mosaic

Mosaic Tiles

Certain designs are always in style and mosaic tiles have been popular for thousands of years, but why is this?

Mosaic tiles were first popularised by the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Romans, so you only have to look at the amazing remnants of their society to understand how much they valued aesthetics. And the inimitable style of mosaic tiles has resisted endless changes in fashion to remain just as popular today as they ever were.

Let’s take a look at exactly what you need to know about mosaic tiles.

What are the Benefits of Mosaic Tiles?

You may be wondering what the benefits of mosaic tiles are and, believe me, there are plenty such as:

  • Wide Range of Materials: Available in glass, ceramic or even organic mosaic materials, there’s a mosaic tile available with the finish and design that is right for your project.
  • Highly Versatile: Mosaic tiles can be used to design the truly unique patterns that your creativity wants to unleash. And, thanks to the variety of colours available, you can ensure that these unique patterns are incredibly eye catching.
  • Durable Material: Ceramic mosaic tiles originate from rocks and pebbles and, therefore, have a durability that is difficult to source elsewhere; this durable quality allows them to deliver long lasting visual results.
  • Easy to Clean: Mosaic tiles fashioned from glass are non-porous, so this means that cleaning them is incredibly easy and prevents the risk of mould and mildew building up in humid environments such as kitchens.

The benefits are clear to see, but where exactly should you be using mosaic tiles?

Where Are Mosaic Tiles Used?

As we’ve already discussed, mosaic tiles are highly versatile and this is why they’re perfect for a wide range of projects. In particular, the natural texture of mosaic tiles gives them fantastic anti-slip properties and is the driving factor behind them being popular for bathroom designs. The soothing natural colours of mosaic tiles also provide a relaxing spa-like atmosphere to give bathrooms a touch of luxury.

Glass tiles provide much less protection against slips, but their enhanced cleanliness ensures that they should be your go-to option for kitchen environments such as splashbacks and centrepiece designs. Not only can glass mosaic tiles be wiped down easily and quickly, but they also imbue any setting with a touch of luxury and class that is unmatched by other materials.

You’re probably starting to get an idea of how and where you can use mosaic tiles, so the next step is sourcing the right tiles for your needs.

Sourcing Mosaic Tiles

The two main options for sourcing commercial mosaic tiles are:

  • Off the Shelf: Off the shelf mosaic tiles are available as individual tiles or already installed onto mesh based sheets. A wide range of colours and patterns are available and should suit the majority of projects.
  • Bespoke: If you’re going for a truly unique and unmatched aesthetic, then commissioning a tile manufacturer to create a bespoke range of tiles is the answer. Naturally, this is more expensive than mass produced mosaic tiles available off the shelf, but the finished product will guarantee that your project stands out on its own.

Mosaic tiles represent a fantastic tiling option and have the potential to truly transform any commercial project from something ordinary into something quite extraordinary, so there’s no better time to embrace them.

For help or advice sourcing the best commercial mosaic tiles for your next project, don’t hesitate to get in touch, give us a call on +44 (0) 2084 500 574 or email info@srkuk.com.

Non Slip Floor Tiles for Wet Rooms

Wet rooms are becoming more and more popular as people turn to showering instead of the traditional soak in the tub routine. This article will outline the importance of finding the right non slip floor tiles for wet rooms on your next commercial build.

Higher Demand for Wet Rooms

There are numerous reasons behind the rise in popularity of wet rooms including:

  • Increased Open Space: A wet room takes up very little room – especially compared to a bath – and without the need for a shower enclosure, a wet rooms makes the most of the space available. This is particularly important for commercial developers who are looking to maximise the value of the plot.
  • Accessible for Everyone: Baths (and even traditional showers) can present accessibility options for the elderly and disabled, but a wet room can increase the accessibility significantly. This is good to keep in mind for hotels and public spaces.
  • Easy to Clean: The environment of a wet room ensures that they can be cleaned easily with household cleaners to prevent a build-up of mould

Naturally, this wet environment does present a potential slip hazard, so, particularly in commercial settings where large numbers of people will be congregating – such as swimming pools and apartment buildings – the need for non-slip floor tiles is essential.

Non Slip Floor Tiles for Wet Rooms

Standing water is part and parcel of a wet room, sometimes the water will build up due to splashes from the shower and other times it can be from dripping off bodies post-shower. Either way, a smooth floor in this environment spells nothing but trouble and almost guarantees a slip hazard.

So, if you want peace of mind whilst using a wet room, you have to go for non-slip floor tiles. What is it, though, that gives non-slip tiles their slip-resistant qualities? Well, there are a number of different methods for designing slip-resistant tiles:

  • Natural Textured – The most popular type of non-slip floor tile embraces textures to reduce the chance of a slip. Sometimes, the natural, rough texture of, for example, black slate tiles ensures that water collects in areas where it won’t be in contact with feet. This creates an enhanced grip which simply isn’t possible with smooth tiles.
  • Sand Blasted / Acid Etched – A much more commercial approach for textured tiles comes through the use of sand blasters or acid to create specific textures on standard tiles. Not only does this reduce the slip risk, but it also allows for a wide range of uniform patterns to give your wet room a neat finish.
  • Anti-Slip Coating – The final method for protecting wet room floors is by using anti-slip coatings which can be applied to existing floors. These coatings provide a rough, grainy texture and, again, help to reduce contact between foot and water although it’s not as effective as the previous two design methods.

Porcelain tiles are the most common type of tiles used to furnish wet room floors and, in particular, one of the most popular finishes is a mosaic pattern.

With each individual mosaic tile having a textured surface, it provides a highly superior slip-resistance compared to most conventional anti-slip tiles and really minimises the slip risk. Anti-slip mosaic tiles are becoming more and more popular, so, if you want the best finish on the market, head straight for these tiles when you start buying.

Finding the Right Tiles for your Next Project

We have worked with a number of commercial developers and specifiers to help source non slip floor tiles for wet rooms and other bathroom environments. This could range from custom or bespoke tiles through to low cost, high volume orders. If you’d like to discuss how we can support you one your next project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Vector damask seamless pattern background. Classical luxury old fashioned damask ornament, royal victorian seamless texture for wallpapers, textile, wrapping. Exquisite floral baroque template.

Antique Tiles: 3 Styles and How to Source Them

Whilst we’re often told that the key to a successful design is innovation, it doesn’t hurt to look to the past for inspiration. And when it comes to tiling, you can rest assured that retro and antique tiles can breathe new life into your project.

Vintage is a popular look for those who want bring a sense of retro to their projects. To start getting to grips with the past, though, you need a sound understanding of the world of vintage tiling chic, so let’s get started.

Antique Tiles: The Different Styles

Vintage tiles are highly popular right now, so you’re probably itching to find out a little bit more about the tiles available.

