With so many decisions to make during a home build or renovation project, making certain choices online can save you time and take the stress out of the process. Most good tile stores have created online buying options that have helped streamline the tile shopping process for a smooth and stress-free experience. Our guide to online tile shopping will help you make the very best use of these online resources to ensure the perfect tiling scheme for your next project.
The best place to start on your tile selection journey is to seek out inspiration. From interior design blogs and magazines to social media, there are many different ways to find your perfect design style. Create a collection of images that will help you narrow down your options and take notes on what your likes and dislikes are in each image to help you narrow down your options.
Online Tile Shops
Most tile stores will have their collections available in their online store where you can browse from a selection of indoor and outdoor tiles. You will also find a selection of inspirational images available where you can see just how the tiles will look when installed. These images will also offer you some ideas and inspiration in the selection of your coordinating finishes and materials.
Online Design Consultations
Whether you are using an online interior design service or booking an online design consultation with your selected tile store, this is an excellent step to take as part of your virtual tile shopping experience. Your designer will be able to offer you the best design solutions, recommending coordinating materials that will sit comfortably within your budget while also tying in with your creative vision.
Tile Samples: Are they accurate?
Most tile retailers will offer you the option of ordering tile samples online to be delivered directly to you. It is always recommended that you view samples of your selected tiles prior to ordering as colours and textures will not always come through accurately on a computer screen. It is important to view the tiles in your home’s lighting as well to ensure they are the perfect fit for your project. Ordering samples will also allow you to effortlessly match up your new tiles with the other colours and finishes in your project such as benchtops, wall paint or cabinetry.
It should be noted that tiles can show some slight differences between manufactured batches; the sample you receive may not be an exact match to the tiles you actually receive in your order as these may be from a different batch. As tiles are manufactured, there may be some slight variations in their ingredients or the equipment used to create them. Each set of tiles that is sent off to tile stores is labelled with a specific batch number in order to easily identify that specific group of tiles making this a key consideration when selecting your new tiles.
How do I calculate how many tiles I need?
As most tile collections are priced per square metre, taking note of your project’s measurements is the simplest way to work out how many tiles you will need to order: Multiply the length and the width of your floor or wall to come up with the total area of the space being tiled. Certain tile collections (such as mosaic tiles for example) are instead priced per sheet with the dimensions of each sheet being listed in the product’s description of your preferred tile store’s online catalogue. Again using your space’s dimensions, work out how many sheets fit into your design to understand just how many tile sheets you will need. If you have plans and elevations drawn up of your project, this makes the task of working out your tiling requirements infinitely simpler to ensure there are no missteps along the way. Your designer or tile consultant can assist you in figuring out your requirements.
You will also want to include a small percentage of extra tiles to your order to ensure you are covered in the case of any unforeseen circumstances. These extra tiles can be used in cases where there may have been a miscalculation, where more tiles are needed to create a more uniform pattern, in case of any cutting errors, etc. Your extra tiles can also be tucked away for future use in case of any cracked or broken tiles later on; replacing a broken tile with a tile from the same ordered batch will allow you the very best chance of blending your tiles for a more uniform finish. As a general rule, allowing 10% extra to your tile order will allow you the best buffer. This figure can vary however depending on the actual size of your selected tiles so you will want to confirm with your tile specialist how many extra pieces to allow for, ensuring a perfect finish to your project.
Delivery Pricing & Returns Policies
Finally, it’s time to confirm the delivery process, timeframe and fees as well as returns policy with your selected tile store. Most tile stores will have strict returns policies in place as returning tiles for a simple change of mind cannot always be accommodated. This is because each manufactured batch of tiles will be slightly different from the next so any returned tiles cannot simply be added back to the store’s inventory to be sold off with another order so it is important to ensure you’ve confirmed your measurements for the best outcome!
Selecting your new wall or floor tiles online has never been simpler with online options available to help streamline the process and allow for a more informed decision. Each and every step of selecting your new bathroom or kitchen tiles is simplified to ensure the very best outcome for your project!