|Frequently asked questions||
|Ordering on line
This site no longer allows on line ordering for several reasons,mainly because we like to know the intended application for particular materials.Depending on your intended application some materials are more suitable than others and we welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the appropriate products for your project. Customers should consider the suitability of some materials ie highly polished in areas offering a slip hazard or durability in high traffic areas.If you are unsure of the correct material or simply wish to discuss your project call us on 0121 784 6800.Good advice cost nothing but can save you a fortune.
We have a wide selection of products that are surplus to our requirements that offer very good value.See our special offers page
We try to encourage potential customers to visit our extensive showrooms where we can discuss various materials and customers can select from actual stock.It's suprising how many people visit us with a particular product in mind yet finally select something totally different .Our displays all feature materials from current stock and customers are welcome to inspect their material prior to despatch.
If you decide to visit us please bring with you any drawings etc or even a sample of a kitchen unit door,It all helps towards making ther correct decision.There are a lot of cheap materials on offer many with meaningless guarantees,gift vouchers and conditions (read the small print) and you should choose carefully.You only get what you pay for and the wrong choice is very expensive to rectify.Its always worth asking if a company has the actual stock for immediate delivery.Many companies hold almost zero stock and bring materials in to order this means they have little or no control over quality or batch control.Be wary of samples unless they are from actual stock as the material that's delivered may look completely different.Having said that, it must be remembered that all natural materials will vary but a sample should be reasonably representative.
If you cannot make it to the showrooms we accept telephone orders and payment with all credit cards etc.We can deliver next day on orders received before 11am or at a time to suit you Monday to Friday.Timed deliveries are possible but are more expensive.We deliver with vehicles fitted with "tail-lifts" to avoid manual unloading.Most of our materials are delivered in crates or on pallets and when possible will will place in a convenient position such as a driveway etc subject to reasonable access.If you feel there may be a problem with access please let us know when ordering. Delivery charges are based on weight and distance but are suprisingly reasonable.We are pleased to quote based on your enquiry,call us on 0121 784 6800..
We accept most credit cards including Switch.
You would normally allow about 10% extra to cover wastage and cuts etc.We are happy to accept the return of surplus materials as long as they are in the same condition as we delivered them.
Sealers and adhesives etc
We can supply everything that you require for your project from Sealant to Adhesives and will advise on the correct products for the appropriate materials.
We are a long established family company of over 36 years and actually care about our products.It must be remembered however we are selling natural materials and they vary in shade and physical appearance.It is therefore most important that if you are purchasing from a small sample that this is taken into consideration and sufficient materials should be ordered to allow for wastage and cutting etc.(about 10%).We encourage customers to try and visit us to see actual stock as we feel its important to see physical examples of the material you are considering.It's worth remembering that we are delighted when customers make time to visit us so we can show them the actual stock and exactly what they would be receiving.Our showrooms where possible display tiles from the batches we have in stock.A good quality natural floor is an investment and you should take your time and choose carefully.If you decide to visit us it helps if you can bring any drawings or a simple sketch of your project.
We are happy to send samples but it must be appreciated that samples are representative only and there can be wide variations from different batches. particularly with marble.If in doubt try and see a large area.
Some materials are very predictable however with some of the more varigated stones it's better to see actual floors in our showrooms.If in doubt call us.
All natural materials will vary. Shade,size and surface variations such as minor imperfections can occur. It is important to mix natural materials to obtain a pleasing blend before fixing.No responsibility will be accepted once the tiles have been fixed
Shower Trays have their own F.A.Q. Click on the link FAQ Shower Trays
Do you have to blend natural tiles.
This is very important.Always open the crates/boxes and blend the tiles.Never fix from one crate only.
Do I have to seal natural materials for internal use.
Yes,with few exceptions all natural materials require sealing to protect against dirt and staining.
It is very important to follow the instructions supplied with a sealer to obtain maximum protection.The most common problems associated with natural materials involve sealing, mainly due to people not following the simple instructions on the container.
Another important issue is that the tiles must be perfectly clean and dry before applying the sealer.
See our Sealers page for "method statements"
How often do I have to re-seal.
Once you have sealed a natural stone it does not generally require re-sealing although if a treatment of Care Sheen has been applied this can be re-aplied if necessary.This however does not mean you do not have to maintain your floor.
