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  1. Tiling for a Good Cause

    Tiling for a Good Cause

    At Tile Trader we feel it’s important for businesses to give something back to the community, so this autumn we’ve decided to give away up to £500 worth of tiles and accessories to help support one lucky community project. With minimum budget and often reliant on donations, many community spaces and facilities are all too often left untouched or neglected. We want to help inject life into a deserving community project or initiative using tiles – a material often used to revamp smaller spaces.

    Whether it’s the kitchen at your local drop in centre that needs a refresh or tired sports club toilets desperate for a makeover, enter our competition to be in with a chance of winning tiles and accessories to help make your community project dreams become reality. The tiles don’t have to be used for traditional purposes either – for example you could use them to create a feature such as a mural for a sensory garden. With our wide range of wall tiles, floor tiles and mosaics the possibilities are endless. 

    Anyone can nominate a deserving project or facility by visiting https://www.tiletrader.co.uk/tiling-for-a-good-cause. To nominate your space, just submit a short written entry describing how you would like the nominated space to be transformed with new tiles and your ideas to improve the space. Please also include a photograph or video to show us the existing space to update. 

    The prize will include brand new tiles and accompanying tiling materials worth up to £500. For full terms and conditions please click here.

    Nominations are open now and will close at 12 noon on Wednesday 15th November 2017. The entries will then be opened up for an online public vote between 12 noon Wednesday 15th November 2017 and 12 noon Wednesday 29th November 2017.

    Entries will be judged on the creativity of the written entry coupled with the online vote. The number of votes will be taken into consideration but will not be the deciding factor 

    A panel of expert judges – Karen Stylianides, editor for Grand Designs magazine, Michela Colling, style editor for Ideal Home magazine, and Cassie Fairy, home and interiors blogger and winner of the Tile Trader “Best Homes & Interiors blogger award” – will decide the overall winner which will be announced in November. 

    Stay up to date with the latest competition news by following Tile Trader on Twitter https://twitter.com/tile_trader and engage using the hashtag #TTgoodcause. 

    Good luck!

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  2. Get a fresh new look for less

    Now is the perfect time to refresh your home, whether it’s a quick lick of paint and a new tiled splashback or a full kitchen or bathroom renovation project. And with 30% off a selection of our favourite tiles, you can create a fresh new look without blowing your budget.

    For example, in our summer sale you could update your bathroom with a contemporary urban look using the Concrete range, which combines a 45x45cm porcelain floor tile with matching flat and structured 20x50cm wall tiles for a look that’s trend-led yet neutral enough to stand the test of time. With sale prices from just £1.02 per tile you could save over £100 on an average sized bathroom!

    From kitchen splashbacks to bathrooms and en suites, natural marble mosaics are great for adding a luxurious finishing touch. Create a beautiful premium look without the premium price tag with our selection of real marble mosaics from just £4.54 for a 30x30cm sheet. Featuring lots of natural shade and pattern variations for a unique look, they’re ideal for feature walls and splashbacks. Or if your budget can’t quite stretch to a full wall, why not cut a few sheets down to create borders between simple ceramic wall tiles such as our Hangar Pearl range, which is just £1.02 per tile in the summer sale. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to give your home a makeover.

    Glossy brick shaped tiles with a rustic, handmade appearance are very much on trend at the moment and are being used everywhere from classic kitchen splashbacks and bathroom walls to striking feature walls in dining rooms, cloakrooms and entrance halls. Get the look at a fraction of the price with our Country range, which now has 30% off. Available in a choice of 25x5cm or 50x5cm formats and a range of muted colours, it’s a great way to add style without breaking the bank, as prices start from as little as 25 pence per tile.

    The 30% discount is available for a limited time only, so don’t put off your project any longer. With the money you save on tiles you’ll be able to splash out a bit more on the finishing touches (or if you’re anything like me, you’ll put it towards a holiday!).

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  3. Tile Trader Article – Keep it simple (but not boring!) with white tiles

    Over recent years we’ve seen interior trends and tile designs becoming increasingly adventurous, with more and more customers choosing to make their home decor personal to them rather than a neutral blank canvas. But that doesn’t mean that the humble white tile has had its day.

    Classic white ceramic tiles are still the go-to choice for many people’s bathroom walls because they offer a clean, low maintenance finish that can easily be changed or updated by adding new bathroom accessories. A feature panel or border of mosaics can be used to add interest and stop an all white room looking too clinical.

    White ceramic wall tiles with a bevelled edge, such as our Metro or Frame ranges, are popular because they’re clean and neutral but the structured shape creates a pleasing added dimension. They can look especially effective when fixed in different layouts such as herringbone or paired with a contrasting grout colour.

