How to Choose Tiles
Here’s a definitive and technical guide on how to choose tiles. Don’t forget, you can always contact us if you have any questions.
A. Rectified vs non rectified:
Rectified tiles are those with straight edges. These lead to a seamless, high end and hotel style finish, with long lines and smooth planes that are attractive to the eye and to touch. These tiles, however, are less forgiving and require more skill to lay particularly to achieve a smooth clean gradient. The slightest imperfection in the underlying leveling, amount of glue applied, cutting, or any bows or bends in the tile may lead to noticeable lips. Budget in more time and higher quality tiles to achieve this look.
Non rectified tiles have a slightly beveled or rounded edges so variations or imperfections in the tiles are less obvious and less finesse is required to lay them. These are quick and easy to tile but do have a slightly older and homely finish. These can be a great option for rental properties, where you are looking to freshen up an area quickly and economically, small areas, uneven or angled areas, where you wish to tile over existing tiles, or DIY tiling jobs.
B. Size of tiles:
Small tiles such as mosaic subway tiles often provide the option to inject an area with lovely colours and patterns. There are two things in particular to keep in mind when considering small tiles.
One of the aspects that requires most maintenance and ages kitchen tiling, bathroom tiling or other tiled area most noticeably, however, is the coloration of the grout between tiles over time. Small tiles require more grout. This should be kept in mind, particularly in high traffic areas.
Secondly, smaller tiles require the underlying wall to be in good condition (rendered level, flat, smooth). While the amount of glue used to adhere larger format tiles onto the wall can be adjusted with each individual tile to accommodate for differences in the wall such as slightly angled, offset or unsmooth walls, this is not an option for smaller tiles. Therefore, factor additional costs for levelling and rendering.
Large tiles minimise grout and provide a more seamless look especially for larger floors and areas. Naturally, they are much more cumbersome to manoeuvre and lay. Budget for longer or at least two tilers for tiles over 60cm x 60cm or if heavier material such as stone.
C. Amount of tiles:
It is important to ask your tiler or take the time to properly measure the amount you need. There can be quite noticeable variations between different batches of the same tile. Furthermore delays in supply or delivery of additional tiles can derail project timelines and increase costs.
A buffer of 20% is advisable to accommodate for bows/bends, chips or scratches (particularly with many of the cheaper and newer imported tiles), to accommodate for size cuts, and breakage.
A buffer of up to 30% might be advisable where many tiles will need to be custom cut to size, for instance due to tile shape or pattern, unusual room shapes, additional surface areas, steps, existing fixtures or fittings, or where nooks or cutouts are planned.
D. Tips when purchasing tiles:
It is best to speak to your tiler for supplier recommendations before our purchasing your tiles. Many tiles shops and suppliers source from the same companies, with the only real difference being packaging and ordering power. We can often assist you with obtaining the best deals for the tiles you want from companies we have good relationships with and have taken care of our customers in the past. We do not receive any incentives from the suppliers we send you to. The more reliable and better quality the tiles you purchase, the easier it us for us to do a quality job and achieve a quality finish.
We hope you’re now all clued up on how to choose tiles. You’re welcome to contact us for any enquiries.