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Porcelain Tiles and Underfloor Heating

Underfloor Heating (UFH) uses radiant heat technology to gently warm the people and objects in the room directly. It works from the ground up, facilitating a much more energy efficient heating system. 

 

There are two types of UFH; electric and water. Water systems run hot water through pipes laid under the flooring. Electric heats wiring beneath the floor to generate the heat.

Traditional radiators need to be heated to 65° in order to heat up the room. Compared to underfloor heating, which needs to run at around 29°, this means the UFH runs effectively; keeping your energy bills down. 

 

Continuing, radiators produce ‘cold spots’ which create chill in the middle of the room. UFH provides radiant heat from the floor up, throughout the whole room; avoiding these ‘cold spots’ and allowing the room to be warm throughout.

A key benefit of underfloor heating is that once it is installed, the whole system  requires little to no maintenance. They should also be all controlled by a system-dedicated thermostat which allows you to control the whole heating system functionally and instantly. 

 

Other things to think about when choosing UFH is installation time and cost. It will usually take 1-2 days to install and a labourer will cost you around £200-300 a day. You will also need to hire an electrician to connect the system. All of these raise your initial costs to begin with, but UFH is cheaper to run long term compared to radiators. 

 

Wet systems are more expensive to install but cheaper to run. Electric systems are cheaper to lay but are more expensive to run. Meaning the two systems have their good sides and bad; it really is personal preference.

Why are Porcelain Tiles Suitable for Underfloor Heating

Because of the properties of porcelain tiles, they conduct heat evenly and efficiently throughout the space, allowing your UFH system to work to the best of its ability. 

As long as your floor is level and you have an adequate sub-floor, it is very easy to install any type of tile on top of your underfloor heating system.

Underfloor Heating at Tiles for Ever

Here at Tiles For Ever we sell ‘Warm Toes’ UFH. This system is electric and controlled by a voice controlled thermostat. It only adds 3mm to the floor depth which allows it to be applied to the majority of jobs. When purchased it comes on a sicky matt which allows the installer to just roll it onto the surface.

For more information on how we are dealing with the freight crisis, feel free to call us (0113 390 8800), email at info@tilesforever.co.uk or come into our showroom.  

 

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Porcelain Tiles and Open Plan Application

What is Open Plan Living

Pre World War 2, residential floor plans consisted of a hallway with rooms branching off. The kitchen was usually at the back of the property; this is because it was seen as a service area, not a socialising space. It wasn’t until Frank Lloyd Wright started designing open plan living areas that people started to think differently about socialising. 

An open floor plan, including the kitchen, offered design flexibility for families who were changing and growing, allowing parents to keep an eye on the kids during meal preparation and cleaning, which offered huge advantages for modern families. 

 

The open floor plan also allows for more space in the same square footage. Which helped construction companies fit more houses into the same space; this also accommodates the growing families of the 21st century.

By the 1990s, open floor plans became the norm. But with its popularity growing, disadvantages started to emerge. The popular layout does mean everything has to be organised or else the house becomes cluttered. Furthermore, closed- off rooms allow you to cut off noise and be separated, which is becoming more and more popular. Even with these disadvantages, open plan layouts are prized in real estate and are still popular to this day.

Zoning

Zoning is an important tool to help make open plan living work for you. 

 

  1. Invisible walls: when designing the space, it is useful to imagine there were walls separating the spaces up. Using rugs and floor changes to help carve up the space will accentuate the zoning. Just simply moving the sofa around to cut up a space can make such a massive difference. Doing this also means you focus on the practicality of each ‘room’ or zone. Which will allow you to see proper circulation through the space. 
  2. Broken plan: Don’t be afraid to really separate a ‘quiet zone’ or office space from the open space. You can put semi-permanent walls up, internal glass or bi-folding doors to really break up the space. Also, anything like this will change the air and light movement through the space, which can create really dynamic areas in your home. 
  3. Create zoned spaces: this is one of the most common tools used. People put islands in their kitchen, or breakfast corners. These offer great functionality as extra storage, or places to eat and work; but it also cuts up the space. 
  4. Decoration: Use visual room tricks. Choose different colours for the walls, or tile certain parts of the floor. For example, use tile in the kitchen, but wood in the dining room.

