Remember the days of Ask Jeeves? When search engines like Google weren’t yet sophisticated enough to handle direct questions and so Jeeves came along promising to be able to directly respond to whatever conundrum you were facing. Those days are now, of course, long gone and it’s become second-nature for many to call out to Siri, to holler at Alexa, and to call upon Google to find the answers to our burning questions. We’ve rounded up five of the most searched-for queries regarding tiles with advice straight from the Ca’ Pietra design team so that you can go forth and decorate with confidence…
What Tiles Should I Use In A Small Bathroom?
This is one where opinions tend to differ. Some say that small mosaic tiles are the best way to go in a bijou bathroom whereas others advise to go for larger tiles to open the space up.
Before you start looking at what you want the tiles to look like, it’s super important to consider the suitability of the tile. When it comes to the bathroom make sure you check the following: Do the tiles suit walls or floors? Do they work with underfloor heating? What are the tile’s slip rating? If you are going for a wet room then underfloor heating will be essential to dry the space quickly. If you adore a tile but it isn’t advisable to use it on the floor (and that’s where you planned to lay it) then steer clear and finally, make sure the slip-rating is adequate enough for the room, you don’t want little feet slipping on tiles post bath-time.
What it comes down to is whether or not you want to run with the cosiness of the room, emphasising its small proportions and celebrating its cosiness. In which case, you can go for little tiles like Yoga Penny, Brasserie Mosaic or even ones with a print like Brick Lane or Spitalfields will do that to perfection.
But, if you want to help a small bathroom appear larger, go for 30-60cm plain-coloured tiles on both your walls and floors and they’ll blur the boundaries so your floor space isn’t so defined. try Chemistry Porcelain or Brompton Field for something slightly smaller.
What Tiles Are Suitable For A Fireplace?
Tiling a fireplace, whether it’s the surround of a cast iron Victorian one or within an inglenook alcove on the walls and floor for your new log-burning stove to sit, is a sure-fire way to make it an even more special feature in the room.
The good news is, there are plenty of tile materials that work here, meaning you don’t have to limit your creativity too much. Porcelain, ceramic, glass and natural stones like marble and slate are all open to you. Porcelain is always a good bet as it naturally absorbs the heat because of its density, but whichever tiles you end up choosing, be sure there’s a buffer of 20cm between your tiles and the flame.
You’ll also need to bear in mind whether the surfaces can take the weight of your tiles, especially if you’re tiling your fireplace walls and look to use a heat-resistant adhesive and grout that can withstand high temperatures.
What Tiles Can Be Used Outside?
Sticking to talk of porcelain for a moment longer, they’re one of the unsuspected tile materials that can live outdoors just as happily as they can do in kitchens and bathrooms. They’re frostproof (because they don’t absorb water so won’t crack) and they’re super low maintenance so will stay looking as good as new with very little TLC. Plus, you can get patterned porcelain tiles to jazz up sections of your garden rather than classic stone paving. Just make sure that the porcelain tile is suitable for exterior use, you will find that with many of our internal porcelain tiles we offer an external option too, to allow a tile to run from the inside-out.
Natural stone tiles are another worthy option for paving patios and terraces. We sell a wide selection of natural stone which are suitable for the great outdoors. Just like you would with porcelain, make sure that the stone you have selected is frost-resistance and has a low slip-resistance. We love the look of natural stone to really add character to a space. Just remember it’ll need sealing regularly to stop it soaking up too much water.
If you think the upkeep of a natural stone will be too much for you to take on, it’s wise to go for a porcelain version. Blenheim is a good example of a porcelain tile masquerading as a natural stone, as is the Isle outdoor tile. But, if you’re ready to embrace the character that a natural stone will take on over time, then dappled and etched limestone like Denham are your pathway to paving perfection.
Which Tiles Are Best For Underfloor Heating?
Nothing beats waking up on a cold winter morning and walking barefoot to your bathroom to find toasty warm tiles. To really reap the rewards of underfloor heating, you’re going to want to use tiles that conduct the heat well and that aren’t so dense that it’s hard for the heat to pass through.
Porcelain tiles are ideal for underfloor heating systems. Plus, they’re a more affordable option than natural stone. But, if you’ve dreamt of a limestone or marble floor then rest assured that they too are great conductors of heat. Likewise with terracotta, underfloor heating is perfect for this material.
Any cracks are normally a sign of a poor screed than an issue with the tiles so be sure to lay the right groundwork – it’s never an area to gloss over.
Which Tiles Need Sealing?
Sealant is there to protect your tiles to give them a long and happy life. Most natural stones will need some level of sealant, especially those more prone to staining. Our Stone Essentials Stain Block Eco sealant is a water-based sealant that can be used across all types of natural stone including limestone, marble and terracotta tiles like our Marlborough collection as well as terrazzo and encaustic.
Once again, durable porcelain tiles can be left as they are, sealant-free, as can most ceramics tiles too. If you are installing crackle glaze tiles then make sure to seal them with our Crackle Glaze Sealant.
Remember it’s not just the tiles that you’re sealing but also your grouting which is naturally porous. With a layer of sealant over the top, they’ll be far easier to clean meaning the dreaded toothbrush scrubbing chore will be needed much less often.