Choosing tiles is an exciting venture, but also a task where you will need meticulous planning to ensure you get it right first time. Floor and wall coverings can make or break a room and getting it wrong can be a costly mistake to have to correct.
1. Not ordering enough tiles
You’ve spent time doing the calculations and ensuring you’ve ordered the exact number of tiles, only to get to the end of your bathroom or kitchen renovation and realise you’re a few tiles short of completing it. Definitely one of the most frustrating feelings in the world, even more so if you’ve hired a professional in to fit it!
Just as important as ensuring your order enough tiles, is saving spares. Once you’ve finished a project, keep any spare tiles in case you need them in the future. Tiles are printed in batches and new styles are issued every year, so if you need an extra one in the future, the chances are you might struggle finding an exact match!
2. Picking up the wrong size tiles
Tiles come in a vast range of sizes, from 7.5 x 15cm metro bricks to large format 60 x 120cm tiles. Whilst these mean you have the freedom to create your perfect home, picking the wrong size can mean the difference between the success or failure of a project. One of the most common design choices when tiling is opting for small tiles in small spaces. If you’re looking for small bathroom tile ideas, you may think large format tiles are not for you. But that’s not the case! The more grout lines you end up with the smaller your space will feel – the fewer grout lines the more illusion of extra space and seamless finish. The smaller the tile, the more grout lines and this can make the space look busy. If lots of grout lines are unavoidable, consider using a colored grout in a similar shade to the tile to help them flow in more symmetry.
3. Not ordering a sample first
Another common issue is not ordering a sample of your chosen product first. When it comes to tiling, it’s important to plan in advance and see the tile in the room and imagine how it will look when tiled. Often tiles look very different in a showroom to what they do at home due to lighting. It is also important to view the tile in your room at the angle it will be tiled. For example, if you’re looking for bathroom floor tiles, make sure you look at the tile lying flat. If it’s your wall, make sure you view the tile standing up against the wall you are tiling.
4. Choosing price over quality
Purchasing a lower cost but inferior product may save you money initially, however it will inevitably need replacing much quicker than those of better quality. When you compare encaustic cement tiles, you’ll find a breadth of pricing within the marketplace. If your budget is restricted, it’s easy to simply opt for the lowest price point. But with a lower price, you get a lower quality.
Handmade encaustic cement tiles will naturally have a slight colour gradient. Using natural dyes, they are rich in color and depth. The cheaper versions on the market are often very flat, and very bright in tone using artificial colors. A better option here would be a ceramic tile which are easier to maintain and more cost effective than a low-priced encaustic cement option.
5. Not planning the layout
Ahead of fitting the tiles, it’s important to consider layout and how you would like them to appear. Consider all your different kitchen layouts and bathroom layout ideas first – ideally creating a rough design sketch of your chosen design before fitting anything.
Not only will this help you determine how many tile cuts are needed, in turn helping you order the correct amount, it will also help to confirm that you have the right size tiles for the space.
6. Not picking the right tile for the job
Where you are adding tiles will influence the type of tile you will want to go for. For example, is the tile going to be used externally or internally? If externally, is the material weatherproof and slip resistant? If internally, is the tile suitable for heavy foot traffic, can it be used with underfloor heating, does it need sealing regularly or is it light enough to be used as a wall covering? You might love a product but it’s so important to check that a tile will work in the intended space, the last thing you want are cracked tiles or stone that is slippery when laid in an unsuitable area.
It’s important to take into consideration the right tile material for floors in high traffic areas such as kitchens, hallways, conservatories and other living areas with high usage and footfall.
7. Not hiring a specialist
Installing tiles is a specialist job. The skill and experience required for this should not be underestimated, and that’s why one of the costliest mistakes you can make is to use an inexperienced tiler.
When choosing the right tiler for your project, consider someone who is experienced in the material you have chosen. Whilst porcelain and ceramic tiles are most commonly used, large format, encaustic, glass and natural stone tiles can come with their own set of challenges during fitting.
8. Not factoring in delivery
Once you’ve decided the right tiles for the space and the right amount needed, it’s worth considering delivery time and how the tiles will be delivered. If ordering a large amount, they will likely arrive on a pallet, often meaning curb side delivery if a large hard surface driveway is not available.
Once you receive your order, check that you have all your tiles and that they are in good condition. If you opted for natural stone, please remember there may be some variations in color, tone and natural character which make them so beautiful and unique to each project. Our recommendation is shuffling tiles from different boxes so that you have a uniform effect across the whole surface.
9. Not sealing your tiles
Don’t allow your efforts in finding the right tiles for your project be in vain. If you have purchased natural stone, or tiles that require sealing, it is important to ensure you seal them correctly and with the right product for the job. Some products will require sealing. Once your tiles are installed, you will need to use an impregnating sealant for protection against fading and staining. This should be applied after they have been installed and cleaned, but prior to grouting, in accordance with the product label. You should apply a second coat after grouting.
You could also choose to apply a surface finish as this will offer further protection and give an attractive patina, although in non-wet areas only. This would be applied after grouting once fully dry (around seven days depending on humidity).
10. Picking the wrong grout color
Not only will grout color affect the final project result, picking the wrong colour could also affect and even damage your tiles. We recommend using lighter colored grouts for most products, in particular natural stone, encaustic and terrazzo tiles, rather than black or bright coloured as these can cause staining in the natural pores of the tiles. Ensure you have selected a grout product that is suitable for use with the material of your chosen tile, and desired joint width.
This might seem like there is a lot to consider or could go wrong but do not fear, we are here for you. As professional wall and tile floor installation experts we will advise you every step of the way on the best products. We will get you the most suited product for your purpose and budget. Our tile installers use expert grade finishing and reliable techniques to ensure durability and style. We are known for our bathroom tile installation specializations. Get started today with a free estimate on your project by calling us today.