5 Little-Known yet Extraordinary Facts about Tiles

Taking tiles at face value is a pretty easy thing to. Whilst many acknowledge the easy cleaning, water-resistant properties, there’s a whole lot more to them. There are, in fact, a number of fun facts have helped people appreciate just how great this flooring material really is.

From influencing revolutionaries to creating a pretty big buzz, there's a whole lot about tiles that you probably didn’t know.


  1.        Tessellation of Tiles Inspired a Dutch Genius

One of the greatest minds in history was so inspired by tiles that he made a career on the basis of their formation. Maurits Cornelis Escher was fascinated by the tessellation on show and even went as far to go on record as saying:

“It remains an extremely absorbing activity, a real mania to which I have become addicted, and from which I sometimes find it hard to tear myself away”

The Alhambra zellige in particular engraved itself into almost everything that the Dutch artist would get into. He would regularly sit and sketch the patterns and his artwork changed dramatically after discovering them.

Escher’s previous works had revolved around realistic depictions of everyday nature. Post 1937, a stronger significance on geometry and imaginative patterning was apparent.


  1.        Portugal Loves Tiles

Take a trip to Portugal and you’re bound to see a whole host of tiles around the country. Especially in the city of Porto, tiles are the major wall and flooring material on show in a number of places.

Grand churches, magnificently decorated train stations, beautifully adorned schools and wonderful homes are kitted out with tiles almost as standard.

Far from being content with standard, plain tiles. The sheer grandeur that Porto’s buildings, especially the São Bento train station, showcases has led many people to label them as ‘must see monuments’.


  1.        You Can Recreate The Sydney Opera House

Look closely at the iconic Sydney Opera House and you’ll notice that it is made of tiles. You can own a piece of one of the most majestic and instantly recognisable structures of a generation; in a very loose way, at least.

The same tiles that are present on the building are actually available to buy from almost any retailer. You probably won’t build an Expressionist piece of art but you’ll have an interesting story to tell anybody who visits your home.


  1.        Ceramic Tiles Are Incredibly Strong

One of the most important factors in flooring materials is going to be how resistant they are weight and any damage that might occur. You may think that ceramic tiles are strong but their compressive strength is probably more than you even thought.

They are easily capable of withstanding the pressure of between 22 and 44 tons (yes, tons) per square inch. That’s as many as six fully grown African bush elephants at 6000kg each!


  1.        There Are Dedicated Events for the Latest and Greatest

Thousands of people each year flock to tile expos, events and shows to cast their eyes over and purchase the latest tiles. Attendees are mostly retailers and suppliers looking to bring fresh perspectives and products back to their store but events aren’t exclusively for vendors.

Numbers are rapidly increasing with single expos hitting well into the tens of thousands. The 2017 edition of Cevisama, International Fair for Ceramic Tiles and Bathroom Equipment was held in Valencia, Spain and welcomed 80000 visitors over a five day period.

Discovering the trend for patterned floor tiles

Move over plain white and beige floor tiles! Today’s floor tile designs feature exciting and bold patterns and are being used in fresh new ways to create stunning interior design schemes. It is no secret that patchwork effect tiles have blown up over the past few years. The trend for them is sure to stay, and we have a selection that you are sure to love. Each different and unique to the other, we are confident if it is patchwork effect you seek we have something just for you!

Our Kedleston Range
With elaborate and eye-catching designs, these fantastic Kedleston Black Tiles are just the ticket! The geometric patterns will certainly make a big impression. Great for hallways, kitchens & Conservatories use these tiles for the majority of your job.

Kedleston Black Floor Tile

A beautifully decorated porcelain tile, Provenza has been designed to replicate vintage or Moresque encaustic pattern with a matt finish.This 44.4 x 44.2 cm tile has has the look of 16 individual 10x10 tiles. Our only decorative tile which is anti-slip. Can be used as floor tile, as a feature tile in a bathroom, or even n a kitchen splashback.

