FAQs

NZ Hand Made Glazed Tiles FAQs

What is the deal with colour variation?

Colour variation occurs in varying degrees with handmade tiles. This is caused by a number of factors including the where the tiles are placed in the kiln, the temperature of the kiln and the weather conditions at the time of firing. Colour can add dimension to a large wall or floor, this variation appeals to the eye and sets a hand-crafted tile apart from a machine made tile.

How many tiles do I need to order?

Measure the space you want to tile to find the square meterage. The amount of tiles per square meter differs with each size of tile.

When ordering tiles, allow space for grout lines (about 3-4mm wide) and order a few extra tiles for cutting. Some recommend that you order 10% extra tiles. In the end, it is better to over order and have a box of tiles left at the end of your project, than to run out.

Remember, if you accidentally crack or ruin a tile in the future, you may not be able to find an exact match.

How wide should my grout lines be?

The size of the grout lines is a matter of personal taste. In the showroom we tend to make our grout lines 3mm-4mm wide. This ensures a secure bond between tiles, creates texture on your wall and grip underfoot.

What colour of grout should I use?

If you want to make grout a feature of your wall then white and black grouts tend to stand out and vie for attention with the tiles. If you want a more subtle look, a light grey or dark grey grout is more suitable. How light or dark the grout should be depends on how light or dark the tile of your choice is.

Are grout lines waterproof? How do I seal these so they don’t become mouldy?

It is important to seal grout lines as they are not inherently waterproof. There is a huge range of quality penetrating sealers available these days which are effective at protecting grout, long term. One company that specialises in such products is NanoPhos which also has sealers that break down organic material in UV light meaning your bathrooms and kitchens are easier to keep clean.

What adhesive should I use?

Different areas need different adhesives. On walls we suggest you use a non-slump adhesive. Make sure that you choose the right adhesive for your area and don’t skimp on it. It is important, when tiling an area near a heat source, such as a fireplace or a splashback, to choose a high quality adhesive that can withstand high temperatures. Adhesive can literally be the make or break of your tiling project.

Can you use glazed tiles on the floor of the bathroom or in the shower? Don’t they get slippery when wet?

All of the tiles that we make at Middle Earth are suitable for wet areas. Glazed tiles do get slippery when wet but there are ways of getting around this. Smaller tiles and mosaics work well on areas such as a shower floor because the grout lines add grip for your feet and they can form around curved areas.

Tiles have an added bonus in that they are sterile and easy to clean. Ideal!

Can I use glazed tiles for an outdoor flooring area?

We don’t recommend that you use solely glazed tiles for an outdoor area. They become slippery when wet and this can be a hazard.

If you cannot resist a dash of colour, the best way to tile an outdoor area is by interspersing glazed tiles with terracotta tiles or cobbles. There are so many options for this stunning combination. You can design your tiled area in an orderly fashion or choose a tiler who specialises in organic Hundertwasser style tiling.

NZ Hand Made Terracotta FAQs

Do I need to seal terracotta tiles?

All of our tiles, except cobbles, are factory treated to reduce water absorption. However if the tiles are likely to be exposed to salt water or heavy frosts they need to resealed with a penetrating sealer.

Inside your home and on decks and front entrances we recommend you seal your tiles with Java Oil which is an environmentally friendly oil hand-made in Motueka by Natural House.

How many tiles do I need to order?

Measure the space you want to tile to find the square meterage. The amount of tiles per square meter differs with each size of tile.

When calculating the amount of tiles per square metre, we allow for grout joints. Make sure that you order a few extra tiles for cutting. A standard recommendation is to order 10% extra tiles. In the end, it is better to over order and have a box of tiles left at the end of your project, than to run out.

Remember, if you accidentally crack or ruin a tile in the future, you may not be able to find an exact match.

How wide should my grout joints be?

It is recommended to have grout lines between 8mm-12mm wide. This ensures a secure bond between tiles, creates texture on your floor and grip underfoot.

What is the difference between a quarry tile and a terracotta tile?

These are virtually two names for the same product. The term ‘quarry’ comes from the French term ‘quarrel’ which means square.

What colour of grout should I use?

With Terracotta tiles we recommend a neutral grey coloured grout. How light or dark the grout should be depends on how light or dark the tile of your choice is.

What adhesive should I use?

Different areas need different adhesives. For outdoor tiling on concrete, an adhesive such as Superfixal is a good choice. For indoor tiling on a wooden base, ASA Conflex is a good option. Make sure that you choose the right adhesive for your area and don’t skimp on it. It is important, when tiling an area near a heat source, such as a fireplace, to choose a high quality adhesive that can withstand high temperatures. Adhesive can literally be the make or break of your tiling project.