Porcelain Tiles Buying Guide

The number one choice for walls and floors

We believe porcelain tiles are the number one choice for walls and floors if you’re thinking of a new kitchen, bathroom or floor area. Not only are they incredibly stylish and realistic, they’re also practical and hardwearing enough to cope with the demands of a busy family home.

So we started Porcelain Superstore with a single aim in mind - to offer the Great British Public fantastic porcelain tiles at prices you simply can't find elsewhere. Just like you, we love things for our home that look good, are well made and don't break the bank. We're a little different from the usual tile showrooms out there. Here's a few things that make us stand out.

What is a porcelain tile?

A porcelain tile is to a ceramic tile what an iPhone is to a brick handset from the 80s. Both cover walls and floors, but that’s where the similarities end. Porcelain is far denser than ceramic and has a much lower absorption rate, meaning it’s extremely durable, hygienic and resistant to staining. This makes it the perfect choice for floors and walls in busy homes, offices, shops and restaurants. Thanks to recent advances in technology, a wide variety of porcelain tiles are now available that faithfully imitate natural materials such as slate, marble and timber without any of the drawbacks. We’ll come onto these shortly.

Where can I use porcelain tiles?

Thanks to their excellent qualities, porcelain tiles are incredibly versatile and our friends in Continental Europe have tiled their entire homes in them for years. Over here in the UK we’re catching up fast and our customers use our tiles on pretty much any surface you can imagine. Aside from bathrooms and kitchens, popular areas to tile are hallways, conservatories and open plan living spaces. Large format tiles make a great choice for these areas as they increase the feeling of light and space. Unlike most other floor coverings, porcelain tiles are frost proof so if you’re building a new extension you can carry the same tile outside for that inside-outside contemporary look.

Digital Printing

If you browse our porcelain tiles collection you'll see we have a fantastic selection of realistic looking slate, marble and wood tile designs. These are all produced using the latest 'Digital Printing' technology that’s revolutionized the tile world over the last few years. Compared to traditional tiles, a tile digitally printed in high definition will look far more lifelike. For example, wood effect tiles will contain more grains and knots and there will be a higher degree of variation between the individual planks, just as you'd expect with natural timber. We’re big fans of digital printing and the whole new world of design possibilities it’s opened up. Our customers are decorating their homes, shops and offices in a wealth of styles that simply wasn’t available before - from industrial concretes to distressed timbers and luxurious marbles.

Installing

Porcelain tiles are a lot quicker and easier to install than natural stone and slate. No sealing is required and most cuts can be achieved using a dry tile cutter with little mess and waste. We always advise our customers to use a professional tile. They’ll have experience of working with porcelain, be able to accurately measure up and will be able to advise on how to achieve the finish and look you wish to achieve. That said, if you’re a competent DIY-er and have the right tools there’s no reason why you can’t install your new tiles yourself. Take a look at our installation advice page for more details.

Commercial Spaces

Take a look around and you’ll find porcelain tiles used in every commercial space ranging from local cafes and bars through to hotels, shopping centres and airports. As we mentioned before, porcelain tiles are extremely durable and resistant to stains and scratches, making it a very practical choice for busy spaces. Naturally, some porcelain tiles are harder wearing than others – in general, an unglazed porcelain is more suitable to an extremely busy area than a glazed one. Tiles are graded using the “PEI Scale” from 1 – 5 for hardness. A rating of 4 means a tile is suitable for light commercial applications whereas a tile with a rating of 5 can be used in heavy traffic areas. If you need advice on a suitable tile for a commercial project please get in touch.