provenza floor tile

Looking for a victorian styled floor? With elaborate and eye-catching designs, these fantastic Chastworth Tiles are just the ticket! The floral-esque geometric patterns will certainly make a big impression. With soft browns, reds and blues, these tiles aren't overwhelming - they're just the right balance of striking and subtle. Great for hallways, kitchens & Conservatories

chatsworth floor tile

Available in two different colours Blue and Grey Calke Blue is a Spanish porcelain wall and floor tile that is designed to replicate a vintage or Moresque encaustic pattern with a matt finish. It can create a fantastic design feature for hallways, entrances, kitchens and bathrooms. The tile has scored lines that require to be grouted. There are 10 different tiles, with 4 different designs per tile, so all tiles will vary.

calke floor tiles

Whether you aspire to Victorian simplicity, shabby chic or vintage glamour this ornate ceramic floor tile combines Peace of mind in wareability, versatility, beauty and easy maintenance. With elaborate and eye-catching designs, these fantastic Oxford Tiles are just the ticket! The geometric patterns will certainly make a big impression.

oxford floor tile

As you can see, tiles are no longer the flooring choice of the past. There are so many wonderful designs available today and plenty of new ways to incorporate them into a home, whilst keeping the look fresh, modern and exciting.


Exposed Brick looking tiles, bang on trend.

The exposed brick look has been a long sought-after interior design trend, and right now it seems to be bigger than ever.

Brick has become the go-to wall fitting for perfecting any abode – everything from a rustic, country farmhouse feel home to a cool, penthouse style apartment.

Tile Town's collection of brick effect tiles recalls the look of the walls in open brickwork typical of many cities worldwide, with a hand-crafted feel that reflects the industrial development of iconic cities such as Berlin, New York and London.

Brick bedroom

Butterley Quarter Brick

Replicate this contemporary bedroom in your own home with Butterley Quarter Brick 6 x 24.6 cm.

Brick kitchen

Butterley Town Brick

Steal the look of this rustic kitchen with Butterley Town Brick 6 x 24.6 cm.

One of the best qualities of brick is that it’s so versatile. It can be used in virtually any room, with nearly any colour scheme – which means if you feel the need to update furniture pieces or accessories in the future, you won’t have to redecorate.

Brick living room

Butterley White Brick

This subtle white brick wall can be achieved with our Butterley White Brick 6 x 24.6 cm.

Butterley Brick collection has been designed with multiple graphic patterns and different reliefs so the variation between tiles results in a reflection of traditional handmade bricks.

Tile size is 6x24.6cm and is produced with significant size variation, to achieve an aesthetic result which is close to the natural brick look. Therefore, a grout between 4 and 10 mm is strictly recommended.





Job's a good 'un with Vario PRO underfloor heating!

Underfloor heating systems provide a total and effective, non-intrusive, clean and silent solution for room heating. Home owners also benefit from the healthier living environments that UFH creates and approximately 20% lower running costs that a tradition radiator system.

Underfloor heating has come a long way since the Romans first introduced it to the British Isles in their villas and public baths. Back then, it was a very labour intensive system of burning logs to heat air that was drawn through tunnels under the floor and out through flues in the roof. Thank goodness in today's world underfloor heating has come a long way technologically speaking since those days.

If you have not already discovered one of the best new innovations to come out in UFH then its time you did. Vario PRO is the original patented system that combines electric underfloor heating cables with an uncoupling, crack isolation and waterproofing membrane.

With Vario PRO you can prepare difficult substrates, prevent uncoupling or delamination and install a flexi-ble electric underfloor heating system all in one hit!

Applying a Vario PRO uncoupling membrane combined with electric underfloor heating gives the installer and end user a complete professional flooring solution.
The floor will be warm and comfortable, thanks to the electric underfloor heating, and, because of the un-coupling membrane, the installer knows there will be no uncoupling or cracking issues later down the line.

The advantages of products such as Vario PRO over central heating radiators are well-known: no annual maintenance check; more warmth and radiant heat from the floor up; no loss of room space and greater flexibility in room design arising from the absence of radiators; and less airborne dust, to name just a few.

vario pro installed on timber floorvario pro installed on concrete floor

Vario PRO is easy to install. Fix the uncoupling membrane to the floor using a flexible tile adhesive and then lay the electric underfloor heating cable into the grooves in the matting until you've covered the desired area. Tiles can then be laid directly over the uncoupling membrane and underfloor heating cable, and, as they say in these parts, “Job's a good 'un!”

Wood effect tiles: better than the real thing!

