6 Things You Need To Do Before Buying Tiles


  1. Determine what area you want to transform. Is it a kitchen, a bathroom, a living area, an outdoor space, a splash back? Take rough measurements and draw a rough plan if you don’t already have one.
  2. Take photos that show items already selected or have been purchased. This could be furniture, other types of flooring (e.g. floor boards that lead to where you want to tile), wall finishes, cabinetry, etc.
  3. Do some research. Have a look at similar spaces online and bookmark them on your smart phone. Do this over a few days, keep what you really love, delete anything that doesn’t grab you. Additionally, you may want to also look at magazines or display homes.
  4. Bring swatches of things already selected, whether it’s paint chips, carpet, cabinetry swatches, bench top swatches and/or wall paper.
  5. Have an open mind. Whilst you might have an idea of what you’re wanting, the possibilities are endless!
  6. Determine your budget. Know what’s workable for you.


Tile Selection – What to consider

Getting the right tiles for your living room, bathroom, outdoor deck, wall or floor – be it for your home or your office.


The denser the tile, the less water it absorbs. The Porosity of tiles is classified as follows:

  • Impervious (least absorbent)
  • Vitreous
  • Semi-vitreous and,
  • Non-vitreous (most absorbent).

Tile porosity will matter where moisture proof applications are required like outdoors, bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Single vs double-fired tiles and their rating

The glaze on single-fired tiles is applied to the raw material (bisque) and baked once in a kiln. Double-fired tiles are baked a second time after colour or decoration is added.

Tile hardness ratings will help you determine the appropriate tile for a particular setting. For instance, swimming pools or bathrooms require a moisture-proof, nonslip material, whilst high traffic areas such as entrances, need a hard, abrasion-resistant, moisture-proof tile.

As some tiles are harder than others, there are standardised tests to evaluate a tile’s relative hardness, its durability and percentage of water absorbed.

Porcelain Enamel Institute hardness ratings

The Porcelain Enamel Institute (yes, there is such a thing) grades tiles as follows:

Class I – No foot traffic. These tiles are for wall-only applications.

Class II – Light traffic. Interior residential and commercial wall applications. These are for areas where little abrasion occurs, such as bathrooms.

Class III – Light to moderate traffic. Use these in residential settings with normal foot traffic. They are also ideal for countertops and walls.

Class IV – Moderate to heavy traffic. These tiles are acceptable for all home use in addition to medium commercial or light institutional use.

Class V – Heavy to extra heavy traffic. Approved tile for all residential applications, heavy commercial work and institutional foot traffic.

To talk to an expert about your tile project…

Call us on: 1300 246 289.