Ten tips for choosing bathroom tiles
From The Tile Association - The Tile Association represents all aspects of the wall and floor tile industry in the UK, from manufacture to installation.
1. Choose your tiles carefully taking advice from a good tile supplier. It is also very important to get the correct adhesives, profiles, mattings and waterproofing systems to ensure the tiling lasts a life time. A TTA tile fixer or retailer will be able to provide all the necessary information.
2. For wet areas such as in showers and wet rooms it is essential to tile onto an already water resistant background. Sand/cement render, dense concrete or water resistant tile backer board are ideal backgrounds. Plaster, plasterboard, timber and timber-based products such as MDF or plywood are absorbent and should be made waterproof by the use of a waterproofing or tanking system. Failure to do this is currently the most common cause of tiling failures in domestic bathrooms.
3. Don’t be afraid to be bold. If, as in most homes, your bathroom is very small then nothing will make it look big. Make a statement; why not use this, the smallest room to express yourself. You could go for opulent luxury, off the wall trendy, something to make you smile or stark minimalism.
4. It isn’t so long ago that tiling to suspended wooden floors wasn’t practical or advisable and this ruled out most bathrooms. With modern adhesive technology the vast majority of wooden floors can be tiled. Your TTA supplier will be able to advise.
5. The latest trend is for very large tiles and they are particularly suitable for large bathrooms or en-suites where you can carry the tiling through into the bedroom. Large tiles are heavy so do check that your walls are suitable.
6. Tiles can add value to your home so be prepared to spend money and time. Pay a little more and get something that really makes your bathroom special. For luxury at a modest price tag choose inexpensive plain white wall tiles and add stunning borders or mosaics. These vibrant tiles can be expensive but you will only be using a small amount.
7. Make sure floor tiles are suitably slip resistant for bare feet in wet conditions. Your TTA supplier can advise.
8. Underfloor heating will add luxury at a surprisingly small cost. It adds little to the thickness of the floor tiling so can be installed in most cases and it frees up valuable wall space.
9. If you are tiling yourself buy or hire the best equipment, it will save time and money and before you start go to The Tile Association website at www.tiles.org.uk and download Tile it Right, a free DIY tiling guide which includes tips on tile selection and calculating to number of tiles needed.
10. The best tip of all. Before you start; work out how long it will take you (about three times as long as a professional), how much per hour you earn and how much your house is worth then consider employing a professional. To find a professional, reliable, experienced tile fixer, go to the search facility on the TTA website, www.tiles.org.uk and just put in your postcode.
For further information: www.tiles.org.uk.
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