Today's tile market is ever changing with tiles coming in all shapes and sizes. With new tiles, fixing methods and materials have had to change to accomodate this.

Porcelain
Seems to be the tile of choice now. Porcelain offers a lot of advantages over a standard ceramic tile. Porcelain is fired at a higher temperature and therefore becomes a much stronger and more durable tile. It also has a lower water absorbtion rate making it especially suitable for wet areas like bathrooms, wet rooms and exterior applications. However, porcelain tiles do have some fixing and cost implications. When using porcelain a polymer modified cement based adhesive has to be used, oppose to a ready mixed adhesive. A lot of porcelain tiles also require sealing. All this adds to the time and cost of fixing porcelain. Some tough porcelain also only cuts on a wet cutter, again adding on to the installation time.

Natural Stone
Also involves additional requirements. It is essential to seal the tiles in order to help prevent staining and discolouration, the amount of coats of sealer depends on the porosity of the tiles. Some light coloured stone, like the increasingly popular travertine and limestone, will require the use of a white coloured adhesive, as standard dark coloured adhesive can show through causing dark patches on the face of the tile.

Ceramic
Still a very popular tile, usually the cheapest tile available. On tiles up to 300 by 300mm a ready mixed adhesive can be used, speeding up the time and lowering the costs. Most tile showrooms will have a vast array of sizes and colours to suit everybodies taste. Easy to clean and maintain.

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