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Porcelain Paving Pros and Cons


Pros & Cons of Porcelain Paving

At The London Tile Co. we know that there are many benefits to using tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, but what about outside? We stock a wide range of external tiles, which are often referred to as porcelain paving slabs, so we thought we would run through the pros and cons of this new-ish paving material. If you have got any questions at all about our outdoor tiles please get in touch with our customers service team.

Pros of Porcelain Paving

  • Long lasting. Porcelain is strong and hard-wearing, meaning that it will last for years and often still looks the same as when it was installed.
  • Range. Thanks to advances in porcelain inkjet printing technology you can now get porcelain paving that looks a lot like the material that inspired it – great news if you want a stone, cement or wood look outdoors.
  • Frost proof. Because porcelain has extremely low porosity the tiles are unaffected by changes in temperature which can sometime cause damage to natural products.
  • Engineered. Most porcelain paving is both calibrated and rectified, meaning that the sizing is consistent throughout the batch and the edges will be extremely sharp and square, perfect for creating contemporary narrow grout joints.
  • Low maintenance. Stone and decking will require regular sealing and sometimes specialist cleaning products. Porcelain paving does not need sealing and can be cleaned with a brush & mop or a pressure washer.
  • Fade resistant. Porcelain is unaffected by the sun so the colour will not fade or change over time, the slabs are also resistant to staining.
  • Slip resistant. Because porcelain paving is man-made, a textured surface can be added to create an anti-slip finish. All of our outdoor tiles have a minimum R11 slip resistance rating. The non-porous nature of porcelain also makes it resistant to moss & mould growth, another factor that can cause outdoor flooring to become slippery.
  • Contemporary. Porcelain provides a much more contemporary and clean look to traditional concrete or stone slabs.

Cons of Porcelain Paving

  • Cost. Porcelain paving is generally more expensive than the cheapest stones and concrete slabs but is competitive against the top end stone and concrete slabs. The low maintenance and long lasting nature of porcelain paving makes porcelain lifetime cost very cost effective.
  • Installation. Finding the right installer can be tough. While porcelain paving is often sold alongside other paving materials, it is still more like a tile than a paving slab and therefore needs to be installed in a different way, making it a little harder to find someone who will install the tiles correctly. Installing them incorrectly could lead to damage and expensive repairs.
  • Natural Look. While there are many ultra-realistic porcelain paving options out there, they will never have the truly natural look of something like limestone, slate or sandstone.
  • Cutting. Because porcelain is a very hard material it can be harder to cut than natural stone, sometimes requiring specialist blades or machinery.
  • Fixing costs. Installation costs for porcelain paving are generally a little higher than for cheaper concrete and stone slabs. To reduce installation costs try to design the paved area to minimise cuts where possible.

While we have tried our very best to be unbiased and provide plenty of both pros and cons, we have to admit that it was a struggle to balance the two as there are many more positive points to note than negative. Order a sample of our porcelain paving, including the PorcelPave and Valverdi Indoor-Out ranges, online today and see for yourself.


March Featured Tiles: Pharaoh Stone & Sidewalk Cement Effect Tiles


20% off Featured Tiles at The London Tile Co.

If there was ever a month that highlighted how up-and-down English weather can be, February 2019 was definitely it. We started the month with heavy snowfall and ended with a mini t-shirt weather heatwave! But as March rolls in we can feel Spring is on it’s way and with it brings thoughts of big clear-outs and time spent outside. If you are considering giving your home a mini-makeover this Spring don’t forget to think about the tiles – simply updating your splashback or replacing floor tiles can give your space a quick transformation.

Tiles are extremely hard-wearing, hygienic and available in so many different sizes, colours and styles. If you need some inspiration read on to find out more about this month’s Featured Tiles Pharaoh and Sidewalk or browse our full range of tiles online now.


Looking for something rustic with a natural feel? The Pharaoh range of wall and floor tiles has a stone effect look inspired by ancient Egyptian buildings. The Natural field tiles are available in a 900x300mm wall and 450x450mm floor tile which can be used together for a cohesive look in wet rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. While these neutral tiles are beautiful on their own, there’s also the option to add one of two (or both – why not?) decor tiles; a textured Hammered Decor or a patchwork patterned tile with 12 mini squares that create the look of small patterned mosaics.


