Ross’s Home Discount Centre offers a range of high-quality bathroom tiles and floor tiles. Should you have a question in relation to our tiles, please look for the answer below before getting in touch with us.

What tiles should I use in a small bathroom?

While you may have heard the myth ‘don’t use small tiles for small bathrooms, that isn’t necessarily the case. While using them throughout the entire room may make it look busy, using small tiles (such as mosaics) sparingly can all a touch of style and elegance to the space.

You should, however, concentrate on light tiles. White tiles are the most common tyles for bathrooms because they radiate light and make a space appear larger than it really is, which is essential for small bathrooms. This isn’t to say you should only use white tiles. Like with small tiles, you can add dark tiles to a small bathroom, but it shouldn’t be the primary tile choice; use them in contrast with light/white tiles.

Do I need to remove the old tiles, or can I simply tile over them?

It is possible to tile over old tiles, however; it isn’t the best option. Eventually, the adhesive and grout in the old tiles will loosen, drummy, and lift, which in turn, will affect the new tiles. If the existing tiles are already showing signs of such problems, then removing them is the best option.

Of course, tiling over tiles also means the floor or walls will have at least 12mm-15mm added to them, which can cause other issues.

Moreover, tiling over bathroom floor tiles can cover any hidden waterproofing issues that, in years to come, could result in the entire floor, new and old tiles, being removed to repair the waterproofing.

If you’d still like to try your hand at tiling, please refer to our tiling guides:

Do I really need to get a tiler?

Of course not! However, tiling is a great skill, and tiles are not cheap. While tiling looks easy and anyone can lay tiles to get the best results from your investment, it does pay to hire a professional tiler.

They know the best adhesive and levelling agents to use to ensure the tiles won’t lift or that the grout won’t crack or disintegrate.

What is tile adhesive?

A tile adhesive is the ‘glue’ used to bond tiles onto a surface or substrate. The type of tile adhesive used for a project will depend on the condition and type of surface or substrate. For instance, tiling over tiles will require a different tile adhesive to tiling over fibre cement or plasterboard. Interior and exterior applications also require different tile adhesives.

How do I pick a grout colour?

A good tiler will advise on which grout will work best with your chosen tile in most cases. However, to make your own decision, there are generally three options; contrast, complement, or camouflage.

A contrasting grout colour such as charcoal grout paired with a white tile really makes the tiles pop.

A complementary grout colour, such as blue-tinted grout on a white tile with blue accents, will match the tiles colour palette.

A camouflaged grout colour, such as white grout paired with a white tile, blends the tiles and grout for a seamless look.

What tiles are best for kitchen splashback?

There is no bad tile choice for a kitchen splashback. However, you do have to consider the ease of cleaning. A smooth tile will a larger surface area is easier to wipe clean of grease and cooking fats than a structured tile with a rough or small surface space—the smaller the tile; the more grout to keep clean.

In terms of trends, feature tiles such as mosaic and subway tiles are certainly the most popular tile choice for kitchen splashbacks. They can be laid in an array of patterns and come in various shapes and sizes. Mosaics are traditionally square, but today, they are available in many shapes, including fish scale, penny (round), hexagon, finger, and herringbone, to name a few. While mosaics are more difficult to keep clean, they continue to be an extremely popular choice.

If you’re still undecided about your splashback tile, our Kitchen Splashback Trends of 2022 article should help.

Both feature tiles and subway tiles are available in various colours and suit just about any design style, partially subway tiles. Subway tiles are potentially the most popular due to their versatility in design and endless pattern possibilities. They are also much easier to keep clean than mosaics.

How do I calculate wall tiles?

Calculating how many wall tiles you need for a project starts by finding the square meterage of each wall.

Take a tape measure and measure the height (from floor to ceiling) and length (left to right) or cover each wall’s intended tile area. Once you have these measurements, multiple them together. E.g., 2.4m high x 4.7m long gives you a total square meterage of 11.28. Complete this process for each wall and then add all sums together.

You will need to subtract the area used by doors and windows, which you can do using the same calculation method.

Importantly, allow for cuts and breakage, so add an additional 15% to the total sum. Then, you will have the total square meterage of all walls, allowing for waste.