Here are a few of the most popular vintage styles currently waiting to take your project to the next level:

  • Victorian Tiles – Popular designs for Victorian style tiles tend to embrace artwork which takes in subject matter such as animals and topiary designs. Sometimes these designs will be fully confined to an individual tile, but more grand designs – such as game birds – can be created from a mosaic style pattern to decorate floor spaces. To grant a more authentic aged feeling, Victorian tiles often come with a crackled glaze finish.
  • 1970s Tiles – It may not seem that long ago, but the 1970s were over 40 years ago now and, as such, are suitably vintage. Now, the key feature of 70s tiles is the patterns, the ever repeating patterns. One of the most popular patterns for these vintage tiles is the floral print and, when it comes to colours, earthy shades of brown, yellow, orange and green perfectly capture the decade’s style.
  • Art Deco Tiles – Synonymous with the sights and sounds of the 1920s, the Art Deco movement remains ever popular with designers. Its success is down to achieving that rare feat of combining grand designs which have a unique simplicity. A wall of plain white tiles, for example, can suddenly be elevated when topped with a border of black ornamental tiles. Other popular designs include angular shapes arranged in geometric patterns which primarily use whites, creams, browns, beiges, orange and yellows.

How to Source Antique Tiles?

Now that you understand what some of the popular retro tile styles are, the next step is to figure out where you can source them from. Thankfully, there are a number of options available to you such as:

  • Sourcing Genuine Antiques: If you want to genuinely capture that vintage tile feel, it pays to source originals. Therefore, auctions and reclamation years can be an excellent option.
  • Buy Replica Tiles: The antique style is very big at the moment, so almost all tile manufacturers will carry a vintage range. This is the most affordable option as they’re off the shelf products and are mass produced.
  • Go the Bespoke Route: You may have a specific retro style you’re trying to create, but there’s not always an off the shelf option available. In these cases, working with bespoke tile manufacturers is the best option for making your design into a reality.

As global sourcing specialists, SRK UK has extensive experience finding all types of commercial tiles for our customers. We work with customers to understand their exact needs, and then find the most suitable manufacturers for them.

If you’d like more information on how we can help on your next project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Bathrooms

Understanding Anti Slip Tiles – Putting Safety First

In any commercial build, the safety of your users has to be a number one concern. If you’re designing or building an environment where the floor is likely to get wet, even if just from condensation, then anti slip tiles are a must.

Understanding the complexities of anti-slip surfaces will help you to choose the right commercial tiles for your project.

In this article we’ll look at:

  • What makes a tile anti-slip?
  • When you should use anti-slip tiles
  • Anti-slip coatings
  • The rating and testing system for non-slip tiles

What Makes a Tile Anti-slip?

There are a number of things that make a tile anti-slip.

  • Natural texture – The tile might just be naturally anti-slip; tiles like riven tiles are naturally rough. This rough texture provides suitable places for the water to fall and so the contact between foot and water is minimised and grip is maximised, so the likelihood of someone slipping is reduced. Black state tiles are a good example of natural anti slip properties.
  • Acid etched – Other tiles can be etched with acid to provide a similar effect. These acid etched tiles have a rougher surface too so that they provide grip even in the wettest conditions.
  • Anti slip coating – Commercial tile manufacturers have come up with anti-slip coatings that allow you to coat a floor that is already installed and give it a far better anti-slip grading.

This means that you can coat pretty much any surface including; concrete, porcelain and stone and make it anti-slip. This can keep the costs down for your clients if they aren’t in the market for a new floor or new walls and keep their customers safe.

For example, if you have a preference for particular concrete floor tiles, it can easily be treated to give it the anti slip properties you require.

When Should Anti-slip Tiles Be Used?

Anti-slip tiles should be used wherever there is a possibility of water getting on the floors or walls of an area. This means in places like commercial kitchens, bathrooms, in and around swimming pools and outside areas, they are crucial.

This isn’t to say that each of these areas need the same tiles, some areas need higher grade tiles than others. Commercial anti-slip tiles have a variety of different ratings, which we will get into in a little bit, but understanding this rating system means that you can install the right tiles in the right places. This means that your clients, their staff and members of the public can walk safely, with minimal risk of slipping.

  • Commercial Kitchens – These tiles need to be a high enough grade to make sure that if any liquids are split, the people working in the kitchen aren’t going to slip and fall.
  • Shop floors – Risk of slipping in shops is probably less than in other environments, but it still could occur. In this instance the legal implications of someone having an accident warrants further investigation of tiles with anti-slip properties.
  • Bathrooms – The bathroom floor will definitely require anti slip tiles as it will frequently get wet. But what about the walls? The walls should have good anti-slip properties, especially in commercial use, without this, the person using the bathroom may slip and fall if they steady themselves on a wall that has condensation on it.

When installing exterior floor tiles in locations where they are likely to get wet it is also important to consider the non slip properties.

Anti-slip tiles for wet rooms

Non-slip tiles for wet rooms need to be of the highest grading possible to ensure the safety of the users of the wet room.

This means that whether you are installing wet rooms in a hospital or a block of flats, you must make sure that you use tiles of the correct rating for the job. Because of this, it was quite restricting when it came to the look of the flooring and walls in a wet room for many years, which meant that some people weren’t able to get the look that they were after and stay safe.

Thankfully, you can now offer your clients the look they want and get a safe user experience, which is possibly more important in this situation.

There are plenty of anti-slip wall and floor tiles to choose from that work perfectly in wet rooms nowadays, it really just depends on the budget that you have to work with. The days of a wet room looking like a public convenience are certainly over, as long as your client is willing to pay a bit more for style and safety.

Most wet rooms do still use porcelain anti-slip tiles, but there are many different colours to choose from so you can make a wet room look and feel anyway your customer wants it to.

our_product_img3

Non-slip tiles for outside steps

With so many outside communal areas popping up around the country now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that non-slip tiles for outside steps are in high demand.

One of the issues of outside tiling, of course, is that it has to stand up to the elements. With rain, snow and blistering summers all in these tiles future, finding the right ones to use can be quite an issue.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options of commercial grade outside tiles to choose from, including:

  • Porcelain tiles – These allow more flexibility with colour and there are a lot that mimic real stone tiles, perfect for steps in and around swimming pools
  • Quarry tiles – Made from natural clay that makes them very hard wearing, perfect for high traffic areas like steps around train stations and parks.
  • Slate tiles– Typically grey but can be found in orange and purple too. Slate gives a very polished look to any area but works particularly well in areas like communal gardens or pub gardens.
  • Stone tiles – Provides a rustic look that looks excellent outside hotels and around swimming pools if done right.

Some of the flooring tiles above do require a coating, especially if they are going to be used on outside steps, as they will soak up the water naturally if they aren’t properly sealed. Thankfully, there are non-slip tile coatings available if you want to use porous tiles in outside areas and make sure it is safe for the people using the steps.