It looks like cement is a trend that’s here to stay, but if tearing up your floors to lay a new slab doesn’t sound too appealing cement effect tiles could be the perfect solution. Made from strong and hard-wearing porcelain, the Sidewalk range is available in three concrete inspired colours – White, Grey and Mineral – that can be used on walls and floors. The large 900x450mm tiles also have a rectified edge which means you can lay them with narrow grout joints to create a semi-seamless look.

Sidewalk Cement Effect Porcelain Tiles

As always our Featured Tiles will have a 20% discount throughout the whole of March in our showrooms and online. Take a look at the March Featured Tiles online now.


Tiles We Love at The London Tile Co.


This Valentine’s Day we decided to do something a little different, instead of getting all lovey-dovey about the people in our lives we have turned our attention to tiles! This may sound a little sad but we are all extremely passionate about tiles here and as part of the Hampshire Tile Warehouse group of companies we have nearly 70 years experience in the industry. We asked our staff to tell us about their favourite tile ranges and you can read some of the responses below.

My favourite tile is Napoli Grey, although, I may be biased as I selected it for my own bathroom almost 2 years ago. I possibly love it more now than when the bathroom was first tiled.

The Grey Limestone decoration is full of subtle variation, the colour lends itself to the addition of a variety of colours. Accessories in Orange, Lime, Aubergine, Cerise and Celeste all happily coexist with the tile. The shock was spending over £300 on different colours of towels.

The colour of the tile itself changes with different lighting condition with early morning light the tile appears to have a faint purplish hue, during the day it has a hint of cement grey about it, in the evening under artificial light it changes again.

Napoli, I’ll never tire of you.

Keith Williamson, Senior Sales Manager

I love the Caress Black porcelain tiles. The subtle surface shimmer really catches the eye and the large format 800 x 800 size creates a real wow factor on the floor.

Charlotte Skinner, Graphic Designer

My favourite is the Caress Slate, it has a lovely sheen without being shiny and is dark but not too dark so gives the contemporary look. The rectified edges give it a clean sleek look.

Sarah Turner, Brighton Sales Manager

I love the Grey field and Grey linear decor wall tiles in our Sirocco range, they seem to be both modern and timeless (if that’s possible!!) at the same time, they were popular sellers when I was first at HTW and still are 2 years later upon my return.

Anthony Batson, Ash Vale Trade Counter & Showroom Manager

I love the Malmo cement effect range, particularly the Dark colour which has a really dramatic feel that’s contrasted by the fun herringbone-style Geometric Decor tile.

Eloise Street, Marketing Executive

Grove – the high quality digital reproduction of wooden design giving a warm, cosy feel, combined with the textural beauty & charm of a split face mosaic installation yield, what is described by the manufacturer, as “spectacular & captivating” – I couldn’t agree more.

Simon Rowe, Managing Director

I love the Bronte range, the fact they are glossy I love how the light reflects of the bumpy edges.

Kerrie Donovan, Hedge End Assistant Branch Manager

Random, quirky, stunning, the New England range is like a magical jigsaw puzzle. The wood effect is stunning and each box contains a random assortment of colours and patterns, so that everyone can create a totally unique design for their home. The New England Mix comprises 6 completely different tiles, which, when combined, make magic. My absolute favourite tile.

Rachel Hunt, Financial Controller

As you can see, we all have totally different tastes, but whatever your style we have a wide range of tiles available online and in our showrooms. Give us a call or pop in and our staff will help you find the perfect tile for your project.


We’ve Won a Best of Houzz Award!


We’re really excited to announce that we have been awarded a Best of Houzz 2019 Award for Design. If you’re not aware of it, Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. “With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality.”

London Tile was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.1 million active home building, renovating and design industry professionals. We find Houzz an excellent platform for sharing our tiles and communicating with anyone looking for advice on tiles and tiling.

