Tile Information

Choosing Tiles

Choosing the right tiles is harder than you would think, particularly when you consider the vast number of design combinations; colour, size and texture not forgetting coloured grouts. Bearing in mind the design variables and the wide spectrum of costs, it is easy to understand why it is worth spending a little time planning your space. A good starting point would be to decide on your preferred colour of tile and to then explore the possibilities available to you in that colour.

Tile types

The materials that are used to make tiles and the methods of manufacturing determine the durability and absorption. It's important to know what tile is best suited for your specific situation.

Ceramic Glazed tiles are made from a mixture of clays that are pressed into shape. A "glaze" is then applied to the top and baked on. Glazed tiles are available in high-gloss, matt, and abrasive slip-resistant finishes. Glazed tiles also come in decorative styles with a pattern or hand-painted design. The glaze on the tile doesn't go all the way through, so if it gets chipped, you're going to see the colour inside. Glazed tiles tend to get scratched on frequently used countertops, but they're ideal for walls. For floors make sure you get a finish that won't be too slippery or show scratches easily. Ceramic tiles are generally cheaper to fit as they don't require a wet cutter for the majority of the cuts.

Ceramic tiles

Mosaic tiles are colorful, practical, hardwearing, waterproof, frost proof and colorfast. Mosaic tiles have been used for thousands of years to bring style, glamour and practicality to kitchens, bathrooms, showers, wet rooms, splash backs, outdoor water features and swimming pools. Ideal for large expanses of wall, flowing curved surfaces and smaller areas.

mosaic tiles

Quarry tile is a broad classification for any tile made out of a mixture of clays. They are usually deep red in color and left unglazed. These tiles are used mostly for interior floors because they're usually porous and irregular in shape. The surface of these tiles can be sealed or left unsealed, although, they may stain if left unsealed.

quarry tiles

Another trend in high-end tile jobs are natural materials like slate, marble, granite, and limestone cut into thin pieces and installed like tile.

An alternative to natural stone tiles are imitation tiles. You can find a lot of natural-looking tiles that resemble marble, slate, limestone and granite. They look like the real thing and are just as durable. They're cheaper too, as much as 75 to 80% less than the real thing.

ceramic tiles
porcelain tiles
slate tiles
stone tiles

Floor tiles

- Areas of high traffic will require a resilient tile and if the tile is ceramic, it will need a tougher glaze. Porcelain tiles are particularly tough and are ideal for areas of high usage.

- Wet or dry areas, a potentially wet area would require a tile with a rougher finish or a smaller tile, even a mosaic tile as the edges of the tile will afford some grip under wet conditions. In some cases a textured substance could be added to the glaze to create a completely non-slip surface.

- Outdoor floor tiles will need to be resistant to all kinds of weather. Tiles suitable for outdoor use include slate, natural stone and porcelain.

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