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Whether you are renovating or redecorating, tiling is a big job and needs an expert touch. Here we look at how to find the right person for the job.

 

Finding A Good Tiler: A Basic How To

 

Whether you are renovating, doing up a bathroom, or adding a classy and beautiful design touch to an extension, tiles bring a lot of benefits to the table such as:

 

  • Making an area easier to clean in general
  • Providing a hygienic surface for cooking areas
  • Providing an easy-clean, easy-wipe surface for high traffic family areas
  • Making a space look clean and chic
  • Creating a timeless look that doesn’t need updating consistently
  • Creating an easy maintenance surface long term
  • Providing a plethora of design options
  • Making an area waterproof

 

A person might want to use tiles for any of the above reasons, or all of them. There are so many benefits to using a surface like tiles for your property. The problem is, how do you make sure they get installed properly? Tiles installed without care, without the proper materials, without the right time between application stages and without general skill, can be a real disaster for a property. So many things can go wrong such as:

 

  • They might look awful because they are wonky or not applied right.
  • They might be dangerous because of sharp edges.
  • They could make the entire space dangerous because they are at risk of falling off the wall or coming loose from the floor.
  • They could prove to be real dirt collectors because the grout isn’t even or because the tiles aren’t properly aligned or applied to the adhesive
  • They could let water into the surface behind causing damp to occur and possibly damage to the building through a constant stream of water being let into the walls or flooring
  • They could be dangerous to walk on because they are slippy and a non-slip has not been applied

 

These are just some of the things that can go wrong if tiles are not applied properly, so it is extremely important that the right person is found to get the job done properly. Which is easier than it sounds, because there are so many tilers available, but no concrete reason to hire them. How do you trust that their skills are as good as they say? What constitutes a good tiler? How many tilers should you speak to before choosing the right one?

We’re going to cover those questions and look at lots of things you should be considering when looking for a tiler, so you end up with a stunning tiled surface and not an expensive disaster.

 

finding a good tiler

 

First Things First, Find The Right Tiles

This may sound obvious but, the tiles you choose will have an impact on who you have to install them. For example: you might buy a package which includes installation and a guarantee and you might choose your tiles based on that kind of package because it includes everything you need. You might be on a budget and so buy cheap tiles to have a go at installing yourself because you have the time and money to have another go at the job if you go wrong. You might pay a high price for designer floor tiles and so you want to make sure an expert installs them because you cannot afford to replace them. You might want a specialist to install the tiles because they are for a specific part of your home that needs to be safe and you have chosen tiles to reflect that. It is all part and parcel of the same set of decisions.

 

Your choice of tile is really important, and it is probably what you have thought about first, ahead of who is installing them. Maybe you saw a friends bathroom and it looked gorgeous because of the chrome effect tiling, or perhaps you saw a colour of tile in a showroom you had never seen before and it inspired you to redecorate your bathroom. Maybe you sat looking at your own crumbling wall tiles and started daydreaming of the tiles you would have if you redecorated and that inspired you to make a change.

 

Whatever your reason for tiling, your choice of tile is so important. If you’re wondering how to make a decision on tiles, these tips will help you:

 

Check Durability

Durability is so important because you don’t want tiles that last two minutes. It is expensive to replace them and even if you can afford that, who wants the mess every five minutes of redoing them? A good way to check how durable a tile is, is to look at the PEI scale. This scale, provided by the ceramic tile industry, rates tiles from 1 to 5. A PEI of 1 means that the tile is extremely non-resistant and not very durable at all. 5 is the highest score and means the tile is extremely durable. Ideally you would buy a tile of at least a grade PEI 2 if you’re tiling a wall, but with floor tiles you will want a PEI 3 or more, especially in high traffic areas.

 

Which Size?

You can get an astonishing selection of tile sizes, from tiny mosaic pieces to huge tiles. You can mix and match those sizes to create different effects, but do bear in mind this may affect your eventual cost, especially if you are getting odd small numbers of certain tiles.

Wet Room with Philippe Starck Tiles

Which Colours Are Best?

The same traditional design rules apply when it comes to tiles, in that the lighter the tile, the more spacious the area of application will look. However, there are lots of ways to play with colour and shade that means you don’t have to go 100% crisp white if you don’t want to. For example: ombre is a great way to bring in a bold colour, whilst keeping the shading light and interesting. You could also add darker colours to add richness and glamour, and possible go for a neutral shade that isn’t white, like grey for example which looks great paired with a bold colour.

 

There’s also the option of patterned tiles, like vintage tiles which you could add to say, the floor in a bathroom to create a really interesting look. Don’t forget there are also different tile materials to choose from which all have their own unique qualities and shade variance.

