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Tips for buying tiles

If you’re about to embark on a tiling project, read our buying tips to make sure you’re fully prepared.

Measure before buying

Measure the area you’re tiling so you know how many packs of tiles you need. Most tiles come in packs that cover one square metre. If you are looking to tile a floor, measure the width and length, multiply them together to give you the square metre area. Alternatively, if you are tiling a wall, measure the width and the height, multiply this together to give you the square metre area.

If your wall has doors, windows or fixed cupboards, work out their areas and subtract them from the total area you'll be tiling.

Buy 5 – 10% more tiles than you need – This allows for breakages and any discrepancies in shade. You can always return unused boxes of tiles if you have the receipt and it’s within XX days of purchase.

Check the tiles are suitable

if you’re tiling a floor, make sure the tiles have the right floor tile wear rating (PEI rating). Make sure you don’t use wall tiles on floors, and check the floor surface can take the combined weight of the tiles.

Are you prepared to maintain tiles? Natural stone tiles need sealing when they’re laid as well as resealing around every six months. Is this something you’re prepared to do? Before buying tiles, take the time to understand any care and maintenance needed.

Buy the right grout

The grout you need depends on the tiles you’re using, the surface you’re tiling and the room you’re tiling in. So always check the packaging. Grout also comes in different colours, so make sure you’re buying the shade you want.

Choose the right adhesive

Just like grouting, adhesive needs to be chosen carefully, so always read the label to check it’s suitability for the tiles and the surface. Rapid dry adhesives are great for experienced tilers, but can dry out too quickly for first-timers.

Check the surface before tiling

Is the surface suitable for tiling? Make sure you know before starting your project, because tiling an unsuitable surface can cause big problems. For example, surfaces in bathrooms need to be waterproofed before being tiled.

Safety is paramount

Tile shards can be as sharp as glass, and adhesives and grouting can irritate the skin, so you must always wear goggles, a dust mask and gloves. If you’re tiling a floor, wear knee pads.

Tiling corners? Don’t forget trim

Get a clean finish around corners with tile trim. The depth of the trim you need depends on the thickness of your tiles. It comes in different colours, so you can match it to your tile and grout colours.

If in doubt, ask. Our store staff are there to help. So ask any questions you have—they’re happy to help.