Large Format Tiles – What You Need To Know

Over the course of the last few decades the size of tiles has changed dramatically. Due to the superiority and strength of porcelain tiles, as well as developments in the production process, manufacturers have been able to create increasingly larger tiles for many applications. Only 15 years ago the standard size for main floors was around a quarter of the size they are today. Currently in Australia, the standard tile size for main floors are approximately 600x600mm. If present trends continue in this way, tile size will continue to increase. In store we are now seeing many more clients and home renovators requesting large format tiles on their main floors, from the modest 450x900mm up to 600x1200mm and 900x900mm. For full bathroom feature walls with a slab-like stone look we are starting to see porcelain tiles in sizes up to 1200x2400mm. Also, with the changes to rangehood heights for gas cooktops going up to 700mm, we are seeing splashbacks cut from full pieces in sizes such as 900x1800mm. As an owner builder or a home renovator, many factors will influence the laying of large format tiles in your home. We will explore some of the main issues below.

COST: Although prices have dropped significantly, especially in the past couple of years, there is no denying that on average large format tiles are more expensive to purchase than smaller formats. Whilst this may sometimes only be the difference of a few hundred dollars on the purchase price, the real difference in price will be felt in the laying costs. Tiler’s can charge up to double their standard per square metre rate for laying large format tiles.

AREA: It is often a given that most main floors would look stunning with large format tiles, but we often get asked by clients whether they can buy larger format tiles for their bathrooms. Although the short answer is ‘yes’, there are many aspects to consider. When laying large format on a bathroom floor, the position of the floor waste can be crucial due to the need for ‘fall’, the slope of the tiles falling towards the waste so the water does not pool on the floor. When a floor waste is located central in the bathroom, the general rule is that smaller tiles make it easier to achieve adequate fall. However, in a bathroom with a waste located against a wall, a strip drain can be installed and the tiles can all be angled in one direction, making it possible to use large format tiles.

SUBSTRATE: It is often a given that most main floors would look stunning with large format tiles, but we often get asked by clients whether they can buy larger format tiles for their bathrooms. Although the short answer is ‘yes’, there are many aspects to consider. When laying large format on a bathroom floor, the position of the floor waste can be crucial due to the need for ‘fall’, the slope of the tiles falling towards the waste so the water does not pool on the floor. When a floor waste is located central in the bathroom, the general rule is that smaller tiles make it easier to achieve adequate fall. However, in a bathroom with a waste located against a wall, a strip drain can be installed and the tiles can all be angled in one direction, making it possible to use large format tiles.

TILER’S SKILL: Laying large format tiles and obtaining a high-quality lipless finish is part of the skill set of a tiler who is well experienced with large format tiles. Many tilers may be professionals and well skilled at laying standard sizes, but this does not necessarily make them the right choice for large format. Clients need to be aware that not only does the tiler need the right skills, but also adequate man-power. A tiler would require at least one or two off-siders to assist in carrying and moving larger tiles, which adds to the cost. The above is an overview of some of the issues which need consideration when deciding to use large format tiles in your home. Overall, your budget, the area to be tiled, the substrate and the skill set of your chosen tiler will determine whether large format tiles are the right option for you. For more information and our range of large format tiles, please visit us in store!

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