Are you seeking that cool and sophisticated look for your home flooring? Or maybe you're after a more rustic and rural feel?  Whatever the impact that you wish to achieve, wood effect tiles have so much going for them. Right now these tiles are very definitely on-trend in people's homes as they seek to create the stunning beauty of wood for their flooring without the inherent disadvantages of natural wood.

Thanks to modern production techniques, you can now turn your dream of a sleek and lustrous wood floor into a sensationally convincing reality. The very latest developments in inkjet technology mean that wood effect tiles take on the truly identical appearance of the real thing, including complex and exquisite grain patterns, gorgeous shades and tints, and a superb range of muted or polished finishes.

You'd expect quality like that to come at a huge price - but no: our wood effect tiles are genuinely affordable and well within the range of most people's pockets - unlike the real thing which comes at an eye-watering cost. And let's not forget the fact that our tiles are so much easier to maintain. There's no need to get down on your hands and knees to preserve the appearance with varnish or other wood protection substances every few years. And there's no need to panic when you accidentally (and inevitably) spill liquid over these tiles. Just mop and forget!

Then there's the environmental issue. In today's world it really should no longer be necessary to destroy acres of trees for the sake of our floors.  That's why it makes good environmental sense to go for wood effect tiles.

We've got a great selection of exciting and on trend styles to choose from. Echoing the very latest trend of upcycling and repurposing of wood, we think you'll love our Carsington wood effect porcelain tiles. They create a visually stunning appearance of driftwood that has dried and bleached in the sun: a perfect option to create that practical, utilitarian mood for your kitchen or bathroom.carsington wood floor tile

Or perhaps you're seeking a more elegant look to go in your living room or hallway? In which case, we'd recommend the Darwin or Sherwood ranges for a sophisticated, subtle and classy feel to your home.

Whatever your choice, one thing's for certain. By introducing wood effect tiles into your home, you're getting all the pros and none of the cons associated with timber flooring.

Local roundabout displays Tile Town's pride in Derby

Chances are that readers of this blog are local Derby people who are very familiar with the Sir Frank Whittle Way section of the A61 close to the centre of Derby town.

If you've driven along this particularly busy road recently, you'll no doubt have seen that we've sponsored a sign advertising Tile Town on one of the roundabouts! We're delighted with the sign, as it's created great interest among local users of this stretch of road. In case you've not yet spotted it, the sign announces “Tile Town” in our corporate blue and yellow colours with the message that you can find us on Stores Road in Derby

.TileTown Roundabout

But, if you look a little closer at the sign, it also says “Proud of Derby” and this is something about which we feel very strongly. Let's not forget that it was only three months ago that Derby was named as one of three best cities in the UK in which to live.  Along with almost everyone who lives or works in Derby, we're fiercely proud of our city and have every good reason to feel so. We have a city that's steeped in history, great parkland and open space areas to enjoy, the very best in friendly folk, the highest workplace wages outside of the South-east and a thriving business community. What's not to be proud of?

It's our passion for Derby and its people that helped us decide to advertise the Tile Town brand on that roundabout. We wanted the chance to remind local people that we're literally just down the road  from the location of that advertisement and that we're here to help local people transform their homes with our superb range of tiles and tiling accessories. We're so proud to be serving a city as great as Derby with our tiling products and simply overjoyed at the positive feedback from our customers to our roundabout sign and our products. Derby has also been named the City of Innovation and we're delighted to have been able to contribute to its innovations with our advertising idea. To quote our City Council, “Derby has a lot to be proud of and it's time to shout out about it!”

It should come as no surprise that it's local Derby people who make up the huge majority of Tile Town's customers. That's why our reputation as the best tile retailer in the area is something that we guard preciously. So, next time you encounter our roundabout sign in your journey along the A61, give it the thumbs up: you'll be giving the thumbs up to Derby and its people as well.

Adding luxury to your bathroom with the Delta shower wet room systems

Why you should add luxury to your bathroom with Delta shower wet rooms systems & shower trays?

Wet rooms.... no doubt you'll have admired them on day-time TV programmes about buying houses and improving homes. For shower improvements and bathroom improvements they add a real `Wow' factor, with their modern and contemporary appearance, all gleaming tiles and sparkling accessories.

