Advice

So why choose tiles?

For centuries tiles have been valued for their beauty and durability. In the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece and Rome, tiles were used as a functional material and as decoration in the houses of the most important citizens, as well as in public buildings such as baths and temples. The fact that often, when these buildings are excavated, the tiled floors are still intact is a testament to the durability of tiles.

Nowadays there’s a massive variety of tiles to choose from, giving you countless options when it comes to putting your designs into action. People are choosing ceramic & natural stone tiles for many reasons:

Style Tiles look fantastic. Nothing transforms a room quite like tiles, plus they’ll add value to your home (if fitted professionally!)

Cost Tiles are generally no more expensive than many other wall and floor coverings. Tiles last for such a long time, if you consider the cost over their design life, they’re far cheaper than wallpaper, wood or carpet

Comfort Tiles are very comfortable under foot. They have thermal insulation and soundproofing qualities and are suitable for use with under floor heating.

Safety Tiles are non-flammable, they do not conduct electricity. They are hygienic, widely used in commercial kitchens and hospitals as they don’t attract or absorb dirt, and they’re very easy to clean. They’re also healthy and ideal for those with asthma or allergies as they don’t harbour dust, pollen, or dust mites.

What type of tiles are available?

Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles are available plain or decorated and can be used on walls and floors.

Unglazed ceramic floor tiles are more suited to commercial and industrial settings, but can be used in laundries and utility rooms. They are available with a non-slip profile.

Quarry tiles are a traditional product made in the UK for hundreds of year. They are made from natural clay, squeezed through an extruding machine, and then fired. They are mostly available in terracotta, black and white colours.

Terracotta tiles are also made from local clays. Terracotta means “cooked earth” and these products tend to be very absorbent, so need sealing when used on the floor.

Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles, but with a very low absorbency. They are usually made from kaolin clays, feldspar, silica and colouring oxides and are fired at about 1200oC. Porcelain tiles are hard wearing and can be used on walls or floors.

Mosaics are very small tiles, usually less than 35cm2. Mosaics can be glazed or unglazed and made from porcelain, ceramic, glass or natural stone.

Natural stone products limestone, marble, granite, travertine and slate are quarried from the earth. Some are extremely hard, and some quite soft. Some may need sealing.

Glass tiles are extremely durable and easy to keep clean, they can be difficult to cut, some cuts require use of a specialist.

Travertine a sedimentary rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from solution in ground and surface waters, and/or geothermal heated hot-springs. Travertine is quite soft and not suitable where there will be heavy foot traffic.

Is it OK to tile over existing tiles?

Yes, providing that the existing tiling is firmly bonded to the existing background. You will have to clean the existing tiling thoroughly and degrease them before fixing the new tiles. The  correct adhesive should be used when tiling over existing tiling.

There are limitations regarding the weight of tiles when tiling a wall. It is important to emphasize that the weights quoted includes both the tile and adhesive.

Wall Substrates Maximum Weight of Tiling per m²
Gypsum Plaster 20Kg/m²
Gypsum Plasterboard Direct (without a plaster skim) 32Kg/m²
Plywood (WBP) Up to 30Kg/m²
Lightweight Tile backing Boards* Up to 40Kg/m². Dependent upon the type and thickness of the board.
Glass reinforced Cement Sheets Up to 50kg/m², Dependent upon the type and thickness of the board.
Gypsum Fibre boards Approximately 35- 40Kg/m²