Why should I choose Wall Tiles?

What are the benefits of kitchen and bathroom wall tiles?

Why use tiles?

Not withstanding the main reason for choosing a wall tile is obviously for design purposes, wall tiles have many practical benifits. They are easy to maintain and their wipe free properties make them extremely hygienic. When it comes to bathrooms and shower areas they protect from leaks and splashes. Correct maintenance can also help protect against mould which will occur in damper areas, and if you use a grout protector and the correct cleaning products, tiles will look fresher for longer.

Popular materials are ceramic and porcelain wall tiles but other materials are available such as natural stone and glass tiles. Floor tiles are often chosen ie when installing a wet room floor tiles are often used both on the floor and the wall. Wall tiles can also be an added investment and can add value to your home, lasting much longer than wallpaper and paints.

Travertine Wet Room Wall & FloorAqua Glass Wall Tiles

Many homeowners are installing splash backs behind the cooker not only to protect the walls but  they are also a great option to add colour and make a feature. Generally the area between the work surface and wall units are also tiled, completing the look.

Natural Stone Mosaic

Finally, kitchen and bathroom wall tiles look great and the choices are endless- wall tiles come in a variety of sizes, colours, finishes and styles. You can use large format wall tiles which will make a small area appear more spacious or smaller mosaic wall tiles.

The choice is yours and remember wall tiles can be used effectively throughout the house, not just in kitchens & bathrooms!

For help and advice on choosing the perfect kitchen and bathroom wall tiles, please visit our showroom in Wellington, phone us on 01823 667242 or email at info@wellingtontile.co.uk .

Website www.wellingtontile-online.co.uk

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Are You Laying Tiles Outside? Here is a general overview which may help with your choice.

In this blog we look at some of the considerations when deciding to tile an external area with natural or manufactured floor tiles:

Preparation

The first step is to ensure the area allocated for tiling is suitable, by this we mean a solid, clean base. It is also important at some stage during the project to allow for some fall and drainage so surface water does not pool on the tiles.

Choice of TileExternal Slate Patio

When deciding whether to use natural tiles such as Limestone, Travertine, Sandstone,
Slate, Granite, Basalt or Terracotta or manufactured tiles such as Quarries, Porcelain, Ceramic or Concrete; you need to assess the following:

Durability         Water absorption         Slip resistance               Ease of Maintenance.

As a rule the harder or more vitrified the tile the more suitable it will be for use outside given increased durability and reduced water absorption.

Porous surfaces can absorb water which in freezing conditions can damage the tile structure. With only this consideration in mind you are more likely to choose a manufactured tile or possibly a slate.

However with a durable, non porous surface there is increased risk of slipping when wet so it is important to consider this hazard. There is no point creating a patio that behaves like an ice rink whenever it rains.

The option here is to select a natural stone tile such as limestone or sandstone, with a more natural riven surface. Alternatively, look for manufactured tiles that have high slip resistance values.

limestone patioIt is often the case that Limestones, Slates or Sandstones are chosen as natural tiles have a more aesthetic feel than manufactured tiles especially externally.

To reduce any problems that absorption of moisture might cause, it is therefore very important that these tiles are sealed correctly with breathable, impregnating sealers such as LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. This will allow the tile to breath whilst at the same time                                                                                        protect the surface from water.

To achieve maximum protection however it is important to seal the tiles in a period of dry weather as for best results most sealers require, not just dry conditions during application but also 24 – 48 hours of dry conditions to fully cure.

Clearly all tiles outside will weather more quickly than tiles inside so regular maintenance with suitable aftercare products such as LTP Waxwash and regular re sealing will be necessary to keep the surface in a good condition. It is important to remember that even in the UK sunlight/ Ultra violet will lighten/weather the tiles over time.

For more detailed information on sealing tiles outside, visit the following blogs>>>>>

Are you just about to buy Wall or Floor Tiles ? Confused about the different types of Glazed Ceramic Tiles and Glazed Porcelain?

Maybe the below answers to some of the  most frequently asked questions will help you make up your mind …………

Floor Tiles

Whats the difference between a glazed ceramic tile and glazed porcelain tile?

The difference is in the biscuit, or base of the tile. A ceramic biscuit is normally made from red clay which is then glazed and fired. A porcelain biscuit is made from much finer grained clay which is then pressed under very high pressure; this makes it very hard and impervious to water. As a result porcelain tiles are generally frost proof and stronger than a ceramic.

Ceramic tiles tend to be cheaper and easier to cut and providing you have a high glaze grade (PEI rating 4 or 5) are extremely durable for flooring, though not recommended for outside.

Glazed tiles

Glazed tiles are painted with a glass like liquid and then fired to produce a sheen on the surface to give the tile a different characteristic. The liquid glass or glaze is usually baked into the surface of the clay at very high temperatures over 1500 F. Not only are glazed tiles easier to keep clean but they also allow manufacturers to produce an unlimited assortment of colors, hues, and designs..

There are essentially two types of glazed ceramic tiles:

Single-Glaze Tiles
To produce single glazes, the glaze coating is applied directly to the tile before it is fired. Single-glazed tiles offer more vivid colors and are typically more durable than double-glazed and unglazed tiles, making them more suitable for floors.

Double-Glaze Tiles
Double glazes are produced by applying a glaze coat to tiles that have already been fired, then firing the tiles a second time. Double glazes show patterns better than single glazes, but are somewhat less durable, making them more suitable for lighter-traffic floors and walls.

