Month: June 2020

Tessellation or Tiling? The Genius of the Tiling Pattern

Tessellations – that is a word that takes you back to your Maths classes! Do you remember looking at the different tessellations and coming across words such as vertex and polygons and working out the patterns? (Or maybe not!) So what is the definition of a tessellation (tiling pattern)? Well, this is when a surface is covered with a pattern of flat shapes so there are no overlaps or gaps. The shapes in the pattern don’t need to be the same but it must repeat.

There are different combinations of tessellations (tiling patterns):-

Regular tessellation, semi regular tessellation, ‘other’ tessellations and vertex.

The regular tessellation (tiling) patterns are made up of three shapes – triangles, squares and hexagons and for the semi regular tessellation the rule of thumb is the pattern at each vertex (corner point) must be the same.

‘Other’ tessellations could include the use of curved shapes or circles – but that could make for some seriously complicated tiling pattern designs. Clever stuff nevertheless.

So, by taking a look at regular tile patterns using rectangles, shaped tiles, squares, pentagons of all sizes or mixing octagons and squares in a tile pattern, how can these be transferred to your tiled wall or floor designs?

The choice of tile laying patterns are wide and varied, and, when considering which pattern to lay, they range from patterns such as small format brick bond to staggered brick bond, horizontal herringbone, block herringbone, linear, hexagon, fan, and basket weave to make a few.

And each tiling pattern will take careful planning when working out your design and will depend on the tiling project. For instance, with your client choosing a diamond pattern, when measuring up and pricing up, you will need to consider that there is likely to be more cutting involved and more wastage.

If your client is looking to have the basket weave pattern (which was made extremely popular back in the 1930s with the fashion for parquet flooring), it is worth considering when choosing the tiles that this pattern works better when you choose a tile with a rectified edge so that you get a 1mm grout finish. So what is a rectified edge tile? Basically, it is a fired ceramic or porcelain tile which is cut or ground down to an exact size mechanically and the tile edges are precisely cut at a 90-degree angle. With such a precise, clean and uniform edge it will result in a seamless look to your tile installation.

The tile pattern that is chosen will also give a different perspective on the size of the room to be tiled;  by using a vertical herringbone pattern it is likely to draw the eye upwards which will create an illusion of height in a low ceilinged room. Likewise, the horizontal herringbone will give the illusion of the room being wider. And using a pattern such as the horizontal herringbone it is likely you will need to calculate approximately for an additional 15% of tiles to take into account the additional cuts you will need to do.

So with all the different combinations of the tiling patterns and designs there is huge potential to create stunning tile installations that will continually test your skills from measuring up and working out how many tiles are required,  learning to minimise wastage from your design and maximising your earning potential. With tiling being an industry that is growing fast in the UK, providing a career that will bring challenges and rewards, tiling is indeed – genius!

 

Tiling A Barbeque Area

What would your ultimate barbeque area look like? There are so many options – you could build a permanent structure, have a traditional barrel style coal burner, or opt for one of the more extravagant gas burning stoves. Whatever you decide to cook on, having a bright new tiled area for the barbeque could add that extra piece of style.

You don’t have to restrict yourself to concrete slabs for the floor, and decking may not be the most practical base for your cooking area.

Choosing garden floor tiles instead will give your barbeque area the feeling of being a real outdoor kitchen.

How to choose outdoor tiles

Some tiles have a particularly slippery finish, even in a bathroom this can be a potential hazard. When tiling outside, high gloss, shiny tiles will be lethal with drinks or grease spilt on them, or after a downpour of rain. Think about who will be using the area and make sure it is safe for everyone.

Porcelain tiles are often rated for use outdoors as well as inside. They are harder wearing than ceramic tiles and much less absorbent, so repel the water better. Choosing a matt finish, or even better, a textured finish will offer much more grip when used on a patio or barbeque area.

Preparing a barbeque area for tiling

Far and away the best surface to lay outdoor tiles on will be a concrete pad. As opposed to laying patio slabs which may be porous, a tiled outdoor area will need to repel water. The concrete should be laid as smooth as possible, with a gentle slope towards either a drain or a garden area which can cope with any water running off. This slope does not need to be dramatic, just enough to stop water pooling on the tiles.

Laying tiles outside

Ensure that your concrete slab is completely dry before starting tiling. Thoroughly clean the concrete area before applying a waterproof membrane or treatment to the base before the tiles.

When tiling outside, the entire base should be covered with adhesive. The adhesive should ideally be rated for outside use and waterproof. A polymer modified, dry set mortar will be perfect for the job.

Apply a primer to the back of the actual tiles too. Use neat cement or some of the adhesive mix itself. Allow to cure slightly before laying onto your wet bed.

Be sure to clean as you go to avoid leaving unsightly stains on the tiles.