Anti-slip Tile Coating

Anti-slip tile coatings for commercial grade tiles are a chemical treatment that increases the friction coefficient of the tiles, thus creating a far safer floor or wall even when wet. The chemical coating is clear and can be used on pretty much any tile including natural stone tiles, porcelain tiles and even cement floors.

The clear coat provides safety but doesn’t take anything away from the look of the floor tiles. Anti-slip tile coatings are very effective with a range of footwear and even work when the walker has bare feet, which makes it great in applications like hospitals and around swimming pools.

One of the best applications of anti-slip tile coatings is applying it to designer tiles. The coating allows you to get a beautiful look without compromising on safety.

To find out more about non-slip tile coatings, please click here.

Anti-slip Rating System

Commercial non-slip floor tiles are given a rating that helps to grade the non-slip level of a particular tile. This rating is known as the “R” value of a tile. There are a number of different R values, R9 and R10, for example, are what is usually recommended for use in domestic kitchens or bathrooms where the risk of slipping is present, but not common.

The R13 value is given to anti-slip tiles that are recommended for commercial and professional use. These tiles are perfect for use in wet rooms and showers in public changing rooms, for example.

Ceramic tiles have their slip resistance tested using the draft informative index classification (ISO 10545). This classification will be obtained by testing the ceramic tiles in both dry and wet conditions prior to installation.

The two classes within this ISO standard are:

  • Class 1 <0.4
  • Class 2 >0.4

The R value system and the class system are grouped together and given a group name, the group that a tile falls into then gives you an idea of where it should and should not be used. These groups include:

  • Group C –  R13, R12 and some R11 with a class of 0.44 to 0.92. For use in public areas such as communal showers, swimming pool surrounds and larger areas like shopping centres.
  • Group B – Some R10 and some R11 with a class of 0.27 to 0.33. For use in mainly dry situations or where slipping is uncommon.
  • Group A – R10 with a class of 0.21 for use in mainly dry situations

These ratings take into account the measurements of the coefficient of friction of the slip resistance found in testing. It’s vital that you’re aware of these tests and what different types of tiles are rated for to avoid any risks of injury after installing commercial non-slip floor tiles.

For more information on the rating and grades of commercial anti-slip tiles, please click here.

Anti-slip Tile Testing

One of the most used tests in anti slip tile testing is the pendulum test. This test is designed to replicate a person walking and the heel to toe motion we walk with.

When we walk on a wet floor, a thin layer of fluid is created between our shoe and the floor; this is what causes us to slip. The pendulum test uses an arm with a rubber foot that swings down onto a freshly wet tile to test how slippery it is under these conditions.

After the test has been repeated a few times, that tile gets a Slip Resistance Value (SPV) or Pendulum Test Value (PTV). The better the slip resistance that is offered by a tile, the higher the rating.

This test works great because it replicates the way we walk so well that it actually forms the same layer of liquid between the rubber foot and the tile. The pendulum test also works under dry conditions and is used to test the anti-slip properties of tiles and other flooring materials that are to be used solely under dry conditions.

There are a lot more tests for commercial and non-commercial anti-slip tiles, but the pendulum test is the only one recognised in the UK. If you would like to find out more about anti-slip tile tests, please click here for more information.

Finding the Perfect Tile

For help sourcing the perfect anti slip tile for your commercial project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our sourcing team. We keep abreast of the latest developments and trends, ensuring that we’ll be able to find an anti slip tile that meets your precise requirements, both from a cost and design perspective.

Case Studies 01

Commercial Tiles: Find the Perfect Options for Your Project

Tiling can be a deciding factor in the success of any build and with such a vast number of options available, finding the right commercial tiles for your project can be challenging.

In this article we’ll run through some of the key things to look out for, hopefully making the process slightly easier.

Specifically we’ll look at:

  • Buying considerations for commercial tiles
  • Commercial tile materials
  • Anti-slip properties

Key Buying Considerations for Commercial Tiles

A well tiled environment should provide many years of faithful service, but this is only if you choose the right commercial tiles for your specific needs.

Even the slightest misjudgment could lead to being penalised financially or, worst of all, having to remove your tiles and start again, a move which can again prove to be highly expensive and put a dent in your commercial interest.

However, if you’re diligent enough to invest some time into considering exactly what it is that you need, this can pay dividends in the long run.

Therefore, you need to seriously consider the five following factors which will help you to refine your search:

  • Size – The size of your tiles can make a real difference to your commercial projects and this is why you need to make sure the required size is determined very early on. You’ll discover that some tiles are only available in certain sizes, so even if you completely love a specific set of tiles, they may never be the right ones for your project’s specific needs. You also need to bear in mind the visual impact of larger tiles as these require less grout lines; this creates a sense of space and can add real depth to your commercial settings as a result.
  • Material – The variety of materials on offer when it comes to tiles certainly provides you with plenty of choice, but sometimes it can feel like too much choice. Different materials all have their own unique properties such as strength, moisture retention and risk of damage, so research is essential here. Certain materials are also easier to cut, so depending on the amount of adjustments that could be necessary, you may need to seriously consider which material you go for.
  • Budget – One of the biggest considerations to take into account is the budget set aside for your commercial project. It may seem tempting to go for an expensive, high quality finish, but this isn’t necessarily correct for a number of reasons. Firstly, you may not have enough money to cover a commercial setting from head to toe in ornate glass tiles. Secondly, extravagant tiles may not be required for your project and can easily be substituted for something cheaper.
  • Durability – Everyone wants their tiles to last for years and retain that aura of newness which can provide a real boost in terms of aesthetic appearance. This is why you need to understand which tiles can deliver real durability and last for years, while minimizing visible wear and tear upon them.
  • Anti-slip rating – Finally, the anti-slip rating is a very important aspect of your commercial project which needs thorough investigation. If your commercial setting is going to lead to water on the floor, then you need to investigate the most suitable level of resistance to help reduce the risk of accidents for people walking through these areas.

Commercial Tile Types

Commercial tiles come in a wide range of materials that vary greatly in terms of cost, aesthetic and durability.

