FAQs – Floors

What are ceramic tiles and how are they made?

Ceramic tiles are still made the same way they have been for thousands of years: Specially chosen clays are shaped into thin tiles, then fired in a very hot kiln for a short period before being glazed. They’re exceptionally strong and durable, though they can be susceptible to breakage if they’re not handled properly before they’re laid.

What are porcelain tiles and how are they made?

Porcelain tiles are comprised of light-coloured clays combined with different mineral salts, combined in just the right proportions and fired at nearly 1,500 °C to produce an extremely durable, non-porous tile. Porcelain tiles were developed in China two and a half thousand years ago, and were highly prized for their impermeability and beauty. Their unique properties are related to their extreme firing temperature, which is high enough to turn some of the minerals to glass. Once a closely guarded secret only available to emperors and the ultra-rich and powerful, they’ve since become a mainstay of buildings all over the world and are especially suited to high-traffic areas.

What are the benefits of using tiles?

Tiles are the perfect material for a floor space that needs to combine beauty with durability and practicality. They’re hard, smooth, tough, waterproof and easy to clean while being cheap, light, versatile and aesthetically pleasing. Thanks to modern technology and techniques, they’re available in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colours, thicknesses and designs and can be specially optimised for use in different areas of your home. Tiles are among the most versatile and practical of all building and decorating materials.

Can I use floor tiles on my walls?

Part of the appeal of tiles is their enormous versatility. They can hearken back to their classical roots, echo each of the great architectural and artistic periods of history, make a bold, confident style statement or modernise any space with a sleek, understated minimalist look. As such, floor tiles can absolutely be used to highlight, decorate or protect walls. As long as the thickness of the tile is appropriate (very thick or heavy tiles like marble or limestone aren’t advisable because of their sheer weight) you can use them as you wish.

Big tiles or small?

Using large tiles in a small area gives the illusion of space, and means you need less grout. Smaller tiles can be by turns intimate and cosy, or compelling and complex. Different sizes and shapes can radically alter the look of any area of your home. Tile Design’s expert staff will help you get an idea of how your finished area will look by laying out different tiles so you can see the overall effect, whether it’s fashionable new hexagons, tiny Romanesque mosaics, smooth, sleek marble or limestone tiles, enormous shining one-metre slabs or anything in between. Whether you’re working to a budget or whether money’s no option, the only limits are your floor plan and your imagination.

Can I get non-slip floor tiles?

There are many different types of tiles, and they all come with a slip rating. They’re divided into specific categories for residential and commercial use, and Tile Design, as one of Ireland’s leading providers, has the whole range. The latest technological innovations in materials science allow for far greater control of the surface texture and slip properties of tiles than has ever been possible before, meaning that new tiles can be selected not only for their beauty, style and practicality but also for their safety and reliable non-slip features.

  • R-9: Suitable for residential environments, schools, surgeries.
  • R-10: Suitable for bathrooms, commercial kitchens, warehouses, garages.
  • R-11: Suitable for cold-storage rooms, laundries.
  • R-12: Suitable for processing plants, factories, industrial production areas.


FAQs – Flooring

What is the difference between laminate, semi-solid wood and solid wood floors?

Solid wood is wood flooring in its most natural form, straight from lumber to board, cut and shaped until it’s smooth and regular enough to fit almost any room. Some woods are harder than others, which must be taken into account when you’re selecting this type of floor. Some are well suited for high traffic areas – particularly hard, heavy woods like oak or cherry – while others, such as pine, are lighter and cheaper, and better suited to parts of your home which may not have so much traffic or be expected to face the weight and scratches of lots of furniture moving back and forth.

Semi-solid engineered wood is constructed of multiple layers of cross-grain wood, which are then bonded together during manufacturing before being finished with a 3mm-6mm solid wood layer on top. This gives them exceptional strength as well as all the natural beauty of a wide array of woods, from oak to cherry to walnut to beech to ash to pine. The top layer is natural wood, and so needs to be treated with respect and care, as would any wooden floor.

