The Store Manager is now approaching 10 years in the business of selling tiles and is still learning, so he is now going to start sharing some tips.
Tip One: Keep spare tiles after you have finished your project.
It is probably a good idea to keep 1/2 a square metre or more, this is not a ploy to stop customers returning tiles. This is because pipes can leak, showers and boilers sometimes¬†have to be changed, or you no longer like that island in the kitchen which wasn’t tiled under. When this happens either old tiles have to be removed or the new shower/boiler is a different size and you need additional tiles to replace previously drilled tiles etc.
We get at least five customers in a week trying to match tiles for these reasons and the problems are tiles are batched so if you do manage to find replacements, good possibility that they still won’t match. Most tile ranges also have a limited time scale, if a tile doesn’t sell very well the seller will not buy it again and if no shops buy the tile the manufacturer will stop making them. Normally if a tile is more than five years old it would be best to re-tile or in the case of showers, just re-tile the shower area to make it look like a feature.
My second log on Electric Underfloor Heating. This time the benefits:
First benefit; and in my view the main benefit is how it works compared to having standard radiators in the room. Heat rises, therefore with standard radiated heat the heat comes away from the radiator rising diagonally up, then cools and falls causing the atrea at ground level and across the room always to be cooler. In a good insulated room I found this not to be an inconvenience as the whole will eventually become nice and toasty until someone opens the door! With electric underfloor heating the heat rises evenly from the floor across the whole expanse of the room, so the only area that is slightly cooler would be nearer the ceiling. Unfortunately, someone can still open the door and let the heating out, but i have found that underfloor heating warms a room faster and far more efficiently than standard wall mounted radiators.
Second benefit is space. with your heating hidden away within the floor there is no need for that big old radiator to be hanging on your wall. Just think of the thing you may be able to fill that space with within your own room arrangement. In my personal circumstances that freed up area where my old wall mounted radiators were could easily be used. In my bathroom I would have a smaller heated towel rail and another bathroom cabinet, and in my living room I can see an extra DVD rack. Both of which would hide away extra clutter.
That is the main two benefits of the underfloor heating, but Thermonet Underfloor Heating ststems there is a third. Thermonet cable has zero EMF (Electromagnetic field). The main down side to EMF in your home is that it can interfere with things like broadband and wi-fi, but then again so can a few other things in a household. When talking to a very well known brand engineer who was fixing our work broadband it came up in the conversation that another of his customers was having interference spikes, and it turned out that the spikes were coming from one of those plug in air fresheners as every time it went of it was putting out a burst of interference. Thermonet Underfloor Heating systems will NOT have an adverse effect on your wi-fi signal as some other brands on the market may do.
Thermonet Underfloor Heating systems come in various styles of thermostat most of which are totally programmable for your heating requirements over a 7 day period, although a basic on/off version is still available if you are trying to save on initial costs.
P.s Dogs & cats also love underfloor heating.
You know its Autumn when Autumn/Winter season catalogues start pouring through your letterbox. Whilst Ikea, Next, John Lewis and many other large retailers are banking on us being tempted and enticed into buying their wares, we at Leafcutter find ourselves not looking at this season’s must have fabric, coat or kitchen accessory, but instead look at settings the goods for sale are put in to see how many of the tiles used are available on our on-line shop.
Seems we really are “bang on trend” this year. 10×20 Metro tiles in white feature heavily. These tiles really are truly versatile and look great in all settings, kitchen or bathroom, classic or contemporary. Ikea have a very nice bathroom setting using a burgundy version, we have them in white, cream and black but having seen how effective this looks we will be looking to expand our colour range.
Tiles like our Brighton range are featured heavily, particularly in tones of grey and grouted with grey grout. These tiles Have lines running though them, can be laid horizontally or vertically and in light grey and charcoal give a sophisticated and uncluttered look. The Brighton range is available in many other colours giving a very different look to the neutrals.
What really is new this year is the use of porcelain wood effect tiles. They are becoming increasingly more popular for floors but are shown in many catalogues on bathroom walls, the stronger shades giving a rustic look whilst the lighter bleached tiles giving a lovely nautical feel. We are working on increasing our range of wood effect tiles as we think they will continue to grow in popularity, many people are put off by how easily wood can scratch and mark, but with hard wearing porcelain you get the great look of natural wood but with no extra maintenance.
When I first started selling tiles it used to be that electric underfloor heating was sold as a luxury item; it was expensive and difficult to work out running costs.
Things have changed over the years; technology has got better, and underfloor heating has become cheaper and easier to install. I won’t lie, it can still be difficult to work out exact running costs as there are so many variables; including all the different electricity tariffs available to the householder.
So the main con of underfloor heating has been covered: it was and still is cost, but it’s not a problem as long as the price is taken into consideration during the planning of a project. Things to remember are electric loose cable kits will normally be cheaper than pre-spaced mats, if you’re not laying the underfloor heating yourself be aware that the loose cable is more time consuming to install so a tradesman will normally charge more for fitting.
The second con most people hear is having to rip up the whole floor to find a fault or replace the system. Most of the time this is false! I won’t say it does’t happen, although I have never heard of a whole floor having to be taken up….a few tiles lifted and replaced maybe. Most of the known brand named electric underfloor heating companies can normally find a fault within one square foot, but in my nine years experience in the trade i have never heard of this service being required.
Now a bit of information on Thermonet. Their twisted twin cable is made to the highest standards in Germany. It is made to such a high standard that they give a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing faults. The cable is very durable extremely hard to damage during installation.