Some of the more popular types include:

  • Porcelain – Well known for their durability, porcelain tiles use a refined clay mixture which is fired at very high temperatures to produce their amazing strength. The high density of commercial porcelain tile flooring severely reduces the amount of moisture that can be absorbed and makes it perfect for bathroom flooring. However, this density also means that porcelain tiles are difficult to cut and specialist tools may be required to work with them. Porcelain tiles also tend to be quite expensive and considerably more so than ceramic tiles.
  • Ceramic – These tiles start off as thin slabs of clay which are coated with a glaze before being oven fired to harden. Commercial ceramic floor tiles are often the go-to choice for large flooring projects as they’re easy to cut and the accompanying price tag is relatively inexpensive. However, one of the main drawbacks of ceramic tiles is that they’re unable to cope effectively with cold temperatures and this can lead to chipping and cracking.
  • Glass – With some of the most ornate designs available in commercial grade tiles, glass tiles are perfect for adding a touch of refined class to your projects. In particular, commercial kitchen tiles made from glass can be used to design stunning kitchen backsplashes and bathroom floors can be transformed into amazing spectacles with glass mosaic tiles. The wonderful aesthetics of glass tiles, however, comes at a price due to the expertise required to not only cut them, but also install them correctly.
  • Natural Stone Tiles – Highly versatile thanks to their ability to be used inside and outside, natural stone tiles are also a stylish option to ensure that your projects catch the eye. There are five particular natural stone tiles that you should be looking at:
    • Granite – The crystalline structure of granite gives a density not dissimilar from porcelain, so granite tiles are very strong and are some of the best natural stone floor tiles available. This strength and density, of course, does mean they’re very heavy and may not be suitable for all projects. Cleaning and maintaining the tiles is also an issue as they’re highly sensitive to staining. Granite tiles are also relatively expensive compared to other tiles.
    • Marble – Naturally elegant, marble tiles are available in a wide range of colors and have a natural luster that can create amazing results when used in bathroom wall tiles. Marble, of course, is also a natural material, so this can lend your projects an eco-friendly edge. A major drawback of marble, though, is that it’s very slippery when used as flooring. The other issue to consider is the cost and it is, in fact, one of the most expensive tile options on the market.
    • Slate – One of the strongest tiles to be produced by commercial tile manufacturers, slate comes in a wide range of colors and offers that rare combination of visual appeal and durability. Highly resistant to stains and spills, slate tiles are also blessed with a strength which ensures cracks, scratches and chips are a rare occurrence. These benefits are counterbalanced somewhat by the high initial cost and need for regular maintenance e.g. renewing surface sealers and barriers. Read our article on Black Slate tiles for more info on how theses can be used.
    • Travertine – Commonly found forming around mineral springs, travertine is a natural stone with a range of earthy colors which bring a warm presence to any project. As with all natural stones, travertine is very durable and can remain undamaged even after many years of use. This natural state, however, does mean that it’s porous and sealing this can be labor intensive. Although less expensive than other natural stone tiles, it’s still more costly than other man made tiles.
    • Terracotta – Fired in a kiln at high temperatures, terracotta is made from a combination of red and brown clays. Firing it ensures that it’s highly durable, so it’s perfect for kitchen floor tiles. Terracotta comes with a weathered look that can’t be created artificially and allows it to add vast character to your projects. Terracotta is also a highly porous natural stone and can be difficult to maintain. The kiln firing ramps up the production cost and makes for expensive tiling.

Anti-slip Tiles

Safety is always paramount when you’re working in commercial settings such as kitchens, so it’s vital that you prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. One of the best ways to minimise these risks is by installing anti-slip tiles which retain a level of resistance even in settings where spills and leaks are common. This is obviously an equally important for exterior floor tiles that are constantly exposed to the elements.

All commercial non slip floor tiles come with a resistance rating to help indicate the non-slip level on offer.

The various levels of resistance can be categorized into three groups:

  • Group A (Resistance R10) – These tiles are mainly used where the risk of water spillage is low and the need for high resistance is constantly at a minimum. Living areas such as bedrooms, lounges and hallways can dispense with this need for extra resistance and Group A tiles are more than suitable in these settings.
  • Group B (Resistance R10 – R11) – Areas which experience a certain amount of water on the floor pose a small, but potentially dangerous risk in terms of slips and injuries and this risk needs countering with suitable flooring. Toilets and dressing rooms can soon find a build-up of water creating potential slips, so group B tiles add a little bit more resistance to keep everyone upright.
  • Group C (Resistance R11 – R13) – Certain working areas will always be wet and this includes swimming pools, kitchens, operating theaters and saunas; naturally, these settings require highly resistant flooring to reduce the risk of accidents and the accompanying injuries. This is where group C tiles step in; thanks to their high resistance they will ensure that any risk of slips is severely minimized.

Where to Start?

With such a wide array of commercial tiles on offer, finding the right ones for your project can seem a daunting task.

SRK specialises in sourcing the best supplies from across the globe, and will happily work with you to find the most appropriate materials at the most competitive prices.

If you have any further questions, or would like to know how SRK UK can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

06326-ESPIRIT

Designing Successful Swimming Pool Surrounds

In luxury homes, hotels and spas around the world, swimming pools have become a stand out feature that is used to differentiate from the competition.

Traditional, plain white pool areas are becoming less and less common as more focus is given to the design of swimming pool surrounds.

Commercial property developers are keen to introduce these high end design elements to other projects.

In this article we’ll look at:

  • Why people are focusing on getting away from the norm
  • How commercial tiling plays an important role in the design of the swimming pool surround
  • The importance of keeping safety front and centre

Swimming pool trends

Swimming pools have become more popular than ever in recent years. Owners of luxury homes in cities like London have started excavating their basements to create unique coves of tranquility amongst the urban jungle.

Similarly, hotel builders are keen to create idyllic pool areas that offer their customers a wonderful place to relax and unwind, and provide an incentive to stay there over alternative options.

Swimming pools around the world have now been built in an incredible array of designs including musical instruments, trees and even animals.

Differentiate to Achieve Excellence

If you’re swimming pool builder, then I am sure you already know that the pool is a statement and what better way to make a statement than with a uniquely shaped pool.

Depending on what the homeowner or hotel wants to use the pool for, a custom shape of pool could be the perfect thing to create the statement they are after. This can work particularly well for hotels that are looking to make a great first impression and leave a lasting one.

As we saw above, the shape of a pool can be virtually anything a person wants it to be, but swimming pool tiles can enhance the look even further and add a massive amount of style to the pool.

The use of mosaic pool tiles is a popular way of enhancing the design of the swimming pool and making it go even further. You can also use designer tiles to surround the pool and create a space that is far more appealing than traditional porcelain swimming pool tiles.

Tiles are a key part in swimming pool design

Tiling should be a key focus when trying to achieve the perfect pool design.

For example, using mosaic pool tiles to create a design on the floor or walls of a swimming pool allows even a standard rectangle pool to become a unique piece of art. To maximise the use of the space, you should also consider how the swimming pool surround complements other exterior floor tiles in the area.

Which tiles are popular?

Some of the most popular swimming pool tiles include:

The most popular material used for swimming pool tiles is still porcelain. The reason for this is because porcelain tiles offer excellent anti-slip properties. You can also find porcelain tiles in just about any style you can imagine so you can achieve a huge amount of style without needing to compromise safety at all.

Of course, if you are building an outdoor pool, the surround tiles don’t just have to look great and offer the best anti-slip properties possible, they also have to stand up to the weather and wear and tear from being outside.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of designs to choose from for the surround of the outside pool, including:

  • Natural stone paving slabs
  • Slip-resistant ceramic tiles
  • Granular rubber sundeck (rubber granules mixed with epoxy cement available in a variety of colours)

Installing coping tiles which slope away from their outdoor pool, is an excellent way to reduce the amount of dirt that will get into the pool. Typically coping stones are made out of concrete, though you could also use natural stone coping tiles to add even more style to the pool.

