Christmas is on its way so you might be planning to treat yourself with brand new tiles for your bathroom or kitchen and have your home looking great in preparation for the big day.

If you find yourself in the market for some new tiles or feel you might struggle with the wide variety of textures, styles, themes and materials on offer, here’s a few handy tips to consider before investing in your festive stone tiles.

1. Consider the location of your tiles

Firstly, consider where the tiles are going to be placed and how their texture, colour and style will affect the look of the space. For example, lighter tiles would be ideal for a space that needs to look bigger due to its size and you might need a specific texture if your style preferences are particularly detailed.

Slate provides an excellent natural texture that works wonders for your bathroom, whilst the dark, sleek design of marble tiling can really work in a more contemporary kitchen space.

2. Consider the durability needed

It’s also important to consider the durability of your tiles. Are they capable of lasting a considerably long time without getting damaged? Can they withstand cleaning products for the foreseeable future?

Ultimately, the life of a tile can be daunting depending on where it’s situated but it’s worth considering this important factor when purchasing nonetheless.

3. Think about the long-term

Finally, try and have a long term bathroom plan in mind when buying your tiles. How are your style preferences going to change in the next few years? What sort of bathroom appliances will you be investing in? It’s a good idea to look at some kitchen and bathroom design ideas beforehand so that you can see where your new tiles are likely to lead you.

Don’t forgot to visit the Stone Tile Emporium for an introduction into the wide range of tiling ideas we have to offer!

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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.

Mosaics are a wonderful alternative to standard tiling, especially if you’re looking to enhance the character of your property. Mosaics are commonly found in bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and even some reception rooms, so you won’t struggle to find somewhere where you can have them.

You can purchase some of the wonderful glass mosaics we have to offer here at the Stone Tile Emporium but if you’re keen to make your own, here’s how to prepare.

If you’ve managed to keep some natural stone tiles such as limestone spare after a separate job, now’s the time to use them. You can sue all kinds of different materials when creating your own mosaics, from natural stone and glass to broken china and even seashells. Once you’ve collected your materials, you’re ready to begin!

Depending on the surface you have in mind for your mosaic, you need to choose a foundation. If you’re creating a mosaic for a tabletop, you need to ensure that the top is sturdy enough. It’s a good idea to give any foundation you choose a thorough clean beforehand as you’ll be using grout and mortar when piecing together your materials.

Try and draw your preferred pattern on the surface first so that you’ve got a plan beforehand. This will make your end product much neater and you can come up with some really detailed ideas using this method.

The final step of your preparation phase is to get hold of some mortar. Mortar is used throughout construction to hold concrete bricks together and it works just as well with mosaics. You can purchase mortar in many retail stores and mix it using manufacturer recommendations if you’re confused.

If you’ve just acquired some natural stone tiles and you’re wondering where to go next, it might help if you know exactly what it is you need to get the tiling process underway. Tiling might seem reasonably straightforward but there are a number of tools that can make the time-consuming process a whole lot easier. Here are 5 essential tiling tools that you should invest in if they aren’t already part of your toolbox collection.

  1. Start by getting hold of a grout float. These are essential if you want the job to be done neatly and efficiently. Use the grout float to press the mortar into the seams created between the tiles.
  2. A trowel is another essential tool that lets you spread the mortar for the tiles to be placed on. They are designed in a pointed fashion to ensure you get the right amount each time.
  3. You’ll need a mallet to tap the tiles into position. Just make sure you use a rubber mallet instead of a wooden one!
  4. If you’ve noticed a build-up of excess mortar on the top of the tiling, you can use the tough, resilient grout sponge to get rid of it.
  5. Finally, make sure you have a bucket to mix the mortar in. It needs to be new and ideally suited to making thinset mortar.

There you have it, 5 essential tiling tools. Make sure they’re available to you the next time you decide to purchase some tiles from us here at the Stone Tile Emporium!

 

The vast majority of patios take a beating throughout the winter months, so it’s important to make sure your limestone or other mosaic stone patio is restored to its finest condition before the summer. It’s easy to neglect patios as they are often covered in various plants and other garden accessories.

