What is a 3D floor tile, its main pros and cons, types of material, selection features and technology for laying products on the floor. 3D floor tiles are a material that is a ceramic product with several layers that create the effect of a three-dimensional image. In other words, this is an ordinary tile, on which a special polycarbonate film and a certain pattern are applied. This manufacturing technology allows you to obtain a three-dimensional image.
The structure and dimensions of 3D tiles
Modern 3D tiles are an original finishing material that surprises with its realistic image. Thanks to her, you can create non-standard and unique interiors.
3D floor tiles are manufactured using a new technology using microlenses. A special carbon film is fixed on the ceramic coating, which makes the image three-dimensional.
The three-dimensional pattern is placed inside the tile under the layers of polycarbonate, so it will not wear off and will not lose its beauty. Usually the image is geometric or bitmap in nature, it creates the illusion of "parallel reality" in the room. Thanks to a special manufacturing technology, you can see the volumetric pattern on the floor from any point of view and from any angle.
The structure of such a tile includes several layers:
- Plastic lens… It is made of polymers and gives a "depth" to the pattern.
- Shockproof layer… It protects the image from mechanical damage.
- Reflective interlayer… Gives the image extra volume by refracting light at a special angle.
- Cushioning layer… Reduces the load on the tiles during operation.
- Base layer… Made of polymers, clay, PVC. Its thickness is about half of the total thickness of the tile.
In addition, this coating contains a gel filler. It is located between sealed carbonate layers. If you click on such a tile, then the liquid will move, but breaks and deformation are impossible. The filler will not leak out, since all protective layers are made of extra strong materials. They resist the ingress of dirt into the coating.
The manufacturer of 3D tiles is obligatory to test the material for strength. At the same time, for every square meter of tiles, pressure is exerted by half a ton. The colored gel liquid inside the coating moves in a compensatory way when pressed firmly.
3D or "live" tiles can serve as a finishing material for the entire floor or be presented as separate inserts on a conventional ceramic coating. Most often it is laid on the floor in the bathroom or hallway.
Standard tile sizes: 25 by 25, 50 by 50, 100 by 100 centimeters. The thickness is usually 10 millimeters.
Advantages and disadvantages of 3D tiles
3D tiles have recently become very popular due to their variability. In hardware stores, you can buy material with any theme of the drawing - from ocean depths to cityscapes. However, the aesthetic appeal of the tile is not the only advantage of this material. The pluses also include:
- Durability… In terms of strength characteristics and the duration of the operational period, such a coating is not inferior to ordinary tiles. Manufacturers claim that the tiles can last up to 30 years.
- Resistance to mechanical stress… A pressure of 150-200 kilograms per square centimeter is perfectly acceptable for this tile.
- Hygiene and ease of care… Such a floor is easy to care for, since the coating is not favorable for the growth of microorganisms.It is enough just to regularly wash the surface with water and mild cleaning agents. Therefore, 3D tiles in the bathroom, kitchen and hallway, where there is a frequent risk of contamination, is an excellent solution.
- Resistant to chemicals… Concentrated acids and alkalis are not a problem for this tile.
- Environmental friendliness… 3D tiles do not contain harmful impurities and chemicals, therefore they are absolutely hypoallergenic.
- Anti-slip surface… Despite the fact that the volumetric image often has a glossy appearance, slipping on this tile is almost impossible, even if it is wet.
- Shock absorbing properties… When walking on such a surface, a feeling of springiness and softness is created.
- Resistance to direct sunlight… The first signs of pattern burnout can be seen on the surface only after 8-10 years.
- Fire resistant… The substances from which this flooring material is made do not support combustion and the spread of fire.
- Resistance to high humidity… This tile can be safely laid in the bathroom - the aggressive effect of moisture does not harm it.
Before laying 3D tiles, you should take into account certain disadvantages that are inherent in it:
- The material is not suitable for outdoor installation or in places where there are strong temperature changes (for example, on non-insulated balconies).
- In the process of laying, the tiles must not be cut, bend strongly (more than 2 degrees). Otherwise, the sealed layers of material will be broken and the solution may leak out.
- The cost of this coating is quite high.
The main types of 3D tiles
This coverage can be presented in the following options:
- Transparent 3D tiles… All layers are fully enlightened. This makes it possible to use the material in combination with lighting. Moreover, the latter can be installed both under the tiles and on top of it, achieving original lighting effects.
- Translucent… The coating has a white base, which does not transmit light. This enhances the interactivity effect. The gel solution in these tiles can be solid or multi-colored. By pressing on the surface, you can see a unique "living" pattern.
- Opaque… The coating of this tile looks like a solid photograph, which is applied by means of photographic printing to individual elements. The effect of the volumetric pattern is achieved thanks to a special technology of thermal printing. The finished image is covered with a special glaze on top.
Installation of different types of tiles is carried out using various technologies.
Features of the choice of 3d floor tiles
Typically, such a coating does not fit in residential areas such as bedrooms, living rooms, children's rooms. Most often, 3D tiles are used in the bathroom, kitchen, hallway. When choosing a material, it is important to take into account design recommendations:
- Color solution… If the room is small, then you should not buy tiles that are too bright in color. Such oversaturation with color will only visually reduce the room, will "press" on the eyes.