Put safety first

Despite the increased focus on elaborate designs, safety still has to be the main concern when it comes to designing and building swimming pools.

By investing slightly more to make sure you have the best materials, including the right swimming pool tiles, adhesive and grout, you can ensure the safety of users without compromising on the aesthetic.

Swimming pool surround tiles need to be the highest anti-slip grading possible as they are likely to be wet most of the time. They will also be walked on with bare feet most of the time too. Both of these increase the risk of slipping a lot.

The highest anti-slip grade commercial tiles will provide a superb amount of grip even when wet.

The minimum requirements for materials used in and around swimming pools are:

  • A pendulum rating of P4
  • A ramp rating of R11

Unless the ramp is steeper than 1 in 14, in which case the tiles need to have:

  • A pendulum rating of P5
  • A ramp rating of R12

These anti-slip tiles ratings are the worldwide standard and must be followed by all swimming pool builders whether they are building a pool for domestic or commercial use.

It isn’t just tiles that must be of the highest quality either, you must ensure that you use the very best adhesive and grout If you fail to do this, the pool isn’t going to last as long as it could. Good quality adhesive and grout can make all the difference, especially for a hotel pool that will see a lot of use before it is retired.

The only drawback to higher grade tiles is that they cost a little more than the lesser grade tiles.

This cost may you slightly over budget, but it is crucial that you consider what could happen if you don’t use the best anti-slip pool tiles, high-quality adhesive and grout. The possibility of clientele, or even family and friends who use the pool hurting themselves will be far higher.

Also, without great quality swimming pool materials, the pool may not hold up to wear and tear, meaning you have to spend more in the future maintaining and repairing it.

planate-inside-1000

Concrete Floor Tiles – A Stylish and Hard Wearing Option

Industrial style designs have become increasingly popular in recent years and use of concrete has risen in parallel with this.

In this article we’ll look specifically at concrete floor tiles, providing an overview of:

  • Some of the areas that concrete tiles are used
  • Advantages of concrete floor tiles
  • Tiles vs. poured concrete
  • Concrete effect floor tiles

What Are Concrete Tiles Typically Used For?

Typically concrete tiles are used for roofing and have been ever since their introduction in the 1840s by a German cement manufacturer. Adolph Kroher developed a machine that could press the tiles and this proved to be a popular technique in Bavaria. Many of the roofs from this era still exist today, a testimony to how well these concrete tiles perform on roofs.

While concrete tiles don’t have the same stability of solid concrete, they can still hold up against plenty of force. Research into these tiles states that they can take class 3 hail and wind speeds in excess of 125 miles per hour. Concrete tiles also aren’t flammable, unlike some other commercial tiles.

Concrete roofing tiles are still commonly used, but they are increasingly being used throughout the home. There aren’t many other materials that can provide you with such a modern, clean look, be extremely hard wearing and that can be used in a variety of applications.

A few ways to use concrete tiles to enhance the look of just about any commercial space include:

  • Using Concrete floor tiles in offices to create the beautiful and modern look
  • Polished concrete floor tiles in a clothing shop makes the space look great and heavy foot traffic won’t wear the tiles out too fast
  • Use them as factory floors for their hard wearing properties
  • Use them in heavy traffic areas of the home like the kitchen
  • Adding the finished look to columns and pillars
  • Hotels and restaurants use them for a modern look that’s easy to clean
  • Use in outdoor spaces for a clean and safe look thanks to the concretes anti-slip properties
  • As exterior floor tiles to create an indoor outdoor flow

These are just a few ways of using concrete tiles to get an excellent look for a commercial property that is very hard wearing and requires very little maintenance to keep it looking excellent for years to come.

Advantages of Concrete Floor Tiles

From hotels and restaurants to massive housing projects, concrete floor tiles can be used in so many different applications to provide an elegant and warm feel, and that is just one of the many advantages.

Some of the other advantages of concrete floor tiles include:

  • Easy maintenance – The only maintenance required for concrete flooring tiles is a weekly mop with some soapy water. This means that, long-term, your customers can spend less time cleaning their floors. It also means that once you have fitted the floor, there isn’t much work for you to do to keep them looking excellent.
  • Economical – If your customer wants an excellent look but doesn’t quite have the funds to afford a marble tile floor or polished concrete flooring, you can use concrete floor tiles instead. Concrete floor tiles and even concrete effect floor tiles are very cheap and yet provide a clean look throughout any area of a hotel, restaurant or home. Of course, more elaborate finishings of concrete tiles like staining them do cost a bit more, but there are plenty of ways of making concrete tiles look beautiful for even the tightest budget.
  • Longevity – As we mentioned earlier, there are still Roman ruins standing made from concrete. It is very likely that a concrete floor that you install will last for well over a hundred years, even in the most heavy traffic areas.
  • Versatile – Concrete tiles can be used anywhere, outside with silicone sealers, inside with a polished look for a modern yet traditional feel to any space and they are excellent for transitioning between indoor and outdoor spaces when your customers want these spaces to flow together perfectly, from a pub garden to the inside, for example.
  • Stylish – The possibilities when it comes to concrete are only really limited by your customer’s imagination. They can be used for just about any look that your customer is after, from rustic to clean and everything in between.

Concrete Tiles vs. Poured Concrete Flooring

While poured concrete floors have also grown in popularity, it is not always practical to install them.

Concrete tiles can cost almost a fifth less than a concrete floor, making them perfect for getting the look required even on the tightest budget.

Other advantages of tiles over poured concrete include:

  • Weight – All concrete floors require a thick layer of concrete underneath them with polished concrete flooring being no exception. Typically, this layer for a polished concrete floor is 100mm. No matter how small the space is, this 100mm layer adds up to a rather hefty weight. For example, if the floor is 100 m2, this adds up to about 24 tonnes. Clearly there are a lot of places in the home and business where having this sort of weight on the floor isn’t practical. On the other hand, concrete floor tiles do not add much weight at all. It is just the weight of the tiles and the glue holding them in place. Plus, you can use concrete effect tiles on the floor and on the walls to create the perfect space without the weight.
  • Build time – To get a polished concrete floor looking amazing, takes a lot of time. If your customer is looking to get their business open quickly or get their houses on the market as quickly as they can, poured concrete may not fit into their schedule. This can be solved by using concrete tiles. As long as the surface is in good condition already, it shouldn’t take much more than a few days to get the tiles in place.
  • Maintenance – Without proper sealing, a polished concrete floor is not going to stay looking good for long. This maintenance doesn’t take too long and only has to be done every so often, but many customers do not factor this is in when considering installing a concrete floor. Most people want to get a floor installed and then never have to worry about it again. If your customer is the same, recommend concrete tiles, they can get the look they want without any need of sealing the tiles in the future.
  • Versatile – Concrete tiles are more versatile than concrete flooring. You can use them to create tile patterns that suit a room of any size. They can also be pre-stained, saving you and your client time and money if they want a stained concrete floor look in their space.

