Cheap Tiles The Pros & Cons
There is a difference between cheap tiles and selling tiles cheap, or to put it a better way selling tiles at the best possible prices. We definitely do the latter, and if you find the same product elsewhere at a lower price we will try our best to beat that it! What we do not do is sell cheap tiles!
So what is a Cheap Tile?
For starters floor tiles and wall tiles are made of various materials such as ceramic, porcelain, marble, travertine, limestone, granite, and engineered tiles like quartz.
All of our tiles can be used on both walls and floors, meaning that they are generally harder wearing than a tile designed specifically for walls. It stands to reason that a floor tile needs to cope with more wear, contact, spillages etc etc.
We do not sell any ceramic tiles, preferring to recommend porcelain tiles to our customers instead. They may look similar but they use a different manufacturing process which results in porcelain tiles being denser and less porous. We wouldn’t go as far as to say that ceramic tiles are cheap tiles i.e. of low quality, but they are generally only recommended for light use or applications, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend them for external use regardless of how cheaply they can be bought.
So a porcelain tile will work out slightly more expensive than a ceramic tile, but when you move to stone tiles prices can vary significantly so its important to understand how to tell what are cheap tiles and what are quality tiles being sold at cheap prices.
It would take an age to describe the ins and outs of every stone tile type and what you should look out for! I will probably add these over time to this blog, but in the mean time here is a quick no nonsense guide to buying marble tiles. It should give you an idea of what to look out for for other tile types too;
Quality marble tiles are generally expensive however there are a few tile companies in the UK selling cheap or low quality marble tiles. You need to know how to avoid these when shopping.
Appearance and Cracks in Marble Tiles
The veins, breaks and fissures in marble give it, its individual natural look and appearance, however these can also be tell tale signs of a cheap tile over a quality marble tile. Examine the top of marble for large fissures or cracks, and then turn the tile to check the other side in the same place.
Quality tiles don’t have fissures or fractures that go all the true way through the tile, but instead have a vein of color with out a crack running right through it.
Some manufacturers also apply fiberglass or epoxy mesh reinforcements on the backside of lower quality and weaker tiles to ensure that the tile will not break. Steer well clear of cheap marble tiles with this type of backing as it affects bonding and prevents affects how well it will adhere.
Tile Thickness and Cut Symmetry
Obviously and especially with marble tiles the thicker the tile the better! It is a natural product after all and so cheap tiles will not be as thick as a quality marble tile, thinner tiles have a greater chance of breaking due to the natural fissures mentioned above being right the way through the tiles thickness.
Pay attention to the cut of the tile too, cheap tiles are more likely to have edges that do not match up meaning a tougher job for your tiling professional and leaving you with uneven grout lines.
Cracks and Chips in Marble Tiles
With a natural stone product like marble some chipping and cracking is normal, but when cracks and chips appear on more than 10% of the tiles surface, the marble is too soft and can chip and split when your tile installer makes any cuts. Carefully check your tiles for these standout imperfections, as cheap tiles will often have these.
So you Still Want Cheap Tiles?
No of course you don’t, but you do want to pay the lowest possible price for quality tiles, and we can definitely help you there! Why not pop down to our new Liverpool showroom and examine our tiles for yourself? You will discover a huge range of quality tiles and see that our prices are very cheap! “There I said it”!