Outdoor Open Plan Living

A big trend in living space in the 21st century is the indoor/outdoor space, with most home renovations being kitchen extensions and glass folding doors into the garden. You can’t miss this trend. 

When it comes to bringing this space to a reality in your own home, there are lots of tips and tricks you can use to pull it off.

  1. Tile Floor: The great thing about tiles is you can carry them through to the outside. You can have the exact same tile in your open plan kitchen/diner, as you do on the patio. This creates a smooth free-flowing look to the living space. Which creates an amazing socialsing space. 
  2. More Glazing: Adding skylights and windows help to add unexpected views of the garden which helps bring the outdoor deeper into the inside. 
  3. Add a canopy: In the UK especially it helps to be prepared for quick weather changes. Adding an extended roof to a patio allows you to keep the doors open even in bad weather.

Here at Tiles For Ever we have lots of tiles that can help you achieve all these design features. We have an extensive range of outdoor tiles, and anti-slip tiles which are all perfect additions to your open plan living space.  

 

For more information on how we are dealing with the freight crisis, feel free to call us (0113 390 8800), email at info@tilesforever.co.uk or come into our showroom.  

 

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What is going on with Freight and Shipment?

Currently, globally, we are dealing with massive disruptions to freight, shipment and transportation. There are a wide variety of reasons why we are experiencing these delays. From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to the shortage of drivers.

COVID_19 Pandemic

In March 2021, the Megaship called the Ever Given, blocked the Suez Canal for about a week. This resulted in a massive misalignment of cargo, as they were blocked and delayed. Similar to being stuck on the motorway. This caused a surge in container rates which had a knock on effect on trade costs. This poses a continued challenge for businesses that need to get stock in from across the world. Most businesses are unable to bear the brunt of higher rates. 

 

Demand for containers has grown during the pandemic. This has been caused by a change in consumer habits, increasing the demand for manufactured consumer goods. This leads to a shortage of containers as businesses scramble for stock in anticipation for new waves of the pandemic.

Disrupted Supply Chains

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic demand for goods was high, but economies worldwide shut down in various lockdowns. Manufacturing and sailing was shut down and workers displaced. As we came out of the lockdowns, manufacturing changed to online retailers and workers and trade could continue. But in the process of this restart, the supply chain was fractured. 

 

A shortage of shipping containers emerged, shipping rates skyrocketed, congestion developed, all exasperating the trucking shortage.

Driver Shortages

Once the cargo is unloaded it is transported by truck to its end location. But there is a massive driver shortage. According to driver recruiting firms, there is one qualified driver for every 9 jobs. This lack of drivers is caused by employment prospects, safety concerns, expanding unemployment benefits and simply ‘having kids at home.’ Even though the salary drivers are being offered is healthy, it will take time for them to return to industry, as they have moved onto jobs with better lifestyles.

Container prices are soaring currently

Currently there are many shipping containers in Africa and South America, empty and uncollected. This is because shipping carriers have concentrated their vessels on the more profitable Asia, North America and Europe. Simply this means there are fewer containers in circulation. 

 

More ships are needed, but additional supply is many years away. Furthermore, the trend for larger and larger ships creates massive infrastructure challenges at ports. These bigger ships require more trucks, warehouse capacity and trains, to unload and load them in the ports. Therefore, when delays occur, more containers are affected.

The Future and Us

This disruption seems to be stagnating as people in the industry wait for policy makers to interject. Only time will tell if we can withstand the coming holiday seasons, any future COVID outbreaks and extreme weather battering individual links in the supply chain.

 

As a small business which imports materials from India, at Tiles For Ever and Wide Wings Tiles, we have been dealing with all these pressures for months now. We have been lucky so far to get hold of containers when we need them, and to be well stocked coming into the end of the year. But we are currently trying to prepare for anything the future may hold for us.

For more information on how we are dealing with the freight crisis, feel free to call us (0113 390 8800), email at info@tilesforever.co.uk or come into our showroom.  

 

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Which Tiles are Best for Floors?

Porcelain as a material is very durable and dense. This makes it a long lasting material for any usage.  But for specifically the floor, porcelain is a very good choice. When choosing porcelain there is a wide range to choose from. Thanks to technology advances, there are many different types of patterns, finishes and sizes; meaning your options are near endless.

This is advantageous because it allows any customer to make a highly specialised choice about their floor. It can be exactly to their preferences.

