separate line of clinker tiles for the pool. That is why such models are in great demand.
In Spain, good tiles are represented by the brand Exagres … Moreover, you can choose both large-sized color models for decorative finishing, and standard samples.
Popular hand-molded facade tiles from the brand Vandersanden. These inexpensive brick designs are very popular due to their good price-performance ratio.
In Italy brand KlinkerSire manufactures models of the extruded type, which have a low price and low weight. Of the minuses, buyers name only the fragility of these coatings.
Clinker tiles are now used to decorate various interior elements. As a rule, this is a fragmentary decoration: it is used to decorate one of the walls or only a part of it. In order to make a beautiful finish with clinker indoors, you need to follow a few tips. In the interior, you need to choose one accent wall and decorate it with clinker.
This is a great solution for a country style bedroom. For example, you can trim the wall surface near the head of the bed in this way. Moreover, the clinker can be either dark or light.
When decorating one room in this way, you can follow the approach of uniformly decorating all other rooms by making an accent wall of clinker in each room.
As for the kitchen, clinker is also often used here. But in this room, with its help, a kitchen apron is often trimmed. This is an excellent solution for this area, since clinker makes the kitchen more stylish and modern, while it tolerates well all the effects of temperature and humidity that are inherent in the apron area.
In the interior, clinker tiles are also used for zoning. So, with its help, you can divide the room into different areas, for example, the kitchen into a dining and work area. Moreover, in the kitchen area, you can lay out the apron with light clinker, and make the dining area more comfortable by decorating it with classic brick-like clinker.
A fireplace decorated with clinker will look great in the interior of a classic living room. Thus, you can design not only a real source of heat, but also a decorative, artificial one. This traditional design looks very stylish.
Clinker tiles are often used in the hallway or in the corridor. The corner model is suitable for decorating the lower part of the walls at the entrance, since it is there that the surface is most often exposed to splashes, dirt from shoes. It will be easier to clean the hallway, while such a design move looks advantageous.
In the corridor, you can make an imitation of brickwork near the doorway. This design can be complemented by clinker finishing of windows, columns or accent corners. Clinker tiles allow you to create a trendy and contemporary loft-style interior. It can be used to decorate all walls and even floors. Clinker is a characteristic feature of the loft style.
Clinker is also used in high-tech and even Gothic interiors. Light clinker fits perfectly into the interior in Provence or country style, as it looks natural and natural.
For information on how to lay clinker tiles, see the next video.