Before you start planning what materials and tile finishes you want, you need to consider the size of the area you are wanting to cover, whether the tiles are for the wall or the floor, what size tiles are you requiring and whether you want to introduce some decorative tiles into the mix.
Tiles are often durable and low cost. There are so many types of tiles, tiles can be sourced from anywhere in the world, they are a sustainable choice.
We need to think of several factors before we start looking at the tiling product types with regards to your commercial project;
Functionality – What is the purpose to why you want to tile the floor or wall, when considering tiling the bathroom floor, its best to use textured finished tiles to avoid a slippery floor. Marble makes a bathroom look pristine, however it can also be very slippery under foot when it becomes wet.
Durability – What type of tile do you want to use, ceramic, porcelain or natural stone, or mix of styles to create a custom design that can matches your vision.
Material – There are lots of different materials available from porcelain, ceramic, glass, granite, limestone, marble or slate. The type of tile you want will also be determined by your budget.
Colour – Basic rules apply. The lighter the colour it makes a space appear larger and makes a dark room feel brighter. Shade variations will blend and mix better then anything. Neutral colours allow you to change the accessories, whilst vibrant colours add character. Before choosing the colour, think about the size of the room.
Size – Bigger is often not better- if the wall or floor require a lot of tile cuts, choose medium to small to give a better flow.
Shape – Square or rectangle tiles are no longer the standard. Tiles are available in every shape imaginable ranging from hexagon to concave shapes.
Attractiveness/ Texture – A variety of finishes from glossy to dull. Mosaic tiles are attractive, and they provide a range of colour options. Texture goes hand in hand with colour variation. Individual tiles and alternating patterns will give added texture.
Tiles are often locally available in any part of the country; the colour variety and texture combination are huge. A smooth textured design tile can help you achieve a clean look whilst textured tiles gives a room a rustic feel.
Before you purchase your tiles, there are two tests that you can carry out that will determine the tile quality is correct for your project.
Moisture Test – The back of the tile is called the bisque or biscuit to ensure the quality is enough for the project, make a bit of moisture on the back of the tile and if the moisture dries up it’s a good quality tile and isn’t porous.The size of the tile is equally important, think of your area that you are covering, if the room is small, like a downstairs toilet, you may not want small tiles, as small tiles make a room appear more compact and the area tighter, larger tiles make a space look more open with a far more spacious feel. There are many types of tiles, we shall be looking at all the combinations,
Non-porcelain tiles – Are more economical types of floor tiling, porcelain being more expensive and can be harder to work with. However, offers a greater durability and natural stain resistance and minimal water absorption. Porcelain/ non-porcelain tiles can be either unglazed or glazed, the glazed tiles have a Matt, semi-gloss and high gloss finishes.
Ceramic Tiles – Ceramic tiles are manufactured from clay materials and are low maintence, ceramic tiles are easily cleaned, often with only warm water, eliminating the need for chemicals and cleaners needed for floors. Great choice of colours and textures. Wall tiles come in Matt or gloss, the wall tiles textures features add light, dense commercial projects. Simple plain colours with a textured border look lovely and really open the space.
Porcelain Tiles – Look more natural, the sizing is more accurate, tougher finish. Porcelain has a resistance, it’s a natural choice of ceramic material for flooring in areas of high pedestrian traffic, such as shopping centres, offices and public buildings. It is resistance to temperature changes. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are longer lasting, if installed as a flooring product, properly installed tiles last a lifetime. Tiles are hypoallergenic, they are often installed to keep dust mites, mould germs and bacteria at bay and are often used to replace carpet for people with allergies or asthma.
Glass Tiles – Glass tiles and glass mosaics can transform a room bringing it alive with light, glass adds a new dimension to a surface. Glass tiles provide a smooth finish that’s also easy to clean, perfect in light filled spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.
Natural Stone Tiles – These are common for stone flooring projects, the stone includes granite, marble and limestone there are also lots of other varieties.
Granite – Distinctive appearance due to speckled mineral found in rock, available in many colours. Once polished resists scratching, it is an excellent choice for kitchen floors and high traffic areas.
Marble – More porous than granite, not recommended for kitchen floors as needs to be sealed on a regular basis, however marble bathrooms, can look like the Ritz even in Abergavenny.
Limestone – Earthy in appearance in both light and dark shades, the surface can be textured or polished smooth. Limestone is less dense that granite and marble, easily stained and prone to scratching not recommended for kitchen or high traffic flooring applications.
Slate – Available in darker earthy tones naturally textured less smooth and an excellent choice for kitchen and high traffic areas.
Whatever you choose, remember tiles are durable and if applied properly can last a lifetime.