    White tiles now come in many different shapes, sizes, textures and materials, making them anything but boring. For example our Starlight White Quartz tiles are made from natural quartz which is set with tiny pieces of mirrored glass that really glisten in the light, adding a luxurious feel to floors or walls in any room. If you like the sleekness of white quartz tiles but not the sparkle, then Super White polished porcelain tiles could be for you. Create a minimal look with these plain white wall and floor tiles that are incredibly hard wearing. Polished porcelain needs to be sealed before fixing but don’t worry, our handy calculator will work out exactly what sealer you should order for your chosen tiles. 

    For an on-trend look, why not use a white marble mosaic that combines different textures of stone, such as our hexagon or linear mosaics. The geometric shapes combined with a mixture of rough and smooth textures is very contemporary, yet the white colour palette keeps it subtle and timeless.

    With all things industrial being so fashionable at the moment, you might have seen lots of brick tiles (and wallpapers) around. A white reclaimed brick effect tile used on walls offers a nod to the trend without being too daring, and can give more of a Scandi look when paired with wood effect floor tiles. This look is great for kitchens but can also be extended into other spaces such as dining rooms or hallways. The same can be said of our Country range of rustic gloss wall tiles with a handmade appearance, which are available in white as well as subtle pastel shades. Their elongated 5x25cm ad 5x50cm formats make them ideal for creating kitchen splashbacks or feature walls with a vintage edge throughout the home.

    So as you can see, whilst bold geometrics, distressed woods and playful patterns are having their moment in the tile trend spotlight, the simple white tile should not be overlooked when planning your new design scheme. Why not order some samples today and see for yourself how creative you can be with white.

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  4. And the winner is.....

    We’re big fans of interiors blogs at Tile Trader, so in February we launched our search to find the nation’s best homes and interiors blogger. We asked you to vote for your favourite from a shortlist of bloggers and you didn’t disappoint – there were hundreds of votes cast before the deadline on 6th March.

    In second place with 78 votes was Charlotte O’Shea’s popular Rock my Style blog (http://rockmystyle.co.uk), but with a whopping 122 votes the winner was Cassie Fairy, whose My Thrifty Life blog (www.cassiefairy.com) offers readers ideas and inspiration on everything from DIY projects to money saving tips. 

    As well as winning a commemorative glass plaque, which now takes pride of place on her mantelpiece, Cassie also won a £200 donation to a homelessness charity in her local area of Suffolk. Cassie chose to boost the funds of The Bus Shelter – a brand new support service that is renovating a double decker bus to turn it into a safe space for rough sleepers to stay. As the charity’s motto says, ‘sleep is just the beginning’, and the bus will also offer advice, cooking and washing facilities and ongoing support. We’re delighted that as well as highlighting all the brilliant homes and interiors bloggers the UK has to offer, the Tile Trader Best Interiors Blog Awards has also been able to help such an interesting and inspirational charity project.

    Thank you to everyone who voted in the awards or joined the conversation on twitter (#TTBestInteriorsBlog). We hope you’ll continue to be inspired by homes and interiors blogs, including of course our own blog which will be updated again soon with lots more inspiration and advice about kitchen and bathroom tiles, wall tiles, floor tiles and mosaics.

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  5. Fresh new looks for the New Year

    Fresh new looks for the New Year

    Many people like to have a fresh start and make changes in January – getting fit, eating more healthily, planning to visit new countries. The New Year is also the perfect time to give your home a makeover, and even if you haven’t got the budget for a completely new kitchen or bathroom it’s amazing what a difference a change of tiles can make. Here we take a look at some of the biggest design trends for 2017 to provide some inspiration for the year ahead.

    Natural beauty

    Calming shades of green, white and cream are the perfect choice for creating a fresh new look that brings elements of nature into your home – why not try our Country tiles in Sage or Cream. Combining ceramic or porcelain tiles in soft shades with wood effect tiles can create a serene space in any room, whilst adding natural elements such as mosaics made from real stone or mother of pearl to your bathroom will really help to give it a tranquil, spa-like feel. Finish the look with plenty of plants in simple ceramic pots and accessories that feature natural motifs such as leaf prints.

    Industrial heritage

    Industrial was a key trend for 2016 that looks set to develop even further this year. In contrast to the natural trend, industrial has a more manmade aesthetic, featuring combinations of concrete, bare plaster, distressed paint effects and reclaimed wood. The aged and distressed feel softens the look and stops it being too harsh for use in the home. Why not recreate the look with our Kunny vintage wood effect tiles and Concrete grey floor tiles. Vintage style tiles such as Metro also feature in this trend, and they look especially effective when teamed with a contrasting grout colour.

