Planning and Design

Points to consider when planning to tile:

(1) Which areas of my home do I want to tile?

Tiles are being used more and more in modern and traditional homes. They are stylish, hard wearing, easy to clean, cost efficient, and will last virtually forever. Tiling can be used in almost any area or room in your house whether it be inside or outside, in the kitchen, bathroom, living areas, entrance ways, or on the patio. If you are tiling multiple areas in your home you may want to think about using the same or similar tiles to create continuity between rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, as well as link up tile colours, textures or shapes within the house to those outside of the house. Tile Trends has ranges of tiles with anti-slip versions so that you can have matching tiles for indoor & outdoor flow. Tile Trends also has many ranges that offer matching floor and wall tiles.

(2) Will the tiles be used on the floor or wall?

There is a difference between wall and floor tiles. Remember you can always use a floor tile on either the floor or the wall which many people choose to do to get that perfect match, but you can only use a wall tile on the wall. The difference between the two tiles is that a floor tile will normally have a harder glaze and the body of the tile will be made of harder materials to withstand people or vehicles walking or driving over them.

A very important factor to consider is the type of sub-floor and sub-walls used under the tiles. Before tiling, sub-floors must be firm, level, clean, and free of dust, waxes and sealants. Joists spaced closer together may be required to stop movement in wooden floorboards before being tiled over. Or cover the floor with sheets of Tile and Slate Underlay from Tile Trends to provide a non flexible substrate.

(3) Will the tiles be used indoors or outdoors?

You may want to use different tiles for inside and outside areas of your house. You may want outside tiles to have a surface with grip to provide an anti-slip surface if they get wet. Tiles used outside that will be subjected to frosts must be frost proof. In very cold and wet conditions water may be absorbed into the tile and freeze. The expansion of the water in the tile when frozen may cause the tiles to crack or break. A frost resistant or frost proof tile has minimum absorption levels and so will not be damaged in frost areas. Tile Trends carry a large range of tiles suitable for exterior areas.

(4) Under Floor Heating

Tiles are no hotter or cooler than any other floor types. Under floor heating just makes it that much cosier on those cold winter mornings. Today’s modern thermostats can be programmed to turn on and off at different times of the day and even set to turn on and off on certain days. Under floor heating is clean and efficient as it warms you from your toes up. Tile Trends supply DIY kits which you can lay under tiles yourself and then just contract an electrician to make the final connection. These kits by Warmup are a real D.I.Y product which make tiling afterwards much easier than some products.

(5) Will the tiles be used in a wet area?

Always waterproof showers and wet areas using a waterproofing membrane before you tile because the grout between tiles is not 100% waterproof. It is important to use products from one manufacturer to insure that all products are compatible with each other.

Waterproof membranes are easy to apply and will provide total waterproofing when correctly applied. If water gets into timber structures or wall linings behind or under tiles, the timber will expand and may cause tile breakage and rotting of framing and support structures over time. We recommended ASA Dampfix products because they form a complete system to insure a watertight surface. ASA Dampfix Waterbased PU provides fast curing and easy clean up. There are a number of different ASA waterproofing products available, a Tile Trends Consultant can advise which one would be best suited to your job.

(6) Matt or polished finish?

This is completely up to you. A glazed tile is easy to clean with the difference between one and the other is the amount of light it reflects. Tiles such as natural terracotta have no glaze and must be sealed to prevent staining. They are generally used in outdoor situations.

(7) What tile size should I choose?

Choosing the tile size really comes down to personal taste and the required function of the tile. The different sizes of tiles may give quite a different effect. Today many of the same coloured tiles can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. One general rule is that larger tiles on both the wall and the floor will tend to make the room appear larger. Even in a small toilet area for example. Less grout lines makes for a more open look.

(8) What colour should I choose for my tiles and grouting?

Again this comes down to personal preference. You may want use vibrant colours and textures for example; to make your children's bathrooms vibrant and fun ­ it will be a lot easier to get them there when it comes to bath time! Decorative coloured inserts or borders among fairly plain coloured tiles can create interest and uniqueness. You may want to think of using more neutral coloured tiles if you are doing up your home to sell as they will appeal to a larger range of buyers. Colour coding with surrounding materials such as curtains, carpets and blinds should also be taken into consideration.

The colour of the grout you choose may have quite a large effect on the overall look of your tiles. Your grout colour should complement the tile but not match it. It is nice to define the edge of the tile to show it off. More people are using a light grey grout on the wall with white tiles. Grouts come pre coloured and there is a large range of colours to choose from. ASA Coloured Grout is easy to mix and has certain properties to insure a professional look. Always seal your grout with Aquamix Grout Sealer from Tile Trends. This is very easy to do and a tiler will not generally do this as it would require an additional trip back costing you a bit more. Aquamix Grout Sealer seals the grout to prevent any stains from soaking in. This should be done every 2 to 5 years. This product really works.

(9) What tiling patterning should I use?

You may choose to lay your tiles in many different formats. Either straight vertical / horizontal lines, diagonally, brick bond, herringbone, etc. Again this is up to personal choice. Just visit any Tile Trends showrooms where we have displayed different tiling patterns on the wall and floor to give an idea of the visual effect the different patterns create. You can also view different laying patterns by clicking Products or Design Ideas on our web site. Choose the pattern that appeals most to you and is able to create the look you are after.

When buying tiles, sometimes the physical finish of some tiles is directional, so check the underside of the tile to see if there is a laying direction if this is not immediately obvious.

(10) How many tiles should I order?

The general rule is to measure the area to be tiled in square metres and add an additional 10% which allows for cuts, wastage and some spares. If laying the tiles on a diagonal add 15% extra. Tiles are ordered by the square metre. It just takes more tiles of a smaller size or less tiles of a bigger size to cover the same square metre. Make sure you have enough tiles to finish the job before starting to tile, plus a few extra for breakages and replacements, as more tiles may not always be available. Once the tiles have been attached to the surface no claims can be made so make sure you have the correct tiles and you are completely happy with the tile. Also keep your receipt in a safe place in case you decide to use the same tiles for a different area of your home. Tiles like carpet and other products are subject to batch variations. Normally the difference is minor but it is important to use tiles from the same batch if possible.

Handy Hint:

Use as many full tiles as possible. Avoid small or narrow tile cuttings wherever possible.