Ask The Experts {Topps Tiles}

Author: Lolly Gautier-Ollerenshaw

Towards the beginning of this year we shared a post on our Instagram feed asking you folks what you would like to see more of on Rock My Style. You responded in your hundreds and the overwhelming proportion of responses focused on interiors and more specifically pieces from ‘Experts’ in their respective housebuilding/refurbing fields.

You wanted to know about kitchen design and upholstery, self-builds and extensions, planning permissions and flooring. The list goes on and on. So you asked and we listened so today’s post marks the first of An Ask The Experts series we’re hoping to roll out for the rest of 2017 and beyond. This is your chance to ask an Expert all those questions you need answers to, right here, right now and completely for free.

Sian O’Neill, Head of Marketing at Topps Tiles has written today’s post to take you through some of her favourite designs from the Topps Tiles range and how you can incorporate these looks into your home. Supporting her in answering any tile questions you have today are Kayleigh – a Mosaics/Natural stone expert, Joe who is the man in the know about tools and necessary essentials, Nicole who has her finger on the pulse for the latest tile trends, Jenny who specialises in trims and accessories and lastly Clare who is an all-round tile guru.

They’ll be here all day answering any questions you may have so please do ask away by using the comments box below. I’ll now pass you over to Sian for more details.

Sian: There’s no denying that the natural look is one of the key emerging trends in interior design right now, which is why Topps Tiles have launched their latest ranges of ‘effect’ tiles. I’ll be taking you through some of my favourite designs from our product ranges and showing you how you can incorporate these looks into your home. Let’s get started…


The industrial trend is still going strong, and tapping into it is easy, especially if you use a stylish stone-effect tile. Our latest offering, Antler, is the perfect product to achieve this look. This ceramic tile is the ideal partner for bathroom or kitchen walls, thanks to its water-resistant properties and hardwearing nature. The exploration of new inkjet reactive technology when used on a gloss glaze creates a handcrafted, distressed stone surface with edge detailing. The mottled surface of the tile allows the glaze to react creating stunning depth and variation of colour. Why not create a truly chic look by laying these tiles in a unique arrangement on the walls for a rustic focal point that will stand the test of time.


Wood-effect is a firm fixture in this year’s interiors trends, thanks to the popularity of Scandi-driven aesthetics. Opting for a wood-effect tile is the perfect way to achieve this look in the home. Our new Andira range comes in three different colours, Burnt Ebony, Rural Oak and Smokey Brown, allowing customers to create a traditional parquet effect that works just as well in a bathroom as it does in a kitchen or hallway. Why not make this trend your own by laying the tiles in a different pattern. The crate laying pattern is a favourite of our designers; lay one line of tiles vertically, then the second horizontally. Continue until the floor is covered to achieve a unique ladder effect.


With the current trend for unfinished walls and textured brick surfaces, our Callow range provides a fresh and clean sophisticated look, moving away from the darker palettes of concrete-effect tiles and into the brighter and warm Scandi whites. The hammered plasterboard effect tile, combined with the structured decor tile, offers an interesting take on the idea of stripped-back, unpainted, bare plaster. Pair with bright pops of colour to create a stylish contrast against this neutral tile, or add to a simple, neutral colour palette for effortless simplicity.


The use of fabric in home décor and interiors shows no signs of abating, and this trend has opened the door to a range of stylish and realistic fabric-effect items for the home. Our innovative Fabrix collection brings a contemporary and stylish look into the Topps Tiles range of products, offering all the benefits of a tile but with the look and warm appeal of fabric or material. Offering modern boutique elegance, this tile combines the warm look of woven materials with the structure of a linear decor. Fabrix is perfect for all living spaces, with the tartan decor working particularly well as a feature wall in living or dining areas. For a contemporary look, why not use alongside the plain Fabrix tile on the floor.


