4 Myths about affordable tiles

So, it’s time to renovate your bathroom. You’ve calculated everything and let’s tell the truth, the balance is making your eyes water. But, surely you can’t opt for a cheaper tile? It won’t be the same, will it? Will it let your new bathroom down? What should you do?

Well, firstly take a deep breath, we understand that this can be a huge dilemma for some customers. Instead of giving you some unwanted and immensely annoying sales chat (is there anything worse?) about how you need to buy the MOST expensive tile (like some companies do) we’re going to debunk all the myths that have been doing the rounds. Ready? Let’s do this…

Budget tiles crack easily
Tiles are either made from ceramic or porcelain, or sometimes a cold pressed granite compound (usually the really expensive ones). Essentially, the material that each tile is made from is different, and some tiles can be stronger than others. But remember that a tile is made for a specific purpose, and if it wasn’t suitable then why would companies make them? Even a ceramic tile (usually the cheaper tiles) will do exactly what you need it to. Some tiles aren’t recommended for use on floors (like ceramic) but they’ll be perfect for wall use. Will they crack easily? No, they won’t. Unless you take a hammer to them to test this theory out.

Low cost tiles lack quality
Low cost tiles are made in exactly the same way as luxury tiles, so I don’t think this theory stands up. Ultimately, it depends on the design of the tile and your individual taste. Do you like the design or do you think it looks like a budget tile? It’s down to your prerogative, don’t let someone put you off a design that you love (especially if it’s much cheaper). The difference in price comes in when there’s ceramic or porcelain options (porcelain is usually more expensive) and luxury tiles tend to feature different surface and design techniques that budget tiles omit.

Budget tiles are as good as luxury tiles

Affordable tiles won’t live up to luxury brands
It’s a waste to time to compare a tile that’s £100/m2 and a tile that’s £12.95/m2. Why? Well, one might be made from ceramic and one from porcelain, one might have bits of really high quality materials like mirror or quartz and one might have a standard surface. Although the designs may be completely different, they’ll both do the same job in your bathroom. Remember that both ceramic and porcelain tiles have been fired in a kiln and glazed, so they’re both waterproof, they’ll never fade, shrink or distort. The comparison between budget and luxury isn’t important. If you can afford to spend thousands on just tiles and love a design, then go for it. But if the thought makes you break out in a sweat, look at something more affordable – don’t let pride deplete your bank balance, they’ll do the same job.

Cheap tiles are difficult to clean
In terms of cleaning, a tile is a tile – so this statement really is complete hogwash. It’s got a lot to do with the grout you choose too. What do I mean? Well, don’t choose white grout for a floor or you will make keeping it clean a nightmare, regardless of how much the tile cost. Most tiles either have a matt or a gloss finish (some have variants in between) but the cleaning process is exactly the same. Another thing to bear in mind; a gloss finish can be tricky because you see every smear and every water spot, but again this has nothing to do with the cost of the tile itself. Choose a finish that you know will be easy to keep by yourself.

A few points to remember…

• Ceramic and porcelain are different – ceramic isn’t recommended for floors, but will be fine on walls. While porcelain is stronger, but is typically more expensive
• Surface designs can mean the difference between budget and luxury
• Both luxury and low cost tiles are waterproof, they won’t fade or shrink over time
• Porcelain is stronger and more durable than ceramic, but that doesn’t mean ceramic won’t do the job
• If you can afford it, opt for your favourite regardless of composition
• Compromise if you have a tight budget, your bathroom will still be tiled
• Look out for tips like ceramic isn’t recommended for floors, porcelain is recommended for floors - these will ensure you’re not let down by durability
• You can mix and match ceramic and porcelain to cover all traffic bases

Tiles debunked

There you have it, there’s no need to feel uneasy about budget tiles ever again. We hope this post will give you the confidence to go out there and choose the perfect tile for your new bathroom. The next time a sales person tells you different, give them the eyeroll – now you know better!! Catch you all next week.