Update on our opening hours with restricted hours of 8.30am - 4pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9am - 2pm. Following the government guidelines for COVID-19 only 6 people will be allowed in the showroom at one time. We have gloves and hand sanitizer available as you enter the showroom. Our number one priority will and always has been the safety of our customers and we look forward to seeing you healthy and well in the near future

The Tile Warehouhse Blog

The Tile Warehouse 30th anniverary.

The Tile Warehouse 30th anniversary.

Thirty years ago today, I started The Tile Warehouse. Since then, a lot has changed. Back when I opened our first showroom , I was a lot younger and the tiles seemed a lot smaller and lighter. Over time, they appear to have become bigger and heavier (or maybe it’s just me that became heavier!) Throughout the years, I have worked hard to build us into the successful business we are today and I wanted to share with you a little history of The Tile Warehouse and where it all began.

We started trading in shared premises on the 1st of May 1988 in Barking and in 1989 we moved to our very own showroom in Basildon which was open until 2010. At the turn of the millennium, I had an early mid-life crisis and decided to open another showroom. After about year of looking round for the right premises, I found the showroom in Maldon which we are still trading from today. We also had a small showroom in Grays for about a year which, as happens with some new ventures, didn’t work out the way we hoped. You can’t blame me for being ambitious!

One reason that I was able to grow my business is our home selection service which, if you have used it, you know comes with a small charge. A cup of tea or coffee and a choccy biscuit – hence the reason it’s not only the company that has grown over the years! This service allowed us, as a company, to offer a more personal service. By bringing ideas to our customers, it helped them to see what the tiles would look like in their own environment and allowed us to do the hard work like measuring up the space. This hassle-free approach proved popular with our customers and led to me being able to expand the business. This is a service we still offer today.

The tile industry has changed a lot over the last thirty years. When we first opened, we didn’t have tile trim and the biggest tile you could get was 200 x 150. Wall grout was always white and floor grout was always grey. Now you can get bigger tiles (up to 1500 x 1500) and grout comes in a variety of different colours.  One company I know offers thirty-five different colours, which is a lot for me to remember in my old age! On the plus side, the quality of tiles has improved.

The way in which we market our company has also changed. People used to find us in their local newspaper or in The Yellow Pages phone book, which was big and I always wondered if he ever did find that book on fly fishing by J P Hartley?  Now, it is all on smart phones, tablets, social media, websites and email. At tile warehouse, although we have branched out into the modern era, we still like the old fashion way of talking to people on the phone and seeing people in our showroom. Alex, our showroom manager, has worked with me since we opened the Maldon showroom seventeen years old ago and, between us, we have over sixty years experience in the tile trade. That does not mean we are old just… premium.

Over the last thirty years, it has not been all plain sailing. We have gone through four recessions. The first one was in our second year at Basildon but the last (2009 – 2010) was the hardest of all. With hard work and determination, we did survive it and we are still here today! One thing which has helped us to trade for so long is the range of tiles we offer. We have always worked hard to show and stock a big variety of tiles so that we can offer ideas for everyone’s individual taste, houses and rooms. Most customers who have been into our showroom and have looked around say we have got the best range of tiles in the area.

Now you know a bit more about our history and what has built us into the successful business we are today, all that is left to say is a big thank you to all our customers , suppliers  and tilers who have supported us over the last 30 years and I hope for many years to come.

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Wood Vs Porcelain Decking

Which One is Perfect for your Garden?

 They’re both firm favourites with buyers, but does wood or porcelain stand up to the demands of a busy family home?

When it comes to decking, wood has often been the preferred option for homeowners. Well, that’s no longer the case, as many people are now opting for porcelain. However, they’re incredibly different materials and both offer unique benefits. The sheer amount of choice on offer can result in a bit of a headache for you when you are deciding which one you should install in your outdoor space, but thankfully, here you can see how they compare when it comes to things like durability, maintenance and style. Discover how to make the best possible choice for your home, and enjoy your deck for years to come.

Stains and scuffs

A deck needs to stand up to plenty of use, and is automatically susceptible to stains or marks. This is where porcelain tiles immediately set themselves apart from wooden decking. Porcelain deck boards do not stain thanks to their incredibly hard surface. As this surface of a tile is impenetrable, it doesn’t absorb moisture.  Whether you’re hosting a big party or just tending to some potted plants, you can be sure that any spillages or marks can just be washed away quickly and easily. Although wood is hard wearing, it’s naturally porous and will show signs of wear. You can also move furniture without fear of scuffing or scratching your porcelain tiles either, as they’re naturally resistant to this kind of movement too.

