There is no denying that tiles are a wonderful addition to the home. They can really make a bathroom or kitchen spring to life by transforming floors, walls and shower stalls.

But what happens to your tiles when you feel like redecorating? You could throw them away or you could consider recycling and reusing them.

Upgrading your tiles

The fact you might have tiles you are considering recycling is likely due to a little home improvement. Let’s face it; home decor can feel a little stale after a while and freshening the place up is often in order. Even if you once loved your decor, looking at the same walls for too long can make you start itching to change things around.

The beauty of using a material like tiles to decorate your home is that you have the freedom to chop and change things around as often as you like. Our natural stone tiles come in a variety of styles, including wood effect, and are perfect for renovating your bathroom, kitchen or shower. Once you have remodelled your home, you could have some tiles left behind that you might want to recycle.

Here are some ideas about what to do with your old tiles.

Repurposing tiles is fun

Giving your old tiles away to someone who needs them is a great way to ensure there is less waste in the world. However, we think repurposing tiles and giving them a new lease of life by transforming them is a fun and rewarding activity.

You can unleash your inner artist with these creative uses for old tiles:

  • Tile coasters and placemats
  • Tile tabletop
  • Decorative tile tray
  • Planter

You might enjoy repurposing tiles so much that you just enjoy buying them and finding alternative uses for them.

We have a fine collection of ceramic wall tiles that look great in any part of the home they are placed. They are perfect for any home improvement project, or some arts and crafts time too.

Our marble flooring tiles are perfect for elegant flooring but are also ideal for home improvement projects as they are large enough to act as a tabletop or tray surface on their own.

Recycling tiles at the local recycling centre

If you have been through a redecoration project in the past you might have realised how difficult it is to recycle old tiles. Many recycling and refuse plants don’t specifically take tiles and they tend to get thrown into the rubble collection point. Once your old tiles are thrown in with the rest of the rubble, there’s not much hope of fishing them out.

Old tiles will get thrown in with other building rubble and either crushed and turned into concrete or possibly sold as materials for building roads. However, there are things you can do yourself to recycle and reuse some of your old tiles to save them from destruction.

Give tiles a new home

Your tiles have served you well but it’s time to move on to something bigger and better. Maybe you think your tiles deserve better than to be smashed up and repurposed as building materials. One way to give ceramic tiles a new lease of life is to offer them out to friends and family.

Perhaps you know someone who has just moved house or has a project that they could use some porcelain tiles. Porcelain tiles are hardwearing, versatile and look great, so they are perfect for donating to others once you have finished with them. You can also check local community notice boards for any people or charities looking for tiles.

Social media has plenty of positives and negatives but one of its great benefits is putting people in touch with each other. You could always post to a local social media community page or marketplace to see if anyone is keen to take them off your hands. This way, you know that your old tiles will be of use to someone again.

How to remove tiles without breaking them

Getting tiles off the wall or floor without breaking them is going to be the biggest challenge to ensuring they can be reused. Naturally, once a tile has been put in place it is designed to stay there. That can make removing them pretty tricky but there are ways to work them out of their place and keep them intact.

The first thing you need to do is to wear away the grout, which may require tools like a grout saw or utility knife. Power tools will get the job done faster but not everyone has them and feels confident using them.

Once the grout is removed it’s time to pop the tile out. This can be easy or difficult depending on how stuck they are underneath. Try easing a chisel below the tile and start tapping gently with a hammer to see if it is going to come loose.

If it’s looking like it won’t budge then switch to something more flexible, like a putty knife. Slide the putty knife under the tile and begin working away at the adhesive until the tile comes away.

Once you have managed to get the first tile off without breaking it, the rest should come off quite easily. You could always sacrifice one tile to preserve the rest if this job becomes too fiddly.

What to do with broken tiles?

It’s still possible to reuse broken tiles but your options are more limited. Broken tiles are great for mosaic making, and it’s even something you could do with the kids on a rainy day. However, make sure everyone is wearing protective gloves and safety glasses as those shards will be sharp.