Our Slumber collection expertly replicates the surface of sawn wood to emulate the warm, rustic feel of natural timber, but all in a durable, water resistant, porcelain tile. The buying team here at Topps Tiles travel around the world to find the best textures and colours, and all that inspiration and research is then incorporated in to the collection. The tones of the Slumber range evoke the natural beauty of woodland areas and the mix of shades means that all the tiles complement each other to create a beautiful natural aesthetic, but with a modern twist. This is perfect for homeowners looking for stylish timber inspired walls and floors that exude warmth and comfort. The diverse colourway of the tiles provides a neutral yet interesting backdrop for any space.

Can you believe that the floor in the header image at the top is actually tiles?! I was amazed when I found out. So now is your chance to ask away… whether it be specialist advice, thoughts on the latest trends or whether you’re after tiling tips, the Topps Tiles Team are on hand for the duration of today to help you out.

Just leave a message for them in the comments box below and they’ll respond with an answer that is tailor made for you. Have a great Friday folks….


Images courtesy of Topps Tiles

Author: Lolly
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.
Follow Lolly on instagram @graceandgable
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36 thoughts on “Ask The Experts {Topps Tiles}

  1. Hello! This is such a helpful and timely post! My husband and I are currently renovating our home and trying to decide on flooring for the lounge and hallway. We want continuity so the same flooring for the two and had considered wood effect tiles. I have a number of questions!
    Would you say they are suitable for a lounge space? We currently have an 11 week old who will no doubt turn into a robust toddler, so how likely are tiles to crack and if they do- are they easily replaced?
    Lastly- we adore the herringbone pattern but would you say this is a good design to have in a hallway which is quite narrow (say the width of a pram and a crab shuffle around it when I don’t bother to collapse it….often)? And also- in terms of fitting, does laying a herringbone style COST more in fitting than a traditional straight style?
    I never knew 12 months ago I would be so interested in tiles or have so many questions!!
    Thanks very much!!

    1. Morning Josie,

      Sounds very exciting indeed! Wood effect tiles are certainly suitable to be laid in the lounge and the hallway, they’re very hard wearing so are perfect for areas of the room with such a high footfall. We’re pretty sure they’ll stand the test of time, even with a toddler thrown into the mix! If any of the tiles do need replacing, it is easy enough to do, plus, you’ll only need to replace the affected tiles, not the whole floor! We have plenty of ‘how to’ guides and videos, including how to replace tiles, on our website to help you if you ever need guidance.

      If you’re looking to lay the tiles in the living room, it might be good to look into underfloor heating too for added cosiness and luxury.

      With regards to the Herringbone laying pattern, there could be additional fitting cost as it may require a skilled fitter, however it is a timeless choice and would look stunning in years to come. For this type of project I would suggest our new Andira™ range which is a smaller plank and a perfect choice for this laying pattern. We’d love to see how your project turns out, so please feel free to share some images with us once you’re done!

      If you have any other questions, just let us know 🙂

  2. Hi! We’re in the process of buying our new house and we will be completely renovating the kitchen and dining room. We are going to take down the wall between them to create more of a diner feel, but there will still be separate dining and kitchen areas if that makes sense! The rest of the the downstairs has beautiful original floor boards so the flooring in the kitchen diner I feel needs to be different – do you have any suggestions?

    We have two children, so warmth and comfort under foot is important as well as nothing too hard as we’ll have the inevitable trips and falls. We will probably go for a painted shaker style kitchen in grey, green or blue so something that would complement this style would be great!

    Thank you

    1. Hi Agnes,

      Thanks for getting in touch, we always enjoy hearing about new DIY projects 🙂

      We love the idea of a painted shaker style kitchen! A key trend for 2017/2018 is about creating serene environments with soothing colours and blue will play a prominent role in this. For something to contrast against your original floor boards throughout the house, we think a white marble like our Albus™ porcelain tile would look great in the kitchen diner.

      If you’re looking for something different, but want to stick with the wood theme, we have a range of wood-effect tiles that would do the job. Unlike laminate options, wood-effect porcelain tiles are incredibly strong, durable and low on absorbency, meaning they really stand the test of time. Additionally, they require minimal maintenance, making them ideal for busy households and high footfall areas of the home (definitely handy when you have two children!). You can also wave goodbye to cold feet as porcelain is much better than wood at retaining heat, lending itself well to use in conjunction with underfloor heating. Also, thanks to the latest developments in inkjet technology, wood-effect tiles now have an authentic wood grain finish, meaning there really is very little difference between the look of these and the real deal. Why not try a grey wood effect tile like our Longmore™ grey, which has a lovely textured grain and will complement the existing wood floors.