Strength

Both wood and porcelain are naturally strong materials. This makes them ideal for a deck, as they’ll be able to withstand plenty of footfall, furniture and anything else you can throw at them! However, the way that porcelain deck boards are laid, supported by an aluminium frame, makes them incredibly strong. Combined with their natural hard wearing characteristics, this gives porcelain boards the edge over wood, especially if you’re looking for a deck that will stand up to years of use.

Weather resistance

A big consideration when choosing your decking material is its weather resistance. A deck is going to have to stand up to the elements all year round. Wood needs careful treating and maintenance to keep it in good condition, whereas porcelain is naturally weather resistant. Additionally, wood expands and contracts as the temperature changes, which over time can alter the structural integrity of a deck. Porcelain doesn’t alter in this way and you’ll need to replace it as quickly as you would wood.

Style

Last but not least is, of course, the style offered by each material. There’s no doubt that a wooden deck is attractive, and it’s long been a traditional favourite amongst homeowners. Porcelain will make for a much more striking, modern deck though. Porcelain tiles are available in so many different finishes, colours, and sizes that it’s a real breeze to create a deck that’s perfect for you and your garden.

A deck that’s perfect for you

When you compare the two materials side by side, it’s clear that porcelain is a clear favourite. Strong, stylish and super low maintenance, it’s able to stand up to plenty of use and can fit in with a variety of outdoor design schemes. So why not break with tradition and opt for porcelain rather than wood decking in your garden?

Talk to us or visit us today, to find out how we can help turn your outdoor space into a haven!

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Making a Splash: Using Your Splashback to Make an Impression

Why a Tiled Splashback Is Perfect For Your Kitchen

 A splashback doesn’t just protect your walls, it’s a major style statement too.

Splashbacks have become a regular feature in modern kitchens. Once just solely there for functional purposes, a splashback has now become a way of making a serious style statement too. So when it comes to choosing a splashback for your kitchen, which material should you opt for? Stainless steel, glass, marble? Well, a tiled splashback could be the best option for your kitchen. Durable, easy to look after and available in so many styles, colours and finishes, there’s a tile that’s perfect for every kitchen. So here’s how to make an impression with your new splashback.

Splashbacks

Plenty of choice

If you decide to go for a tiled splashback, then you’ll be able to choose from an almost limitless number of style options. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but you’ll soon identify the kind of look that you’re going for in your kitchen. Brightly coloured tiles are great for creating a fun retro look, while neutral colours are the way to go if you want to play it safe. Metro tiles are the hottest kind of tile right now, and are a favourite of interior designers. For drama, slate effect tiles can’t be beaten. Our best advice is make sure you take some time to think about the kind of look that you want to create.

Durability

As well as look fantastic, a splashback does need to fulfil its function. So when it comes to standing up to lots of use in a busy modern kitchen, how do tiles fare? Well, they’re by far the best option. They’re stain resistant and non-porous, and can withstand the efforts of even the most experimental home cook.  They’re also incredibly easy to look after, requiring no more than a wipe with a damp cloth. If they do become damaged, you only have to replace the tiles that are affected too, making them a cost-effective option.

The best of both worlds

Of course, there are many other kinds of materials that can be used to create a stunning splashback. The good news is that you can buy tiles that have the same finish as wood, marble or stone without the downsides of actually using these materials. Some, like granite, are incredibly expensive, but tiles that look near identical will come in at a fraction of the cost. Likewise, a tile that looks like wood or marble won’t be porous and susceptible to damage, but will look almost exactly the same.

It’s time to get tiling!

Including a splashback in your kitchen design scheme will not only help you to protect your walls from food splatters, but it will allow you to inject a little bit of extra pizazz into the room too. It’s the finishing touches that make a room truly special, and you’ll be surprised at how much a splashback will finish off your new kitchen. Choosing tiles for your splashback is a smart option, as they’re incredible durable and easy to care for, plus they can be tailored to suit traditional and contemporary style kitchens alike. With so many different kinds of tiles available, you can make a feature of your splashback or create one that blends seamlessly into your scheme.

Here at The Tile Warehouse we have hundreds of tiles for you to choose from, pop into our Maldon showroom to see for yourself and have a chat with one of our experienced team. Alternitively, why not give our Home Selection Service a go? We bring the tiles to you, for free! Contact us today to find out more.

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The Best Tiles for your Kitchen Floor

Tiles are seen by many as the perfect flooring solution for a kitchen. But they are made from a range of materials –  which are best for you?

Floor coverings come in a variety of types, including carpets, linoleum and a whole range of wooden solutions. But in a kitchen environment, nothing comes close to tiles. As well as looking great, they are durable, water resistant and simple to keep clean with a mop and bucket.

