Thursday February 16 2017

Get it right with tiles

When buying tiles, it is important that you

When buying tiles, it is important that you know the difference between floor and wall tiles. You also need to be able to tell the difference between bathroom, kitchen and tiles for other rooms. Photo by Coleb Mugume. 

By Godfrey Lugaaju

When one builds a house, they look out for comfort, style and relaxation at its best. Tiles can help guarantee style as they play an important role in interior design, setting the look and feel of the entire house. Robert Lubega, who deals in tiles at Kayilila General Enterprises, says for this to happen, the quality of tiles matters a lot as it can either ruin your home or make it enjoyable.
“The design of the tiles, colour, texture of the floor, size of the house and individual preference matter a lot when it comes to tiles,” he says.

The types

When buying tiles, it is important that you

When buying tiles, it is important that you know the difference between floor and wall tiles. You also need to be able to tell the difference between bathroom, kitchen and tiles for other rooms. Photo by Coleb Mugume.


There are two main types of tiles on the market; ceramic and porcelain. Ceramic tiles are generally cheaper than porcelain tiles but not as strong.

Lower-end ceramic tiles are generally not recommended for outdoor applications, although they can be protected with a sealer.
High-end porcelain tiles are saltwater and chlorine safe, so they will not absorb oil and other food matter that may stick on them and are more resistant to losing their colour over time.
Locally, you will find tiles from China, Dubai German and Spain among other countries.

When fitting
Ahmend Lukonge an engineer says when fitting tiles, you need to know that there are types designed for particular places.
“There are tiles meant for the wall, floor and bathroom among other places,” he says, adding that when fitting them, the floor has to be cleaned and levelled so that the tiling is made direct on the floor this will ensure firm tiles that will last long.
“You then apply sand, ordinary cement and top tile adhesive. Use spacers to create space where the adhesive has to be placed; after this, place the tiles and add grout to strengthen the tiles,” he says.

Wall and floor tiles


Lubega notes that, “Wall tiles should have thin layers and be light so that they can stick to the floor easily, floor tiles on the other hand need to have a thick layer and are a bit heavy so they can sit firmly on the floor,” he says.

Lukonge adds that the rough and smooth phenomenon of tiles also confuses many people on which type should be placed where in the house.

“It is ideally dangerous to put slippery tiles in the bathroom because when they get in contact with soap, they can make someone slide,” he says.

Rough tiles have to be put in the bathroom and smooth tiles can be placed almost everywhere like the sitting room, bedroom and dining among other places.

The prices
Lubega says the prices for tiles differ with style, size and country of manufacture. “Spain and Dubai made tiles are quite expensive due to their durability and material; however the price of a basic 30 by 30 Dubai manufactured square metre tile is Shs36,000,” he says.
“There are also a number of products on the market that mix the best qualities of porcelain and ceramic. These are suitable for situations where a full porcelain tile is not required, like under a patio,” he adds.

when buying tile adhesive
The two main categories of adhesive are pre-mixed adhesives and thinset mortars. Choosing the right adhesive for your tiles job has to do with the type of tiles you are installing, the location of the tile and surface you are installing them tile on.

glugaaju@ug.nationmedia.com

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