      Remember you can always use alternative laying patterns for the tiles, to create a kitchen diner with the ‘wow’ factor!

      We would love to see any pics so feel free to send some our way.


    2. If you want warmth and comfort underfoot have look at amtico. I usually only go for natural materials but The relative softness and warmth compared to stone or ceramic really swung it for me.

      1. Hi Rachel, thanks I will definitely take a look as softness and warmth are really important with little ones! Like you I’m more drawn to natural materials so interesting you were impressed, it’s great to hear about first hand experience.

  3. Hi

    Any great neutral porcelain floor tiles that look like pale limestone you can recommend? Nothing with any beige or yellow tones though ! For basement kitchen

    1. Hi Katherine,

      Thanks for your question.

      I would suggest either:

      • Hamble™ which is a limestone effect tile in 60×60 porcelain, This range has the calmness of limestone but is modernised with its cement effect & energized with tiny glitters on a matte surface. The colour pallet lends itself to a combinations of grey and natural tones which supports many current trends namely contemporary & simply minimal looks. It is available in Vanilla, Putty & Nimbus and features as part of our Spaces™ indoor/outdoor range.


      • Elloa™ Rock Tile was also created using Limestone as the inspiration, this is a 60×40 porcelain tile, which also contains an element of subtle sparkle but the size is more typical of a traditional Limestone tile.

      Both are available to request samples online to help you with your decision. Good luck with your project and I look forward to seeing the results!


  4. Hi
    I have a wood burning stove with a heat proof board behind it (which is hideous), I’d like to cover the board with natural slate tiles.
    Do you think they would stand the heat, will I be able to tile over the board or do I need to remove it and do I need to use a special grout?
    Also the fireplace hearth is already tiled but i’d like to change it to slate too (it’s a bit 80s at the moment), can you tile over tiles?
    Last question… what is the best way to cut a tile on a curve (i’d like to use the slate in the alcoves in the fireplace too)?

    1. Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for your questions!

      The tiles will hold up against the heat, although we would suggest allowing a minimum of a 150mm gap between the stove and the tiles. We have a great selection of Slate within our range including Black, Multicolour and the modern Splitface design.

      Regarding the heat proof board, do you know what sits behind the board? If it is a vacant space, the board probably won’t be sturdy enough to hold the tiles, in which case we would suggest taking the board away and tiling the surface behind the stove.

      With grout, we recommend using our BAL Micromax2 which comes in a variety of colours and is suitable for any tile application, both indoors and outdoors.

      We would advise against tiling over existing tiles as you need a decent base for the new tiles to adhere to. Preparation is key when it comes to tiling, it’s better to do the work upfront to avoid any issues in the future.

      We have a wide variety of videos on our Topps Tiles Advice Centre, including a video on how to cut tiles around fixtures and fittings. That should be able to help!

      Feel free to ping across any other questions you have!

  5. Hi.
    A bit of a fireplace question from me too. Our lounge fireplace is not my favourite but until we replace it I thought that maybe I might update it a bit. It had a marble style inlay so would I be able to apply tiles over the top of this do you think?

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Similar to the above query, we don’t recommend tiling on top of the inlay as the texture won’t be rough enough to allow for a strong adhesion long term. Preparation is key!

      Feel free to fire across any other questions 🙂

  6. Hi

    we have had a woodburner installed and I don’t like the look of just the painted heatproof backing board – would it be possible to tile this? I have seen it done on some blogs but just not sure!thanks

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      As mentioned above, do you know what sits behind the board? If it is a vacant space, the board probably won’t be sturdy enough to hold the tiles, in which case we would suggest taking the board away and tiling the surface behind the stove.

