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Tile Advice

What to do you with your tile samples
Your samples have arrived in the post from Tile Warehouse and you’ve been busy putting them to good use, trying them out in different rooms at different times of the day, until you’ve decided on which tile for which room and on which surface. But what to do with your sample tiles once you’ve placed your order. Rather than leave them in the garage somewhere to gather dust, or even worse, take them to the tip and throwing them away, have you thought instead about repurposing them. It’s at lot easier than you think and with a few clever DIY tricks they can become the greener way to redecorate in 2022.

Tile coasters

Forget tea coasters and try tile coasters instead. Most tile samples are 10 x 10cm which ironically is the same circumference as your average tea or coffee mug. So why not take your square tile sample and turn it into a quirky tile coaster (or coasters) for when family or friends pop round for a brew. Don’t forget to order some felt pads from somewhere like Wilko’s for the backs of the tiles to ensure they don’t scratch your table. The pads usually come with a self-adhesive patch to stick onto the corners of the reverse of your tile.

Tile trays

We don’t know about you but boiled eggs and soldiers while watching Sunday Brunch is right up there for us when it comes to one of the highlights of the weekend. But as anyone who has had breakfast in bed will testify, it can be a nightmare trying to balance said boiled and eggs. Not anymore especially with a personalised breakfast tile tray. Making your own tray couldn’t be easier. All you need is either some old leftover tiles which you will need to cut to the size of the inside of the tray and a strong glue to stick them onto the tray. To add a finishing touch why not apply a small amount of grout in between your tiles to fill any spaces. Don’t forget to use tile spacers to ensure your spaces across your tray. And voila, you’ve got yourself your very own custom tray, ready and waiting for Sunday morning to come around. You might want to think about doing one for your other half though otherwise things could become awkward at breakfast time!

Tile magnets

Who doesn’t love a fridge magnet? And our 10 x 10cm sample tiles are the perfect size for sticking to your fridge door. All you need to do is pop down to your local Wilko and buy a pack of magnetic desk and apply them to the reverse of your tile and hey presto you are in business. Even better, why not go old skool and use them to leave a note for your other half with a non-permanent marker. Once the note has been read, they can just wipe away the message and leave their reply. Alternatively, use them to create a shopping list so you don’t forget those all important fridge fillers next time you go to the supermarket.

Tiled tabletops

The last in our list of things you could upcycle in your home is our tiled tabletop. A lot cheaper than buying a new one, why not breathe new life into a piece of furniture and help the environment in the process. You will need a table (obviously), some old tiles, grout, glue and a bit of imagination. Just like the tile tray you will need to measure the space required and then cut your tiles to size prior to fitting. And rather than go the tried and tested route and plump for a traditional brick bond tile laying pattern, why not experiment with your laying patterns and go for a horizontal herringbone or diamond pattern instead. The possibilities are endless. If you need help with the latest tile laying patterns, make sure to read our tile pattern advice guide.

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding selecting the right tiles for your home, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.  
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The most popular tile laying patterns
You’ve done all the hard work preparing your room ready to start tiling. But before you do anything else we would always advise you decide on your tile laying pattern. If you thought deciding on right tiles for your home wasn’t easy, then we’ve got news for you, selecting the right tiling pattern can prove equally time consuming. Which is why we’ve selected some of the most popular tile laying patterns right now so that you make sure you select the right pattern for the right room. And, if you’re still not sure, we’d always recommend doing a dry lay with your tiles in the room you are planning on tiling just to be sure.

Brick Bond

The most traditional of all the tile laying patterns, the brick bond (commonly known as 50;50) never really goes out of fashion. Suitable for rectangular tile under 30 x 60cm, it works equally well on both floors and walls (where it is most often seen on splashbacks in bathrooms and kitchens). If you’re feeling the brick bond look then simply line up the end of each tile with the centre of the tile above and below to create staggered grout lines. You can always mix things up a bit with a random different colour tile or a contrasting grout colour. Don’t forget to order at least 10% more tiles to allow for breakages when attempting this or any other pattern at home.

Staggered Brick Bond

A contemporary take on the former is the staggered brick bond (commonly known as 70:30). Perfect for creating the illusion of a wider room, we’d always recommend using this style with rectangular tiles larger than 30 x 60cm.

Vertical Brick Bond

If you’re keen to make your room feel that bit taller then the vertical brick bond (or stepladder) is the perfect tile laying pattern for you. The 50:50 principle is the same as the brick bond, the only difference is you are working vertically rather than horizontally. You can also do the same with your larger format tile but don’t forget your tiles must be at a ratio of 70:30 to prevent any bowing once they have been laid.