“Best of Houzz is a true badge of honor as it is awarded by our community of homeowners, those who are hiring design, renovation and other home improvement professionals for their projects,” said Marcus Hartwall, Managing Director of Houzz UK and Ireland. “We are excited to celebrate the 2019 winners chosen by our community as their favourites for home design and customer experience, and to highlight those winners on the Houzz website and app.”

Follow us on Houzz now and start adding our tiles to your Ideabooks.


February Featured Tiles: 20% Off Shimmering Allure & Patterned Priory Ranges


Give yourself a round of applause because guess what? We made it through January! Now that the first month of 2019 is out of the way we can start looking forward to all the interior projects we have planned for the year. Whether it’s a small splashback to update your kitchen or you are having a brand new bathroom installed, we always have a great range of tiles to suit every style and budget. This month our Featured Tiles are the wonderful Allure and Priory ranges so read on to find out more about them.


The Allure range has an ultra-modern look thanks to the cement and metallic finishes combined with the different shapes and sizes. The standout tiles are the shatter effect decor pieces which feature a burst of glitter that catches the light beautifully. There are a range of sizes to choose from including 1200x300mm planks and mosaics in either square or herringbone designs. Allure has a really luxurious feel but with an edgy twist, something that’s enhanced by the stud-effect decor pieces. Allure is available in White, Steel, Sand and Copper.


In contrast to the Allure range, Priory has a much more traditional look inspired by patterned encaustic tiles often seen in period properties. Encaustic tiles are usually made of cement and often require regular sealing to ensure they do not stain or absorb water, luckily the Priory range are made of strong and hard-wearing porcelain. The patterned tiles feature grey, blue and beige tones and are available in three different patterns. Pair the plain white or grey tiles with any of the three pastel patterned decor tiles for a vintage feel on walls and floors in kitchens and bathrooms – we’ve added some pattern inspiration ideas below.

Don’t forget that you get 20% off our Featured Tiles until the end of the month – there’s no discount code needed and the offer is valid in-store and online. Shop the February Featured Tiles online now.


Benefits of Cement Effect Tiles Over Polished Concrete


cement effect tiles

From cosy to industrial, we all have an interior style that we favour and often certain materials are intrinsically linked with that theme. Imagine a Scandi-inspired room with no wood? Exactly! Well, concrete is no exception – instantly conjuring images of ultra-modern and urban settings. While we don’t disagree that concrete has a cool look, there are a few factors that put us off using it ourselves. Thankfully we stock a range of cement effect tiles that allow you to get that same look but with all the benefits of tiles.

So what are the downsides of polished concrete or honed cement floors? Firstly we need to talk about price. Installing a concrete floor can be time consuming and labour intensive, which means you will likely be paying over £110 per square metre. After the concrete has been poured, you’ll need to wait around 28 days before it can be polished – whereras tiles can be installed and grouted within a couple of days. Cement finish floors are often around 100mm thick, while the average tile tends to be around 10mm, so this is something else to bear in mind when planning your project.

Another thing to consider is the mess created, obviously there will be mess with any new floor installation but polishing a concrete floor will create a LOT of dust. Once the polished floor is finished, you will need to keep in mind that it will likely need regular sealing using specialist products otherwise it will be more susceptible to scratching or staining – even after sealing you will need to be wary of spilling anything, particularly acidic liquids, as they could mark the floor.

In contrast to the porous concrete, porcelain goes through a process called vitrification during manufacturing which removes almost all the moisture from the tile. This low porosity level makes porcelain tiles resistant to staining and colourfast – perfect for high traffic areas like kitchens, hallways and even on patios. Porcelain doesn’t ordinarily need sealing, unless you choose a polished tile – check with the supplier for more information about each individual tile regarding whether it will need sealing.

Benefits of Cement Effect Tiles

  • Strong
  • Hard-wearing
  • Fade resistant and colourfast
  • Scratch resistant
  • Does not need specialist sealing
  • Ideal for use with underfloor heating
  • Good value for money
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Stain resistant

If we have piqued your interest you can browse our full range of cement effect tiles online here or visit one of our showrooms and ask a member of staff to point them out.


