Useful Tile FAQs

Read our tips for choosing the right grout colour for your project

Why is one tile more expensive than another?

Tiles can range in price for a couple of different reasons, the main one being where they are sourced from. If for instance we import a tile from Italy the price of shipping is far more than say importing a tile from Australia.
Another factor is how much we import, we may import 5000m2 of one tile and only 500m2 of another, giving us greater buying power.
We are constantly bringing in new ranges of tile and as older lines stop being produced we lower the price on these to free up more space in our warehouse.

How are tiles priced compared to other floor coverings?

Tiles have been used for centuries as floor and wall coverings because of their durability and aesthetic appeal.
Tile prices compared to other floor and wall coverings are the most economical material on the market, and after taking installation and maintenance costs in to account, the life expediency of tile will far outlast any other floor or wall covering.

What are the benefits of a tiled finish?

The wide variety of types, finishes, sizes, shapes, colours and patterns of tiles offer a broad range of design possibilities.
The low water-absorption qualities, hardness and durability of many tiles provide a durable, low-maintenance surface finish for a range of internal and external applications. As with all building materials, tiles perform best when correctly selected and installed. They will then offer a surface finish that is:
– Hard and durable
– Fire and heat resistant.
– Chemical resistant.
– Hygienic.
– Stain resistant.
– Slip resistant (depending on the tile).

What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?

Porcelain tiles are formed with pressure and heat, this makes them more durable than ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles have a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent.
Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are manufactured using a kiln-fired method, which makes them more porous. This increases their water-absorption rate, making them impractical for exterior or wet area floors.

What are rectified tiles?

Many porcelain products are produced with rectified edges. Typically these tiles have very square edges as a result of cutting or grinding processes which produce tiles with very precise dimensions and permit installation using narrow grout joints.

Are tiles warm and how do you heat them?

Tiles are a great conductor of heat, this is why touching a tile when it’s been in the sun feels warm, this also has the opposite effect and will feel cold to the touch in the winter months.
Due to the weather climate in New Zealand, we recommend using under-tile heating as an energy-efficient solution to heating as it radiates the heat evenly across the room. The added benefit of using a programmable thermostat gives you the option of setting the heating to turn on and off at selected times, making it an energy-efficient means of heating.

How much wastage should be added when ordering tiles?

If the area is fairly regular in terms of overall dimensions, 10 per cent extra should be enough. However, if the tile in question is an unusual shape or the area to be tiled is a complex shape then 15 per cent is probably a better figure. Having a few spares is a good idea, because if you need more of the same shade (batch number) in the future it may not be available.

Are tiles slippery?

They can be if you choose the wrong finish for the situation. As you would expect, highly polished and shiny surfaces will be slippery when wet and should never be used in an area exposed to weather or around a swimming pool. An increased level of grip can easily be achieved by choosing low slip or grip tiles.

Can I use a polished tile in my entry or bathroom floor?

A polished floor no mater what material used will be more slippery than a textured or matt finish floor, this is not to say that you can’t use polished tiles in your entry or bathroom though. Polished tiled floors have been installed in residential and high end hotel foyers and bathrooms for years.

Care needs to be taken when deciding on what floor finish to use and we suggest coming into one of our showrooms to feel the different finishes available.

What is shade variation?

Ceramic tiles may vary from batch to batch, as shade variation is regarded as an inherent feature of tile production.
We will only supply one batch of tiles for a project unless prior agreement has been made, so if you need to re-order quote the shade or batch number which appears on the box.

A lot of contemporary tiles replicate the appearance of natural stone or timber, and they vary in appearance in an attempt to mimic the natural product.

A scale has been introduced to communicate the degree of varia­tion intended.

V1: Uniform Appearance – Minimal differences among tiles from the same produc­tion run.

V2: Slight Variation – Clearly distinguishable differences in texture/pattern with simi­lar colours.

V3: Moderate Variation – While colours present on a single tile are indicative of the colours expected on the other tiles, the number of colours will vary significantly.

V4: Substantial Variation – Random colour differences between tiles so one tile may have totally different colours from that on other tiles.

What kinds of tile need sealing (Factory Nano seal)

Glazed products are already stain-proof and generally do not require sealing meaning they consequently are a popular choice for residential situations (especially bathrooms) as they are easy to clean and maintain. You may apply a penetrating sealer on your unglazed tiles or your grout joints. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain-resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface.
Some unglazed products have a surface treatment (Nano seal) applied during the final stages of manufacturing which penetrates the surface pores and assists in resisting staining. However some products – especially polished porcelains where small “micropores” have been created during the polishing process – may require sealing to protect against staining. Ask one of our team in store for more information regarding this.

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