Horizontal Herringbone

One of the most popular tiling patterns of recent years has been the herringbone. Designed to create a real sense of space, especially in smaller rooms, it is also relatively easy to achieve. Simply lay your tiles so that they point up a floor or wall in a ‘v’ shape. It’s also worth considering using a contrasting grout to define your tile pattern or alternatively select a grout to match the colour of your tile to create a more free-flowing pattern.

Block Herringbone

Another take on the popular herringbone pattern, and one of our favourites, is the block herringbone. Think right angles and you will be well on your way to making a real statement in your bathroom or kitchen. There is also the option of the double block herringbone if you are feeling particularly bold.

Linear Brick

If you’re after a contemporary look and feel from your tiles in your home, then the linear brick is ideal. To get this look, you must use either a rectangular or square tile, and lay them directly in line with one another.  You can also drop in alternative-coloured tiles if you like to create a checkerboard effect.  And don’t forget that you can use a different coloured grout as well to define the edges of your tiles that bit more.


Another classic tiling design, the diamond tiling pattern is created simply by turning your square tiles on their side to form a geometric diamond. The effect as you can see is highly impressive and makes an instant statement.

Basket Weave

And, last but by no means least, we have the basket weave. A homage to the parquet floor, the basket weave can turn the plainest of tiles into a thing of wonder. You’ll need a tile with a rectified edge to pull of this particular look and you will need to lay two or more tiles together vertically so that the perimeter of them altogether is identical, you then need to do this vertically and alternate the angle each time as you lay your tiles. It will take a bit of thought, but the end product will definitely be well worth it.

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding selecting the right tiles for your home, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.

Recommended reads

If this has whetted your appetite to learn more about all things tiles, then why not check out these related advice articles: How to set out wall tiles How to set out floor tiles Which is the best adhesive for tiling a wall Which is the best adhesive for tiling a floor
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A guide to slip resistant tiles
While all tiles have some slip resistant properties, this can vary greatly depending on the type of tile you are using in your home. To help ensure you select the right tile for the right room, whether that’s a bathroom, kitchen, or wet room, we’ve created this handy guide to explain how tiles are assigned a slip resistance rating and which are the suitable areas for particular slip resistant tiles to be used.

What are slip resistant tiles?

Slips are generally caused when the heel of your foot strikes the floor and a fluid film, usually water, prevents contact with the floor. Consequently, slip resistant tiles were purposefully designed with extra grip in mind. This is achieved by texturing the surface of the tiles, which in turn, reduces the risk of slipping when walking on them. The higher the slip resistance the harder it is to slip.

How do you measure slip resistance?

All our tiles are tested for slip resistance by our suppliers and then tested again in-house by our technical team to give you peace of mind that the tiles you’ve chosen are safe for their intended purpose. We measure slip resistance using a Pendulum Test. This in turn creates a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) rating for each tile, which is recognised not just by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) but also the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and the Tile Association.

How does a Pendulum Test work?

A pendulum testing machine is used to measure the friction caused by a simulated sole material passing across the surface of the tile when both dry and wet. The higher the Pendulum Test Value the higher the slip resistance. The pendulum test consists of a swinging arm with a rubber foot, which is then allowed to fall and make contact with the tile being tested. The test replicates a person’s heel strike, the point at which most slips occur. There are two different types of rubber used to measure the resistance of barefoot and shodfoot (footwear). Water is used as a contaminant to measure the slip resistance of tiles in both wet and dry conditions and the results are then recorded to create the PVT.

What are the different types of slip resistance?

Low Slip Resistance
  • PTV rating of 0-24
  • Low resistance shodfoot (in footwear)
  • Suitable for use in kitchens, living areas, hallways and bathrooms (with the use of a bath mat)
Moderate Slip Resistance
  • PTV rating of 25-35
  • Moderate slip resistance in shodfoot (footwear)
  • Suitable for use in kitchens, living areas, hallways and bathrooms (with the use of a bath mat) and external floors
High Slip Resistance – Shodfoot (footwear)
  • PTV rating of 36+
  • Slip resistance in shodfoot (footwear)
  • Suitable for use in all internal domestic areas and external areas
High Slip Resistance Suitable for Wet Room – Barefoot
  • PTV rating of 36+
  • Slip resistance in Barefoot
  • Suitable for use in all internal domestic areas, external areas and Wet Rooms

What can reduce tiles slip resistance?

While ant-slip resistant tiles are hugely beneficial, slipping is still possible, just less likely. So, take precautions and clean your tiles on a regular basis using products such as Fila Cleaner Pro as their slip resistance can reduce if you spill things such as cleaning products, shampoo and soap etc on them.

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding selecting the right tiles for your home, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.

Recommended reads

If this has whetted your appetite to learn more about all things tiles, then why not check out these related advice articles: How to tile a floor How to keep tiles clean
Read more