We know the process of buying tiles can be a little daunting if you have never done it before, so below are questions that we get regularly that might help make things a little clearer.
How are tiles priced?
Most of our tiles are priced per square meter (m2) rather than being priced per tile or box, this way if you know the square meterage of your room it will give you an accurate idea of the cost that you can expect and it makes it easier to compare the price of different sized tiles.
Decorative tiles and mosaics are priced per unit or sheet; our staff can tell you the price per m2 and help you estimate the amount that you will need.
What's the difference between the countries of origin?
Our tiles come from Italy, Spain, Brazil, UAE and Asia. The country of origin usually impacts the price and quality in the following ways, however we have excellent relationships with all our suppliers and many of our suppliers guarantee the tiles for 10 years:
Italy: Beautiful designs, excellent replicas of natural stone and marble with many different faces and variation, high quality tiles, usually a little more expensive.
Spain: Different faces and variation, high quality tiles, usually a little more expensive.The Spanish make great ceramic and decorative tiles and have a growing tile industry, usually slightly cheaper than Italian tiles.
Brazil: The designs from Brazil are always different and fresh and we have some great unique Brazilian options. The manufacturer that many of our Brazilian tiles come from is the country’s largest and they make some fantastic mid-range tiles.
UAE: We source an excellent range of mid-priced tiles from the UAE. The designs are clean and simple and the quality is second to none. The company that the tiles are sourced from in the UAE is a world leading tile manufacturer.
Asia: Our Asian tiles all hit a great price point and our suppliers take pains to source only quality products so that they work with their guarantees. The Tile Space Absolute Cararra range is a great example of this, it has 4 different tile faces so that it doesn’t look like a stamp when laid and the satin finish is beautiful and right on trend.
Click here to see the brands and suppliers we use.
What's the difference between porcelain and ceramic?
Ceramic is a catch all name for porcelain and ceramic tiles. In general porcelain can be considered to be better quality due to its low water absorption and increased durability.
What should I consider if I want to use a different tiles on the floor to the wall?
It pays to use a floor and wall tile from the same range, for example a polished and matt version of the same marble look tile will look much better if they both come from the same range, as then they will be designed to work together. Many people like to align the floor and wall grout joints, and as tiles come in nominal sizes care should be taken to make sure the joints will actually line up.
What does rectified mean?
Most tiles are now rectified, which means they have been machined after firing to ensure that their size and shape is perfect. Rectified tiles can be laid closer together with smaller grout joins as they have flat edges. As the edges are machined they can be sharp, it’s important the tiles are laid level and do not lip, use of a tile leveling system removes this risk. Non rectified tiles, often referred to as cushion edge tiles are sorted into matching sizes, however there will be a slight variance between each tile, to allow for this a wider grout joint is required, normally about 3mm
What does tile 'faces' refer to?
Many tiles are designed to replicate natural materials like stone or marble. In nature, you will see infinite variation, and that is part of its charm. If a tile has a natural look but has the same pattern repeated over and over it will look artificial, so a good quality tile will have a degree of variation between the tile faces to make it look more authentic. The number of faces can vary from one on basic tiles to 30+ on premium ranges.
What does variation mean?
Variation is the difference between tiles, we use the following system to rate variation:
V1 – Uniform – minimal differences between pieces of the same production run
V2 – Slight - clearly distinguishable differences in texture and/or pattern, with similar colours
V3 – Moderate – the amount of colours on each piece vary greatly significantly, but they do not differ greatly between pieces
V4 – Substantial – random colour differences from tile to tile so that one tile may have totally different colours from another tile.
What are the different finishes available?
Matt – Has a matt surface
Satin – Smooth/silky matt surface
Polished or semi-polished – After firing the tile is mechanically polished, up to 1mm of the material’s surface is removed for a shiny, reflective finish. Polished finishes are more durable than glazed finishes.
Glazed – A glaze is applied to the top layer of the tile to give it a hard non-porous surface. Glazes can have a matt, semi-gloss or gloss finish. Glazed tiles are best suited to residential to light commercial settings.
Roccia or structured – A finish with ridges and dips in the surface of the tile, often used outdoors because of their anti-slip properties
Grip – A sandpaper like finish, usually used on outdoor tiles.
What is the tile rating system?
Our tiles are rated 1 through 5 for the following uses
Class 1 – Wall only
Class 2 – Residential areas with light foot traffic, like an ensuite.
Class 3 – Busier residential floors such as a hall or kitchens.
Class 4 – Floor coverings in areas that are subject to considerable traffic, house entrances & commercial spaces such as restaurants.
Class 5 – Capable of withstanding heavy commercial foot traffic.
Should I ask my tiler about using a levelling system?
The flatness of the substrate and size of tiles, especially in combination with an older house can present challenges to the installer in getting each tile level and aligned to each other, if they don’t and the edges don’t align there will be a lip between the tiles, lippage of up to 1mm is normal, however greater variances can occur. A good levelling system will eliminate this; there are several available; our recommendation is the Levolution system. This is particularly important with plank style and large format tiles.
Choosing & Ordering Tiles
How do you know how many tiles to order?
The best option is to get your tiler to tell you how many tiles they need to do the job as it can vary based on how they choose to lay the tiles. This is the most accurate way and they will advise if they need any extra’s.
If you don’t yet have your tiler sorted you can bring in your measurements (and if possible a picture) of the space you are tiling and we can discuss the options with you such as what direction the tiles are to be laid and how you want them arranged i.e regular stack, brick stack, herringbone (just to name a few), and from there we can work out how many tiles you will need. As it’s better to be safe than sorry, we will always add a little more to your order. If you don’t use these tiles, keep them somewhere safe for any replacements that you may need later. These extra tiles will be like gold when you to do a repair as you are very unlikely to be able to source the same type, and batch of tiles later.
When should you order your tiles?
You can come in as soon as you think you might want tiles for your house build, renovation or project and start looking through our extensive range of tiles. Once you have chosen your tiles and know your measurements we can forward order your tiles to reserve them for you. We like to know approximately when you are going to need your tiles so that we can arrange to order them 7-10 working days before you need them. Ideally you want to have your tiles arrive 3-5 days before your tiler is due to start so that your tiles don't need to be stored and therefore reducing the risk of damage.
Do we have a delivery service?
Yes we do have a delivery service. Price for delivery is based on the size of your shipment, where you are located and when you require the delivery. In some instances we may not be able to provide this service. Details can be arranged when you place your order. Book early to save disappointment.
How do you return an item and what is our returns policy?
At the Tile Shed we endeavour to make sure you are only buying what you need with a small allowance for a few spares in case you need them. We can accept returns within 14 days of any unused stock tiles that are in pristine condition (i.e full boxes), however we do need to charge a 50% restocking fee. If a product is damaged or faulty we will replace at no charge. Please note that we are not responsible for damages to stock once it has left the store i.e. tiles.
PLEASE ENSURE YOU CHECK ALL TILES YOURSELF.
For full details please view our Terms and Conditions here
Why Choose the Tile Shed
Why choose the Tile Shed?
When you visit our Tile Shed store, you get the benefit of qualified staff who know design and tiles inside out. They'll help you make the right choice so that you love your room now and in the future. We work very closely with suppliers who visit the world's largest tile fair in Bologna, Italy every year to stay on top of the latest trends and technology and bring back the latest designer tiles to New Zealand.