With broken tiles you could make the following:

  • Mosaic plant pots
  • Mosaic tile magnets
  • Tiled bookcase
  • Mosaic bathroom mirror surround
  • Mosaic garden path

Buying Natural Stone Tiles

If you would rather buy tiles than find new uses for them, we can help you out. Our natural stone tiles come in a wide range of options to perfectly fit into your home. Versatile options like slate tiles can be cut to any size and are perfect for traditional and contemporary homes.

We also offer a tile repair and replacement service, so you don’t have to struggle with removing them yourself. For tiles that last a long time, get in touch for a no-obligation quote.

Porcelanosa Wall and Floor Tiles Hero Image

We’re all after that luxurious finish when it comes to tiling, whether it’s a contemporary home or something a little more antique. However, achieving luxury in a contemporary home can be quite tough, especially with so much to compete with in the market. Here are a few luxury stone flooring ideas that might give your contemporary kitchen or bathroom the sparkle it needs to reach new heights.

Glamour

Original Style Artworks Baroque Blue Bathroom Wall Tiles

Glamour and contemporary go hand-in-hand, so going for something that dazzles or sparkles could work particularly well. Once the mirror effect of your shiny stone tile attracts the natural light of your bathroom, it creates a shimmering atmosphere that compliments any modern bathroom design.

Urban Chic

Urban chic is really growing in popularity. The slate flooring effect means that bathrooms and kitchens are now adopting a unique design that compliments the idea of natural stone. With the addition of some exposed brickwork and wooden cabinets or furnishings, you could create a beautifully luxurious urban environment in your bathroom without substantial expenditure.

Scandinavian

Original Style Earthworks Tumbled Marble Beige Floor And Wall Tiles In Bathroom

The Scandinavian effect incorporates plenty of wooden features as well as cubic furnishings and no short amount of natural light. With the addition of some naturals tone tiles, you can create a spa-like atmosphere that lives up to the demands of luxurious contemporary bathrooms. A touch of the outdoors, such as plant life, shells or stones will also work really well here.

For more information on our wide range of slate tiles and more, get in touch with us today or visit our shop in Reigate, and we’ll take you through our unrivalled collection of natural stone.

Muscat Porcelain Floor tiles

Here at The Tile Emporium we are always striving to stay on top of new and rising trends in the architectural and design markets. Because of this we are constantly renewing our stock and showroom to fit in with these style movements. We have recently acquired a new porcelain range with a Lappato semi-polished finish from Stonecrest Marble.

These tiles are suitable for both walls and floors and come in 4 colours called; Bone, Drk Grey, Lt Grey and Anthracite. They are perfectly suited for Bathrooms and kitchens as the semi-polished finish gives a surface that can easily be cleaned and maintained as well as having grip similar to that of a matte tile.

Porcelain tiles - Formation Porcelain textured Gris floor tiles

Stonecrest is one of the largest distributors of natural stone and ceramic tiles in the UK. With over 15 years’ experience, Stonecrest offer an extensive range of beautiful tiles with thousands of choices to pick from. Click here to visit their website.

Come down and visit our Reigate showroom to view this stunning new range. All details are available in our showroom, we hope to see you soon! Alternatively, you can get in touch with us for more information at info@thestonetileemporium.com or give us a call today on 01737 223922.

If you’re someone who loves to get involved in arts & crafts activities, you’ve probably got an interest in creating wonderful mosaic or tiling designs with the help of some spare tiles that often go unused. It’s always recommended that you look to get hold of a few spare tiles before a tiling job, as you may require replacements due to damage or you might be unaware of the exact measurements. So if you do have some left over, here are three other uses of natural stone tiles that we’ve come across in the past that are great for those with a creative mind!

Tabletops

If you’re looking to put a smart tabletop somewhere in your home, such as in the hallway or possibly even the front room, you can improve its interior design potential by decorating the surface with coloured stone tiles. Simply apply your preferred paint to the stone tiles, whether they’re still intact or not, and decorate your tabletop with them!