Concrete Effect Floor Tiles

With the rise in popularity of concrete flooring, it seems that everyone wants to get this look in their home or business. However, as we mentioned earlier, the price, maintenance, weight and time it takes to lay a floor such as this can be off putting.

Concrete effect floor tiles mimic the look of a concrete floor very well, but they are typically made from porcelain or ceramic. This provides your customers with a lot of benefits including:

  • Price – Concrete effect tiles are considerably more affordable than polished concrete flooring, allowing your customers to get the perfect look in every part of their business or home and they don’t have to compromise on the aesthetic at all.
  • Weight – Concrete effect floor tiles weigh pretty much the same as any other porcelain or ceramic tile so there is no danger of them being too heavy for the space which is a common issue with concrete flooring. For example, if a customer wants a concrete floor on the second floor of their property. However, if they have concrete effect tiles installed, this problem is adverted, and they can achieve the look they want.
  • Finishing – Porcelain and ceramic tiles come with the added benefit of new printing technology. This allows beautiful effects to be created. Wood, stone, metal and concrete effects can all be applied to the humble porcelain or ceramic tile.
  • Aesthetics – These effects can then give a space the perfect look without any drawbacks of wood swelling and metal rusting due to moisture, for example. Another benefit to the tiles is that they are far less susceptible to staining than a concrete floor, so they are an excellent alternative if this is going to be an issue.
  • Upkeep – All of the looks mentioned above can now be installed in homes and businesses easily and cost-effectively. And once they are installed, each look requires much less maintenance than the real thing. This makes concrete effect floor tiles a viable option for anyone who wants a beautiful looking space that is easy to clean and maintain.

For more information on sourcing the best concrete floor tiles for your next project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

1472134018_rustic-black-slate-tiles

Black Slate Tiles – A Sleek and Sturdy Option

Black slate tiles are a premium material with a varied portfolio of applications. They can be used to give a high level finish across a range of building applications such as:

  • Roofing
  • Fireplace Surrounds
  • Bathroom Flooring
  • Kitchen Floor Tiles

If you’re considering using them in your next building project, then this short guide to black slate tiles will be a great place to start to give you an idea of the various uses, many benefits and, also, their downsides. We’ll also take a look at a few alternative ideas that can provide a finish almost to the high standards of slate itself.

black slate tiles

In addition to providing a high quality finish, Black Slate Tiles are also an exceptionally durable material, meaning they are an excellent product to use in a commercial setting – not only do they look good, they will also stand up well to the type of heavy wear and tear often found in commercial usage.

Where does the best black slate come from?

The UK is extremely fortunate to have some of the best quality slate available anywhere in the world right here in our own quarries. Welsh Slate, as well as Burlington (from the Lake District) are just a couple of the slate types available on the market today that are bywords for quality and long lasting durability.

This can mean however that British Slate can command high prices on the marketplace – handily, these days there are also a number of commercial tile manufactures based all around the world, all bringing different products to the marketplace so there will almost certainly be a product available to meet most budgets and designs.

Black slate tiles then can provide both an aesthetically pleasing and long lasting – and hence value for money – building material. There is no point denying however that they are a premium product, even at the lower end of the quality and price scales.

Black Slate Tiles have a Number of Benefits

There are a number of benefits to using black slate tiles, such as:

  • Durability – Amongst the various natural stone building materials out there, slate really is one of the toughest. Natural Stone Floor Tiles for example will provide a long lasting surface that is resistant to general wear and tear. In particular, black slate tiles are very resistant to both chipping and scratching. This makes them an excellent material for use as commercial kitchen tiles as they can readily face the wear and tear of everyday use in a busy kitchen. They can also be used as exterior floor tiles if treated.
  • Rustic Aesthetic Appeal – Slate tiles, particularly black slate tiles, provide a very attractive, but also somewhat rustic appearance, depending on how and where they are installed. A rustic slate floor tile design therefore could be an excellent compliment to a country living styled design project – perhaps in a rustic pub or rural inspired restaurant setting.
  • Versatility – At the same time, black slate tiles are not simply for rustic themed design choices. They can be also be used to give a modern feel to a room – for example, if employed as bathroom tiles, they are going to give a bathroom a real air of luxury and, if paired with the right fixtures and fittings, a real air of modernity. In particular, Split Face Slate Tiles are an increasingly popular way to add a highly modern, eye catching feature to many commercial bathroom settings. This type of black tile installation, with it’s staggered, undulating form is quickly becoming a recognised standard of high quality, trendy bathroom design.
  • Value – As we mentioned above, tile is a premium product, and the initial outlay can seem higher compared to other materials. When considering the cost of commercial tiles however you should always remember that owing to black slate tiles inherent durability, this is a long term investment you are making here. Slate will also add value to your property should you ever sell, and any good estate agent will be able to use installed slate as an excellent selling point in any commercial property.

But also some Downsides…

Whilst black slate tiles are a great building material, just as with any material or product it has both pros and cons. It wouldn’t be fair to simply deny them or gloss over them, so here are the main downsides of commercial grade tiles.

  • Cost – As we discussed above, black slate tiles such as Welsh slate floor tiles are a premium product and therefore come with a premium price tag. That being said, you don’t have to necessarily spend a huge amount to get still enjoy the benefits of slate – it’s more a question of tailoring your choice to match your requirements. For example, choosing a lower grade slate for kitchen flooring installation where your customers won’t see the kitchen itself. Perhaps a slate with a less attractive finish but still maintaining the natural strength and durability of slate could be a good choice here.
  • Grouting – Whilst slate is a undoubtedly a tough material, the grouting used to hold it in place is not. This is, unfortunately, by design as grout must withstand the expanding and contracting of slate tiles that naturally occurs during temperature changes. The grout can also provide fertile grounds for mould and mildew to flourish. For example, if you’re intending to install slate kitchen wall tiles your staff will need to keep up a dedicated cleaning schedule to keep the grout sparkling.
  • Maintenance – Slate also requires a certain level of maintenance to keep it looking it’s best. Depending on where you plan to use it, you may require surface sealing chemicals, and also surface barrier sealers to provide a protective layer over the tile surface. If you’re intending to slate tiles for fireplaces for example, bear in mind they will need a good clean every now and then so the sealants can be applied – this can make tile seem like a higher maintenance material.

Black Slate Effect Tiles

If you have read the downsides section and are perhaps having second thoughts about buying black slate tiles for your building project, then happily there are still some excellent alternatives out there for you to consider.

Slate effect tiles are becoming increasingly popular as, for example, commercial floor tiles as they can often provide a realistic looking finish at a lower cost. They also have none of the associated maintenance required of natural slate tiles. They certainly do not require any sealing products – just a good mop every now and then!

