TEATREE HANDMADE TERRACOTTA IS BACK!!

 

Handmade Teatree terracotta 34cm x 34cm

Handmade Teatree terracotta 34cm x 34cm

 

As  sales director of Wellington Tile, one of the west country’s most established Tile Showrooms, Mark Atkins is well qualified to comment on trends in the market for floor tiles. What he has noticed is an interesting increase in demand for a tile that was last popular 20 years ago.

“Five years ago it was all travertine and stone, but recently the trend has moved back to Terracotta which was last at its most popular in the 1990’s.”

Over the past decade stone, especially travertine has made such an impact in interior design that despite its obvious attraction, home owners are beginning to look around for something different.

For those who like a machine made tile, porcelain with its durability and ease of maintenance is the obvious choice, however when it comes to a natural tile finish, terracotta is back in favour.

With its natural warm tones and depth of colour, terracotta flooring  not only works well both in modern and tradition settings, but it also has some practical benefits:

The  natural insulating qualities of this baked earth tile , makes it the ideal surface to place over underfloor heating systems: Terracotta retains and releases warmth in a most efficient manner.

“Our business was founded in 1980 as an importer and distributor of terracotta and now that we are re stocking our warehouses with the same tile a generation later, is rather pleasing “ .

Teatree terracotta looks aged and full of rustic character from the first day of laying once sealed. These tiles are entirely handmade, therefore no two tiles are the same.

This terracotta has all the characteristics associated with a handmade tile – beautiful colour tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, nooks and crannies on surface and edge, together with the advantage of the clay being able to retain heat. This floor will never be ice cold to the touch. Stated sizes are nominal and imprecise and there can be different porosity within a batch.

Teatree_handmade_34cm_terra

Fixing & Sealing Guidelines

PRIOR TO FIXING – Please inspect the tiles as soon as they arrive. This will give you a chance to rub down any chipped edges with a emery cloth. Make sure the sub floor is sound, level, free from dust and paint etc.

FIXING – Lay tiles into a flexible floor tile adhesive, it is important that sufficient adhesive is used to enable the tiles to be well ‘bedded’ without hollows beneath. If tiling onto a wooden floor, the floor has to be sound with no flexing. If there is any movement we recommend overboarding with either 18mm plywood or specific backer boards. Flexible adhesives and grouts must be used along with the correct board fixings as per manufacturers instructions. Once the adhesive has set clean the surface of the tile using a dry white emulsifying pad and wipe with a dry micro fibre cloth to remove any loose matter and dust.

FIRST STAGE SEALING – Apply a generous coat of LTP Boiled Linseed Oil with a paint brush, the oil is designed to soak into the tile, thus filling the pores from within. The oil then hardens within the pores, remove any excess that has not absorbed after 30 minutes. Leave for a minimum of four hours and repeat.

Rough Guide – 

20 x 20 cm = 2 to 3 coats

34 x 34 cm = 3 to 4 coats

Leave 24 hours after the final application of Boiled Linseed Oil, remember to remove any unabsorbed Oil after 30 Mins.  NB: Used Boiled Linseed Oil cloths can be a fire risk, dispose of any soiled cloths as per instructions on bottle.

Apply a generous coat of LTP Antique Wax with a micro fibre cloth and leave for 15 minutes, then buff well using a soft brush or buffing machine.

Grouting – After at least one hour after waxing grout in the joints and sponge off residues. After allowing the floor to dry (Approx 30 minutes), dust off any residual grout from the surface, making sure that all grouting smears have been removed and then leave to dry for a couple of hours.

Final Sealing Stage – When the grout has cured/dried apply a final coat of LTP Antique Wax over the tile and grout joints, rubb in a with a fluff-free cloth and buff with a soft brush or buffing machine. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least three days.

Close up of Teatree Terracotta 200 x 200 x 20mm once sealed

Close up of Teatree Terracotta 200 x 200 x 20mm once sealed

General Maintenance – Do not wash your floor with detergents or bleach as these will strip the waxes, for best results maintain with LTP Waxwash for general cleaning and maintenance once a week.

The foregoing advice, whilst given in good faith and from experience gained in various installation situations is for guidance purposes only. If in doubt at any stage of floor laying, experiment before proceeding further or seek further advice. Neither the supplier nor the manufacturers will be liable for any dissatisfaction resulting from these instructions nor will they in any circumstances accept responsibility for any damaged or incorrect tiles once they have been fixed.

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What Colour Grout Should I Use?

Deciding what grout colour to use is purely a personal preference, but there are a few hints and advice we have accumulated over the years, on how to achieve the look your after.

BronziaBronzia

 

 

 

 

The above images show the effects of different grout colours, the picture on the left has a very light grout colour and frames the tiles. Whereas the image on the right has grout more to the colour of the tiles and so blends in with the tiles. Grouting is an important part of the decision process. 

