Tiles have long been the go-to option when it comes to the bathroom, but today the demand for trend-led tiles throughout new builds is on the increase. Liam Poole of British Ceramic Tile explains how to select the right tile for the job.


iles have evolved in recent years. Once seen as a purely functional product, tiles are now a style

statement, bringing colour, pattern and designer style to walls and floors. Still incredibly hard-wearing, tiles are now as much about design as they are practicality, with designer collections and fashion-led ranges readily available to appeal to the brand conscious consumer. With so many different materials, sizes and finishes to choose from, tiles can add a point of differentiation in new builds, capturing the imagination of prospective buyers, but knowing what tiles to choose can be a challenge.


Ceramic and porcelain tiles are both frequently specified by developers. One common dilemma is which material is best, and where can it be used. Both ceramic and porcelain are manufactured using natural clay and sand, but the differ- ence between the two materials occurs during the manufacturing process. Ceramic tiles that are twice-fired provide a greater range of designs. The second firing process allows for more decoration on the tile, with glazes, lustres, patterns and metallic effects added. It’s this process that makes all the difference, and allows manufacturers to push the boundaries of design. Stone and wood effects, for example, can be printed onto a ceramic base to give the impression of natural stone or timber, meaning they can be far more hard-wearing and water-resis- tant than some of their natural counterparts.

Ceramics are known for being much easier to cut and install when compared to porcelain, and don’t require any sealing or special maintenance, making them a lower cost, practical option. Hard-wearing and waterproof when correctly installed, they can be installed within wetroom environments


or just about any room in the home as they will easily withstand regular use. They are not, however, advised for outdoor use. Porcelain tiles are fired once, but at a higher temperature, which makes them incredibly hard-wearing and well suited to high traffic areas such as hallways and kitchens. Denser than their ceramic counterparts, they’ll withstand wear and tear, but can be more difficult to cut and install, something to be factored in to labour costs.

Another advantage is that porcelain tiles are less porous than ceramic and are equipped to deal with freezing tempera- tures, so can be used outside. This works well in developments that have outdoor patios and feature areas. The tiles can flow

from the outside in, a look that remains popular with homeowners wanting to bring a sense of the outdoors into their homes.


There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to selecting the size and format of a tile. There is a movement towards larger format tiles on walls and floors, with 25x50 cm, 33x33 cm and 50x50 cm tiles often specified for projects as they are simple and quick to install. Large tiles can be creatively installed within small spaces, as less surface breaks deliver a more streamlined aesthetic, with less grout lines to maintain.

Metro format tiles are not limited to the kitchen either. They work equally well in bathrooms or living spaces, especially when several different colours are brought together into a chevron pattern design. Glass splashbacks should also be consid- ered and factored in to any kitchen design. Hygienic and easy to clean, these stunning light-reflecting glass splashbacks are full of contemporary style, and provide a practical surface covering for the area behind the hob or sink.

WHERE TO TILE Kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, conserva- tories, cloakrooms, ensuites, hallways, the options are endless when considering where to tile. As ceramic tiles are water- resistant and hard-wearing they provide a durable surface solution for all rooms. Such is the choice of designs now avail- able that developers can create feature

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  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52