 

Choosing Texture

As well as the colour, you have to choose the texture of your tile. You can get a matte finish or a shiny finish, and lots of variations in between. With areas prone to moisture where you will be walking on the surface or using the surface for stability, you need to think carefully about safety. You can get a matte finish which provides grip, and there are sealants you can use to add even more grip to the surface. Anything that is purely display can be completely shiny without putting anyone in danger, although you might not necessarily like the look of it, so do explore the different options in a similar shade to the one you’re thinking of choosing.

linear pastel blue tiles

Style/ Material

There are so many different styles of tile and material, you’re bound to find something you love.

Stone is a really good option for those who like a natural look, and you can even get porcelain tiles which look like stone now, so you don’t have to necessarily pay the higher price for natural stone. Wood is another good choice for lovers of a natural look, and suits all decor, although it doesn’t work well with areas prone to wet splashes unless it is engineered or laminate. For the broadest selection of style, porcelain and ceramic are the best options and you really can get them in any style, colour, shade, shape and texture.

 

Grout Counts

When you think about your tile design, don’t forget that the grout is an important part of the look. Don’t just assume that it has to be white, it can really make your tiles stand out. You could go for a matching colour, or the complete opposite. You could go from monochrome, or even different coloured grout in different sections. Your design, your rules.

 

There are so many things to think about when it comes to choosing your tiles, but do think carefully because they do make up the entire ‘look’ that you’re aiming for.

 

Could You DIY It?

Tile Saw ImageBefore you start looking for a tiler, do consider if you could DIY because it might be cheaper. Labour isn’t cheap and there are plenty of pro’s to doing the job yourself, such as: saving money, having control over how long the job takes, having the satisfaction of doing it yourself, enhancing or learning a new skill. However there are potential downsides, such as wasting materials, leaving the space unsafe (sharp tiles etc), potentially hurting yourself, taking much longer to do the job, and doing a generally bad overall job. So there is a lot to think about before making this big decision. Use these pointers to help you decide:

 

  • Have a really honest think about your skillset and whether or not it is possible for you to do a good job. If you’re a complete beginner, are you handy enough to complete the job? Have you successfully completed DIY before?
  • Is the project within your abilities? You might have tiled a simple bathroom wall before, but perhaps tiling an entire kitchen floor with natural stone is beyond your abilities
  • Is the project a big one that you just don’t have time for? You might have a weekend free, but perhaps this is a weeklong project and you just don’t have the time to complete it
  • Can you afford to do it yourself? It might seem cheaper but your budget could double if you do a bad job
  • Are you safe enough? Tile cutting is difficult and dangerous

 

Think practically and carefully about whether or not this is the right job for you to attempt yourself, the decision will have a massive effect on the outcome of this project.

 

 

tile installation expert tilerFinding A Good Tiler

So, if you have decided to go ahead with hiring somebody to do the job of tiling, you have the difficult job of finding somebody to do it. Tiling is such a skilled job, it is important that the tiler you hire is able to give you the best results for the cost. Here are our top tips for finding the best tiler for your project:

 

Ask Around

It sounds so old fashioned but, what better evidence that a tiler can do a good job, than by people you know and trust having hired them and been happy with the work? Speak to anyone who’s house has a tiled room or floor you are envious of and ask them who did the job.

 

Use The TTA

The Tile Association (TTA) has been running since the millennium in order to try and set professional standards within tiling.  Anybody listed on their ‘Find A Tiler’ facility will have been checked properly to ensure they are able to do a good job.

 

Websites

There are websites that help you find local trader, which work a little bit like Trip Advisor in that you can see reviews and service listings for each trader. With sites like these though those listed don’t have the same vetting as those on the TTA site so do tread carefully and get lots of references and information on the tiler before going ahead with a booking.

 

Social Media

Social media is brilliant for finding a tiler because not only is it easy to find more than you might through ‘analogue’ methods, but people will also shout about their opinions on the tiler without worry, so you get instant access to the truth. There might also be images shared, as well as updates on availability.

 

Once you have a few tilers you are interested in possibly hiring, contact them to ask the following questions:

 

  • Where can I find a gallery of past work?
  • Can I have reference details of past customers?
  • When are you available to work? Do you work weekends or evenings?
  • How soon can you start?
  • Do you supply adhesive and other fixing materials?
  • Will you clean the tiles after the grout has been applied?
  • Do you get rid of the waste?
  • Do you prepare the wall or floor as well?
  • Have you completed a project like mine before?

 

Once you have gathered this information, and have yourself at least three options, find a way to meet them for a quote. You may have to visit their showroom, or they may need to visit you. You can get a feel for them when you meet them, and get an understanding of how much the job will cost.

 

Only once you have all this information and have been through this process, will you be able to make an assessment on who is the best tiler for the job.

 

 

Remember, a good tiling job can add value to your property, and it will enhance your life at home so is without a doubt worth the time, effort, patience and research to get the best possible person for your project.

 

 

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