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PORCELAIN & CERAMIC TILES PERFECT P Sian O’Neill, Head of Marketing at Topps Tiles, highlights how the versatile propertie


When it comes to floor tiles, people often mention ceramic and porcelain tiles as one and the same. But, in truth, each have their own unique characteristics that set them apart.


The rise in popularity of porcelain tiles most likely stems from changing consumer lifestyle choices. As a nation, we’re constantly on the go and the major advantage of porcelain tiles is that they are durable and suitable in high-traffic areas of the home. Porcelain options are also much easier to look after and clean than other materials such as real stone or wood, which usually require ongoing specialist treatment and maintenance.


Today, homeowners love the fact that there’s a wide range of patterns, colours and textures available with porcelain tiles. This has been given a huge boost in the last decade, thanks to the development of printing technologies that make it easier than ever to create and print exciting new designs that cater to new consumer tastes and trends.


For example, wood-effect tiles have become incredibly popular as advances in high-definition digital printing allow porcelain tiles to imitate natural wood with stunning accuracy. Porcelain tiles are easy-to-manipulate compared to other materials, making such intricate printing possible, and are more durable, highly resistant against chipping and scratching, and a fraction of the cost of traditional stone or wood materials.


So, what are this year’s hot porcelain trends that tilers need to watch out for?


Traditional Feel


Classic patterns and traditional styles printed on porcelain designs have an ever-lasting quality and are particularly effective in period properties. As are natural stone-effect tiles, which can also be used to offer a traditional look or a more contemporary one if desired.


Take, for example, our simple and sophisticated Pellier limestone-effect tiles, which bring the appeal of a traditional flagstone. Ideal for a rural kitchen style, the tile gives the look of classic Montpellier limestone without the usual expense or maintenance. The neutral colour palette is perfect for creating an authentic French countryside feel inside the home.


In fact, stone-effect tiles such as this are worth keeping in mind for customers who are after this look and style but might not have the budget for the real thing, or who want something a little more low maintenance than real stone.


New Neutrals


Understated looks can still achieve a big impact, and trends that embrace natural materials and textures have been popular for years now. However, this year we’re seeing 70s designs as one of the biggest home interior trends and natural materials such as bamboo, wicker and rattan are proving popular.


— 34 — www.tomorrowstileandstone.co.uk


With this look a classic and cultured floor tile is required, such as the Ayton Grey tile. A soft tone brings a new dimension to a neutral, structured style. When matched with other neutral tones it creates a bright, open feel to the space, perfect for recommending to those homeowners who may want a light and airy space.


Flexible and Adaptable


One of the major differences between porcelain and ceramic tiles is the rate of water they absorb. Porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5% of water, which means that they are denser and less porous than other materials.


For tilers, porcelain is the ideal tile to work with because of its adaptability for use in different rooms of the home. Consider using this product in areas where water or moisture are present. Equally, due to its durability, porcelain is very effective in busy areas such as hallways and kitchens.


As all tilers know, matching a tile to the space is essential in order to keep customers happy. With an ever-expanding range of porcelain tiles to choose from, stay on top of the latest trends, discover new styles and enhance the choices available to your customers.


www.toppstiles.co.uk/trade/home


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