At one time, wet rooms used to be something that only the very wealthy could afford to install in their ultra-expensive homes. Whereas to the rest of us the term `wet room' meant little more than a bathroom where the bathwater had overflowed!  In actual fact, a wet room is simply a waterproof container where the entire room, including floors and walls, is lined with materials (mainly tiles) to prevent shower water from seeping into other areas of your home - plus a drain on the floor to take away the waste water of course.

Nowadays, wet rooms are not only desirable but genuinely affordable to the rest of us – and they a real boon for the elderly and for physically disabled people who have difficulty getting in and out of a bath. Home owners looking to move and upgrade don't just expect an en-suite facility in their new home these days but it simply must be a wet room as well because of the benefits they offer over the traditional shower room. That's why wet rooms in all corners of the UK are seeing a huge growth in popularity.

When it comes to installing a wet room it pays to get sound advice from us about your plans. It's a job that shouldn't challenge the average DIYer and it's been made a lot easier thanks to something called a `Deltatray'. Designed for use with walk in shower enclosures, this is a brilliant bit of kit that's versatile and easy to install. It's a lightweight and tile able shower base that avoids the need for the traditional "step-in" white acrylic tray. With a pre-made fall to the drain outlet, the Deltaboard is coated with a cementitious layer to receive the tiled surface of your choice so you can match it in with your preferred colour scheme. Delta wet room floor kits come complete with drain and a tanking liquid for waterproofing the wet room. We think they're a neat idea and well worth investing in if you're going ahead with a wet room and shower construction and installation.

So if you have a spare room or an en-suite room then we highly recommend you add a touch of luxury, style and practicality by getting a wet room installed.

Why are Natural Stone Effect Floor Tiles more popular than ever?

It seems that many tile shops are reporting a huge growth in demand for natural stone effect floor tiles. Trade professionals and DIY homeowners are buying this particular tiling product for their home interiors in numbers never seen before. What's going on?

In case you've never come across stone effect tiles before, they are a superb tiling solution for people who want to recreate the sheer beauty of stone tiling in their homes but simply can't afford the real thing. And believe me; the cost of the real thing is prohibitive to most people's pockets. Think of the gorgeous marble floors, walls and ceilings of the Taj Mahal and the awe-inspiring limestone structure of the Great Pyramid. OK you may not be trying to reproduce buildings like these in your home but,  for sheer visual beauty, stone in all its many hues, tones and textures  offers a fantastic choice for anyone wanting to carry out some serious home improvements to their kitchen, bathroom, living room, hallway, dining room or conservatory.

The main challenge is, of course, the cost. But that's where stone effect tiles are the perfect solution to an apparently insoluble problem. They bring all the advantages of natural stone and none of the disadvantages. Modern technology means that it's now possible to recreate perfectly the precise look, the gentle tones and the subtle hues of stone such as marble, limestone, slate, travertine, granite and sandstone at a fraction of the cost of the real thing and without the need for environmentally unfriendly quarrying and blasting of rare stone.

Makeney Blanco

At the same time, the material from which these tiles are made – porcelain or ceramic – means that you avoid the inherent problems that come with many natural stone products such as staining and cracking, and the need for frequent, costly, time-consuming maintenance. So natural stone effect tiles are a winner whichever way you look at it.

I think there's been a noticeable swing in the public's attitude to their homes. With house prices failing to rise significantly, there's a mood to stay put and improve their homes by bringing in real quality but at a genuinely affordable price. In part that's due of course to these long, long years of austerity. Maybe we are now learning that sometimes it is possible to get something that looks the part perfectly yet we don't have to pay through the nose for it if we shop around and think before we buy.

And so, to anyone living in the East Midlands area, I strongly recommend you drop by Tile Town's showrooms in Derby or South Normanton and see for yourself the superb choice of stone effect floor and wall tiles for your next home improvement project. You'll be joining a lot of customers who are already doing just that!

Choosing wall and floor tiles

Selecting the right wall & floor tile for your bathroom or kitchen can be a real challenge. The range of colours, designs, shapes and textures is simply vast. But here at Tile Town we pride ourselves that we offer personal advice and guidance to all customers visiting our showroom, so they can purchase with total confidence the tiles that will add real style and value to their homes.