    Tactile textures

    If you want to give your bathroom a clean, contemporary look but without it looking too plain then adding some structured décor tiles to your walls is the ideal solution. Designed to co-ordinate with matching flat tiles, our structured tiles can be used to create feature walls or borders that add some on-trend texture to your walls. They’re available in a range of subtle shades and patterns in contemporary elongated formats, such as our Icon 30x90cm geometric structure decors or Sutton 33x100cm linear decors. Natural stone split face tiles are another option for adding textural interest to your walls, and they’re great for creating a style statement on chimney breasts or in dining rooms or hallways, as well as the more traditional areas.

    Honeycomb

    The trend for hexagons used in interior design continues to go from strength to strength. You can get the look with our range of hexagon mosaics made from natural marble. For a subtle finish try our polished marble hexagon mosaics or tick several design trend boxes at once with our white marble hexagon mosaic, which features mixed textures and finishes for added interest. All our hexagon mosaics can be used on floors as well as walls, so they’re perfect for everything from wet room floors to kitchen splashbacks.

    For more design ideas and inspiration why not follow us on Pinterest, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you plan your new look.

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  6. Whats the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?

    Whats the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?

    When you’re choosing wall or floor tiles for your home you will no doubt come across references to ceramic and porcelain, but you may not fully understand what they both mean. So this week I thought it would be helpful to try and answer one of the questions we’re most frequently asked – what is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?

    Ceramic Tiles 

    Ceramic tile production is made up of many processes, but to put it simply, raw ingredients such as clay and sand are mixed together and pressed into the shape of a tile using extreme pressure. The tiles are then fired in a kiln at very high temperatures to create a plain base tile, also known as a bisque or biscuit. The biscuit is coated with glaze to give it its colour or pattern, then it’s fired again to set the glaze. The glaze coating on the finished tile makes the front surface waterproof, although the back of the ceramic tile is still porous which is why the gaps in between tiles have to be grouted to ensure no water can get through.

    Ceramic tiles come in lots of different shapes, sizes, patterns and finishes, from small glossy tiles with a bevelled edge like our Metro range, to large format 33x100cm wall tiles with a matte finish like our Sutton range. It is possible for a texture or structure to be pressed into the tile during the production process, which creates feature tiles with a 3D finish such as our Icon Grey decors or Java Wave wall tiles.

    Ceramic tiles are a popular choice for domestic interiors, particularly for bathroom and kitchen walls. Many ceramic tiles are also suitable for floors, particularly for low traffic areas. They’re easy to cut, install and maintain and offer excellent value for money.

    Porcelain Tiles 

    There are two different types of porcelain tiles – glazed porcelain and through bodied (also known as full bodied) porcelain.

    Glazed porcelain tiles are made in a similar way to ceramic tiles, but the ingredients contain finer porcelain clays and they’re often fired at higher temperatures. This makes porcelain tiles more dense and less porous than ceramic tiles, and they are therefore more hard wearing and suitable for both floors and walls in any room. As glazed porcelain tiles are glazed in the same way as ceramic tiles, the choice of colours, patterns and finishes is just as varied. They also come in larger formats such as 60x60cm, like our contemporary concrete effect Porto range of porcelain floor tiles.

    Through bodied porcelain tiles are made using a similar method but instead of having a glaze applied to the surface of the tile, the colour or pattern forms part of the body of the tile due to the mixture of ingredients. This makes them even more hard wearing than glazed tiles as there is no glaze to wear away, and in the unlikely event that a tile does become chipped, the visible tile underneath will be the same colour as the surface so it won’t be as noticeable. The choice of patterns is much more limited though, and they are often plain colours or gently speckled. Through bodied porcelain are often polished to give a very shiny surface, such as our Super Black and Super White polished porcelain tiles

    So which should I choose?

    For domestic interiors it doesn’t matter too much, especially if you’re buying wall tiles, so the choice will be based more on which designs you prefer and what your budget is. If you’re buying floor tiles for high traffic areas such as a hallway or kitchen you may prefer to choose porcelain tiles as they’re more hardwearing, though for a bathroom where most of the traffic will be bare foot ceramic tiles are perfectly acceptable.

    I hope this helps to answer the common question of ceramic versus porcelain, but if you’d like any more help and advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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  7. Fabulous Floor Tiles

    Fabulous Floor Tiles

    Recently I’ve been looking back at when I first joined the tile industry many years ago and thinking about how much has changed since then. One of the things that struck me is just how much more choice there now is in terms of floor tile designs. Go back a decade and many people buying floor tiles would have opted for a 30x30cm square floor tile in a simple grey or beige stone effect, but now larger sizes and more adventurous designs and patterns are widely available and incredibly popular.

    Natural stone effect tiles are still a favourite with many of our customers and as tile manufacturing technology has advanced to HD inkjet printing they are now more lifelike than ever before. For example our new Lucia Gris floor tile replicates the look of natural stone but in hard wearing, low maintenance ceramic. Many stone effect floor tiles are available with matching wall tiles, such as our Java range, which comes in four colour options, and features co-ordinating wall, floor and wave structured tiles.