Yet before you can even start looking at the wide range of colours and patterns available, you first need to decide on the right material. There are pros and cons to each, so let’s take a look.

Ceramic tiles

Probably the most popular choice for a kitchen, ceramic tiles are highly versatile, come in every conceivable colour and are relatively simple to install.

They are made from a mixture of clay, minerals and water, which is fired at high temperature and then glazed to create a hard-wearing surface.

As for the cons – be aware that there can be some variation in colour from one batch to the next, so if that is a potential problem, try to make sure all the packs contain the  same batch number. Also, relatively simple to install does not mean completely simple, and it takes care and attention to do a really good job.

Porcelain tiles

These are a type of ceramic tile that is fired at an even higher temperature. The main differences are that porcelain is extremely hard and durable. It is therefore perfect for an area of flooring that gets serious punishment and heavy foot traffic.

On the downside, porcelain is a little more expensive that regular ceramic, and is also more difficult to install, as it needs specialist tools and a particular setting paste that works on non-porous materials. As a result, it is best left to the professionals.

Stone

Natural stone looks amazing and just oozes quality. There are plenty of types to choose from, including marble, slate, granite and limestone. This means you can always find a colour to match any style or décor.

Most types of stone are porous, so you will need to treat them with a sealant every few years.

There are two sorts of finish available. Polished tiles look stunning but can become slippery, particularly when wet. Honed stone tiles give better grip but do not have quite the same lustre.

Cement

Handmade cement tiles look fantastic, but they are not as common as other types of tile, so your installer might not be accustomed to working with them. Like stone, they are porous and can be damaged by spillages, so you need to make sure they are sealed periodically. They are typically in a similar price range to stone tiles.

Which will you choose?

There are pros and cons to every type of floor tile, but whichever you choose, you will be rewarded with a hard-wearing floor that looks classy and will last for years. Now all you have to do is go through the thousands of shapes, sizes, colours and designs that are available and choose the one that matches your kitchen décor.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you choose! Our showroom is packed full of fantastic floor tiles ready for you to look at. Not sure if they will work in your room? No problem, our Home Selection Service is a great way for you to see your tiles on-site, it’s a completely free service (well it might cost you a cuppa) and a great way to make sure you make the perfect choice. Contact us here to find out more.

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Make a Statement with Tiles

Tiles are more than just a practical way of covering your kitchen walls. They can also play a defining role in your interior décor.

Tiles are perfect for the walls and splashbacks of your kitchen, to create a hardy surface that is durable, waterproof and easy to keep clean. But they are far more than mere practicalities. While a simple white course of tiles will do a job, you can make clever use of colour to make a real statement and stamp your personality on the internal décor.

Choose your backdrop

Don’t get us wrong, white tiles are fantastic for creating a clean, fresh atmosphere in your kitchen, and make an ideal backdrop for you to inject some colour and vibrancy. But if you are really not a fan of white, you could use grey as a similar anchor.

The beauty of having a simple primary colour as a base is that it will make your brighter, bolder colours stand out even more.

Metallic statement tiles

Choose your colours

There is no wrong choice, and it is down to personal taste, but different colours create different themes. For example, pale yellows and blues are perfect to give that coastal look, while flashes of orange add a sense of fun and pizazz.

Glossy blues are very much in fashion this year, and convey a classy look, while lime is an ever-popular choice for adding contrast while retaining a degree of subtlety.

Kitchen tiles

Choose your patterns

One of the advantages of tiles is that there are so many combinations you can go for in laying them out. It is almost like having your own set of Lego. A popular choice at the moment is to insert coloured tiles at random into a white base, but you might also consider a coloured band across the width of the wall. This provides the eye with a break in the surface, so is a particularly popular choice in larger kitchens.

Another possibility is to have a feature wall in a bright colour, to contract with the surrounding white. Done well, this creates a fantastic focal point to the wall.

Patterned Tiles

Even more artistic

Of course, there are other ways to make a statement with tiles beyond injecting some extra flashes of colour. How about a mosaic pattern to add texture as well as colour to your overall design?

Some of the best designs are not restricted to the walls. If you have a tiled floor, too, you can replicate your pattern there, and create a kitchen that will wow your visitors from the moment they see it.

Grey mosaic tiles

Terrific tiles

Next time you are shopping for tiles, think about them as more than just a useful feature. They are an intrinsic component that shapes your internal décor, so take your time and let your creativity run riot. Get it right, and you will create a design that will be the envy of your family and friends, and that will look terrific for years to come. Good luck, and have fun!

Contact us here at The Tile Warehouse today to discuss your dream tile design, or pop into our Maldon showroom to see them for yourself!

 

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