Laminate flooring is best suited to high-traffic areas as it’s scratch resistant (semi-solid and solid woods aren’t, although most can be repaired if you damage them). This makes it the perfect material for areas which will be expected to handle a of traffic and take a lot of wear and tear. The layer of laminate provides protection against damage, and these days the quality, styling and design of laminate floors is remarkable. Modern laminate flooring is often indistinguishable from solid wood except for its durability

What flooring should go where?

Laminate flooring does well in high-traffic areas or in bedrooms, whereas semi-solid woods look great in a sitting or dining room. When selecting wooden flooring for particular areas of your home, it’s best to plan ahead and take into account what the material will be expected to deal with. Tile Design’s experts can give you any advice you need to make sure you don’t end up with the wrong material in the wrong place but our huge range of options means you’ll never have to sacrifice beauty for durability or price.

Should I get a wooden floor if I have underfloor heating

Wood is one of nature’s best insulators, and will never conduct heat as well as a tiled floor would. However, Tile Design can offer mineral floors which look almost identical to wood and are well suited to underfloor heating as well as more conductive laminate or semi-solid wood floors which can be designed to carry heat far more effectively than solid wood.


FAQs – Bathroom wares and accessories

Can I get an ‘all in one’ bathroom or should I mix and match different styles?

It’s completely up to you. As part of our huge range, we not only offer complete modern bathrooms which provide a unified, stylish look but you can select pretty much any combination of fittings, showers and shower units, basins, tiles, flooring, baths, toilets, vanity units and a myriad of accessories to completely customise your look and design.

Can Tile Design help me to make the right choices to protect the environment or save money?

We’re delighted to help you to do both: our modern bathroom range is designed with water saving, power saving and environmental awareness in mind at all times. We don’t believe you ought to have to make a choice between style, practicality, environmental concerns and price, and we’re passionate about making sure that every single one of our customers can avail of our experience to find the combination that’s right for them.

It’s just a bathroom, right? How modern can it possibly be?

The advances in materials technology, fabrication, design and engineering in the past couple of years alone have been remarkable. Intelligent mirrors which stay clear and adapt their lighting to best suit your preferences, ultra-efficient toilets and showers which save both water and money, flooring specifically designed to make the most of underfloor heating, super-sanitary designs and non-slip, easy-to-clean surfaces are just some of the latest innovations. Combined with the sleek style of modern fittings, or up-to-date accessories modelled on classic designs, the Tile Design range can tailor the best and most cutting-edge options to suit any style and budget.

Does the Tile Design range work with energy-saving technologies like solar panels or geothermal heating?

Of course! Our design and fitting experts will be delighted to discuss your home’s energy supplies and show you how best to take advantage of the amazing advances in water-heating and energy-saving technologies. What’s more, because we strive to use only the best, smartest, most advanced designs, technology and techniques, your new bathroom will be future-proof, evolving with your family and your home for years to come.

I’ve always wanted a wet-room but I’m not sure how to go about it. Can you help?

Wet rooms, also known as ‘walk-in showers’, are the pinnacle of bathroom luxury and here at Tile Design we have options to suit every space and budget, including a vast range of configurations and shower heads, body jets, energy-efficient systems, luxurious heating options and more. Call to our Tramore Road showroom and consult with our experts and we’ll work with you to make your dreams come true, while saving you money and significantly increasing the value of your home.

I have some great ideas, but space is limited. Can I still get the look I want?

We’ll work with you to get the most out of any space, whether it’s an extra under-stairs bathroom or a new en-suite or downstairs wash-room tucked away in a corner. Sometimes it can be a simple trick like using larger tiles to give the illusion of space, and sometimes a combination of carefully-chosen fittings, lighting and layout can make all the difference. We don’t believe in sacrificing style for space!

I have some great intentions, but the room is huge! It’s a strange shape, too. I’m worried it’ll look empty, boring and uninviting. Got any bright ideas?

Here at Tile Designs, bright ideas are our speciality. If you’re worried about a new bathroom feeling a little too sparse while still coming in under budget, or if you’re unsure about how best to approach a strange nook or cranny, drop in to us at any time for a chat about how we can work together to optimise every part of your building or renovation process, from planning to installation to decoration. Our experience and eye for detail, combined with our unparallelled range of options, means we’ll always find the best solution for you, no matter how far-out your requirements might be!