January Featured Tiles: Atrium & Dubai


Happy New Year! We’re excited to get started with 2019 and of course we are kicking off with our newest Featured Tiles. This month you can save 20% on the stunning Atrium and Dubai ranges.


For an ultra-modern look in your home choose the Atrium range of large format cement effect tiles. Cement finishes have had a surge in popularity over the last couple of years but a poured or polished concrete floor can be extremely expensive, as well as disruptive. Large format cement effect porcelain tiles are a fantastic alternative thanks to their realistic printed finishes and hard-wearing material – making them perfect for high-traffic areas such as hallways and kitchens. The 1200x600mm tiles have a rectified edge which allows you to install them with a narrow grout joint for a contemporary semi-seamless look on walls and floors. Choose from Anthracite, Cement or White.


The Dubai range is available in three neutral tones; Oyster, Putty & Smoke, with two co-ordinating linear decor tiles. These stone effect tiles suit both modern and contemporary themes in kitchens and bathrooms and neutral tiles like these are perfect for small spaces – use a matching grout colour to enhance the seamless feel.

We pick two of our favourite ranges every month – you can see the latest Featured Tiles here. Remember all tiles within the Featured Tile ranges have a 20% discount online and in-store all month.


December Featured Tiles: Save 20% on Burnt Oak Wood Effect & Sheffield Metallic Tiles


We can’t believe December is here and we’re nearly at the end of 2018! It’s been a great year for us and we want to thank our amazing staff and customers for being so supportive. We’ve saved two of our absolute favourite ranges for the last Featured Tiles of the year, so read on to find out more about them.

Burnt Oak

Designed to look like charred wood, the Burnt Oak range of tiles look fantastic in kitchens, hallways and dining areas. These gorgeous tiles were inspired by fire-aged hearths in cosy country homes, but somehow they manage to work well in both traditional and contemporary settings. Each box of 900x150mm tiles includes an assortment of different designs to help you create a realistic look. The hard-wearing porcelain tiles can be used on floors for a traditional look, or why not use them to create a quirky feature wall in your living or dining space?

Charred distressed wood effect porcelain tiles


Looking for a tile with real wow factor? The Sheffield range is reminiscent of rusted and distressed metal sheets – great if you want your kitchen or bathroom to stand out. The large format urban tiles have a slight shimmer on their surface, giving them an on-trend metallic finish. Available in Copper, Rust and Iron, Sheffield is again made of porcelain and can therefore be used on walls or floors.

Sheffield metallic effect porcelain tiles

As always our Featured Tiles have 20% off online and in our stores throughout December, no discount code or voucher is required. Our showrooms and customer services will be closed over the Christmas & New Year break but we’ll be back to process and ship your orders on 2nd January, see below for our full opening hours.

  • Thursday 20th December – Close at 4pm
  • Friday 21st to Thursday 27th December – Closed
  • Friday 28th – Open 9am to 4pm
  • Saturday 29th December to Tuesday 1st January – Closed
  • Wednesday 2nd January – Open as usual

Into The Woods: Four Exciting New Wood Effect Tile Ranges at The London Tile Co.


It’s no secret that wood effect is one of the biggest tile trends of the last few years, and as digital printing technology develops and improves the designs available are becoming more and more realistic. We’ve spent several months searching high and low for the best wood effect tiles to add to our collection, and we’re exciting to launch four new ranges online and in our showrooms today.

What’s So Good About Wood?

Wood has always been a popular choice on floors in homes and it was originally used for structural reasons, eventually becoming a requested finish for aesthetic purposes once concrete sub-floors were more common. The natural beauty of wood makes it an ideal design choice that looks fantastic with an array of interior styles – including both contemporary and traditional.

Each of our new ranges is made of porcelain, which is similar to ceramic in its manufacturing methods but is pressed harder and fired for longer and at higher temperatures. This not only makes the finished tile extremely strong, but gives it an extremely low porosity as nearly all of the moisture is removed from the tile. We also mention that three of the four ranges have a ‘rectified edge’ which means that edges have been ground down to create extremely straight edges and defined measurements – ideal if you want to install the tiles with a modern narrow grout joint. To create a natural look you need some variation in colour and pattern and each supplier classifies this differently; sometimes we have a number of ‘faces’ which is the amount of different designs available, others simply give the degree of variation for example ‘high’. All ranges are packed randomly in a box so there is no guarantee how many different designs you will receive but it is unlikely every tile in the box will look the same.