- Picture style… The theme of the pattern should harmoniously fit into the overall interior of the room, emphasize its functional purpose. For the bathroom, a nautical, beach theme is perfect. For the corridor - urban landscapes. For the kitchen, a relevant topic is food and everything related to the use of food.
- Pattern and tile size… If you want to make the room visually larger, then choose a small tile, like the pattern on it. Large geometric shapes on the floor will only visually reduce the space.
Against the background of tiles with a three-dimensional image, unnecessary accessories will look ridiculous. Therefore, it is recommended to reduce their number to the required minimum.
If the room is large, then a huge scope for creative experiments opens up in front of you. You can choose any color, shape and pattern of 3D tiles.
Overview of manufacturers of 3D floor tiles
The original and high-quality 3D tile-shaped coating is produced by companies in many countries of the world. Brands that specialize in live sex have earned good reviews:
- IMAX… This is a Japanese company that produces tiles with incredibly realistic graphics and specific textures. The surface of the material may even have special grooves to achieve a more voluminous effect. Coatings from this manufacturer are perfectly combined with backlighting.
- Buzziskin… A Belgian company that creates 3D tiles with excellent soundproofing properties. This bright coating can be installed not only in bathrooms, hallways, but also in living rooms.
- Kutahya seramuc… A brand from Turkey that is very popular for the production of tiles with various complex geometric patterns. This material makes it possible to create dynamic non-standard abstract paintings on the floor.
Prices for 3D tiles can fluctuate quite a lot depending on the brand, variety and size. On average, the minimum cost of one tile (50x50 centimeters) starts at 4 thousand rubles.
Technology for mounting 3D tiles on the floor
Laying 3D tiles on the floor is carried out using two main technologies. The translucent and opaque coating is fixed to the subfloor with an adhesive mixture. But for the installation of transparent products, you will need special profiles and lighting devices. Remember that trimming of such material is not possible, so carefully calculate the required size of panels and their number in order to optimally place them on the floor.
Floor preparation for laying 3d tiles
A rough floor covering is prepared in the same way for the installation of any kind of 3D tiles. In the process of carrying out work, the temperature in the room should be above +5 and less than +36 degrees.
The material is laid exclusively on a concrete or cement screed. It must first be inspected for defects. The rough surface must be clean, solid, free from traces of mold and mildew.
If there are potholes, holes, bumps, cracks on the floor, they should be repaired. We knock down the bulges mechanically and grind the surface, and fill the grooves with a self-leveling mixture.
After you have leveled the rough coating, and all layers of grout have dried, it must be moistened with water and rinsed with a mop 24 hours before installing the tiles. Next, cover the floor with a layer of dispersion primer. It has a water base and is optimally suited for better adhesion of the screed to the adhesive mixture. Leave the floor to dry for 20-30 minutes.
To make the three-dimensional drawing on the floor look realistic and aesthetically pleasing, it is important to correctly mark the surface and lay the tiles in accordance with the drawing. If you plan to create a specific drawing, which will consist of separate parts, it is recommended to outline a schematic image on the rough floor.
If you are going to lay the tiles in rows or in a checkerboard pattern, then you need to determine the center of the room from which you will start installation. To do this, using a building level or level, draw a line strictly in the center of the floor. Next, draw the second center line so that it intersects the first at an angle of 90 degrees. From this point we will start laying.
Fastening 3D tiles to glue
For laying translucent and opaque 3D tiles, a two-part polyurethane or water-dispersion adhesive is used.
The work is carried out using the following technology:
- Apply glue with a comb-type trowel to the floor surface with a layer of about 3 millimeters.
- We start laying from the center point. We press the tiles to the floor surface.
- After the center of the floor has been paved, we make further masonry crosswise.
- Leave gaps of 3-4 millimeters between the tiles. For this we use special crosses.
- We leave the finished coating to dry for 24 hours.
Laying 3D tiles on the frame
Before installing transparent tiles, you need to prepare a frame for it and carry out electrical wiring and lighting. The frame can be a structure made of fire-resistant corner metal, a metal grill, guides made of polycarbonate, PET and plexiglass.
The frame must be knocked down so that one or four tiles fit on one section. We place fluorescent lamps (T4) inside the structure at the rate of ten pieces per square meter. We connect them to the mains.
Next, we go directly to laying 3D tiles:
- Apply drops of colorless silicone glue along the edges of the frame section.
- We lay the tiles exactly according to the dimensions of the section and press down for better fixation.
- We continue to install the rest of the elements in a similar way. At the same time, make sure that there are gaps of 3-4 millimeters between adjacent plates.
- We leave the finished structure until the glue is completely dry. This usually takes 24 hours.
After the glue has dried, you can start grouting. Regardless of how you installed the tiles, a colorless silicone sealant is used to seal the gaps. We apply it with a spatula carefully so as not to damage the top coating of the product. Wipe off the rest of the mixture from the surface with a damp sponge.
How to lay 3D tiles - watch the video:
3D tiles are an innovative material for creating unique floor surfaces with volumetric realistic patterns. Such coatings will become a real decoration for bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and corridors. The design of 3D tiles is varied, which allows you to choose the right products for any interior.