Generally they will be made of porcelain which has had the tile design and colour printed onto its surface. This printing gives a level of versatility that can be important if you are looking for a specific designer tile. After all, natural stone floor tiles are just that – natural. The finish you get is crafted by nature so you may not always get the kind of design you are looking for. They can even recreate the uneven, somewhat rough feel of natural slate meaning that some printed effect tiles can be employed successfully as anti slip tiles.

Printed tiles on the other hand, as a manmade material, can be made with any kind of design finish you require. This printing process however is also something of an Achilles heel for black slate effect tiles.

Whilst it does initially present a surface finish very close to natural black slate, these slate effect tiles do not have the durability of the real thing, and you will notice a level of wear after a certain amount of time. This means that they could be a good option for installation in an area with low wear and tear – especially from customer footfall. You could therefore consider slate effect tiles for a fireplace.

Slate effect tiles can an extremely cost effective material therefore, so long as you only consider the short term costs. Once the durability and longevity of natural black slate tiles are taken into effect however, they do lose their main selling point.

That being said, if you are looking to install in a area with lower usage, slate effect can be an excellent option with an aesthetic appeal very much as good as the real thing.

Cost of Black Slate Tiles

Cost of black slate

So if you are convinced of the various benefits of black slate tile, the next logical question in my mind may well be what is the price?

Remember that black slate tile is a premium product, therefore, it is worth considering where you plan on installing it before you look to get quotes.

This is because, as we’ve discussed above, there are really three different types of black stone slate. Each type comes at a different price point, has different pros and cons and so each one is suitable for a different kind of installation, design scheme and budget.

  • Premium Black Slate Tile – These tiles come from recognisable, usually British sources. They offer the ideal combination of aesthetic appeal and long-term durability. However they are not cheap. Therefore, they are best for areas where they are going to be seen the most – black slate wall tiles are a particularly popular choice, as they really add an air of modern, design appeal to a room that they can justify their high price tags.
  • Black Slate Tile – By this, we just mean black slate of the non-premium variety. It’s still all-natural, it’s highly durable, it just may not have the very premium finish and exceptional durability of the more premium slate. So this product is perfect for installations where you want to take advantage of the natural advantages of slate tiles in terms of their durability and strength – but are perhaps not so fussy with the aesthetic finish of the tiles themselves.
  • Black Slate Effect – This is by far the cheapest option and very much a viable choice for the right kind of design use. It does however lack the durability of natural black slate tiles and some would say, their innate charm as a natural product rather than a man made, mass produced one.

Final Thoughts on Black Slate Tiles

Black slate tiles are an aesthetically pleasing; long lasting material that adds a sense of style to any design scheme. They also bring with them a feeling of the premium – after all, black slate is not an everyday material. By choosing to incorporate it into your designs, you are definitely making a statement.

At the same time, as a premium product, it is important that you choose the right type to match the uses you expect the slate tiles to be put to. This will help maximise your investment, and get the most appealing finish to your building and decorating.

Make sure you choose a supplier with the ability provide the right kind of advice on the wide variety of slate that is available. An investment today in black slate tiles is an investment that will continue to pay off for years to come.

If you’d like to speak to someone from SRK about finding the right black slate tiles for your project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Case Studies 02

Exterior Floor Tiles – Balancing Form and Function

Outdoor tiles are far more exposed to the elements than interior tiles, and therefore require some special consideration in terms of the material and properties when selecting them for your project. While you want to make them visually appealing, you also need to ensure their longevity, and the safety of those walking over them on a daily basis.

In this article we’ll provide an overview of what to look for when choosing exterior floor tiles for your next commercial project including:

  • Popular materials
  • Design features
  • Non slip properties
  • Tiling outside steps

Popular Exterior Floor Tiles

Some of the most popular commercial tiles for outside spaces include:

  • Porcelain – Porcelain is an extremely versatile and hard wearing material and can be made in a huge variety of shapes, sizes colours and styles. Their durability makes porcelain tiles well suited for outdoor use, and they also have a higher resistance to mildew than some other materials, meaning that they stay cleaner for longer. Many consider porcelain to be the best tile for outdoors.
  • Ceramic – Though ceramic tiles absorb more water than some other types, and are typically not well suited to cold temperatures, they can be treated and sealed for outdoor use. “Premium” ceramic tiles are also available at an increased thickness of 20mm, which are ideal for exterior walkways.
  • Slate – The typically rough cut of slate makes it well suited for use outside as it has some natural anti slip properties. However, slate needs to be treated to withstand cold temperatures and prevent against scratches, meaning it is not well suited to heavy footfall. Black slate tiles can be used to create a sleek and stylish look.

Other materials that work well outside include natural stone floor tiles like marble and granite though these would typically come at a higher cost. Natural stone has the added benefit of looking more authentic and fitting more seamlessly into an outdoor environment.

Outdoor Mosaic Floor Tiles

Using mosaic tiles outside can create a really impressive, visually appealing effect that is permanently etched into the fabric of the space. Mosaic tiles are an excellent way in inject colour into your design, even if just as a feature element to break up a large tiled area.

Glass typically works well for outdoor mosaic floor tiles, as the non-porous nature prevents the design from cracking under the changing temperatures.

Bringing the outside in…

Matching indoor and outdoor tiles is an excellent way to help bring the outside in, and completely transform the look and feel of the space. This is becoming an increasingly popular option, particularly where the design permits the removal of walls or doors in the warmer months and it can work really well in retail units and restaurants.

People are also opting for this look in their home, opening up dining rooms onto garden patios through the use of bi-fold doors.

Opting to use “inside outside floor tiles” helps to carry the external space into the room, making it feel spacious and airy.

Concrete floor tiles are a good option for this, and they can give the appearance on a single continuous polished concrete floor, which helps to tie the two spaces together.

Non Slip Tiles For Outdoors

As these tiles will be outside and exposed to the elements, it is particularly important that you ensure they have the proper anti slip rating, especially in areas where you expect them to receive a lot of footfall.

swimming pool surrounds

Commercial floor tiles are categorised based on their slip resistance and are given a corresponding “R” value. These are them grouped to help identify where particular tiles should be used. For example:

  • Group A – R10 rating, used for try environments where the floor is never, or very rarely wet
  • Group B – R10 or R11 rated, used where the floor is sometimes wet
  • Group C – R11, 12 or 13 rated, used where the floor is always wet, or sometimes wet but with high football and risk of slippage

Anti slip tiles are available with naturally occurring properties that help to prevent slipping, such as a rough, textured finish, or else can be treated with a coating to make them non slip. Tile positioning and grouting can also have an impact on the amount of grip they provide under foot and this should be considered when the tiles are laid.

Special attention should be paid to the areas with the high potential risk such as swimming pool surrounds and outside steps.

For more information, read our full article on anti slip tiles here.

