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The 3-5 Second Rule: Hygiene Survey
It’s a popularly held concept that has divided opinions across the globe since its conception. As UK residents, we’ve all more-than-likely watched someone drop a tasty morsel of food onto the floor, hastily yell “5-second rule!” and proceed to eat said food without a second thought. The validity of the claim has been tried and tested, and whilst science suggests the information is false, research has confirmed that the less time food is spent on the floor, the less bacteria is likely to be picked up. With such disparity around the subject, Tile Warehouse conducted a survey to find out just how often the UK public is abiding by the myth, how long is too long, which generations are the most likely to eat food that has fallen on the floor, and where in the UK people are likely to leave their food on the floor the longest.

How Long Will People Leave Food on the Floor Before They Eat It?

Our results have found that the threat of contamination isn’t stopping Brits from eating fallen food, with almost six in ten (59%) agreeing that they would still eat food that had touched the floor. Of those that agreed, one in six (16%) preferred to only leave food for 4-5 seconds, following in the steps of the favoured rule. The second-most-common result was 2-3 seconds (15%). Throughout the study, just over 1% claimed that they would eat food left on the floor for up to 1 minute. Even more shockingly, 1 in 20 (5%) people claimed that they would eat the food no matter how long it had been left on the floor. We found that nearly 2 in 5 people (38%) would eat food from their kitchen floor as they were confident it was clean, with 68% confirming that they clean their kitchen tiles regularly. Although the majority of respondents were happy to eat food off the floor within 5 seconds, the opinion changed when it came to their children, with nearly 40% claiming they wouldn’t let their kids do the same. Interestingly, the study also found that women (56%) were less likely to eat food off of the floor than men (61%).

Average Time Limit for Each Generation

It seems that generational divides also extend to the 5-second rule, with Millennials/Gen Y (aged 24-42) the most likely to leave food on the floor the longest. Members of this generation answered with 7 seconds as the average amount of time they would comfortably leave food on the floor before eating it. Gen Z/iGen (aged 16-23) followed closely behind, on average adhering to the 5-second rule, whilst Gen X (aged 43-54) answered just below the average with 4 seconds. Meanwhile, Traditionalist/Silent Generation (aged 74+) and Baby Boomers (aged 55-73) answered with the lowest amount of time on average with 3 seconds.

Average Time by Area

Taking a closer look at the regions in this study, we found that those in Scotland were likely to leave food on the floor for the longest amount of time with an average of 10 seconds. In second place was Greater London, with residents admitting they will leave their food on the floor for a maximum of 6 seconds at a time. Rounding out the Top 3 are the East Midlands, consisting of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland who answered closest to the 5-second rule mark. Wales, the West Midlands, South West, North West and East of England all answered similarly, with the average time ranging from 4.2 to 4.94 seconds. Towards the lower end of the list, and averaging the lowest amount of seconds, are Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East, South East and Northern Ireland.

Eating Food Dropped on Public Flooring: City by City

Once we’d gained an understanding of how people felt about eating food off of their own floors, we wanted to take the study a step further and see how people in different cities feel about eating food dropped on public flooring, from outdoor tiles to public walkways, and whether the same rules still applied. The city most in agreement with abiding by the same rules and presumably with the cleanest streets was Bristol, with 44% of residents confirming that if they ate food off the floor at home, they would do the same in a public place. Following closely behind with 41% is Brighton, and Manchester sits in third with 38% of people agreeing. In the middle of the list, we have Southampton, Plymouth, Glasgow and London, whose residents all answered similarly, with 33-34% confirming that they would also still eat food if they dropped it on public flooring. However, Glasgow residents came out on top when it came to the amount of time the food could be left on the floor before they decided not to eat it, with an average time of 15 seconds. Newcastle, Norwich and Belfast were the cities least likely to eat food dropped on a public floor. Overall some 34% of all respondents would still eat food from the floor in a public place, which is representative of 18.6 million UK residents. When asked about specific surfaces, nearly 40% of men claimed that they would eat food dropped on a public pavement. Surprisingly, over three in ten people surveyed said that it wouldn’t matter what surface the food was dropped on - it wouldn’t deter them from eating it. At Tile Warehouse, we want to ensure that our customers have everything they need on their tile buying journey to make an informed buying decision. So, whether it's advice, knowledge or inspiration, we are with you every step of the way. Get in touch here.