    One of the biggest developments over the last few years has been the growing popularity of wood effect tiles. Again, HD inkjet printing technology has really helped to make ceramic and porcelain tiles a viable alternative to real wood or laminate, as they can offer realistic woodgrain textures with shade and pattern variations that look just like the real thing. Plank shaped floor tiles come in a wide range of colours and finishes, from the classic look of our Niove or Drake wood effect ranges to the more rustic, industrial feel of the Kunny range which gives the appearance of vintage reclaimed wood flooring.

    It’s not just wood effects that come in plank formats either. Marble replicas such as our Calcutta and Marmy floor tiles in a 20x114cm size will give any room a striking contemporary look, showing just how far floor tiles have come since the ubiquitous 30x30cm format.

    There was a time when decorating your home was all about keeping it neutral, but over recent years people have become more adventurous with their interior design choices to make their home reflect their own personal style. Patterned floor tiles are one example of this – they’re the ideal way to add character to floors throughout the home, from hallways to bathrooms – and a simple Pinterest search for ‘floor tiles’ will show just how popular patterned floors have become. Look out for our Lafayette patterned floor tile range coming soon.

    Whilst porcelain and ceramic are the most common materials for floor tiles thanks to their durability and practicality, natural stone tiles can be used to add a touch of natural beauty to kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, conservatories and even living rooms. Natural stone floor tiles are great for period properties, especially cottages, as their natural variations in shade, pattern and texture give them a rustic charm and sense of history, with each tile coming from a block of stone that was formed underground over thousands of years. Slate, Travertine and Marble are particularly popular for floor tiles. Natural stone mosaics can also be used as flooring and are a great choice for wetroom floors, as they can easily be sloped towards a drain and the grout lines provided added grip.

    Quartz floor tiles are another popular choice that have been around for a while but show no signs of disappearing. Made from a combination of natural quartz and small pieces of mirrored glass set in resin, they can create a dramatic statement on floors throughout the home as they sparkle in the light. Available in black, white and grey colour options, they’re especially popular in kitchens where they can be used to co-ordinate with worktops. 

    It’s not just the variety of floor tiles available that’s changed over the years, it’s also the way floor tiles are being used. Tiled floors in bathrooms and kitchens are so commonplace now that it’s hard to believe that there was a time when people would have chosen carpet for their bathroom or kitchen. As the use of floor tiles in bathrooms and kitchens has become the norm, their use in other rooms has also increased. Because floor tiles are hard wearing and easy to clean they’re especially practical in rooms with heavy footfall or that link directly to the outside such as hallways and conservatories. And with advances in underfloor heating technology there’s now no reason why dining rooms, living rooms and even bedrooms can’t be tiled. Don’t forget that most floor tiles can also be used on walls, which opens up the design possibilities even further.

    Whatever you’re searching for, I hope you enjoy looking through our wide range of floor tiles to find the one that’s just right for you. Don’t forget you can contact us through online chat, email or phone if you need any help or advice.

     

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  8. Wood Effect Tiles

    Wood Effect Tiles

    With more designs to choose from than ever before, wood effect tiles are a huge interior design trend for 2016 and beyond. Thanks to advances in high definition inkjet tile printing, wood effect tiles offer the look and feel of real wood but with all the practical benefits of ceramic and porcelain. For example, wood and laminate flooring often aren’t recommended for use in wet areas as the wood may warp, but all our wood effect tiles are ideal for use in bathrooms, wet rooms or kitchens as the glaze on the tile makes them waterproof once the joints are grouted, with no need for sealing. They are also incredibly easy to clean, hard wearing and can stand up to things such as high heels, which can sometimes damage real wood.

    Wood effect tiles are perfect for replicating the appearance of wood flooring, but they look equally effective when used on walls. They’re not just limited to bathrooms and kitchens either – for a contemporary Scandinavian look why not try creating a wood effect feature wall on your chimney breast, in your dining room, or even behind your bed.

    We have a variety of colours, designs and sizes of wood effect tiles to choose from and they can be combined with other tiles to create different looks depending on your taste. For example, teaming our distressed wood effect Kunny range with classic Metro tiles gives a modern industrial look that’s very contemporary, whilst our Niove range offers a more timeless finish in a choice of three wood effect shades, including a light grey which is one of the most popular colours in interiors right now.

    There are lots of different layouts you could try with wood effect tiles. To replicate classic wood plank flooring, fix the tiles end to end with each row slightly offset from the previous one. If your room is narrow, for example in a galley kitchen, using the plank tiles horizontally across the width of the room can make it appear wider. For a look that combines traditional and contemporary, fix the tiles in a diagonal herringbone layout on either walls or floors.

    Tiles that offer the look of wood with the practical benefits of ceramic and porcelain are incredibly versatile, and are a design trend that looks set to stay. How will you use yours?

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