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  • General Questions 

Why choose tiles?

Tiles are natural, stylish, versatile, hygienic and extremely durable. They are now available in so many styles, colors and finishes that they have become integral features in any interior design scheme. 

What are tiles made from?

Ceramic tiles are primarily made up of clays, quartziferous sands, glass substances and other materials. Only natural raw materials are used, mixed with water and fired at high temperatures to create a naturally beautiful product. With glazed ceramic tiles, generally the coloring of the tile is on the surface of the tile with the remainder of the tile being known as the "biscuit". 

Porcelain tiles (porcelain stoneware) are highly resistant full bodied tiles which don't absorb water and aren't affected by wear and tear over time. They are resistant to frost, stains, chemical damage, abrasion, heavy loads and fire. Historically, they have been used more in commercial projects but they are increasingly being used for domestic applications due to the huge range of colors and finishes now available. 

Can wall tiles be used on the floor?

Generally, wall tiles cannot be used on the floor. However, some manufacturers now produce tiles on porcelain backs so that their wall tiles can be used on floors. It is always best to ask in store. 

Can floor tiles be used on the wall?

Yes, floor tiles are commonly used on walls. However, some large format tiles may be too heavy for the wall to which they are being fixed. Therefore, it is important to inform the store when purchasing the tiles as special adhesive may be required and /or the tile may be unsuitable. 

Can I tile over existing tiles?

Yes, you can tile over existing tiles provided they are not loose and don't have any cracks. The surface of the existing tiles must be clean, level and free of grease and a special flexible adhesive must be used. If the existing tiles are glazed, scratch the surface first to provide grip for the adhesive to bond to. Tiling onto old floor tiles may affect doors and saddle boards. 

What are the new trends in tiles?

Soft, natural tones continue to be extremely popular, as are minimalist styles. Amongst the strong colors that are currently in vogue are mochas, coffees and dark grey. 

Do many people use mosaics?

Mosaics continue to increase in popularity and more and more ranges are becoming available to the market including natural stone pebbles, stainless steel mosaics and beautiful iridescent glass mosaics. They are extremely versatile and as well as being used on their own, they can be combined with plain tiles to create mirror frames and borders. Mosaics are also the ideal material for tiling curved surfaces such as pillars etc. 

Will a large tile make my room look bigger?

Generally, a small tile will give the impression of more space whereas a large tile needs a bigger area to show it off properly. The color and finish of the tile as well as the shape of the room also need to be considered. However, it really is a question of personal preference. 

What are the best tiles to use in bathrooms?

Glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles are ideal because they are easy to install, easy to clean, they are waterproof and come in a huge range of styles and colors. Ceramic tiles are easier to drill than porcelain making installation of accessories easier. 

Do tiles deteriorate over time?

The durability of tiles is superior to that of almost all the alternative materials on the market. By choosing the most suitable product, taking due care during laying and cleaning regularly, you'll help to ensure their long life. 

What preparation is required for tiling?

The surface should be solid, smooth, level and free from dust and grit. 

Where do I start tiling from?

Tiling should begin from the centre line of the room using a baton for support. 

Is the right adhesive important?

It is absolutely vital that the correct adhesive is used. It is as important as choosing the right tile as different surfaces require different adhesives. 

Is it possible to tile onto a wooden floor?

Yes, it is possible. However, there are some conditions which must be adhered to. Existing floors must be overlaid with at least WBP grade plywood. However, marine ply is best. It must have a minimum thickness 19mm, screwed down (not nailed) at 150mm centers. All timber surfaces should be primed on the reverse side and all edges. It is essential that one uses powdered adhesive with a latex additive when tiling onto plywood.
In certain cases, it may be possible using a 2 part fast flex adhesive to tile directly onto timber. However, this must be checked thoroughly with a professional tiller. 

Do tiles require maintenance?

For ceramic and porcelain tiles, only a minimum of effort is required to keep surfaces in good condition. If laid correctly and washed regularly with plain water, a quality floor will maintain its appearance over time. A small amount of liquid soap and water can help. The use of a floor mat in entrance areas protects the tiles from abrasive dirt and grit. 

Natural stone flooring will require some maintenance (eg. sealing), depending on the material and the volume of usage. When purchasing natural stone materials, it is important to establish exactly what maintenance is required and which products need to be used. The supplier should provide you with this information when making your purchase. 

How do you calculate the quantity of tiles that you need to order?

All areas to be tiled should be measured length by breadth and an allowance of five percent should be made for cutting and wastage. 

Are tiles expensive?

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are an inexpensive decorative product when one considers the lifespan of the product. (Paint, paper, carpet etc has to be replaced every couple of years) 

Can under floor heating be used with tiles ?

Under floor heating is an ideal, inexpensive heating system when using ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles. Ceramic tiles are great conductors of heat. (Remember the old ceramic brick in the radiator!)

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