The research was conducted by Censuswide with 2,000 general consumers (nat rep) aged 18+ in May 2022. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which are based on the ESOMAR principles.
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Win bespoke tiles for your home!
Now most of us all have tiles in our home, in the kitchen, bathroom or even in the garden but who can say they have tiles in their home that have been created by super talented artist and TikTok sensation, Eva Malley.  Why not use tiles to help you express your artistic flair in your home?    [embed]https://vimeo.com/726051501[/embed]   The team here at Tile Warehouse want to give one lucky person the chance to win this completely bespoke set of tiles to create a beautiful centrepiece in your home. To enter this fabulous competition, simply sign up to our newsletter for a chance to win! It only takes a moment and you could be in with a chance of winning something truly unique. Entry for this competition closes at midnight on July 17, 2022. 

Tile Warehouse Terms and Conditions

Tile Artwork Competition July 2022


  • The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over, except employees of Tile Warehouse and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  • There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.


  • The competition will run from July 5, 2022 to July 17, 2022. 
  • The closing date for entries is July 17, 2022. Entries made after this time will not be counted.
  • All entries received by this date will be entered into the judging. 
  • The winner will be notified by an email within 7 days of the closing date.
  • Tile Warehouse reserve the right to cancel the competition at any stage if deemed necessary.


  • Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

Data and Images

  • By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  • The entrants agree to the use of his/her name, location and images/videos in any publicity material, as well as their entry. 
  • Any personal data or images relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
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Making the Most of Your Marble
Marble has been the material of choice the world over for thousands of years. Whether it was the Ancient Greeks who used marble to build the Parthenon in Athens, or the 20,000 craftsmen commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal in India using a combination of translucent white marble and semi-precious stones, there is no denying the timeless appeal of marble. Marble for monuments is one thing but when it comes to marble in the home, the question we get asked a lot is, how should I style up marble to keep it looking contemporary for years to come? The good news there a variety of ways in which you can complement your marble floors or walls to ensure the natural beauty of this wonderful material shines through indoors!

Mix things up

Don’t be afraid to mix things up a little when it comes marble. It’s hugely versatile and, as such, marble can be paired up with different types of tiles (as well as tiling patterns) to make even more of an impression in your bathroom or kitchen.


Marble pairs beautifully with gold (or brass) fixtures and fittings to create a real sense of opulence. Brass coloured piping in your shower, a vanity unit with gold handles or wall-mounted gold-rimmed mirrors will all add depth to your marble tiles and have your floors and walls literally oozing luxury. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="509"] Marmi White Marble Effect 60x60[/caption]

Keep it simple

At the same time, with a material as beautiful as marble, why not keep the design minimal and let the marble speak for itself using cool colours and cool neutrals such as cream, grey or bold whites on other walls in your room.

Combine with wood

Wood, just like marble, is a natural material and, as such, work wells when paired together. Opt for light wood in your chosen room if you want your home to feel bright and breezy or darker woods if you want to add depth as well as warmth to your marble tiles.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="508"] Calacatta Matt Marble Effect 60x120[/caption]

Be colourful

Although marble can certainly stand on its own as a beautiful addition to any home, the material also pairs well with a variety of colours if you want to brighten up the place. If you’re after a real pop of colour, try deep shades like emerald green or royal blue. Both will make a statement and add a different dimension without distracting from the marble. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="478"] Marmi White Marble Effect 30x60, Habanera Grey Wood Effect 15x90[/caption] Whatever the look you are hoping to achieve in your home – maximalist or minimalist; classic or contemporary - we have a wide range of marble effect tiles to suit all tastes as well as budgets.  
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Which garden tiles go with which garden?
Why not ditch the decking and glam up your garden this summer for a lot less than you think with outdoor tiles? Not only do they look great in gardens of all shapes and sizes, but they are easy to fit, highly durable, won’t fade, extremely safe whatever the weather, and most importantly, require little in the way of maintenance – save for a good clean once a year with a jet wash. But which style of patio tiles should you go with which garden? Do you opt for something classical that won’t date or go for something a little bit more contemporary and on trend? Choices, choices, choices as they say. Thankfully you’ve come to the right place if you’re in search of some answers.

Keeping it contemporary

There was a time when decking was all the rage and most seating areas in garden came complete with decking of some sort. And, while decking looks great when it’s first laid, it does require a fair degree of maintenance, and planks need replacing on a regular basis. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Newstone White[/caption] Outdoor tiles have made this a thing of the past and given homeowners a great looking, cost-effective alternative to decking. They aren’t porous, so cracking caused by frost isn’t an issue. Being non-porous also makes them easy to keep clean. They are resistant to scratching and fading in the sun, too. And they are extremely safe – thanks to the latest in anti-slip technology. If it’s a contemporary vibe you are after then patio tiles in grey (ideally mid-tone) or limestone, ideally in a stone effect finish and match it with rounded, chunky garden furniture to add a different dimension to your garden while keeping those all-important clean lines. Combine it with structured plants that won’t go grow out of control, a fire pit for when the nights get a bit colder, some good lighting and you really can’t go wrong.