How do you know which PEI Strength rating a glazed floor tile is?

We are often asked this question.  It is impossible to tell the PEI Grading just from looking at the tile.  All Glazed floor tiles have been rated at manufacturing stage for the performance of glaze for resistance to wear and scratching using the ‘Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) scale.  We always find out this rating before importing and selling any tile.

What is a PEI Rating?

This is an international rating for glazed floor tiles to rate the performance of the glaze resistance to wear and scratching.  The scale (see below), ranges from 1 (least durable) to 5 (most durable).

PEI 1 – Very Light Traffic – These tiles can be used on all indoor wall applications, interior light use counter tops such as in  bathrooms, etc and very light traffic residential bathroom floors.  These tiles are not recommended for any area that will have any constant or heavy foot traffic.

PEI 2 – Light Traffic – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications.  All interior counter top applications and light traffic residential interior floors.  This tile should not be used for commercial use.

PEI 3 – Moderate Traffic  – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications, all interior counter tops applications and all residential interior floors.  This tile should not be used for commercial use.

PEI 4 – Moderate to Heavy Traffic – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications, all interior counter top applications, such as restaurants, lobbies etc.  This tile should not be used for heavy commercial use.

PEI 5 – Heavy Traffic – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications, all interior counter top applications, all residential interior floors and all heavy commercial applications, such as airports, shopping malls, supermarkets etc.  This tile is an excellent choice for industrial applications where extreme durability is required.

Will a glazed floor tile last a long time?

The durability depends on how the glaze was applied, most glazes should last from 10 to 15 years, however glazes will wear away with heavy traffic.  In general, single glazes are harder and more durable than double glazes. If a glaze shows signs of wear, it can be revived using a specially formulated sealer called LTP Glaze Protector. 

Glazed porcelain and glazed ceramic tiled floors look great when just washed.

Wall Tiles

A part from the standard glazed wall tile the crackle glazed wall tile has become a popular choice.

Are Crackle Glazed tiles hard wearing and do they need sealing?

This is a frequently asked question.  This deliberate crazing effect on a crackle glazed tile has become a popular choice for wall tiles (and can even be seen on original antique tiles (delft range), however to create crackle glazes, the glazed surface is designed to develop a series of spiders web- like cracks.  As a result, crackle glazes are more prone to staining from grout, dirt and water both during and after application.  To protect against this, all crackle glazed tiles should be sealed with LTP Crackle Glaze Sealer prior to installation.  Instruction on sealing crackle glazed tiles(pdf). Take a look at our Greenwood

Crackle Glazed Tiles

Greenwood crackle glaze range. Choice of 5 colours.Parchment, Light Parchment, Fossil, Snowflake and Driftwood

range with a choice of 5 colours.

 

Terracotta Wall and Floor Tiles

Terracotta Wall and Floor Tiles  

Terracotta tiles, from the Latin terra cotta meaning baked earth are just that:

Examples of terracotta floors

Terracotta is a traditional, authentic flooring tiles that possess a warmth, a charm and a character, often missing from more contemporary factory produced alternatives .

Spain and Mexico tend to be the main sources of terracotta floor tiles sold in the UK, however it is possible to buy terracotta from a range of other countries such as China, Vietman, Iran  and India.

Terracotta tiles as a flooring was a popular choice in the 1980’s and 1990’s in the UK as the unsophisticated warm finish it offered complemented the design requirements of the time which tended to focus on rustic, farmhouse/cottage style kitchens and barn conversions.

Since then the fashion and demand for natural tiles has shifted towards stone and travertine, however the demand for terracotta floor tiles still remains solid in more rural locations especially for barn conversions.

Terracotta tiles fall into one of two categories: Machine made terracotta tiles and Handmade terracotta tiles.

Machine Made Terracotta Floor Tiles

Our Jose Sempre range of Machine Made terracotta tile tends to be  a more highly fired, disciplined, more vitrified tile similar to a quarry tiles, yet still possessing warmth and charm. A mellow sandy coloured terracotta tile, the tones varying from pale seinna to burnt amber.  The smooth and manicured look fits well in any location and works well in contemporary settings.

Jose Sempre terracotta floor tile example

Hand-made and Semi Hand-made Terracotta Floor Tiles

Our range of Handmade or semi hand-made terracotta tiles are much more varied and rustic in appearance and are formed by pressing raw clay into molds: this produces a durable but low density tile.  Handmade terracotta tiles act as excellent insulators underfoot and are  especially suitable for use in conjunction with underfloor heating systems.

Hand-made terracotta tends to be either a honey/beige in colour or a rich leather red colour. In addition some tiles can be almost salmon pink in appearance.This terracotta tile shows all the characteristics associated with a handmade terracotta tile:  attractive colour, tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, nooks and crannies on the surface and edges of the tile.

A kitchen floor laid with terracotta tiles

Do I Have to Seal Terracotta (Terra cotta) Tiles?

As with all natural tiles and grouting, sealing and maintenance is very important. In order to get the best out of your terracotta floor tiles it is vital to consider the sealing options and then to follow the prescribed maintenance regime as this will not only ensure that the natural character of the floor is fully enhanced, but also with correct maintenance the floor will continue to look at its best for many years.

For further information  on Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Terracotta (Traditional Method) please visit LTP