• Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Adrian Nsubuga, a resident of Mukono, dreamed of having tiles in his home. His father’s house had floor tiles and whenever Adrian looked at them, they reflected a never-fading beauty. He vowed that when he constructed his own house, it would have tiles.

Adrian’s dream came true two years ago, when he finally completed his house he installed tiled floors. However to Adrian’s disappointment, after two years his tiles were fading, despite their great expense.

Osbert Luyinda, a construction engineer, recommends the guidance of a professional if one wants to tile their floors. Having an expert to guide you through the different types of tiles before you make a choice can make all the difference.

Let’s explore some of the tile options available to you.

Modern, Trendy and Durable Tiles

Tiles have a classic appearance and are clearly lined. Some homeowners prefer tiles because of their durability, versatility, and a wide range of style options. Despite their similarities, they differ in absorption, durability, and cost, as shown below.

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles have refined clay and natural elements. After being kiln-fired, they are left in their natural state or transformed to resemble wood, stone, concrete, and other materials. Porcelain tiles are more durable and have a stricter construction than non-porcelain ceramic tiles.

Homeowners can select between glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles. Unglazed or full-bodied tiles have a colour that runs through the entire thickness, making them durable and chip-resistant.

Porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for bathroom walls and floors, high foot traffic areas, staircase, and patios.

Porcelain tiled living room
Porcelain tiled living room. Source: tbktiles

Ceramic Tiles

These are kiln ceramic tiles that are fired at a lower temperature, resulting in a less dense, softer, and more porous product. Ceramic tiles are also a less expensive, albeit less durable, option because of the clay used when making them. 

Contractors commonly used ceramic tiles as flooring in homes, particularly in warm climates. Ceramic tiles should not be used in areas frequently exposed to moisture, such as the bathroom but can still be used in the kitchen, bathroom, shower floor, and entryway.

Ceramic floor tiles
Ceramic floor tiles, Image source: The Spruce

Matt Tiles

Matt tiles are porcelain or ceramic tiles with a natural look, such as stone or concrete effect items. The matt floor tiles are the second most durable after porcelain tiles.

Ironstone Grey Matt Porcelain tiles
Ironstone Grey Matt Porcelain tiles. Source: Pinterest

Wood-like Tiles

When looking at Scandinavian, postindustrial, or modern century designs, wood effect tiles are a good choice. These realistic tiles are gaining popularity because of their outstanding qualities. Wood effect tiles are more durable and easier to maintain than other types of flooring. They are resistant to water and do not scratch easily.

A tiled floor will never feel as warm as natural wood flooring. The benefits and flexibility of the material make it more appealing to homeowners who want a fuss-free and easy-to-maintain environment.

Wood effect tiles are available in various collections, including painted, Noon, Q-style, and Traserktrend.

Wood-like floor stain colour porcelain tiles
Wood-like floor stain colour porcelain tiles. Source: My Decorative

Marble Tiles 

Marble tiles are pretty expensive, but they add an atmosphere of elegance and refinement to any room. It can enhance the beauty of any kitchen or bathroom.

According to Tony Castellano, a senior merchant for The Home Depot, the patterned or veined tiles provide texture and depth.

Castellano states, “It also delivers texture and depth, as it’s patterned or veined. You’ll never have the same piece.”

Marble tiles require much maintenance to keep them looking pristine and resistant to scratches and stains. It’s also challenging to maintain. It is only suitable for low-traffic areas with the use of sealant.

Castellano said, “Many homeowners avoid using marble in countertops and instead add marble in decorative features, such as shower floors, columns, and backsplashes.” By using it in smaller applications, you’ll also give your budget a breather.

Living room tiled with green marble tiles.
Living room tiled with green marble tiles. Image source: Marazzi
The Appropriateness of Tiles in Different Rooms

According to Fred Wasswa, a construction engineer, floor tiles in the bedroom, sitting room, and dining room can be smooth or shiny, but those in the bathroom must be rough.

“Tiles in the sitting room and dining area are shiny because they are the face of the home and, therefore, have to have attractive colours. The bedroom that has shiny tiles makes it attractive and enables the person sleeping in it to have a good night’s sleep,” says Wasswa.

Why Bathroom Tiles Ought to be Rough?

Fred explains they recommend rough tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms because of the high likelihood of water and soap spilling on the tiles.

Water and soap spills make the floor slippery, quickly leading to falls, particularly among children, resulting in injury or death.

Prices of Tiles in Uganda

According to construction engineer Osbert Luyinda, the cost of one square meter ranges from 35,000 to 85,000 Ugandan shillings, depending on the size (400, 500, or 600cm) and the quality of the tiles.

“The floor tiles sold in Uganda are imported from China, Spain, India and Italy. These vary in type, size, colour, quality and price, depending on the country of origin. Porcelain tiles manufactured in Spain are the most durable and the most expensive owing to their durability and shiny finish. Although the matt floor tiles are the second most durable ones, they are not as costly as the porcelain ones,” Luyinda states.

Tips to Help You Figure Out How Many Tiles You Need

Whether you’re installing tiles in a new house or attempting to repair your floor or walls, determining how many tiles you require is critical in ensuring adequate tile coverage and budgeting for the project.

Here are a few pointers to help you figure out how many tiles you’ll need. Grab a book, a pen, a measuring tape, and a calculator.

 1. Measure the area you plan to tile based on its shape.

For example, if the shape is square or rectangular, such as a wall or floor, multiply the length by the width to calculate the area in square feet.

In areas such as the floor, square the radius (half the diameter of the space) and multiply by 3.14 (The ground floor area with a diameter of 20 feet is an estimate of 314 square feet 3.14 x 10x 10).

Always view and treat irregularly shaped areas, such as an L-shaped floor, as two parts.

 2. Find the number of tiles you need based on the area of the shape

When purchasing tile boxes, divide the area’s square number by the total square number listed on the box and round off to the nearest whole number of decimals.

When purchasing individual tiles, you should be aware of the square footage or fraction of the area that each one covers.

3. Add an estimate of 10 to 20 per cent overage to your budget

 It’s required to cover the wall or floor with a few extra tiles than purchasing.

In Part 2 of this series CLICK HERE, we will cover tile installation.

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