      Pass on any other questions you have 🙂

  7. Not a question, but just wanted to comment that we’ve just had our kitchen tiled with Wynter hues tiles from topps and I am over the moon with the result! Now this may be because I’ve lived without tiles on the wall for 6 months (note to self: never leave husband to organise things), but they really do look amazing. Our tiler did comment on how nice the Tiles were and I had a very pleasant and helpful chap in store when I bought them. Now I just need I get my husband to finish all the other little projects in the house and I’m sorted!

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thanks for the lovely feedback – it’s always good to hear from customers who love our tiles as much as we do!

      Feel free to send us some pics of your kitchen 🙂

      The Topps Team

  8. Hello! I really love all the new patterned floor tiles. Are these suitable for wet room usage? Both in terms of being able to stand up to all the water and not being too slippery? I love the Berkeley Tile in particular. Thank you!

    1. Hi Vicki,

      Our Berkeley™ tile can be used within a bathroom, however we would not recommend it for a wet room as it does not have any ant-slip properties. My suggestion would be to partner the Berkeley™ with a mosaic tile for the shower area of the wet room. For example to you could partner Berkeley™ Charcoal with Shapes Hexagon Unglazed Black 23x26mm Mosaic Tile to provide the anti-slip element to the wet room.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Hello,
    We are doing up our bathroom and had considered using metro tiles, laid To a herringbone pattern with a dark grey grout. We wondered what floor tiles would work with this? We were looking for a larger grey tile for the floor, but as yet haven’t been able to find one.
    Otherwise we are considering laying the Hamlin tile, floor and walls, if so what grout should we use for a seamless effect?
    Thanks very much!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      Your plan to use the Metro white tile with the contrasting grey grout in a herringbone pattern is timeless and looks amazing especially when partnered with our 60×60 Sculpt™ grey tile, which has an industrial flavour but is softened with its soft polished finish.

      Alternatively, if do opt for the Hamlin tile on the floors and walls, a gunmetal grout would work great fort a seamless effect.

      Good luck with your project and I look forward to seeing the results!


      1. Brilliant advice! Thanks for your suggestions Clare. Also thanks to rock my style for featuring such a useful and timely post!

  10. Hi. We’re currently doing a kitchen extension and plan to have lay the same tiles in the kitchen and outside by the bi-fold doors. Can you recommend something to go with a dark grey painted shaker kitchen and a carerra marble style quartz worktop? We’re going to be laying underfoor heating so it needs to work with that too. Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Nichola,

      Your kitchen extension sounds lovely!

      Our Spaces range is the perfect solution for you to achieve a seamless finish across your kitchen and outdoor space, and we think our Spaces™ Laneve tiles would complement the décor in your kitchen as it’s stone effect, but designed to replicate the aesthetic of Carrara marble.

      Alternatively if you’d rather not have a white floor, we have a Belgium stone effect tile within the Spaces™ range, Bruges™ Grey, which would complement the grey veining of your marble worktops.

      Hope this helps, let us know if you have any other questions at all!

      1. Thanks Nicole! I love the streamline look from using the same tiles indoors and outdoors and the Spaces range looks great. I’ll pop into a store and have a look at them. Thanks for your help.

  11. I am about to fit a modern freestanding stone bath and sink in my main bathroom, firstly are there any tiling things I should take into consideration with the freestanding tub?

    Secondly – I love the effect of the andira above for the floor but am unsure about what wall tiles would work given that I intend to only tile part of the wall behind the freestanding tub and sink. I want the room to be classic but modern. Also our builder recommended tile skirting, is this generally a floor tile? are they sold separately or do you cut a tile to a skirting type height?

    So many questions!!

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thanks for dropping us a note!

      In terms of tile considerations for a free standing bath, there is nothing more than the usual! We would advise opting for a porcelain tile due to their hard wearing properties.

      A great tile with a true timeless feel is the Linear tile. These tiles can provide a classic look, but opt for a darker or lighter grout (depending on the kind of the colour of tile you go for) to add more of a statement. Our Diamante range is another good choice and offers a wider range of colours to choose from to suit your bathroom.

