Tiles have been used on walls and floors for thousands of years, even as far back as 4700 BC by the Egyptians. They are the earliest form of decorative ceramic art and have been used over the centuries on roofs, walls, floors, public baths and showers and for decoration such as mosaic floors and walls.
A tile is a moulded and pressed piece of a mixture of clay, sand and other natural substances that has been fired, decorated, re-glazed and fired again to a very high temperature to give it strength and structure. They come in all shapes and sizes, smooth and textured, plain and patterned and current trends are for bigger tiles.
Why choose tiles?
- Hardwearing and can withstand spills, knocks and moving furniture.
- More hygienic, easier to keep clean and better for people with allergies and asthma.
- Tiles will not fade in sunlight.
- Long term floor covering and maintenance free unlike engineered wood, laminates, carpets and vinyl.
- Completely waterproof making them ideal for wet areas like kitchens, utility areas, bathrooms, swimming pools, paths, porches etc.
- Slip resistancy on some tiles makes them suitable for the less abled in wet areas
So what tiles are suitable for where?
- Ceramic wall tiles – Domestic and commercial use-matt or gloss finish- internal walls only.
- Ceramic floor tiles – Domestic use – matt or gloss – internal moderate traffic floors only e.g. bathrooms, bedrooms, conservatories. Can be used on walls.
- Glazed porcelain – Domestic and light commercial use-matt or gloss – internal and external – walls and floors.
- Full bodied porcelain – Domestic and commercial use- matt or gloss – internal and external – walls and floors. Fully frost and heat proof. Suitable for swimming pools. Highest wear grade.
- Fully vitrified – aka ‘quarry’ or ‘unglazed’- Domestic and light commercial use-internal and external – walls and floors. Frost and heat proof. May require sealing.
- Natural stone tiles – Including Marble, Limestone, Sandstone, Slate, Granite. Domestic and commercial use- internal and external (depending on thickness) – walls and floors. Will require sealing and maintenance. Naturally quarried tiles will all be uniquely different.
- Slip resistant – ‘R’ rating is the resistance rating as classified by professionals to advise on the suitability of a tile in a wet environment e.g. pool surround, wet room area, kitchen floor. The higher the rating the more resistant with R13 being the highest and R9 the lowest.
- Mosaic tiles – Huge ranges available in 1000’s of shapes, colours, textures and materials. They come on mesh sheets so can be easily cut to size – generally used to complement the larger wall/floor tile as a decorative feature. Especially useful in wet rooms if correct material is used.
- Glass splashbacks – Internal use – suitable for kitchen and bathroom splashbacks. Low porosity and very hard.
Floor tiles are perfect for under floor heating, whether a wet system or electric cable or matting is used, and offers an excellent primary heat source where wall space is a premium, leaving the wall space for electric towel radiators or floor standing units.
Electric underfloor heating can be very economical and can use the equivalent power of a couple of light bulbs thereby costing just a few pence a day to run. The running costs will be dependent on the sub-floor and the type of room where the installation is taking place.
Adhesives and grout.
It is important that the correct adhesive is used in the right setting with the correct tiles. The range of tile adhesives that we sell will cover nearly every situation and we are happy to advise on the adhesive that is most suitable for the job at hand- we know what we are talking about!
Grout 3000 comes in a range of colours and is suitable for internal and external settings including wet rooms, showers and swimming pools. It is shrink resistant and has anti mould technology making it suitable for all projects.
Consideration must be made when grouting natural stone and porous tiles to ensure there is no scratching or discolouration on the tile surface.
The pros and cons of buying tiles online
Is the tile surface gloss or matt, smooth or textured? You will not be able to see this online so be sure before you order. Arrange for a sample of the tile to be sent to you to check. At New Image you are able to see and feel all of our stock ranges and can purchase refundable sample tiles to try at home.
Don’t run short
Allow an extra 10% onto your order for cuts and breakages and to store some spares away. This will ensure you have enough without paying for an extra delivery cost and should the worst happen a few years down the line then you will have some spares to use. At New Image you would be able to come and purchase extra tiles from our stock ranges if necessary.
Always check that all the cartons have the same tile batch codes and tonal numbers. There will be slight differences with every batch produced so it is important to check these details to save potential disasters when laying the tiles. At New Image our warehouse staff check all the batches before fulfilling your order.
Cost can matter
Beware of cheap ranges, they are often poor quality and seconds that are sold cheaply by the manufacturers. Using these may cause problems for the fitter with varying thicknesses and sizes, warped tiles and tiles not being square. What seems to be a bargain can end up costing you more in the long run. At New Image we do not purchase or supply cheap tiles or seconds- our tiles are always the highest quality at reasonable prices and are often less expensive on like for like tiles than our major competitors.
Are you able to return any tiles left over after you have put some aside? At New Image we sell the majority of our stock ranges by the tile, so that you are able to return any excess within 30 days for a refund.
The benefits of tiles.
Tiles are durable, energy efficient, hypo-allergenic, odourless and hygiene-friendly. They can be used to great effect in every room in your house and can be a cost effective alternative to other products.
Come and see our huge ranges of kitchen tiles and bathroom tiles which are available to take away with you. And if you need advice on quantities, suitability or adhesive and grouts or tools for the job then come and talk to the experts.
As long term members of The Tile Association you can rest assured and put your trust in us – when it comes to tiles, we know what we are talking about!