What does sealing entail
A sealer or rather an Impregnator is designed to be absorbed by the material and form a protective barrier against staining.They are easy to apply and we supply full instructions.
Sealing Limestone if used externally
Limestone is often used externally however it is VERY IMPORTANT it is sealed and laid correctly.The tiles must be laid to give good drainage using the solid bed method avoiding voids underneath the tile.The tiles should be grouted correctly and dry prior to applying the sealer to ensure good penetration.It is not always necessary to use the type of sealers designed for internal use and alternative products that are used to seal concrete block paving and natural stone (Resiblock Seal) can be used.It is important that the tiles are given adequate treatment to obtain protection and this can entail several applications usually with a roller covering the grout lines as well as the the tiles and following the manufacturers instructions.Treat a trial sample first as darkening and colour enhancement will occur.
The same criteria can apply to certain Sandstones,if in doubt contact us
Holes appear in Filled Travertine tiles.
This can occur with factory filled Travertine tiles,usually when used on the floor and can happen with any filled Travertine.This is caused by the filling material breaking out or the natural voids in the tile becoming exposed..The usual remedy is to fill the holes with Grout.This is a characteristic of this material and can occur with any Travertine and does not indicate a defective product.
Can I use natural materials if I have underfloor heating
Yes,but with piped underfloor heating it is very important to allow for the floor to completely dry out before you lay a tile.You will also have to use a "flexible"adhesive.If you have any technical queries please ask us.
How can I cut the tiles
You cannot cut natural materials as you would ceramic tiles.You need to use a Diamond blade.
Do I need a specialist tile fixer
It really depends on the material and the nature of the project however the majority of our products can be fitted by a competent tradesman (sorry! tradesperson) .Many of our customers fit their own with considerable success and we are happy to advise you.
Adhesive and Grouts.
You need to use the correct adhesive and always totally support the rear of the tile.NEVER blob adhesive on the back of the tile.Some materials require a coat of PVA applied to the back of the tile prior to fixing.We will advise on this depending on the material.
It's also important to use the correct Grout.Most floors require a Wide Joint Grout.Be careful with the colour you normally need a very neutral shade.We can supply the correct materials with your order.
How do I maintain my floor
This depends on the material and we will advise on how to maintain any of our tiles.
Porcelain Tiles Why see a sample before ordering?
Due to the production process very high temperatures are involved thus each production batch can vary considerably in shade and appearance.We are happy to send samples of our current stock
Can I lay tiles on a wooden floor.
Yes so long as the floor is in good condition.and you follow our guidelines.We can supply our fixing guide on request.
Some of my tiles have what looks like "crack lines"
With many Limestones you can get a line across the tile that can resemble a crack.This is a Quartz Vein and they appear quite naturally.Contrary to what you would expect they are not a weakness in the tile,quite the opposite they are probably the last place a tile will crack.
My floor looks dull and lifeless
This is a personal choice,many people like a totally natural appearance however some materials can look better with a slight sheen that can highlight the natural features in the tile.This can be achieved by applying a coat of Care Sheen or similar.This is a water based product that builds up a satin finish depending on how many coats you apply.It's also an effective sealer and is easily removed with a suitable remover.Try a small area first following the instructions on the container let it dry and see the result.
Laying Sandstone Tiles externally
Sandstone tiles can be laid on a minimum 75mm Concrete base with a well compacted hardcore substrate.The thickness of the substrate will depend on the actual ground conditions..Adequate falls should be ensured for removal of surface water.The can be laid onto the Concrete base using a Mortar mix ensuring that the total area of the tile is supported.To aid cleaning, the tiles can be sealed following installation.
You will find that the tiles will darken after fixing due to the water in the mortar bed being absorbed by the tile.This will dry out in time, however, if you wish to avoid this you can apply a coat of sealer to the rear of the tile prior to fixing.
Lay a bed of consolidated hardore and ensure it is well compacted.Lay the tiles on a semi Dry Mortar mix ensuring the tile is completely supported.over its total area..It may be necessary to give the rear of the tile a coating of PVA to aid adhesion.
See comments on sealing external stone
This is just a small sample of the questions we get asked and it is far from being comprehensive.We will be adding to this list on a regular basis