It turns out that cleaning your garden patio isn’t as hard as you probably thought, with plenty of products available online to get the job done effectively. Alternatively, you can have a go at other straightforward cleaning techniques that will have your patio looking in great shape for the summer.

It’s good to start by getting rid of pointless clutter as this can affect the room you have to start cleaning. If you’ve had various plants on your patio throughout the year, you’ll probably need to do a thorough sweep of the patio.

Depending on the type of natural stone your patio is, you can mix a cleaning solution like bleach with water and scrub with a tough outdoor brush to get rid of other stains. It’s also a good idea to get rid of the weeds growing between the stone beforehand if there are any.

Finish the cleaning process with a garden hose, getting rid of the bleach solution that’s remaining and leave it to dry overnight.

When we anticipate putting up a new range of tiles in the bathroom or kitchen, we don’t usually make grout a huge priority. However, grout can have more of an effect on the appearance of your tiles than you’d probably think, so here are some of the best grouting methods you can use when assembling your natural stone tile designs.

If you’re looking for something reasonably neat and simplistic, you’re probably better off going for matching grout. This can really improve the overall finish, so it’s ideal if you don’t want the tiles to look ragged or stand out too much. The grout colour doesn’t have to be identical, though it shouldn’t stand out as much as the primary colour of your tiles.

If you’re thinking of doing the opposite to matching grout, you’ll probably favour contrasting grout. You’ll need to find a grout colour that suits your chosen tiles, whilst it may not be overly necessary if you’ve already got an attractive, natural finish. However, coloured grout works well if you want to hide dirt accumulation.

If you want something a bit more advanced for your porcelain tiles, such as accent grout for instance, you might want to choose a colour that fits the overall style and theme of the entire room. Once you’ve chosen a specific colour scheme it can be difficult to change it, especially when you use accent grout, so keep this in mind when choosing this option.

Slate floors provide plenty of natural attractiveness, especially as they work among various different styles and environments. However, you’ll almost certainly need to go through a regular maintenance program to keep your slate stone tiles look their best throughout the year, whether you have them as a decorative backdrop to your front room TV or as stone cladding on the outside of your property. Here are a few ways you can get rid of troublesome stains and other dirt marks to refresh your slate tiles.

If you haven’t already acquired one, a dust mop can be a really useful tool regardless of the type of natural stone tiles you have in your home. Start by sweeping your tiles with a broom to ensure any loose dirt is collected and disposed of.

Once the floors are free from loose dirt, take the dust mop and move consistently around the room without sweeping back and forth. Dust mops collect the dust that they encounter but can also throw it around if you don’t sweep correctly. The smooth surface of the dust mop should prevent any marks or scratches to the slate.

Finally, fill a bucket with an all-purpose cleaning solution and warm water and use a separate mop to wipe down the slate flooring. If you’re cleaning stone cladding or wall tiles, use some mild detergent mixed with water to clean the slate.

That concludes our guide to cleaning slate tiles. It’s reasonably straightforward and should be carried out every now and then or just before you decide to organise a gathering or house party. If you’re struggling with a cleaning product or don’t have one handy, try mixing warm water with baking soda instead to get rid of specific stains.

Some of us would love to come home on a cold evening and sit in front of a warm stone fireplace. The typical roaring fire can really enhance the interior design aspects of your home, so it’s vital that you make the most of what’s on offer with regards to natural stone opportunities.

Fireplaces are a great alternative to standard heating and give you a brand new element of character that is capable of improving the atmosphere of any home, be it modern or antique.

Stone fireplaces have always been something of a luxury for property buyers and their popularity in countryside homes has lead to their introduction into more contemporary households.

If you can’t purchase your own stone fireplace from scratch, you can build your own with the help of some beautiful stone tiles. The tiles can decorate the surrounding area of the fireplace or possibly even make up the mantelpiece.

Travertine is one of many natural stone tile options that work really well with fireplaces, whilst slate gives you an entirely different style yet still retains the stunning appeal of any countryside fireplace.

If you’re designing your own fireplace and require a few examples of some highly desirable stone tiles, the Stone Tile Emporium have a wide range of natural stone tiles available for any interior design project, so get in touch today!

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