This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Home On the tiles

While there are alternatives, tiled floors and walls/splashbacks in bathrooms and kitchens are a smart and practical choice. With so many different tiles on the market, it's easy to find a look you like and can afford, whether you're laying the tiles yourself or getting a pro to do it.

Tiles come in various shapes and sizes and it's important to get ones that are in proportion to the size of the room. For instance large imposing tiles can sometimes look overbearing in a small room. Conversely, mini tiles, as well being very time consuming and labour intensive to put up might not look quite as good on a large wall as they did in the smaller kitchen-like showroom that you viewed them in.

There are also, of course, lots of different materials to choose from, depending on your taste and budget, as well as the style of the room. Ceramic tiles are a popular and often inexpensive choice. They're easy to lay and look after, as are glass tiles, which tend to be more expensive but look stunning.

A frustrating problem with glass tiles is that they're difficult to cut because they chip easily, so if you plump for this option be sure to either employ the services of an experienced tiler or make sure you order plenty of extras if attempting the project yourself.

Real stone tiles, such as 18 Life Begins

slate, marble and travertine, can be tricky to lay and may have to be sealed (with tile-sealing liquid) before being laid, which can cause problems in itself. They need more aftercare than ceramic and glass tiles and can vary a lot in thickness, colour and texture, so they're not for everyone. The final result can often look stunning and can really set a room off so although the more rustic options involve more work and aftercare, one could argue the end result is worth it. There are some fantastic effects available but we'd recommend taking some time out to visit a local showroom as the full effect can't always be appreciated in a magazine or on a web site. These sort of tiles need to be touched and felt to be appreciated.

Mosaic tiles are available in all of the above materials, plus metal, and are perfect for creating a feature wall. They come in sheets on a mesh (or paper) and the mesh is supposed to keep the individual tiles evenly spaced but they do involve a certain element of care and skill and are not as easy to apply as some would lead you to believe. I speak from experience!

To get straight and even grout lines, it's best to put tile spacers between each tile, which can be time-consuming and tedious but well worth investing the extra time in the end. These are tiny plastic crosses which are placed at the corner of each tile and removed once the tiles have been stuck in place, before applying the grout. Mosaics can also be hard to keep looking good, depending on where they are and the colour of the grout, because there are so many grout lines. This is something to bear in mind before deciding on mosaic style tiles.

If you're buying tiles online that you haven't seen in person, make sure you get a sample first. Tiles can often look completely different 'in the flesh' than on screen. This is because the colours used on a TV screen have limitations as to how they replicate certain colours so something which appears to match what you're looking for on screen may look a shade different once you see it in natural light.

Dance shoes with focus on the heel in front of the closed door.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36