Necklaces

You can create a stunning piece of jewellery with the help of some spare stone tiles as well. Start by cutting your preferred shape from the tile you have left over and proceed to decorate however way you like! Once you’ve got hold of the finished article, place a hole in the top centre area of the tile so it can be sued with a chain.

Coaster

Are you having trouble with tea or drink stains as a result of having no coasters? Stone tiles are perfect for placing drinks on, especially hot drinks such as tea or coffee. Place a thin, fabric material underneath the tile to act as the surface of your coaster and proceed to decorate the top as you see fit.

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We’re set for some great weather in the coming days, so there’s never been a better time to carry out some outdoor DIY. If you’ve always dreamt of relaxing outdoors during the summer whilst reading the paper or enjoying a cold drink, you might benefit from a new patio area. Natural stone tiles are ideal for any new patio, with all kinds of designs available to suit your preferences.  Here are a few tips from us at the Stone Tile Emporium on how to create the perfect garden patio.

Remember that not all tiles are the perfect fit for a garden patio, so it’s important to make sure you choose the right natural stone that’s capable of coping with harsh weather and rainwater. You also need to be aware of how some outdoor patio tiles can easily absorb water and cause cracks during the winter. Therefore, a good choice of material would be porcelain, as it does not absorb water particularly fast.

For strength, granite tiles are a great choice as they are particularly sturdy and won’t get damaged in stormy weather. Naturals tone to avoid would be something like slate, which is softer than granite and may not be able to cope with mixed weather conditions over a long period of time.

When it comes to decorating your new patio, you should try and incorporate as much of the natural beauty of your garden as possible, whether its potted plants or accessories like rocks and shells. You could also create a canopy of foliage to cover an outdoor dining area.

Depending on how big a part you want your new patio to play, you can introduce a whole host of great features, including an outdoor fireplace or perhaps some artificial lighting. Just remember that design trends don’t stick around for long, so keeping to your own preferences is always the best way to go.

Original Style Artworks Baroque Blue Bathroom Wall Tiles

It’s about time we looked at some of the outstanding bathroom interior design ideas that are currently doing the rounds, especially as a lot of the natural stone tiles that we supply contribute significantly to the style of a bathroom, whether it’s something contemporary or a classic period design. Here are three wonderful bathroom interior design ideas that make the most of natural stone, from marble to mosaics.

The Subway Tile Design

I bet you never thought you’d take a subway-style tiling method and place it in your bathroom? It seems to work really well in this case however, with glistening rectangular, uniquely regimented tiles providing the backdrop to a beautiful marble bathtub, alongside wooden storage compartments and antique-style tabletops.

The Bathroom Fireplace

A bathroom fireplace doesn’t only provide you with added warmth; it also acts as a wonderful interior design feature. This classic element works wonderfully with hexagonal mosaic tiles on the floor, alongside a classic bathtub with period features and lighting effects throughout.

The Contemporary/Vintage Crossover

Laminate wooden flooring, sleek windows and a rectangular shape consistent throughout the room are all associated with contemporary bathrooms; yet throwing in a stunning Romanesque marble bathtub and vintage appliances seems to work wonders. Natural lighting is supplied by large windowed balcony doors.

If you’ve recently installed a new patio in time for the summer, you might have to soon put up with weeds attempting to surface through the small gaps often created between stone tiling. In fact, weeds are actually a year-round issue that can gradually get worse if you don’t deal with them.

If you don’t fancy the idea of taking up your natural stone tiling again to cope with the problem, here are a few tips for using standard weed killers to get the maximum effect!

Timing

The best time to apply any weed killing solution that you purchase is in the spring, which is when the vast majority of weeds are already at the largest and there are little to no seeds on the surface. If you’re in the middle of summer already, you can still apply weed killing solutions to get rid of weeds, but it may not prevent them from coming back.

Weather

Rain is great for helping plants grow and weeds rely on them as much as any other species. However, rain is also capable of washing away any weed killing solution you’ve applied within a few hours, so choose a dry, warm day to use weed killers.

Leave Them Alone!

