Criterion Tiles - Frequently Asked Questions

Will it be cheaper if I buy fewer, larger tiles?

We sell our tiles by the square metre which means that the actual number in each square metre will not make a difference to the final price.

How many tiles are there in a square metre?

Tiles differ in size, which means no 'one fits all' number. On all our showroom labels you will find a note of ‘number per square metre’. inevitably this number is sometimes a fraction as you cannot buy part of a tile. We will assist with calculations to make a fair approximation.

How are they supplied?

Traditionally we took pride in selling by the piece. It has become increasingly common that only full-box quantities will be supplied to us, and so on to you. We will do our utmost to ensure these restrictions are not unfairly applied.

Do we have to fix every tiny one individually?

No. Some tiles are presented as 'mosaics'. These will be sheets, usually about 30cm square, of small tiles bonded together by either a paper or plastic facing, on a mesh, or by silicon adhesive dots. Many border effects will be supplied initially as single sheet, to be cut up in the desired proportions.

Do larger tiles make a small room look bigger? And vice versa?

In our experience we haven't found either to be the case.

Should we lay these floor tiles down square, or diagonally?

Tiling at 45 degrees does give a sense of extra space, but do allow more than the usual 10% for wastage. Brick-bonding the joints across the line of vision may serve to fore-shorten a long, narrow space. The converse is also true to suggest expansiveness away from your point of view.

How do I work out how many tiles I need?

To be certain this is best left to your professional tiler, who can be on the spot and so foresee any particular problems. But if you can make a template of the tile out of card, you can hazard a guess by literally facing it up against the area to be tiled.
Rest assured that both the surface area of the tile and the area to be tiled are finite sizes.

What happens if I have too many?

Sorry about this, but it is generally not practicable for us to accept surplus for return. If it is possible to put them back into stock we will give you a credit note; unfortunately this cannot apply to seconds. Our suppliers never accept returns, except of course in the case of a genuine fault.

What happens if I have too few?

If you buy too few from tiles, there is always a risk that the special discounted line may be unrepeatable. So it is wise to order a few extra. In the case of a standard line from Criterion Tiles we should be able to re-order for you. We do try to keep a record of batch codes supplied on previous orders, in the event you require more tiles, but we can never guarantee to supply from the same batch once time has elapsed.

What happens if there are tile variants within a batch?

Best policy is to examine all your tiles carefully before they are fixed, from all boxes, to spot any irregularities in shape, size or tonality (which are not actually an inherent part of the tile's character!). Do not allow any of the tiles to be fixed until a potential problem has been resolved.

What is a rectified tile?

This means that the edges of each finished tile are sawn to an ultra smooth finish and the tile is accurately calibrated. This allows perfect fitting and the neatest of joints, as well as producing a convincing effect with a tile designed to look like dressed stone.

How wide or narrow can the joints be?

Nowadays smooth surfaces are the smartest, especially for porcelain tiles with 'rectified edges'. A sleek look requires the narrowest joints, and we advise allowing 2-3 mm between each tile (never laid to touch each other). This space, though small, can allow for slight movement over time.A wider joint is better for handmade rustic tiles, and for these we suggest a joint (depending on tile size and shape) which will average out at approx. 5 mm.

How do I keep grouting clean?

The better modern grouts may contain additives to preserve colour and ward off fungal attack.

How do you rate coloured grouting?

Especially chic with mosaic tiling to disguise joints, or for example charcoal with Portuguese black slate, or ivory with a look- alike sandstone. Do not use if you are simply trying to pretend it somehow enhances the tile itself.

Can my wall support such a heavy tile?

Your architect or contractor will be the best judge, but 35 kg per square metre is the prescribed limit for stud and plasterboard walls.

Does this product need sealing?

We will advise you on the correct seal for any tile you choose. Surprisingly unglazed porcelain, especially if polished, requires sealing.

How do I cut or drill this tile?

We will explain the basic requirements, and if you need specialist tools we will provide rough descriptions and guidelines.

Can the decoration be rubbed off?

Set your mind at rest about this one. Differing techniques are used to keep colours permanently fixed on decorated tiles. In the case of majolica oxides are fused to the tiles on firing, for encaustic tiles the design is recessed into the body of the tile in a contrasting colour and remains constant. Decoration to a porcelain floor tile is usually etched and so might wear down (but only over years!)

What makes a tile suitable for wall or floor, worktop or shower?

Structural strength and resistance to abrasion. We will help you choose the perfect tile to use for your space. One example - we wouldn't advise Mexican hand-painted tiles for a shower, on account of the wider grouting required.

Do kitchen and bathroom tiles differ?

Not these days, but generally people used to prefer smaller tiles in kitchens.

Is this tile compatible with underfloor heating?

Although used as a resistor in the electronics industry, ceramics are good conductors of heat.

Do you deliver?

We organise delivery through one of our trusted companies, and in the case of a large order we will try to arrange delivery direct to site from our supplier. We will always negotiate the best terms for you. Do make sure that someone on site is available to help unload the boxes and take them in. A delivery will be to kerbside only.

Will that amount fit in my car?

An estate car will handle quite a heavy load, particularly if spread evenly.

Can you recommend any good tilers?

We keep a list of skilled tilers who work independently, and we are happy to pass suitable names on to you. However your agreement or contract is with them alone.

How do they charge?

Tilers charge in various ways, by the day or by the square metre, but we suggest that you negotiate, in advance, a flat fee for the whole job as it may prove more economical.



Criterion Trade

Criterion Tiles are please to announce the opening of a new trade counter at our warehouse. Criterion Trade will stock tiles for both the floor and wall as well as adhesives and grouts.

New Developments

We've been updating our ranges at Criterion and so if you're thinking of a change, come in and have a look at what we can offer.

Criterion Stock

See what ranges we have in stock

Alpha Stone - a best sellerClick to see more of our Alpha Stone...
The tile is deceptively good-looking in rustic or hi-tech surroundings.


South London Showroom:
196, Wandsworth Bridge Road,
London SW6 2UF
Tel: +44 (0)20 7736 9610
Fax: +44 (0)20 7736 0725