Top Tile Tips for First-Timers [PART 1] – What, When & How Many

If you're currently navigating your way through building your first new home or renovating your bathroom, or you just want to seem extra smug at dinner parties when the topic of tiles and the latest episode of House Rules inevitably arises, then this is for you!

We've compiled a list of the most common questions we get asked by those fresh-faced first timers and over the next few weeks we'll be sharing them and their answers right here so get your smug face ready because you're about to get some KNOWLEDGE.

What should I pick first?

Tiles, curtains, paint colours, names for my future children? Well I'll let you in on a little design secret that goes like this:

INSIDE: work UP from the floor ie. Tiles, carpets, joinery, paint colours.

OUTSIDE: work DOWN from the roof so: Roof colour, gutter/fascia, brick colours, windows/garage door, driveway.

The first thing you want to pick is the thing that there is going to be the MOST of. Because once you get that out of the way it's a lot easier to match everything else! Got it?

In our case, it can be difficult when a client pops into the store and says “I've picked my paint colour and now my tile simply MUST match my Iced Vovo walls” (that's a real Dulux colour, by the way) . There's almost an infinite shade of paint colours to choose from while odds are you're probably going to settle on about two or three tiles that you love in the store. By narrowing down your tile choice first, your paint colour can easily be adjusted from an Iced Vovo to a zingy Hot Flamingo if needed. You'll also find that once you've made your selection with us, trotting around town with your sample tile will make your visits to the carpet shop/joiner/paint counter at Bunnings smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy.

When should I select my tiles?

If you're building, there's a good chance your builder will send you out to make all of your selections promptly after your contract is signed and your floor plans are finalised. This is to allow plenty of time to order things in (especially if you're having your tiles imported in from Italy or custom-made, you fancypants, you) and also if in the unfortunate case that something you've selected ISN'T available, there is plenty of time for you to re-select something even more amazing and more, er, available.

If you're renovating, sometimes you can be at the mercy of whenever the heck your builder/tiler/husband you've asked 15 times is available. But not to worry! Here's a handy tile-ordering guideline for you:

  • Stocked line in store: take home that same day like the sassy, freewheeling tile-buyer you are!
  • Stocked line in Brisbane/Gold Coast: Usually within 5 business days.
  • Stocked line interstate: 7-10 working days DEPENDING on quantity. Ordering one box? A courier can take care of that ASAP. However, all the tiles for your 4-storey shopping complex are gonna need a freight truck and a little more time.
  • Ordering from overseas (Italy, usually): Approximately 10-12 weeks from time of order.
  • Custom-made in Australia: Approximately 2 weeks in production plus 1 week in shipping.
    Aside from knowing when you need your tiles by, your next absolute must-have is a definitive plan of where/what/how you are planning on tiling. This can be a fancy plan from your builder or draftsman or a sketch on the back of a speeding fine. The more accurate your plan, the more accurate we can be with our quantities. Which is the perfect segue into our final tip for the day…

How many tiles do I need?

Hmm, seven?

The industry standard is to allow a MINIMUM of 10% waste on top of the quantity you actually need. Larger tiles need even more extra waste as do heavily patterned tiles, interlocking mosaics or if you have a weirdly shaped rhombus bathroom that will require a lot of cutting. A spare box of tiles at the end of the day is THE best insurance policy you can have. There is no guarantee that we will be able to source the same tile for you 5 years down the track or even if we can, it can be a slightly different shade. Think of it like a pair of jeans you bought 15 years ago – styles and trends change constantly and just because those jeans were as popular as Britney Spears back then doesn't mean they're still top of the charts. I mean, jeans. I MEAN, tiles.

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