Weed killers attack the top half of growth, so digging around might actually stop the process from working effectively. Whilst you might feel like tearing weeds out of the ground every time they appear, it’s much better to let weed killers do their thing.

Follow these guidelines and you’re certain to have weed-free natural stone patio ready for the summer in no time!

Marble Tiles Gallery Image - Original Style Earthworks Viano White polished marble and Nero Polished Marble

We’ve all experienced the ups and downs of carrying out DIY work and installing new stone flooring or wall tiling is probably one of the most common DIY jobs that you’ll come across. There are always questions that need answering when tiling, so we’ve decided to put together a few FAQ’s for those of you who are seeking out some helpful tiling advice or information. Three questions will be answered each week, so keep an eye on our blog over the coming weeks!

Q. Is it safe to drill through my bathroom tile installation?

A. Yes. However, it all comes down to what your tiles are made from. If they are thin and ceramic, a cheap drill bit is all you need to carry out the job. Porcelain tiles on the other hand require small diamond drill bits and can be much more difficult to start.

Q. Can tiles stick to plywood?

A. Plywood is quite a common bathroom material, though it must be thick enough to not be affected by regular changes in temperature. You will need a latex based bonding solution rather than standard PVA solutions to get tiles to stick to Plywood.

Q. Do I have to seal my natural stone tiling?

A. Yes. Natural stone isn’t porous so you’ll have to carry out a grouting procedure. Once the grout has been left to dry, it should become waterproof. Grouting doesn’t have a significant effect on the look of your natural stone tiles, so don’t worry too much about this.

Accidentally damaging a stone tile can be frustrating to say the least, especially if it interferes with the natural stone tiling effect you’ve worked so hard to achieve. A lot of the time, we ignore damaged tiles and accept the fact that there’s little you can do to repair them. Well in fact, there is something you can do. Here’s how to replace a damaged tile…

–          Loosen the grout around the edges of the damaged tile using a grout remover. Once you’ve done this you can start to rake out the rest of the grout.

–          Drilling holes into the central areas of the tile helps to weaken the surface, so use a small ceramic drill bit and drill four holes in a square shape into the tile. You can increase the size of the ceramic drill bit if necessary.

–          Equip yourself with a hammer and chisel and gradually chip away at the central space between the holes you’ve made. This gets rid of the central part of the tile, although you should be careful not to scratch the wall beneath it.

–          From here, use the chisel to get underneath the rest of the tile, moving towards the edges until you’ve removed it entirely.  This is where you need to be careful not to damage the surrounding tiles. Try and get rid of much of the adhesive as possible as well.

–          Check that your replacement tile fits neatly into the new gap and that the adhesive isn’t pushing the tile further out in comparison to the others. Put new adhesive on the replacement tile and position it in the space.

–          Use a flat piece of wood with that is larger in length to the tile to push it into place. Fit new tiles spaces so you can fill in the edges with grout. It’s important to wait for the adhesive to dry before doing this.

We’re lucky enough to work in an industry here at the Stone Tile Emporium that provides us with all kinds of questions regarding the origin of natural stone and its characteristics.

It’s fascinating to learn more about the origin of natural stone, especially when you consider that the majority of stone flooring is the result of millions of years of compression beneath the earth’s surface.

For example, the colour in natural stone tiles derives from all kinds of organic matter and minerals. So how exactly does natural stone get its distinct colour and pattern variations?

The colour of natural stone is dependent on the minerals and organic matter present. For instance, red marble is given its colour from a high presence of iron, whilst green marble gets its colour from serpentine.

You can easily identify various minerals in natural stone by carrying out some research on the specific colours you get from all the different minerals present in stone. This can help you locate the perfect colour for your interior design plan.

So what should you know about minerals in order to maintain a tiles natural look? There are some stone tiles that gradually fade over time when exposed to sunlight, such as marble tiling.

Marble is sensitive to ultraviolet light and will subsequently lose its deep, shiny dark colour over time. You can bring the colour back by polishing or honing the stone every now and then.

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