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Hints and tips

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Make your kitchen the heart of the home

    Make your kitchen the heart of the home

    We spend a lot of time in our kitchens, whether it’s cooking, eating, entertaining friends or spending time with family, so it’s no wonder it’s often referred to as the heart of the home. Make your kitchen somewhere that you enjoy spending time by choosing wall and floor tiles that complement your own personal style – it’s amazing what a difference they can make to the overall look of your room.

    One of the most popular looks for kitchen wall tiles is the classic Metro tile. It’s incredibly versatile and can be styled in lots of different ways to suit either traditional or contemporary kitchens. The brick shaped tile with bevelled edges looks great in a timeless brick bond format, but can also be used to create more eye-catching patterns such as herringbone. Using a contrasting grout colour (such as dark grey grout with white tiles) can also help to elevate the humble Metro tile to new heights, and with our wide choice of Metro colours you can even mix and match to create your own unique design.

    Another kitchen wall tile trend is for rustic gloss tiles that have a handmade appearance, such as our Country range. Available in a choice of muted colours they’re the perfect finishing touch for rustic country kitchens or painted Shaker styles. For a contemporary twist they can also be used with sleek modern kitchens to create an on-trend contrast between old and new. For a timeless look opt for the classic 7.5x15cm brick format, or for a more modern take on the style why not try the elongated 5x25cm or 5x50cm sizes.

    Wood effect tiles are very popular for kitchens and they can be used on both the floor and walls to create a homely, Scandinavian feel that looks great with simple white or grey kitchen units. If you’re a fan of the industrial trend, distressed wood effect tiles such as our Kunny range will help you create the look in your kitchen.

    When deciding what floor tiles to use in your kitchen think about how the room will be used. For example if it’s a busy family kitchen hard wearing glazed porcelain or ceramic in a matte finish will be the most practical option, but if the wow factor is more important than practicalities a gloss polished porcelain would be a good choice. If your kitchen is open plan and leads into a dining or living area then why not extend the tilling all the way through – wood effect tiles are particular popular for this.

    If you’re not sure which kitchen wall tiles and floor tiles to use together why not order some samples so you can play with different options in the comfort of your own home. And if you need any help or advice please don’t hesitate to contact us at Tile Trader.

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  4. 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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