A taste of the Med

Alternatively, why not recreate your very own slice of the Med in your home by creating your very own alfresco dining area within your garden. However, instead of playing it safe and going neutral, why not switch things up and add a splash of colour with a quarry red tile. Not only they highly durable but they help to convey the warmth as well as the charm that we normally associate with the Med. Combine them with some terracotta planters (or painted pottery) filled with basil, oregano or thyme. They really scream the Med, the smell wonderful and you can use them for cooking. The last thing you need for your dining space is some simple wooden furniture that will weather with age to help finish off your look. It also worth considering throwing some shade over your space. Maybe some climbers over a pergola to add the finishing touch. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Quarry Bullnosed Red[/caption]

Go for the classical cottage style garden

Classic gardens tend to lend themselves towards flagstone style slabs, but they can be quite difficult to keep clean and not always the safest under foot when wet. A porcelain stone effect tile would be the perfect (and safer) alternative. It also adds a nice twist. Low maintenance, they are stain and slip resistant so all you need to do is give them a quick clean in the spring for a fresh-looking patio all summer long. We’d recommend one in charcoal, grey or marble for a timeless look and feel. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Streetline Graphite[/caption] The tiles can also be softened by introducing cottage style brightly coloured plants around the borders, lots of pots, oak or teak coloured garden furniture to contrast with the colour of the tiles and stick to neutral toned accessories such as cushions, throws etc. A bird bath wouldn’t go amiss as well. Keep it filled up for our feather friends, especially during the summer months. All that’s left to do then is light the BBQ and wait for everyone to turn up and the party to begin.

See it before you buy it with the Tile Visualiser

Whether you are thinking classical, contemporary or the Med, why not use our Tile Visualiser to see how our extensive range of outdoor tiles could look in your garden. The app is quick and easy to use and allows you to share you look with family and friends.  
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Top 5 tiles for underfloor heating
Underfloor heating can definitely bring a touch of luxury to any home, especially when the weather changes and those long nights start drawing in. But, deciding on the style of tile to go with your underfloor heating can prove tricky. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Elementi Pearl[/caption] Do you opt for something timeless like a stone effect tile? Or do you prefer something a bit more indulgent such as marble? Alternatively, do you decide to go cool and contemporary with an industrial style cement or concrete effect type tile? Whatever style you choose underfloor heating will help your home stay nice and cosy from the ground up.   And to help, we’ve selected just a few of our favourite tiles from our current range that are suitable for use with underfloor heating. 

Elementi Graphite Cement Effect

Avoid falling foul of fashion with the timeless appeal of the Elementi Graphite Cement Effect tile. Perfect for any floor, this classic high-quality rectangular tile, which costs less than £17m2, is guaranteed to transform the look and feel of any bathroom or kitchen. Even better it is ideal for use with underfloor heating providing the correct substrate preparation and a suitable flexible cement-based tile adhesive and grouts are used. Why not see for yourself by ordering a free cut sample? Place your order before 12pm and it will be with you on the next working day. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Elementi Graphite[/caption]

Springwood Miel Wood Effect

Why not add some real natural texture to the floors of your family home with the Springwood Miel Wood Effect tile. This large format, highly durable porcelain tile comes complete with all the grains and knots you would expect from real wood – only without the traditional maintenance or cost (together with the welcome bonus of course of underfloor heating when things turn cold outside.) [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Springwood Miel[/caption]

Homestone Grey

Another tile guaranteed to give any home an understated, contemporary feel is the Homestone Grey. Less than £18m2, the Homestone Grey is made from hard wearing stone effect porcelain. Highly durable, Homestone Grey, with its cool matt finish, is perfect floor tile for any busy family home thanks to its high slip resistance. Sound interesting? Why not check out how it could look in your property with our Tile Visualiser app? It takes seconds to upload a photo of your chosen room and once your finished you can share you chosen look with family and friends or further afield thanks to its social media plugins. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Homestone Grey[/caption]

Jupiter Blue

Enjoy the best of both worlds with the Jupiter Blue pattern tile. A cost-effective combination of classic design and contemporary technology, this striking square blue and ivory ceramic tile, which costs less than £18m2, is guaranteed to instantly transform the floors of your home. Don’t just take our word for it. Try our free sample service. You can order up to three cut samples for free today and they will be with you before you know it. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Jupiter Blue[/caption]

