What to look for in a tessellated tiler

Finding a good tessellated tiler for your new heritage tessellated tile floor can be a very daunting process – tessellated tiles require more care and craftsmanship than larger format, regular tiles because of the inherent geometric complexity of many of the patterns.

Thankfully, The Tessellated Tile Market have over 40 years of experience laying tessellated tile floors. Over the years, we've come up with a set of criteria that we believe are the holy grail of laying beautiful floors. 

  • Pattern continuinty: The internal pattern needs to meet the containing border seamlessly by ensuring that any edge measurement discrepancies be offset to the filler. This is the primary requirement of a professionally finished tessellated floor, and something that many tilers get wrong. It is heartbreaking to observe an otherwise beautiful Victorian or Federation tessellated tile floor be totally ruined by inconsistent edging. We see this in tessellated tile floors all around Sydney, as is unfortunately the number one reason people come to us to fix their floors.
  • Border continuinty: Following on from the internal pattern, as much care as possible is required to ensure that the corners of a tessellated tile border meet each other seamlessly. Whilst this is not always possible due to irregularity in floor geometry, extraordinary care is required to ensure a visually harmonious continuity of the border.
  • Parallel borders: The containing tessellated tile border needs to be straight and parallel to the surrounding perimeter. A good ‘filler’ buffer is required to make sure this happens; a tessellated floor doesn’t look right if the edge of the floor pattern doesn’t skirt evenly against the periphery of the containing space.
  • Proper fall: Adequate fall needs to be ensured in a tessellated floor so that there is proper runoff for rainwater. A floor that doesn’t have runoff will see water pool over the surface and result in surface damage such as colour fading and grout rot.

Criteria such as the above make it difficult for the average person to identify when a tessellated floor is laid properly, making it tricky to find a good tessellated tiler. Generally speaking, look for these things when choosing a tessellated tiler:

  • Experience: Our head instructor pioneered the tessellated tile industry here in Sydney. With over 50 years(!) of experience, he has single-handedly trained almost every tessellated tiler in the industry today. He supervises and quality checks every floor the team lays.
  • Planning: Ask the tiler questions when they come out to quote your job. What is their general process for laying tessellated floors? Will the tiler screed the floor?  Do they do the waterproofing? The Tessellated Tile Market can prescribe an appropriate strategy for ensuring that your tessellated floor is laid properly.
  • Quantities: It is easy to over/underestimate the number of tiles you require for a project. This is where an experienced tiler comes in – ensure that the person you've chose to lay your new tessellated tiles isn’t overestimating the number of individual pieces you for need for a project.
  • Tiles: Ensure the the tessellated tiler can supply you with good tessellated tiles. Sadly, the industry has been affected by a number of tessellated tile companies importing very poor quality product. This product is subject to cracking and colour fading if not taken care of. In the tessellated tile industry, the old maxim proves especially true: you get what you pay for.

There are great tilers out in Sydney, but finding the right one amidst the pool of imitation tilers makes it disconcerting for the layman to choose appropriately. Always ask your tiler how many years they’ve had in the tessellated tile business – no, not just working in a tessellated tile company, but actually laying the floors. Choosing a tiler that specialises in tessellated tiles is crucial, and all the more reason why you should choose The Tessellated Tile Market to lay your new floor.