Benefits of Wood Effect Tiles

  • Porcelain is extremely strong, in fact it is close to diamond in hardness
  • Easy to keep clean as they will not absorb stains and have an almost wipe-clean surface
  • Hygienic surfaces less likely collect dust or bacteria.
  • Can be used on walls and floors in most rooms
  • Great value for money
  • Ideal for use with underfloor heating systems


  • Size: 1200x230mm
  • Colour choices: 3
  • Variation: Moderate
  • Edges: Rectified

There’s something homely about worn wooden floors; whether it’s the rich history of a building or the knowledge that countless families have spent their time treading those particular planks, it’s a look we love. But while it does look great, a worn wooden floor needs maintenance and could leave you with splinters or broken boards. It’s also not an option for many of us living in newer buildings. Luckily you can recreate the look with the new Globe range. Available in three shades, these tiles have a pre-distressed finish that looks fantastic in cosy kitchens and living spaces. Use a dark grout with a narrow joint to emulate the look of traditional wooden floors.


  • Size: 1200x200mm
  • Colour choices: 4
  • Variation: 21 Faces
  • Edges: Rectified

We selected the Woodland range for its natural look so it is the perfect choice for anyone looking for an alternative to wooden floors. The tiles have convincing designs digitally printed on their surface, complete with realistic knots and graining. There are four different shades to choose from; Almond, Oak, Pearl and Walnut.


  • Size: 1200x200mm
  • Colour choices: 2
  • Variation: 16 Faces
  • Edges: Rectified

The Penthouse range has an upmarket and luxurious feel that makes it the perfect choice for large spaces or areas where the floor will be continued from room to room. The two shades, White and Pearl, are both quite neutral with an almost pastel look and feature a contrasting light grain design.


  • Size: 780x150mm
  • Colour choices: 5
  • Variation: High
  • Edges: Pressed

These small format wood effect tiles are perfect for those wanting a natural look in a smaller space, for example a bathroom or compact kitchen. Choose from five natural shades to suit any style from traditional to shabby chic. For those looking to use these tiles in wet areas such as wet rooms, steam rooms or around indoor pools, we offer an anti-slip option – please allow approximately 4 weeks for these to arrive to us.

All of our wood effect ranges are available online here and in our showrooms. Please get in touch if you have any questions about our these or any other tiles in our collection.


November Featured Tiles: Andalusia & Earth


After a month of sunshine and surprisingly warm weather, November has started with a heavy rainstorm here at London Tile HQ. Still, we’re looking forward to cosy evenings and comfort food in the run up to the festive season – and we have some fantastic news about our monthly Featured Tiles. Thanks to the success of the scheme over the last year we have decided to raise the discount from 10% to 20% so you can save even more on tiles to transform your home.


The Andalusia range has a rustic look similar to weathered natural stone that’s inspired by the beautiful tiles often seen in sun-soaked haciendas. The 300x300mm or 600x300mm wall and floor tiles are made of hard-wearing porcelain and are available in three colour options; White, Mineral and Natural. There’s also a gorgeous patchwork patterned decor tile which features a random assortment of semi-repeating patterns; there are four designs on each 300x300mm tile creating the illusion of smaller 150x150mm tiles. The decor tile is also made of porcelain so it could be used to create a feature wall or an eye-catching floor.


Earth has a subtle, almost mottled, stone-effect finish that is perfectly complemented by the striped Hammer decor tiles. These decor tiles have a contrasting stripe design that’s slightly raised for a simple textured look in kitchens or bathrooms. Choose from Grey or Moon colours in 600x600mm porcelain floor tiles and matching 900x300mm ceramic wall tiles.

Our November Featured Tiles are available online and in all London Tile and The Tile Source showrooms while stocks last.