You can then determine how many tiles you need by dividing the total square meterage by the number of tiles per square metre. The box the tiles come in usually state this, or you can work it out with another calculation.

If the tile is 30cmx60xcm, you would enter 10,000 on a calculator, then divide it by 30, then divide again by 60. This size tile will give you the answer, 5.5555. So, 5.55 tiles per square metre.

Which tiles are best for walls?

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are common wall tiles; however, they differ significantly in terms of their water absorption rate. The water absorption rate of ceramic tiles can vary between 0.5% and 6%, while porcelain tiles are less than 0.5%. As such, porcelain wall tiles are much better suited for wet areas such as bathrooms and particularly the shower than ceramic tiles.

If water absorption isn’t an issue and you’re looking for a tile to decorate your wall or splashback, consider a feature tile or mosaic over a standard wall tile. Both come in an assortment of shapes, styles, and designs to complement all design styles and colour palettes.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre has a wide range of wall tiles, ceramic, porcelain, feature and mosaic, to meet all your requirements. You may view our wide range here.

What is the hardest tile flooring?

The hardest tile flooring is porcelain, making them a flexible, all-round tile – suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Porcelain tiles are made from white clay, sand and feldspar, and are much harder than ceramic tiles, which are made from coarse red, brown or white clay.

If you compare them by hardness ratings, porcelain tiles have a MOHS hardness rating between 7 and 9 and a PEI rating between 3 and 5. On the other hand, ceramic tiles have a MOHS hardness rating of 6 or 6 and a PEI rating between 3 and 4.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre has a wide range of porcelain tiles to meet all your requirements. You may view our range here.

Are ceramic tiles good for outdoors?

You may use ceramic tiles outdoors, but they are not the best option. They are best suited for indoor use, which is where they are typically used. This is because they can have a high water absorption rate and are classed only as providing “good” water resistance. They are also relatively soft compared to porcelain and will likely chip and crack with outdoor use. They have a MOHS hardness rating of 6 or 6 and a PEI rating between 3 and 4.

Porcelain tiles are the preferred option for use outdoors. Unlike ceramic tiles, they have a very low water absorption rating of 0.5% and are classed as providing “excellent” water resistance. They are also much harder than ceramic tiles. They have a MOHS hardness rating between 7 and 9 and a PEI rating between 3 and 5.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre has a wide range of porcelain floor tiles to meet all your requirements. You may view our range here.

Which is a better tile, porcelain or ceramic?

If we look at the composition alone, porcelain tiles are the better of the two options. They have lower water absorption (almost nill), making them more water-resistant, and they are harder, making them more durable than ceramic tiles.

As such, you should expect to pay more for porcelain tiles over ceramic tiles. But, the better tile comes down to your needs and application. Many feature tiles, for example, are ceramic and therefore a better option for splashbacks etc.

Ceramic Tiles Porcelain Tiles
Composition Coarse red, brown or white clay Fine kaolin white clay, sand and feldspar
Water Absorption Between 0.5 and 6% Less than 0.5%
Cost $10 to $55 per square metre $30 to $60 per square metre
Typical Use Indoor floors and walls Indoor and outdoor floors and walls (sealed)
Hardness Softer than porcelain
5 or 6 MOHS
Harder, more brittle than ceramic
7, 8 or 9 MOHS
PEI Rating Between 3 and 4 Between 3 and 5
Water Resistance Good Excellent

Ross’s Discount Home Centre has a wide range of ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles to meet all your requirements. You may view our online range here.

What are porcelain tiles used for?

Porcelain tiles are best used as an indoor floor tile, although they can be used for other applications. They are commonly used as flooring in high-traffic floor areas such as kitchen floors and hallways, and due to their water-resistant properties, they are also great in bathrooms; on both walls and floors.

When used in outdoor applications, thicker, 18mm+ porcelain tiles are recommended. Such tiles better withstand heavy furniture and harsh weather conditions. Unglazed porcelain tiles will need to be sealed if used outdoors.

Read our guide to choosing Porcelain Tiles for further information regarding Porcelain Tiles.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre has a wide range of porcelain tiles to meet all your requirements. You may view our range here.

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