For wet areas of the home, such as bathrooms and laundries, tiles are a popular choice due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, versatility and low-maintenance. But given the sheer variety of colours and textures available, they can also add a dramatic and personalised flair to a project.
It’s generally stated that one flooring choice is the best way to create the feeling of a larger space and therefore, larger tiles or planks of wood are often the first choice.
‘Porcelain is a clean, sophisticated, timeless look that is virtually maintenance-free. When using the large sheet format, consideration needs to be taken around access and transportation to the site,’ Di explains. ‘Porcelain is brittle and needs to be cut with a wet-saw, and floors will need to be prepared, making sure the surface is completely flat and even.’
However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t always mean bigger is better. When it comes to the bathroom it’s best to stick away from the current trend of large tiles, which can complicate the grading of shower recesses.
It’s also important to consider whether your flooring choice will transition from indoors to outside if this is part of a home’s layout. Tiles in this instance are an excellent choice because the product has an external equivalent.
‘Slip-resistance is another factor to consider and there are effective sealers available for tiles on the market,’ Di says. ‘Glare should also be considered. The full northern light on a gloss surface or a light coloured tile will reflect light much more than a matt or darker floor.’
With regards to the NCC requirements for tiles, there are a number of things that should be taken into consideration, such as floor wastes and grading of floors to floor wastes, waterproofing requirements, location and installation of shower screens. There are also different types of floor wastes now, including strip drains, traditional type square wastes and even hidden tile types. In setting up the structural floor for the wet area, setting up step downs for flush finishes in showers need to be taken into consideration early rather than trying to alter the structural frame or slab afterwards. It will also eliminate the need to build up levels in the bathroom to achieve the step-free shower recess.