If you wish for the tiles to stand out and be “framed” then go for a contrasting colour, but be careful as sometimes all you will see is the grout and not the other way around, try with some grout swatches first, or have a look in our showroom, as we have nearly all the tiles on display with grouting to show the different choices available.


jose sempra 15x30

 

 

 

 

Another important aspect of tiling is choice of grout size, often wrong grout width choice can ruin the look of a tiled area. Have a go with a few tiles on the floor, put a 3mm joint between them and have a look, keep going until you find the space you prefer the most.

In our showroom you will see many displays of tiles with various grout widths and our fully trained staff will be more than willing to advice you on the correct choice to give you your required look.

Or call us on 01823 667242 

Alternatively visit Our website www.wellingtontile-online.co.uk

HOW DO I LAY STONE FLOOR TILES, PORCELAIN OR CERAMIC FLOOR TILES?

 

DT DISPLAY final look

Customers in our showroom often ask “Can I tile myself or do I need to employ a tiler?” 

If you have time, patience & some DIY skills then tiling is a job which can be done by the customer.need to employ a tiler?”

Listed below are some helpful hints to DIY tile fitting.

Planning and preparation is key.

First make sure you know your floor substrate and the correct preparation required prior to tiling.

All surfaces, including existing tiles, must be clean, firm, dry, free from dust, dirt, oil and grease, and strong enough to support the weight of the tiles and the adhesive. When tiling on to timber floors the surface should be prepared to provide a rigid and secure base without any deflection.

Some Questions to ask

Q:What is my floor substrate?

A: Useful link: (www.tiles.org/help) 

Q:Is it suitable to tile straight on to?

A: Most substrates can be tiled onto but will need different preparations (www.tiles.co.uk/help)

Q:Can I tile on top of existing tiles?

A: Yes provided they are soundly fitted to the floor and you prepare the (surface correctly

Q:Can I have underfloor heating under tiles?

A: Underfloor heating system are available to go under most floor surfaces for further details email: info@wellingtontile.co.uk

 

Q:How many square metres do I require?

A: By measuring the room dimensions and sending them to Info@wellingontile.co.uk we will calculate your requirements and will include a suggested 10% cutting allowance or try our tile calculator

Q:Will I need expansion joints?

A:normally around the edge of the room it is good practice. (www.uofcts.org

Q:What tools will I need

A: Notched Trowel, Grout Float, Hydro Sponge, Spacers,  Cutter, and for natural stone tiles additional: Cleaning & sealing kits 

Now you are ready make sure you have the correct tiles,tools, adhesive and grout ready for your job.

Laying

Find the centre point of the room and section into quarters.

Work one quarter at a time, if possible lay your tiles out without adhesive first to check the finished effect and to arrange the cuts at the edge of the room.

You would normally lay from different boxes to avoid shade variation rather than one box at a time.

Spread the adhesive evenly using a notch trowel or spreader. Laying Adhesive still(08-01-2014 15-12) JPEGPlace the tile in position, giving it a slight twist to bed in to the adhesive. Continue laying your tiles leaving a grout joint of your choice (NEVER butt joint). 

Helpful tip: spread a thin layer of adhesive on the back of the tiles as well to achieve perfect bond.


Check from time to time that your tiles are level (by using a spirit level) and that there are no hollows under the tiles.

Lay the quarters until all that is left are the cuts around the Tiling still 2 (08-01-2014 14-54) JPEGedges of the room.

Clean the tiles regularly to avoid adhesive remaining on the tiles and remove excess adhesive in the joints.

It is recommend to leave the tiles for 24 hours before cutting and laying the edge tiles.


Grouting

Allow the adhesive to dry (cure) before grouting.

If the tiles require sealing such as natural stone, terracottapolished porcelain & slate then applying 1st coat of sealer before grouting- this not only helps ensure the grout does not stain the tile, but it also helps with the cleaning of the excess grout.

Grouting still 2 (08-01-2014 15-01) JPEG

Using your grout float apply enough grout as you can effectively work with.

Press the grout into the joints (in a diagonal direction) to an even level with the tile. Remove the excess from the tile with the grout float.

Washing Grout Still (08-01-2014 15-23) JPEG

Wait for the grout to stiffen then using a damp sponge work across the joints being careful not to drag the grout out of the joints. Clean as you work checking the grout joints are full and smoothly finished.

Useful link (www.tile.org.uk/joints) 

Leave for the entire floor to cure. Grout residue (hazing) can be removed with LTP Grout St Remover (on the appropriate tiles).

 

The foregoing advice, whilst given in good faith and from experience gained in various installation situations is for guidance purposes only. If in doubt at any stage of floor laying, experiment before proceeding further or seek further advice. Neither the supplier nor the manufacturers will be liable for any dissatisfaction resulting from these instructions nor will they in any circumstances accept responsibility for any damaged or incorrect tiles once they have been fixed.

 

 

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

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.