As mentioned before in a previous blog post, porcelain as a material is very versatile. Therefore, it can be applied to a floor and last up to 50 years, be easy to clean and when installed correctly it won’t break.

When it comes to outdoor tiles, we recommend you go for precise tiles that are made for outdoor use. These tiles are usually double in thickness and have a lot of texture. This allows traction under foot, it even makes the tile have a natural stone effect, which a lot of people really like.

The finish is an important thing to consider. We always ask customers what kind of household they have, in order for us to advise on the finish of your tile correctly. For example, if you have pets, and eledrly relatives in the house often, a gloss finish will not suit the space. So we would always say to get a matt finish porcelain tile.

Thanks to large advancements in technology in the tiling world, we now stock a tile which when wet grows in texture. This means that it is perfect for outdoor or swimming pool floor application. As the tile is rained on, or splashed on, it becomes more gritty, resulting in a tile that is hard to slip on.

These 6 points are variables to always consider when choosing the perfect floor tile for you: 

 

  1. Tile size.
  2. Room size.
  3. Colour. 
  4. Grout. 
  5. Texture and pattern.
  6. Natural light. 

For more information on Porcelain Floor Tiles, feel free to call us (0113 390 8800), email at info@tilesforever.co.uk or come into our showroom. 

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What is a Lappato Tile?

What Makes a Tile Lappato?

In Italian, Lappato means semi-polished, and it is a finish that is put on tiles, near the end of the production process. This technique, applied to porcelain tiles, results in a very unique design and texture. Usually, the Lappato Tile has two layers, one is matt, and another is glossy. Because of this the Lappato Tiles aren’t as slippy as a gloss tile would be, but it will still reflect light around the room.

A lot of consumers look for the high gloss finish you get with a lot of tiles. It is a great finish, as it brings light and colour to the space. But they are put off by the practicality of having a high gloss tile on the floor. So Lappato is the perfect option. It gives the consumer that gloss look they are looking for, but also brings practicality, as the matt textured finish supplies grip. Further, they require no sealing, which means the tile needs very little maintenance.

Lappato from us:

The tiles we stock that have a Lappato finish are: our milan range. We have them in 600×600 and they are either white, grey or black. For us these tiles are great people pleasers. They are very versatile and have great applications. For us the lappato is perfect for a bathroom floor, or as a wall feature. It’s unique finish allows it to be a lot less slippery as a gloss finish porcelain tile would be. Furthermore, it’s texture and slight shine makes it an eye-catching wall feature, which will add to any industrial, natural theme.

For More Infomation:

For more information on Lappato Tiles feel free to call us (0113 390 8800), email at info@tilesforever.co.uk or come into our showroom and see the tiles for yourself.

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Bathroom Trends of 2021/2022

Bathrooms

Bathrooms have changed their function throughout their history, but recently they have shifted once more into spaces for pure relaxation and serenity.  Bathrooms are less about the function and more about the ambiance. This is translated in the interior of the space.

Nature

The biggest trends we are seeing is a move to nature. As mentioned before, bathrooms are meant for relaxation and what better way to do this than being back to nature. this is released not just by putting plant in your bathroom, but by really bringing the outside, inside. This is achieved by colours, texture and materials. Materials like, wood and stone paired with neutral tones can  transform a space into a place of mindfulness. When al these tools are applied it can turn a space into a true place of serenity and calm; a spa.

Bold Features

What better way to show your personality than strong statements in the home. Tiles are following this trend closely and we are seeing more mosaics and linear tiles with quirky textures and colours coming onto the market. When it comes to bathroom accessories; if you have gone bold and out there with the tile option, we are seeing a lot more matt black and stainless steel of glass simple faucet designs. It seems, if you want to show your personality in your bathroom, then the tile option is the route. And porcelain tiles especially have such a wide variety of choice waiting for you.

Terracotta

Terracotta is coming back in a big way! with that comes Mediterranean colour palettes as well. Ranging from the light shades of apricot and clay all the way to the deep burnt oranges, we are seeing  massive rise in these tones being used in bathrooms. If you don’t want to dive head first into this trend, it’s easy to bring it slowly into the space, by adding accents of terracotta. Start with a bathmat or towels, or even change the colour of your grout.

For any more information on porcelain feel free to call us (0113 390 8800), email at info@tilesforever.co.uk or come into our showroom and see for yourself.