Finally, use an outdoor rated, fully waterproof grout or all weather jointing compound. As with the adhesive, making sure that you clean as you go will help produce a perfect finish.

We’ve all found projects which need our attention at home during lockdown, quite often including tiling. Brush up on your tiling skills with one of our many courses.

Get in touch today and start learning a new skill.

Quiz night!

For the last few weeks we have had to adapt to a new way of living and working with some of us having to learn new skills (like how to home school the kids! ),new ways of working and communicating with each other. And new words like Zoom, House Party and Tik Tok that have found their way into our vocabulary and making a big impact on our lives. And as we begin to emerge from this forced lockdown period we will need to think a ‘bit outside the box’ as to how to manage and assess the risks of how we live, learn and work for the foreseeable future.

Tiling training will recommence in a few weeks, and like all businesses it will be a carefully managed return. So, if you have been working from home or maybe doing a bit of DIY, or just had more time to think about where your working future lies, maybe it is time to think about taking on a new skill or change of direction from your current job.

During the lockdown period and with all the social distancing measures in place, the nation has discovered a new found passion for quizzes. From online pub quizzes, to socially distanced quizzes with neighbours, we have been testing our knowledge on all manner of subjects. But haven’t come across a quiz about tiling and everything related to tiling or training –  yet!  All those professional tiling terms you may or may not of heard of, and are not quite sure how they apply to the business of tiling, we can take a look at some of the tiling terms used and start our journey to become a ‘tiling mastermind’! UK Pro Tiling Training has a great set of resources on the website to refer to.

Question – So what is an NVQ?

This is a work-based assessment qualification and not a training course, and something that have been considering to undertake.

Question – What tiling tools should I need?

A tiler’s toolbox consists of a varied number of professional tools with the top tool being a good set of manual and electric tile cutters.

Test your knowledge! and see if you know what the following tools are and their function:-

Grout Float – flexible rubber pad with a ‘C’ shaped handle

Tile Levelling System – to help prevent tile slippage

Tile Trowel – important for proper coverage of adhesives

Spacer Wedges – used to space tiles at an equal distance

Question – How do you apply tile adhesive to walls?

The adhesive will need to be applied with the trowel at a 45-degree angle reducing slightly as the adhesive is applied up the wall.

Question – what adhesive should you choose?

Adhesive should be applied according to the room/ area you are tiling. For example,

waterproof adhesive is a must around sinks, showers and bath.

For all the questions you may have about tiling, which course to undertake,  whether to continue your professional development by completing an NVQ, or what not to do when it comes to good tiling practise –  UK Pro Tiling Training will have the answers for you.

Social Media And Other Ways To Generate New Business

Many people will have been staring at the inside of their houses for a few months. Its highly likely that lots will be looking to make some changes to brighten their homes. As tilers, it is a great time to start letting people know that you are out there and raring to go.

Website

It may sound daunting but building and hosting a website can be a cost effective and simple process. Providers such as Wix, Squarespace and GoDaddy offer complete packages with simple to use templates. You’ll just need to provide a great description of your services and some quality images.

Facebook

It is still possible to have an effective Facebook page for your tiling business which is free. There are many options to pay to promote your page, and some are worth considering, where you only pay for the number of clicks your posts generate. Use your friends and family to share your page and remember to keep new content appearing regularly.

Blogging

A regular blog can be a productive part of marketing yourself. Do some research and read up on popular blogs kept by other sole tradespeople. You’ll find they are the ones which produce consistently regular material. They will also be the blog posts which aren’t all sell, sell, sell. Imagine your customers’ tiling quandaries and answer them before they are even asked. Articles about different types of tiles for different rooms are great for appearing on potential new customers’ searches.

Google

It is still free to have a Google business profile and you should absolutely have one. Set up a business account and you’ll find you can be found across searches and also via Google Maps. You can include images from your portfolio and give all your contact details. There are iOS and Android apps too to help you manage your business on the move.

Trade Directories

Paying to be featured on one of the new trade directory sites and apps could be lucrative. As with all digital promotion, fill your entry with as much detail and examples of your work as you can. Many of these trader directories are promoting via television and radio advertising on your behalf.

The Tile Association

An independent body which has a directory of tilers, and their logo can add some kudos to your marketing material. They can inspect work when a dispute occurs and support you through this. Being listed as one of their approved tilers puts your name forward to the thousands of hits their website gathers each month.

Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram

All social media sites are worth having a presence on. Most offer free entry level packages for business as well as more premium packages to push your brand. Only use the social media sites which you know you will have time to post regular content on. It might be worth investigating whether using a social media manager or marketing agency to post regularly on your behalf might be beneficial in the long term.

If you’ve been unable to work during this pandemic, why not consider refreshing your skills with one of our courses? Get in touch today and see how we can help you get your business back up and running.