Whether you are looking to build new, renovate or repair your home, tilers can help your tiling project to run much more smoothly. So how should you go about choosing a reputable tiler and what type of tiles should you use? Read on for more information:
What Tilers Do
Tilers perform a range of tasks including:
Measuring area to be tiled
Laying out tiles
Preparation of surfaces
Laying tiles using the correct adhesives
Cutting tiles using special tools
Ensuring that tiles are correctly spaced and levelled
Tiles are becomingly increasingly popular and can be used in almost any area of the home. Traditionally, tiles have been used in laundries, bathrooms (see bathroom titling) and kitchens (see kitchen tiling) but they can also be used around the swimming pool, for paving (see outdoor paving), in outdoor areas, in garages, on roofs (see roof tiling) and on walls and floors (see wall tiling and floor tiling). Tiles are low allergy and low maintenance, and come in an almost infinite range of styles, colours and materials.
Choosing Your Tiles
There are a few things to consider when choosing your tiles, with the most obvious being the style, finish and colour.
Look at where the tiles will be and how they will be used. When selecting colours and designs, take inspiration from existing areas of your home or engage the services of an interior designer to help you choose what is best for you. Remember to take into account the tiles’ wear rating and safety.
In wet areas, you may require tiles that have some slip resistance to them. Glazed tiles are waterproof but can be slippery so they may need to be coated for additional safety. Unglazed tiles are porous so they should be sealed in order to minimise staining and residue build up.
It is important that the area to be tiled is measured accurately so there are enough tiles to complete the project.
Buy extra tiles in case of breakage during the laying process and also so that you have spares in case a tile chips or breaks in the future. it is almost impossible to match new tiles to your existing ones.
Less visible areas such as in the pantry and under the refrigerator should be tiled last in case of a shortage of tiles – this will minimise the effect on the aesthetics of the pattern.
In wet areas especially, the area underneath the tiles should be waterproofed by a professional, whether it is a tiler, plumber or waterproofer. Waterproofing is necessary so that water does not seep behind the tiles and cause structural damage to timbers or other problems such as rising damp.
It is acceptable to use floor tiles on a wall, but wall tiles should never be used on a floor as they are not strong enough to handle the extra loads.
Types of Tiles
There are several different types of tiles to suit all applications. Some common tiles are:
Ceramic – ceramic tiles are made from clay and can be glazed or unglazed. Many different finishes are available and tiles come in a range of sizes
Terracotta – these tiles are unglazed and as such must be sealed if they are to be used in areas of heavy use. Terracotta tiles are usually available in earthy tones.
Mosaic – mosaic tiles are small tiles made from stone, glass or ceramic and are set into a base to create patterns and designs. They are popular in bathrooms especially. For more information see Tilers - Mosaic
Marbleand granite – very durable and low maintenance. If these tiles are polished they may become slippery in wet areas.
Porcelain – porcelain tiles are fired at very high temperatures and as such are impervious. They come in a glazed or matte finish and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Quartz – very durable and available in a wide range of colours.
Limestone – popular for floors but needs to be sealed as it can be porous.
Tiles also come with ratings that are designed to convey the durability of the tile and system is ranked from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the strongest. Rating 1 tiles are suitable for lightly used areas such as ensuites, where the user is likely to be bare-footed or wearing soft shoes. Rating 2 tiles can be used in residential areas where heavy footwear is not worn and that are not heavily used. Tiles with Rating 3 can be used in areas such as kitchens and corridors. Rating 4 tiles can stand more use and as such are recommended for heavily used areas in the home such as entrances and common walkways. Rating 5 tiles are the strongest of all and are most commonly used in commercial situations.
Hiring a Tiler
A tiler will help your tiling project to run much more smoothly. Before hiring a tiler, first ask to see details of their qualifications and experience, and ensure that they hold the necessary insurances. Also obtain at least three written quotations, so that you can get a general idea of how much the project will cost.
Check the professional’s references, and inspect their previous work if at all possible. Make sure that the professional is able to complete the project within a satisfactory time frame, and that you feel comfortable with them. Finally, ask if they will provide a clean up service once the project is complete.
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