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Knowledge Centre


Learn all you need to know about grout & epoxy here by clicking any of the questions below to reveal their answers and click again to hide them.

To access other topics in the Knowledge Centre, click the book icon below.

The basics...

Ceramic or Porcelain?

Choosing between ceramic or porcelain tiles will depend on where you are installing your tiles.

Porcelain tiles are best suited for flooring due to their strength and minimal water absorbency. In comparison, ceramic tiles are considerably weaker and less hard-wearing.

When tiling walls, either material can be used providing you adhere to the weight limits of the background you are applying your tiles to. As ceramic tiles are lighter, easier to drill and easier to work with, there are situations where ceramic tiles would be a better material for wall tiling.

Remember all surfaces in wet areas should be waterproofed before tiling commences.

What is the difference between a wall and floor tile?

A floor tile will have been manufactured to withstand foot traffic and will have a wear and slip rating associated with it. A wall tile will not have been produced for the same purpose and will generally lean towards the decorative side rather than the durability aspect.

Can you use floor tiles on a wall?

Yes, you can use floor tiles on a wall providing the tiles do not exceed the weight limit for the background they are installed upon. In situations where a floor tile can be used on a wall, it provides more scope when choosing and using tiles for a room as the walls and floors can be matched.

Can you use wall tiles on the floor?

No, as wall tiles will not withstand foot traffic. General footfall will cause the glaze on the tile to wear and the tile to damage very quickly. This will not only detract from the aesthetics of the tiles, but any damage could prove hazardous due to sharp edges or chipped tiles.

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Are larger tiles quicker to install?

Generally larger tiles do not speed up the installation process taking the same or more time to install. If the background you are laying your tiles onto has any irregularities then it will take longer. It is sometimes advisable to use a self-levelling compound before laying large format tiles, as they can emphasise uneven surfaces.

Are larger tiles quicker to install?

Laying large format tiles in a brick pattern is not advisable but can be done. When large format tiles are manufactured, it is common for a slight bow to form in the centre of the tile. When laying them in an overlapping pattern, such as a brick pattern, this bow causes the edges and corners of the tile to protrude (known as lippages). These lippages not only increase the chances of the tile being damaged but pose a health hazard.

Check the tile manufacturer's guidance if your tile can be laid in an overlapping pattern and, if so, what the maximum percentages or measurements for overlapping the tiles are. Manufacturers may also advise using levelling clips to provide a level finish between adjacent tiles.

If no information is forthcoming, check with a tiler if a 1/3 running bond (third bond pattern) can be used to create a brick pattern and alleviate any lippage.

Can I tile over tile?

Yes, it is possible to tile over tile providing specific measures are taken in preparation and application. 
Check how firmly the existing tiles have adhered to the background or sub-base, and if tiling over tiles on a wall, check the weight limit of the background. If the tiles do not exceed the weight limits and are firmly adhered to the background, then yes it is possible to tile over tile but a special primer must be used before tiling! It is best to ask your local retailer for the correct materials.

Remember your tile installation is only as good as the background and bond beneath the tile. If there is any doubt, do NOT proceed until you have sought and received professional advice.

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If I am removing a bath to install a shower, and wish to tile over the existing tiles, how do I make up the depth where the bath has been removed?

The easiest way to fill a gap when making up depth is to use a tile backer board, generally 6mm with a bed of adhesive behind. This is both waterproof and structurally sound (providing the background is sound).

Another method is to use some cheap white sacrificial tiles to tile the untitled area and, once dry, tile over the whole wall - including the old and new tiles - using a special primer available from most good tile retailers.

Can tiles be used with underfloor heating?

Yes, tiles and stone can be used with underfloor heating and will retain and radiate warmth. As tiles are fired to extremely high temperatures they can cope with the heating from underneath, as can stone. However, rapidly heating a cold floor to a high temperature can cause thermal shock, which risks damaging your installation. 

Please use your underfloor heating correctly by raising the operating temperature gradually and adhere to your manufacturer's and installer's advice.

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