Rockstone Beige Travertine Effect

Love travertine but hate the cost. We're with you. Which is why the Rockstone Beige Travertine Effect tile works so well. This large format, matt finish tile effortlessly combines the magnificence of marble with the practicality and price of porcelain. And, at less than £16m2, we're pretty sure you'll agree. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Rockstone Beige Travertine Effect[/caption] Whatever tile you decide to choose to compliment your underfloor heating, make sure to look out for our ‘Suitable for Underfloor Heating’ icon. It makes life so much easier when browsing through the hundreds of great value floor tiles currently available from Tile Warehouse. Also ensure that the correct substrate preparation and flexible cement-based tile adhesive and grouts are used.
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Our Top 10 favourite tiles for creating a brick bond pattern
If there is one style of tile pattern that never that goes out of fashion, then it’s got to be the brick bond. A style first used by bricklayers to increase the overall stability of a wall, brick bond has become perennially popular in people’s homes, thanks in part to the fact that it works equally well on both floors and walls. The great thing about brick bond is its versatility. You can mix things up a bit by adding a random different colour tile or a contrasting grout colour. Alternatively, you can try a staggered brick bond pattern (70:30 instead of the usual 50:50) or if you want to make your room feel a bit taller go for a vertical brick bond. Whatever style of brick bond you decide to choose, don’t forget to order at least 10% more tiles to allow for breakages when attempting this or any other pattern at home.

Metro White

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Metro Whiite[/caption] No self-respecting countdown of the most popular tiles on the market right now to create a brick bond effect on your walls could not include the legendary Metro tile. Inspired by traditional London Underground tiles, the Metro, and in this instance the Metro White is guaranteed to give your walls a truly timeless appeal. However, instead of matching it with a white grout, why not mix things up by combining this small rectangular white ceramic tile with a contrasting-coloured grout to really make these great value tiles pop!

Salem Ash Wood Effect

If you are looking to bring a touch of the outside into your home, then you can't go wrong with the Salem Ash Wood Effect tile. This budget friendly rectangular ceramic matt tile, which comes complete with all the grains and knots you would expect from real wood, is tailor made for making a statement on your floor. Plus, it’s also suitable for use with underfloor heating providing the correct substrate preparation and flexible cement-based tile adhesive and grouts are used.  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Salem Ash[/caption]

Emotion Green

Add a splash of colour to your room with the Emotion Green Patterned tile. This colourful, small format, gloss finish tile is perfect for updating the look (and feel) of your walls. Plus, don't forget that Tile Warehouse offers free delivery on all orders over £300. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Emotion Green[/caption]

Smart Beige Cement Effect

If you are looking to add a touch of style and sophistication to your home without breaking the bank then the Smart Beige Cement Effect tile is ideal. Plus, like all of our cement-effect tiles, Smart Beige is durable, long lasting and easy to maintain making it tailor made for the modern family home.

Blanco Matt White

Just like the Smart Beige, if you in the market for an equally durable but slightly larger wall tile that will never go out of fashion, then the Blanco Matt White tile has got to be up there. Classically sized and shaped, these great value ceramic tiles are perfect for freshening up your bathroom or kitchen. Why not see how they would they look in your home using our Tile Visualiser tool. No only does it allow you to visualise what different types of tiles would look like in different rooms but you can use the free app to order samples. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Blanco Matt White[/caption]

New Neutrals Light Grey 3D

The New Neutrals Light Grey 3D is a classic tile with a twist. This small, gloss finish ceramic tile is guaranteed to add a cool, calm, almost minimalist feel to your bathroom or kitchen walls. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] New Neutrals Light Grey 3D[/caption]

Rustic Aqua

The Rustic Aqua tile will give any room an instant homely feel. Ideal for creating natural warmth, this small, rectangular blue wall tile comes with a look and feel you would traditionally associate with rural properties. It is also perfect for finishing off with a coloured grout to give your tiles a unique modern finish. If the idea of mixing things by using a different coloured grout, then take a look at our great value Grout with Clout range.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300"] Grout with Clout Light Grey[/caption]

Underground Ivory

Ivory tiles create a sense of lightness and space in any room. Nowhere is that more evident than with the Underground Ivory tile. Ideal for giving your walls a classic yet contemporary look, this small cream coloured tile is perfect for use anywhere in the home, including your bathroom and kitchen.

Factor Grey

If you’re looking to update your floors in a brick bond style then you can’t go wrong with Factor Graphite concrete effect tile. Grey with a matt finish, this tile is a highly contemporary option designed to create a fresh, minimalist living space. The neutral hues of Factor Grey allow for hassle-free integration into existing colour schemes while the strong porcelain composition of each tile makes it suitable for high-traffic areas of your home including kitchens, hallways and bathrooms. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Factor Graphite[/caption]

Manzila Silver

Want to recreate the effect of natural travertine on the walls of your home but don't have the budget? No problem. The Manzila Silver Stone Effect ceramic tile is the ideal solution giving you the look for less. Its neutral tone allows the tile to be integrated into your home whatever the interior style or surface onto which it is being applied while its cost won't break the bank in the process. That sounds like a win-win to us! [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Manzila Silver[/caption]          
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