So to sum up the cons of electric underfloor heating: cost and the chance of it breaking ~ Only minor Cons as long as price is taken into consideration during the planning of the project and you stick to known brands that give a good warranty.
I don’t want to cover too much in a single post as it will become to long, so i will cover the Pros of electric underfloor heating in my next blog.
During this week i have learnt a lot more information about underfloor heating so expect another blog with lots of information about Thermonets underfloor heating systems in the next couple of weeks.
1.Problem Anhydrite screeds can be difficult to identify; as they can look identical to sand/cement screeds.
1.Solution¬†To identify between the two, anhydrite screeds tend to be much lighter and almost white in colour, where as the sand and cement based adhesives are slightly more cream coloured. ¬†If you are ever in doubt we recommend seeking a professional opinion to confirm you are aware with what you are working with.
2. Problem Screeds have a gypsum content so when a cement based adhesive is applied directly onto the floor, cement in the tile adhesive reacts with the gypsum resulting in a mineral called ettringite forming on the interface which de-bonds the cement-adhesive from the screed base.
2.Solution¬†If a screed is known to be an anhydrite it must be sealed before the application of cement-based tile adhesive. If a screed type is not known and it is believed to be anhydrite, the screed should also be thoroughly sealed as a precaution prior to tiling. We recommend using TA Prime plus or Lithofin Multi seal (indoor use only) which are available right here from our site and also in our shop.
3. Problem As anhydrite screeds cure , a weak layer of laitance is formed on the surface, which is too weak to be tiled onto. This also causes a slow drying time of the screed.
3. Solution¬†The cured anhydrite screed will need to be removed to provide a dense surface to tile onto and to aid drying time. It is usually ready for removal after 2-6 days, however products can vary so you should always refer to the product guide for how long it recommends to leave and dry and how to remove the laitance.
Once the floor is completely dry and sealed you can start to fix your chosen tiles into a bed of cement-based adhesive or gypsum -based adhesive. Once again these must be left to dry thoroughly before starting the grouting process.
If you do experience any other problems not listed above feel free to contact us and our staff will be happy to try and help you resolve your issue.
At Leafcutter design we are big admirers of the Marlborough tile collection and stock an extensive range of their products here on our website.¬†The tiles we sell have all been individually hand painted by a team of skilled ceramic artists, to create a unique style for each customer.
The tiles are available in a range of colours with pre-set word panels or designs. However if you have a creative spark and an original idea, Marlborough¬†are willing to design a tile to suit your own taste, whether it is inspirational and moving words, a portrait of family or ¬†a pet, a design can be created that is perfect for your taste.
Below is an example of an idea we created.
If you are interested in the collection and would like to find out more, then feel free to come visit our shop and talk to our knowledgable and friendly staff or give us call or email and we will assist you with any enquiries.
Tiling anhydrite screeds with cement-based adhesives can sometimes become a tricky task. ¬†If the cement based adhesives come in¬†contact with the anhydrite screed, a chemical reaction could evolve, which will eventually break the top surface of the anhydrite screed. As a result when using cement based adhesives, the screeds needs to be primed so the cement-based adhesive is applied to the primer and not to the anhydrite screed.
This can become time consuming so as a solution¬†Tilemaster Adhesives are launching a new product Anhyfix, which we will proudly stock and sell from late July.
Anhyfix will be 100% compatible with anhydrite / calcium sulphate and can be applied directly without having to prime. It is also rapid setting, will accept light foot wear and can be grouted after 3-4 hours. Anhyfix will be suitable for underfloor heating systems and has been developed for fixing a large variety of tiles such as Ceramic, Porcelain and Natural stone.
For any enquiries about this new product please do not hesitate to contact us. The product will be available from our shop and online to order later this month.
Floor tiles can be fixed to most floors, although different tiles will be suitable for different floor types. To choose the right tile British standards recommends following ¬†The Porcelain Enamel Institute(PEI) rating system¬†which has been developed to depict the strength of the tile against scratching and wear and also where each tile can be used. ¬†Once the tile has been made it is sent to the PEI where it is tested and provided a rating. The PEI is usually tested against ceramic glazed and unglazed tiles, porcelain tiles are usually stronger and hardwearing therefore are not tested with PEI.
The rating is illustrated on the table below:
|0||Unclassified, Wall tile only.|
|1||Very light traffic, domestic, floor covering in walked on areas with soft footwear.|
|2||Light traffic, walked on normal footwear.|
|3||Moderate traffic, any residential area.|
|4||Moderate to heavy footwear, residential to commercial.|
|5||Heavy footwear, commercial over sustained periods.|
It is evident that the higher a tiles PEI the greater its resistance to scratch and wear. We hope this guide will assist you in choosing the most suitable tile for your tiling purpose.
Digitally printed tiles are becoming an increasingly popular trend for both commercial and domestic walls and floors. Usually printed on a ceramic tile, there are¬†unlimited designs possible,to add character to any room with sharper finishes and high resolution printing. Digitally printed tiles are very versatile, you could have a tile created to cater for any idea. Perhaps to promote a company logo, as a memorable moment from family or a beloved pet , or even to follow a passion of your favourite celebrity or football team.
Here at Leafcutter design we sell a selection of unique ceramic printed tiles. Click below for an example:
In addition, we also offer these unique styles in the form of sandblasted glass tiles:
If you are interested in digitally printed tiles, give us a call at 01202 737 171 or email us at ¬†email@example.com and we will be happy to assist you with any ideas.