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Do your prices include VAT?
Yes, all prices are inclusive of VAT
Can I have a sample tile?
Yes – It’s a good idea to order a sample as computer screens do not necessarily show a good likeness of the tile, also colours can vary in different light conditions. Samples can either be ordered as a 4” square cut-off piece of the tile which is sent entirely free of charge, or a full tile (up to the size 400mm x 250mm and excluding Mosaic tiles) for only £1.00. Larger tiles are cut down to provide a good size sample and are charged at £1.00 only.
What is your refund policy?
We give a full refund for full cartons of tiles in their original packaging accompanied by a copy of the receipt providing they are a current stock item and the same shade as those we have in stock at the time of the return. Adhesives and grouts where the packaging has been opened would not be accepted (as, of course, they are then subject to deterioration), nor would tools etc. which have been used or the packaging opened. Please contact us before returning goods to ensure they are acceptable.
How long does it take for a refund to be processed?
Refunds are normally processed within 7 working days, upon receipt of returned products.
How many tiles will I need?
It’s worked out by measuring the area you intend to tile (which gives the number of square metres of tile you need), then, knowing the size of tile, working out how many you need to cover that area.
We only send full boxes of plain tile, so the quantity ordered is rounded up to the nearest full carton
All our tiles on this site are specified in millimetres; If you click the “details” button for any tile there is a calculator which allows you to enter the dimensions of up to four areas. This will then give you the number of that tile required plus the cost.
We recommend that you add 10% to the tile figure. This is because in most cases the tiles at the end of the wall have to be cut to fit, which means some wastage, and also there are likely to be breakages during fixing.
What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?
Ceramic and porcelain are similar, in so far as they are both made from varying grades of clay with the addition of other minerals such as silica, but the main difference is in the manufacture. For ceramic tiles the ingredients are mixed with water, pressed into shape and fired in an oven or furnace to produce the tile.
For porcelain the ingredients are first powdered and the mixture pressed into shape under high pressure. This is then fired at a temperature of 1200˚ - high enough to cause the mixture to fuse together (vitrify).
The differences in manufacture produce differing properties and, in some areas, different uses for the tiles.
Ceramic tiles are not as tough as porcelain, but on the plus side they are easier to cut or drill with standard equipment, whereas porcelain generally calls for diamond tipped tools.
Ceramic tiles will absorb water which, in winter, will freeze and cause the tile to crack. They are therefore not suitable for exterior use, whereas porcelain has a negligible absorption rate and can be used outside. Porcelain tiles are referred to as fully vitrified, having an absorption rate of less than 0.5%; tiles with a rate of 0.5 – 3% are known as vitrified, while 3% - 6% are semi-vitrified.
Ceramic tiles are almost always covered with a decorative glaze and are available in a wide variety of colours and designs so are an ideal choice for a wall tile. Porcelain may be glazed or unglazed.
Glazes vary in hardness and some can scratch easily. Not often a problem for wall tiles but for a glazed floor tile always confirm that it has been rated for wear resistance. The unglazed porcelain tiles have a consistent colour all through the tile. If they do get scratched then the mark will not be so obvious. Because of this they are not usually rated for wear. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use glazed floor tiles, in the right place they will stay fresh indefinitely – it’s just a matter of checking beforehand.
Can ceramic tiles be used outside?
No. Ceramic tiles will absorb water and the main problem is that when the water freezes – as it will in this country – it will expand and cause the tiles to crack. Porcelain, being a fully vitrified material, does not have a significant absorption problem and should be chosen for exterior use.
Where should glazed floor tiles be used?
First remember that prevention is better than cure, so it is important to have matting at entrances from outside so as to avoid grit getting to the tile and possibly causing scratches.
Glazed tiles are tested for wearability and given a score, known as a PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating. This rating is from 0 to 5 and is sometimes shown as stars (* = 1, ** = 2, etc.) The higher the rating the greater the wearability. This rating should always be confirmed when selecting floor tiles for particular locations:
|Class 0||No foot traffic. These tiles are only suitable as wall tiles.|
|Class 1||Bare feet only, such as bathrooms.|
|Class 2||Domestic use in light traffic, bare feet or soft soles, with no access from outside.|
|Class 3||Generally domestic medium traffic areas with protection from abrasion – no direct access from outside.|
|Class 4||Medium traffic areas, may be direct access from outside, including commercial applications.|
|Class 5||High traffic levels not protected from abrasion. Heavy duty commercial and domestic situations.|
Do tiles need to be sealed?
Natural stone (marble, granite, slate, travertine) is porous, as is unglazed ceramic. Porcelain, being denser, is generally not porous, although polished porcelain can be, as the polishing process itself can open up tiny pores on the surface. Any liquid spilt on the tile is therefore liable to soak into the tile and cause permanent staining.
However polished porcelain can be treated at the factory to make it impermeable, and in fact we do not sell any porcelain which needs sealing. Nor do we sell unglazed ceramic, so the only tiles we sell which do require sealing are natural stone. There are some exceptions with this too, for example some mosaics are sealed at the factory, so always ask for advice when making a selection.
There are two types of sealant – the surface sealer which coats the surface of the tile, and the penetrating sealer which is absorbed into and fills the pores of the material. The penetrating sealer is a permanent treatment, whereas the surface sealer will wear and require re-treatment after several years, but it can also be used to give the stone a satin sheen.
How do I maintain tiles?
One of the benefits of ceramic and porcelain tiles is that they generally need very little maintenance, although polished porcelain should be sealed. Glazed tiles do not need to be sealed – the glaze itself acts as a sealant.
Remember that grit is a big enemy of floor tiles and a mat should be placed at any entrance from the outside. Cleaning normally only requires wiping or mopping with warm water with some neutral detergent followed by rinsing with clean water. This point is important otherwise deposits will build up on the tile making them appear dull.
Most natural stone is porous and needs to be sealed.
Is there a weight limit when tiling a wall?
The maximum weight of tiling which can be supported by a dry, well-adhered plaster background is 20kg/m2. This is equivalent to ceramic tiles with a maximum thickness of 8mm plus tile adhesive or natural stone tiles with a maximum thickness of 7mm plus tile adhesive
The weight of tiling to a plasterboard background direct (without plaster skim) should not exceed 32kg/m2. This is equivalent to a ceramic tile and adhesive with a maximum thickness of 12.5mm and natural stone and adhesive with a maximum thickness of 10mm.
It is important to emphasise that the weights quoted includes both the tile and adhesive.
Further advice should be sought either from the manufacturer, regarding the suitability of the adhesives and grouts and also guidance must be sought from board manufacturer regarding additional information on recommended methods for the installation of boards.
The following table offers general guidance to some common types of building board and the maximum recommended weights for tiling.
|Wall Substrates||Maximum Weight of Tiling per m2|
|Gypsum Plasterboard Direct (without a plaster skim)||32Kg/m2|
|Plywood (WBP)||Up to 30Kg/m2|
|Lightweight Tilebacking Boards*||Up to 40Kg/m2. Dependant upon the type and thickness of the board.|
|Glass reinforced Cement Sheets||Up to 50kg/m2, Dependant upon the type and thickness of the board.|
|Gypsum Fibre boards||Approximately 35- 40Kg/m2|