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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 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 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 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 or come into our showroom.