Before you visit one of our showrooms, here are a few hints and tips to think about when deciding on the tile that is right for you.

The tile must complement, and not clash with, the existing flooring - unless of course you are changing the flooring too! So begin by looking at three aspects of your flooring: its colour, design/shape and texture. Look for wall tiles that complement these features. Clashes of colour design or texture can make the room look far too busy and can even strain the eyesight, especially if you choose brightly-coloured and different patterns and shapes for walls and floors. A simple working principle is this: if you have busily-patterned flooring, go for plainer wall tiles.

Montana Antracite

When choosing a colour for your wall tiles, there used to be a principle that small rooms should have lighter colours, while larger rooms can cope with darker colours. Generally speaking, darker colours do absorb light. So, used to excess, darker colours can have the effect of appearing to reduce the size of the room. However there are some exceptionally attractive darker-coloured tiles available these days and, by mixing these darker shades with light colours, (The image above shows this well, Montana Antracita with Siena Perla Wall Tile) you can overcome this issue while at the same time adding some real eye-catching elegance and charm to your kitchen or bathroom. On the other hand, if you want simplicity combined with brightness, then the lighter shades will reflect more light giving an appearance of space, especially in smaller bathrooms and kitchens.

Tiles are available with patterned or plain designs. Patterned tiles, those with individual patterns on their faces, can sometimes be arranged so as to create a larger design and this can be especially effective in a larger kitchen or bathroom. However, you can also create your own colour designs by carefully selecting differently-coloured tiles, perhaps to complement the colours of your existing flooring. Another option that can look dazzlingly attractive is to use a patterned or a differently-coloured plain tile to create a border or edge to walls that are predominantly tiled in a plain colour. The choice of shapes now available is amazing, ranging from the classic square shape through mosaic, rectangular and random shapes. But again, take care to avoid clashes with any shapes on your existing flooring in the room.

The range of finishes now available for tile faces is quite remarkable. From smooth and glossy polished marble, through the soft feel of limestone to the rougher texture of other types of real stone, the choice again is yours. But a note of caution: some tiles, like limestone, may be less water- or stain-resistant: please check with us before making your final decision.

So, whether you are seeking to create a kitchen or bathroom in a modern, minimalist style or a traditional, elegant style, think about the size of the room itself, your style requirements, and how your choice of wall tiles should complement your existing flooring and vice-versa. Then drop by either our Derby Showroom or our Showroom at South Normanton, Derbyshire for a friendly chat about your ideas.

Splash Out On A New Splashback!

Ask any decent designer and they'll tell you that it's not just the main focus that matters; you need to get the backdrop right too. That is why a beautiful – and probably expensive - work of art or piece of furniture can look fantastic when set against walls papered or painted in certain colours, and absolutely ghastly when set off against other colours.

And nowhere is this more obvious than when redesigning your home kitchen or bathroom. Take something as basic as the tile splashback. Given the right choice of material, shape and colour and you can radically transform and improve the room's overall design and feel.

It really is remarkable that a homeowner's tiling choice for something as basic as the splashback to the kitchen sink or bathroom washbasin can have such a huge impact on the tone and atmosphere of the room. Choose a tile that is bold and vibrant and the splashback will come to the fore and stand out in your overall scheme, creating a huge wow factor. On the other hand, go for a more subtle and complementary colour that harmonises with your cabinets and the focus can be on another feature of your bathroom or kitchen such as those exquisitely-designed taps or the stunning marble worktops.

Traditionalists of course will prefer to go for pastel shades, muted tones, neutral colours and matt finishes.

A somewhat surprising trend in backsplashes is the distressed look.  Immensely popular in the fashion clothing industry, the distressed look is making a huge impact in the tiling industry too - although it's more challenging to get it right for kitchen and bathroom tiles. The aim of course is to create an atmosphere that has the feel of bygone ages combined with warmth and a well-worn appearance.  For this trend, worn-down terracotta tiles are possibly the best solution, especially if you can get them in smaller classical sizes and shapes. If that proves difficult, why not explore the range of porcelain tiles? They have the added advantage of being easier to maintain.

Whatever your choice, it's worth remembering that splashbacks cover a relatively small area so it's well worth investing in high quality tiles to achieve the finish that you seek.