Eveything you need to know about tiles

by British Ceramic Tile.

 

Tiles Explained.

Choosing tiles can seem difficult with so many different materials and sizes available, but the beauty of tiles is that they are incredibly versatile and hard wearing. Now viewed as an alternative to wallpaper and carpets, tiles are a popular choice in the home from the kitchen and bathroom, through to the hallway and dining room. For more information on choosing tiles for your home, the experts from British Ceramic Tile have created their top tips and picks.

 

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are hardwearing, easy to install, waterproof and work well with underfloor heating. They can be used on the wall and floor and are suited to wet rooms as they are waterproof. They require no special cleaning or maintenance, so are great value and come in a variety of sizes & finishes.

 

Porcelain

Porcelain is extremely hardwearing, making it ideal for busy areas of the home, and is suitable for walls and floors, some are even suitable for outdoor use. Porcelain tiles can either have glazed or unglazed finish, and again come in a variety of sizes and finishes. Some porcelain tiles require sealing and maintenance.

 

Glass

Glass tiles are easy to install and maintain. They come in a variety of size and finishes, and are well suited to areas like the kitchen and bathroom as they can wiped clean.

 

Natural Stone

Natural stone wall and floor tiles are also hardwearing making them a great addition to high traffic areas. However, natural stone is porous so will require a special sealant during installation and requires regular cleaning and maintenance.

 

Mosaics

Mosaics are still popular and tend to be small tiles made from any of the above materials, often a mixture. They are usually attached to a mesh backing for easy installation.

mosaic tile

 

Size

Tiles can now be purchased in a variety of different sizes and it is down to your personal choice as to what you go for. You can even mix different sizes for a contemporary look. As a general rule of thumb, however, small wall tiles tend to be traditional for kitchens and larger tiles for bathrooms but this doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. We’re also seeing a huge trend for brick formats in all rooms, even though they are small - so go with what works best for you.

 

Finishes

 

Matt tiles are a great choice if you want to create traditional or rustic look in your home but you can also get some contemporary matt tiles to, while gloss tiles are ideal if you have a smaller room, as the glossy finish will bounce the light around the room. If you are after a finish somewhat in between, then you could always opt for a satin tile - a smooth surface that has a subtly reflective sheen.

 

Textured tiles are also coming to the forefront of tile design, whether printed on to the surface or pressed into the tile to create a raised structure. Waves, geometric patterns, lines structures and floral motifs are all now readily available.

textured tiles

 

 

Other finishes are available such as:

 

Iridescent - a glistening glaze that looks to change colour in the light

Anti-slip - often applied to gloss tiles to make them less slippy underfoot

Split-Face - can no be found in ceramic tiles as well as natural stone. Tiles have a rough finish to them to create texture.

Metallic - often in shades of copper, silver, gold and pewter.

 

Feature Walls

Tiles are well suited to kitchen and bathroom and make a stunning addition instantly transforming your space. But why stop there? Create pockets of interest with a tiled feature wall behind your bed or in your hallway or frame your fireplace for an innovative design feature.

 

 

Top Tip

Opt for a larger tile if you want to make a room feel bigger.

 

So whats hot in 2016?

 

Claire O’Brien, head of design at British Ceramic Tile, shares her insights as to what’s hot right now within interior design schemes.

 

Grey is the colour of 2016

If your space is limited, using a grey tile with a gloss finish will capture light and bounce it across walls, giving an illusion of more space.

 

Organic materials are a key trend for 2016

Wood, slate, marble and concrete all fall into this category and add a subtle texture and interest to walls and floors, within a neutral palette.

 

Top Tip!

Natural materials such as stone and wood can sometimes be costly to install and maintain. HD tiles replicate the look of real marble and timber on a ceramic tile, yet they are extremely hardwearing, waterproof and don’t require any special treatment or maintenance online the real thing.

 

Patterns

Patterns remain popular, from contemporary geometric patterns to Moroccan inspired motifs. Patterns are ideal for feature walls and zoning a room.

pattern tiles 

Top Tip

The key to success when mixing and matching patterns is the colour palette, make sure you stick to one colour rather then introducing too many.

 

British Ceramic Tile’s Top Tips

So your tiles are picked and ready to create your desired look, now it’s time to install. Here are some top tips to make it a straightforward and stress-free process.

 

How many will i need? Good question!

British Ceramic Tile have put together this handy chart, which helps you to decide how many tiles you need depending on their size and sum being tiled. Remember to add an extra 10% to account for cuts and any wastage.

 

Tile size (CM)

1m²

2m²

3m²

4m²

5m²

6m²

7m²

8m²

9m²

10m²

10x10

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

1000

10x20

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

500

10x40

25

50

75

100

125

150

175

200

225

250

15x7.5

89

178

267

356

445

534

623

712

800

889

15x15

45

89

134

178

223

267

312

356

400

445

15x50

14

29

40

54

67

80

94

107

120

134

30x7.5

45

89

134

178

223

267

312

356

400

445

25x33

13

25

37

49

61

73

85

97

110

122

25x40

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

25x50

8

16

24

32

40

48

56

64

72

80

30x30

12

23

34

45

56

67

78

89

100

112

33x33

10

19

28

37

46

56

65

74

83

92

30x50

7

14

20

27

34

40

47

54

60

67

30x60

6

12

17

23

28

34

39

45

50

56

50x50

4

8

12

16

20

24

28

32

36

40

60x60

3

6

9

12

14

17

20

23

25

28

 

Tools for the job: If you are installing tiles yourself, you’ll need to have the following tools handy:

Spirit level

Measuring tape

Tile cutter

Tile adhesive trowel

Grouting squeegee

Sponge

Spacers

Tile fixing trim

A mechanical tile cutter if cutting harder tiles like porcelain or natural stone.

 

Grouts

Depending on the tiles and where you are installing them, you’ll need to make sure you get the right grout for the job. The most common ones are: fine joint grout, flexible grout, wide joint grout, ready mixed grout and waterproof grout. Make sure you ask your tiling shop which is the right one for the tiles you end up buying.

 

Adhesives

Adhesives have varied properties such as flexibility, grab and setting times, so be sure to ask your tiling store for one that matches what you need. It might be that you need a quicker setting time or are you fixing large format tiles to your walls so need something to keep everything in place.

 

Top tip

Grouts are available in a wide range of colours and you can go for one that complements or contrasts with your tiling. A contrasting grout will emphasise your tile pattern.

 

If you want to see British Cermaic Tile's Ranges call into our showroom. With discounts available in-store.