Budget Tiles are bathroom renovation experts. We have nearly 30 experience supplying tiles and bathroom products to Australian renovators.
If you need assistance in choosing a floor tile, don’t know which wall tiles to choose or how to select tiles for your bathroom renovation, Budget Tiles can provide information and tiling tips.
This tile buying guide discusses the kinds of floor tiles and wall tiles that are available for your home renovation, plus advice on grades of tiles, tile floor preparation and how to maintain your new tiles.
Whether you are completing your own DIY tiling or having a professional tile installation with Budget Tiles, we answer your common questions about tiling.
And don’t forget, if you are installing your own tiles, read our Do It Yourself Tiling Guide.
What types of tiles are there?
Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles are available plain or decorated and can be used on walls and floors. Ceramic tiles are made out of clay that is cooked in a kiln to approximately 1200 degrees Celsius.
Unglazed ceramic floor tiles are more suited to commercial and industrial settings, but can be used in laundries and utility rooms. They are available with a non-slip profile.
Quarry tiles are a traditional product made in the UK for hundreds of year. They are made from natural clay, squeezed through an extruding machine, and then fired. They are mostly available in terracotta, black and white colours.
Terracotta tiles are also made from local clays. Terracotta means “cooked earth” and these products tend to be very absorbent, so need sealing when used on the floor.
Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles, but with a very low absorbency. They are usually made from kaolin clays, feldspar, silica and colouring oxides and are fired at about 1200oC. Porcelain tiles are hard wearing and can be used on walls or floors.
Mosaics are very small tiles, usually 10 x10cm or smaller. Mosaics can be glazed or unglazed and made from porcelain, ceramic, glass or natural stone. Typical uses are wet area floors and pools.
Natural stone products; limestone, marble, granite and slate are quarried from the earth. Some are extremely hard, and some quite soft. Some may need sealing.
What does rectified tile mean?
These are machine cut tiles where the top and edge of the tile form a 90 degree angle. Giving a cleaner finish and less variation between individual tiles
Once my tiles are fixed, how do I maintain tiles?
With proper care and attention, correctly install good quality tiles should give many years trouble free service. Under normal circumstances they need little maintenance and are easily kept clean by wiping or mopping with warm water to which a neutral or nearly neutral detergent has been added. The cleaning solution should be allowed to stay on the surface for 5 to 10 minutes after which it should be removed by rinsing thoroughly with clean water.
The most important point to remember is the rinsing process, which removes the dirt. Inadequate rinsing can lead to a build up of deposits, which will gather dirt, making your tiles dull and floor tiles slippery.
Grit is the biggest enemy of any flooring material and a mat next to external doors is strongly recommended. Some terracotta, natural stone and slate tiles may need re-sealing.
Can I tile over existing tiles?
Yes, providing that the existing tiling is firmly bonded to the existing background. This requires tile floor preparation. You will have to clean the existing tiling thoroughly and degrease them before fixing the new tiles. There are two options, firstly, tiles needed to be abraded to 80 percent of surface before applying the adhesive. Secondly, a primer/bond enhancer can be applied to existing tiles prior to applying the adhesive.
Make sure that you buy the correct adhesive when tiling over existing tiling. Ask our staff when you buy the adhesive what you are planning to do.
I’m about to tile my bathroom, is there anything I should be thinking about when selecting tiles?
When planning the tiling in your shower it is essential to tile onto an already water resistant background. Sand/cement render, dense concrete or water resistant tilebacker board are ideal backgrounds. Plaster, plasterboard, timber and timber-based products such as mdf or plywood are absorbent and should be made waterproof by the use of a waterproofing system (or tanking system).
Waterproofing systems can be painted on to the background. Most tile adhesive producers will have a range of waterproofing systems that coordinate with the tile adhesives and grouts in their product ranges.
Check with us to see tile is suitable for use in a shower and/or bathroom when you choose your tile.
The tile adhesive should be a water resistant polymer enhanced adhesive meeting Australian Standards. The tiles in showers should be fixed using the solid bed method, i.e. ensuring that there are no voids beneath the tiles. The joints between the tiles should be filled using a water resistant grout.
Special attention should be paid to sealing the gaps between the base of the tiling and where the tiling joins the base of shower units or bath and penetrations in the tiling (e.g. shower fittings), using a good quality antifungicidal silicon sealant, or a proprietary manufactured sealing strip specially designed for the purpose.
A newly tiled shower should not be put into use until it has cured and is adequately dry.
How should I install by glass tiles? Is special fixing required?
The choice of adhesive you need for your glass tiles will depend of the type of glass tile. Contact should be made with the supplier to confirm the type of tile and recommended adhesive.
a) Fired colour bonded glass
When fixing these products a single part flexible white Class C2 adhesive should be used. The tiles should be fixed using the solid bed method with no ribbing of adhesive and an even coat of adhesive spread over the back of the tile.
This should ensure that no ribs of adhesive show through the tile.
b) Painted surface glass tiles.
When fixing these products use either an epoxy Class R1 or Class R2 adhesive or a silicone based mirror adhesive when fixing this type of glass tile to walled surfaces. When using a mirror adhesive, the adhesive should be applied directly to the back of the tile, not the walled surface. The tile should then be fixed to the wall.
How should I choose my floor tiles?
Floor tiles are available in different tile grades. Choosing your flooring tile will depend on what what the area is used for. Consider these five classes of tiles when buying your floor tiles.
CLASS 1 Soft soled footwear or bare feet areas,bathrooms and bedrooms without direct access from the outside
CLASS 2 Living areas of homes but with the exception of kitchens, entrances, and other rooms which may have a lot of traffic
CLASS 3 Residential kitchens, halls, corridors, balconies and terraces
CLASS 4 Regularly used areas, entrances, commercial kitchens, hotel bathrooms
CLASS 5 Heavy pedestrian traffic over sustained periods (for example public areas such as shopping centres and hotel foyers)
This symbol indicates that a tile is frost resistant
This classification is valid for the given applications in normal conditions. Consideration should be given to the footwear, type of traffic and cleaning methods expected and the floors should be adequately protected against scratching dirt at the entrances to buildings by interposing footwear cleaning devices.
Do you have any advice for beginner tilers who are completing a DIY tiling job?
Yes! Read Budget Tile’s Tiling Guide. Whether you are tiling a floor or tiling a wall, our Tiling Guide provides detailed instructions on how to lay tiles, including measuring tiles, tile spacing and how to grout your tiles. There are also plenty of tiling tips and professional tiling techniques. Download our Do It Yourself Tiling Guide for expert help with your DIY tiling.