What are the most popular tiles for your bathroom for 2022 compared to those used in the 70’s!?

Over the past 20 years the tile industry has changed greatly. Up until then, bathroom tiles were generally ceramic coloured tiles, which matched the colour of your bathroom suite.  Nowadays, ceramic tiles are still used, and remain very popular, but the tile colours tend to be more neutral, so as to be able to blend into the decor and style of people’s homes. Porcelain or natural stone and marble tiles are more popular than ever now, with people using them throughout their home and bathrooms. Thankfully, the increase in demand for these tiles means that they are not as costly as they once were.

Tile sizes – what are the most popular size?

The large format style tiles still remain to be very popular. The advantage of using larger tiles means that there are less grout joints, resulting in less dirt being caught between the joints, and in turn, keeping the tiles looking newer for longer. For bathrooms in a smaller space, people are now opting for smaller sized tiles, such as subway effect or mosaic style tiles.

Do big tiles have a tendency to crack more so than smaller tiles?

NO! This is a question that we are asked by almost every new client.  The only reason tiles of any size will crack is due to bad fitting. For example, if a large format commercial tile is being fitted onto a bad floor and the tiler does not insure he has full adhesive coverage under the tile, this will create a hollow effect. Once you have a hollow, this will in turn pose a weak point. If the correct amount of pressure is put onto this area, the tile will give in and a stress crack will appear. Another common reason for cracked tiles is if the subflooring is not sound to start with. If the subfloor has a weak spot, this usually appears through the tile, regardless of its size.

Are mosaic tiles just smaller and are they more expensive?

Mosaic tiles are really just a smaller cut of a tile material. For example, marble or stone mosaics are generally just cut from a bigger slab, whereas glass, ceramic and porcelain are formed (man made), so they would normally be cast from the get go. Mosaic tiles are generally more expensive due to the larger volume of work involved with the tiles, as they must be cut so small and fused together onto sheets for fitting. When fitting mosaic tiles, your tiler costs will be higher due to the time and volume of work that’s involved in fitting them. The fitting of mosaic tiles should always be carried out by an experienced mosaic fitter as it is a highly time consuming process and requires a high level of skill.

If you are installing under floor heating what type of tiles are required to get the most out of your underfloor heating?

The type of tile really depends on the type of underfloor heating you wish to have, electric or piped. Stone & marble tiles do not work well with electric underfloor heating as this type of heating emits a low amount of heat and can result in high heating bills, due to the thickness of the tiles. Ceramic, mosaics, porcelains and other thinner tiles work best with electric under floor heating systems.

Piped underfloor heating from the central heating system will work well with all types of tile flooring, especially stone and marble, as they retain the heat and the piped system has the power to heat through them. An important tip when getting an underfloor heat system is to use some form of insulation on the floor before the system is fitted. This will allow the heat to travel around and up though the floor and prevent heat loss.

Is the saying “you get what you pay for” true when tiling your bathroom?

When buying a new bathroom this saying definitely applies! There are a host of low cost offers in the bathroom market, but we would always remind people that if a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is! Imagine you were considering buying a rock bottom priced deal – let’s do the maths. If it takes five to eight days to complete a bathroom with two or three tradesmen, how much money will be left for materials after you pay for labour? Cheap materials or cutting corners always results in bad news for the client. When having a bathroom fitted, always ask what materials are being used and what brand. The material does not have to be overly expensive, but it’s always wise to ensure that the brand used has an after sales team and offer a guarantee etc.

What grout do you use? Is it always white grout?

It’s important to use the correct grout with the correct materials i.e. if grouting a shower area you must use a water resistant grout.  If grouting a floor which has a timber sub floor, it is important to use a flexible grout.

Grout is available in a large variety of colours, however, finishes normally depend on the tile type and the area. For example, if you are fitting a cream coloured family bathroom downstairs in your home, most people tend to like the idea of having cream grout on the walls and floors to keep the room matching. However, what they forget about are the mucky boots and shoes that are constantly walking on the tiles! If this is the case then the grout will stain. The best grout for high volume floor areas such as halls, kitchens, downstairs bathrooms etc. is grey as it can only turn greyer over time and will not show dirt as easily when compared to a cream grout.

Is there a specific depth of grout needed for all tiles to space them out? Uniform spacer size etc. for all tiles? Or do you choose based on the job?

Most clients tend to go for smaller grout joints. The smallest joint we will work with is 2mm (about the size of a match stick). Grout joints are in tiles to take the movement off floors as well as to join them together. Take note of your current tiles – if there is no joint and the tiles are butted together then this is a very bad tiling job which results in cracks or popped tiles. Tiles need joints to allow for movement so as they do not push against each other and create problems.

Thinking of renovating your bathroom but not sure where to start? Call Ripples at 01 969 6705 for some expert advice and take advantage of the opportunity to renovate your bathroom with the elegant accessories from our brochures.