      A skirting or border tile can be for either the floor or wall, your choice! There’s nothing stopping you cutting a tile to use as a skirting and if you are thinking of using Andira™ on the floor it would make a great skirting.

      Hope this helps!

  12. Hello,
    We are just finishing an extension and have already tiled the bathroom and kitchen, but I’m looking for a fun wee splashback for the downstairs loo – we are having some quirky blue and orange wallpaper on one wall ( and I’m struggling to pick a splashback for the basin. Is there anything you would recommend?

    1. Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I love the wallpaper! Why not bring out the colour orange with our Copper Fusion Modular Mix Mosaic tile, which includes an unusual blend of coppers, perfect to bring personality to the room.

      Alternatively, our Sharme™ Seagrass will provide a pop of blue to complement the base colour of your amazing wallpaper!

      Remember to send us a pic when its finished 🙂


  13. Hello we are planning a kitchen / living room extension next year, the room will be around 7m by 8pm. At the moment in the downstairs we have oak floor boards and our style is very scandi as my husband is Finnish 🙂 Do you have any tile recommendation for the extension?I want to get a modern white handless kitchen with a white ish marble (or similar) work surface. We plan for the kitchen to be on the RHS with a massice island and then on the LHS of the room we will have a log burner surounded by sofas. At the moment I have off white square tiles that show up everything. I would like to keep it light and like the idea of wooden tiles but not usre if this will look strange with proper wooden floors? Do you think that really big tiles would look better in this space? I dont want pure white tiles or anything too yellow. Also what kind of tiles would you recommend for a splash back in the kitchen if usinga white marble surface? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for getting in touch, sounds like you have an exciting project on your hands!

      It really depends on whether you want to stick to a wood effect or create a distinction between your room sets. We have a great selection of wood effect tiles, but don’t let the word tile scare you, all our tiles capture the same effects as natural timber – with the added benefits of being more durable and easier to maintain than actual wood flooring itself.

      If you are looking to keep a seamless scandi look throughout the downstairs, we would advise using a tile such as our Andira™ Rural Oak Tile or for something with a little more contrast why not opt for an aged wood effect tile like Jamari™.

      With regards to creating a splashback, it would depend on the colour scheme you are going for however, we would suggest using our Antler™ tile which was inspired by this trend! Its subtle hints of colour will also keep the look light and airy.

      Hope this helps, and please feel free to send some pictures over!


  14. Morning! I hope I’m not too late for a reply. I am buying a new build, ready in June, and the kitchen only comes with a worktop up stand so I need to get the splashback tiled as soon as I can afford it. It’s only a starter home so I don’t want to spend a fortune but it is just a small area. The kitchen is high gloss white with slim metal long handles. The worktop is oak style and I’m going for oak Amtico in a 45 degree laying pattern. I think! I want to keep the tiles very neutral but I’m leaning towards pops of yellow, grey and navy as my accent colours. What would you recommend? I love the metro style but I’m a bit worried it’s overdone. I like the hexagonal tiles but worried it’s too much of a passing trend. I’m popping into my local Topps Tiles in Taunton this morning as I’m on leave this week and want to get some inspiration 🙂

    1. Morning Claire,

      Don’t worry, we would be more than happy to help!

      Sounds like an exciting project you have going on! I think if you like the metro style but want a tile that would stand the test of time our Diamante tile is ideal and you could always look at different laying options and grout colours to create your own unique look.

      Grey, navy and yellow or also huge colour trends for 2017, into 2018, so there are plenty of accessories you could pull from if you wanted to select a tile that could work with different trends. Perhaps look at our Diamante Mist tile which is very versatile and would highlight the colour palette you are working with at the moment and can further lend itself to other trends in the future.

      Our team in Taunton are very helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask our experts instore for their guidance as well.

      Hope this helps and please send us images after – we love seeing the final product at HQ!


      1. Thank you Nicole. The staff were very helpful and friendly. Diamanté is a good suggestion! I also liked the Artisau. I thought I’d love the Wynter but think they were a bit too coloured in real life. Thanks for the advice!

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