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Commonly Asked Questions

bathroom tiles

How do I calculate how many tiles I need?
For a basic square or rectangular room you need to measure the length and the width in metres. You then multiply the length by the width to get the total square meters. To subtract areas that you don`t want to tile you can use the same method to calculate the area and then minus this from the total area.

You can use our online tile calculator for basic rooms> Tile Calculator

ColorTile can help you estimate the volume of tiles required. If you have scaled building plans bring these into your nearest ColorTile store or simply write down the length and width of each room you want to tile and bring this in to help us work out the square metres required for each area. We can also use this to calculate the volume of glues, grouts and spacers you may require.

How much wastage should I include when ordering tiles?
When ordering tiles, an additional 10% for straight tiling and 15% for diamond pattern or tiles 600mm x 600mm and larger should be added onto the total amount of tiles you require. We often receive requests for extra tiles years after the job is complete. It can be difficult to match the same tile or batch. We recommend purchasing an extra box or two before the project starts. This will make the process of replacing a tile that becomes damaged in future a lot easier, for you will not have to track the exact type of tile that you purchased years prior.

Can floor tiles be applied on the walls and vice versa?
Contemporary decorating trends have involved showcasing floor tiles on walls and glass mosaics as a floor feature. We recommend choosing with caution and getting the right advice from our experienced colour consultants.  Depending on the size and weight of the floor tile, it can be applied in other areas. Some wall tiles will be unsuitable to be used on the floor as they are at risk of scratching or breaking due to low load bearing capabilities.

For example, it is not recommended that a glass tile be placed on the floor as a main tile. It can however, be used in low traffic areas or can be used as a feature. If floor tiles are applied to the wall you may need to consult your builder or tiler regarding the weight of the wall as some floor tiles are far too heavy.

Talk to your ColorTile consultant about the suitable placement of each tile.

Are tiles waterproof? How do I choose the right tiles for wet areas?
Most tiles can be used in wet areas, however when purchasing tiles for areas such as a bathroom or kitchen you need to consider the slip resistance and water absorption rating. Waterproofing grout is optional. Poxy grout can be used to avoid discolouring and staining.

Are tiles heatproof for fireplaces?
Tiles are heat-resistant and can be used as fireplace surrounds. When using a tile in a high temperature environment, ensure that your adhesive and binding materials are also heat resistant.

How do feature tiles work? What size do they come?
Most features tiles come on 300 x 300 sheets which can be cut down to whatever size you need. ColorTile carry a great range of our own colours and designs. We also carry many more exclusive brands from all over the world. Decorative, boarded or feature tiles can be used to showcase the owners own style, you can be as bold as you want.

To get inspiration, visit one of our showrooms and speak to one our colour consultants.

Can I tile over a floor that is not level?
You need to ensure the tiling area is level before applying tiles. If pressure is applied to tiles on a non-level floor, the grout and adhesives will eventually crack and the tiles will lift.

How can I level my uneven floor?
If you wish to tackle this problem yourself, you will need to use a straight edge such as a spirit level to identify any discrepancies. For cement floors use an internal and external self leveller. Just pour it on and let it dry. For timber, sand over the area and screw down (instead of nailing) the moving boards to prevent squeaking.

For tiling over timber and other sub straights where cement sheeting is required, laying sheeting over your floors will help spread the load and level the space. Cement sheeting or tile underlay should be used.

Before you begin tiling, ensure the surface is clean and prepped. Any lumps under the tiles will produce a bump in the surface and cannot be sanded down once laid.

ColorTile offer a range of floor levellers.

Can I stick my new tiles down to a vinyl floor?
There are specific tiling systems and materials that will allow you to tile over vinyl flooring.

Talk to your ColorTile consultant about the most suitable way to achieve the best results for your situation.

What can I use to seal a tile / grout joints?
Most tiles do not need to be sealed; only some polished porcelain tiles are not sealed at the factory. For tiles and grout lines which do require sealing, use a premium impregnating sealer which prevents the penetration of oil, grease, dirt and water-borne stains and also facilitates maintenance without altering the appearance of the tiles. Sealing products are available at your local ColorTile store.

For wet areas silicone sealant should be used. There are a range of colours available. The corners should be sealed, as well as other areas where water may accumulate. Ensure the area is well ventilated prior to applying the seal.

Talk to your ColorTile consultant to find out whether your tiles require sealing.