Exterior Tiles for Steps

Finding the right anti slip tiles for external steps is particularly important as the risk of falling and injury increases. You’ll want to source tiles that are still aesthetically pleasing, but with a suitably high anti slip rating.

Tiling outdoor steps can be problematic, and you should be aware of the possibility of water getting under the tiles and freezing in colder months, leading to the tiles cracking. For this reason you should look into getting frost resistant tiles, and consider using a sealant to further reduce the risk of water soaking in.

In high footfall areas you may have to reseal tiles over time as the sealant wears down.

Porcelain is a popular choice of tiling for outdoor steps, due to the fact that it has a very low absorption rate, meaning it is less likely to crack in extreme temperatures. In contrast, unglazed ceramic is highly porous and would therefore not be suitable.

Exterior Floor Tiles: Final Thoughts

Exterior floor tiles have the potential to transform an otherwise overlooked outside space, creating an immediate visual impact as you approach the building. They can also form an important part of a relaxing outdoor atmosphere, blending in with the surrounding environment.

At SRK, our sourcing experts travel the length and breadth of the globe looking for the latest developments in commercial tiling materials and designs.

Working with a Global Sourcing Specialist like SRK UK, will ensure that you get the highest quality tiles, from the best manufacturers at a truly competitive price.

If you’d like more information on how SRK can help with your next project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Glass Tiles

Commercial Kitchen Floor Tile Options

When it comes to building or renovating a commercial kitchen space, there are plenty of flooring options available and getting it right isn’t always easy.

This article will explore the some of these options, focusing on commercial tiles, and look at how professional kitchens, hotels and restaurants benefit from choosing the right tiles for the right areas of their business.

Hopefully, the information in this article will help you choose the perfect commercial kitchen floor tile for your next project.

Best Commercial Kitchen Flooring

Typically the decision as to which flooring to go for will be a choice between a commercial vinyl and tiles.

Vinyl flooring has a few benefits including; low cost, easier and quick to install, availability of patterns and styles. However, tiles still remain the most popular choice for commercial kitchen flooring.

The reason for tiles being more popular are:

  • They are far more durable so can stand up to even the heaviest foot traffic
  • They provide a more professional look
  • The smoothness of the tiles allows for wipe clean cleaning and easy transportation of trolleys and other kitchen equipment
  • Easier to repair and replace sections if a tile becomes damaged
  • Rather than buying a flooring that simply mimics the look of another, you can buy the real thing

Commercial vinyl flooring vs. commercial kitchen tiles is a debate that will go on for a long time. It all really comes down to whether you want an authentic look and all the other benefits tiles provide.

Commercial Kitchen Floor Tile Options

There is plenty of choice when it comes to finding the perfect tile. This will vary depending on how much emphasis you want to place on things like aesthetic vs. health and safety concerns.

Some of the options include:

  • Ceramic – Commercial ceramic tiles are available in a wide variety of styles and colours which can give a kitchen the perfect look for your client. Whether you are looking to create something traditional or modern, there is a colour or style that will suit the design brilliantly. Commercial ceramic tiles are also available in large format so that there is less grouting space for germs. Ceramic kitchen tiles are certainly one of the most popular choices for commercial kitchen flooring thanks to their versatile, non-slip and durable attributes.
  • Quarry – Quarry tiles for kitchen floors are a great way to achieve a traditional look easily. With colour choices including; terracotta red, traditional red, black, earth and loads more, these look great in just about any kitchen. One of the nicest things about quarry tiles is that they give the appearance of a home kitchen, so if the restaurant or hotel kitchen is fairly open to the public, this look can give the diners the feeling that they are about to enjoy a home-cooked meal. This look can work great for bistros and gastropubs.
  • Slate – Slate kitchen floor tiles are available in a host of different sizes that can provide a wonderfully unique look to any commercial kitchen. They can work great if the restaurant is after a slightly rustic look, but they also work excellently with a modern design too. Natural slate can be black, grey-green or multicoloured so there is no limit to the looks you can achieve with slate kitchen floor tiles. Slate does tend to be slightly more expensive than other tiles, but could be just what a commercial kitchen needs to achieve the perfect look.
  • Jura limestone – Jura kitchen floor tiles are extremely hard wearing limestone tiles. Jura is short for Jurassic as the tiles often feature natural fossils formed millions of years ago. These are not the cheapest tiles on this list, but can provide a beautiful look for an open commercial kitchen and show guests at a restaurant or hotel that style really matters.

Restaurant kitchen flooring requirements

As I’m sure you already know, not all kitchen tiles are created equal. So, what are the key things to look for when choosing tiles for a commercial kitchen?

  • Easy to clean – Lighter colours of kitchen tiles make them much easier to clean as the kitchen staff will be able to spot any food that has been spilled. Patterned tiles can make the process of cleaning harder as the different colours can make it harder to see different kinds of food. So, plain light coloured tiles are a great way to help keep a commercial kitchen clean and up to standards.
  • Hygienic – Hygiene is obviously important when it comes to commercial kitchens, and larger tiles can help with hygiene. Bigger tiles need less grout, and there is less space between the tiles. The space between the tiles is where bacteria is typically found so reducing this space means reducing the chance of bacteria making a home in the kitchen. This might be especially handy when trying to meet rigorous food hygiene standards.
  • Durable – Commercial kitchen tiles need to be long lasting and hard wearing. Throughout the lifetime of a kitchen, it is going to see a massive amount of foot traffic from servers, chefs, delivery men, workman and loads of other people. Of course, the longer the tiles last without cracking, the better. Once a crack forms in a tile, this can be a lovely place for bacteria to settle down.
  • Non-Slip – For a restaurant or commercial kitchen, non-slip flooring tiles are crucial. With the amount of foot traffic that goes through a commercial kitchen and the potential for slips increasing with every pot of food on the stove, no restaurant or hotel kitchen should be without non-slip tiles. This may also be something that you will need to recommend that your clients think about as they will often have designs in their mind, but safety concerns like non-slip tiles may not have been something they have considered. Something to point out to your clients will be that kitchen workers will be able to work safely, and they will reduce the risks of slips and falls.

Speaking of design, this is something that is important for any aspect of a hotel or restaurant, but less crucial for the kitchen. Of course, it’s pleasant for the kitchen staff to have a nice place to work, but the customers will rarely see into the kitchen.

If the plan calls for a relatively closed off design, you could save some money by using less expensive tiles.

Final Thoughts:

Commercial kitchen tiles are still as popular as they ever have been, and for good reason. They provide all of the health and safety that kitchen staff need to work efficiently and they can look absolutely stunning at the same time.

Once the health and safety is covered, you can go be more expressive with the design or of course, you can also keep the design simple and just focus on function.

So, commercial kitchen tiles give you the best of both worlds, you can design a floor that works beautifully with the style of the restaurant or go simple and make a safe and easy to clean kitchen.