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Tile Story

Updated on September 24, 2011

The year was 39BC; Herod was appointed as king and as such built palaces.

On a visit to Masada to explore the ruins I was aware of the opulence of the inhabitance once living there. Their bathing area with dome shaped ceilings was perfectly tiled in alignment with mosaics. How clever they were to build dome shaped ceilings so that the water vapor could run down the sides! “Maybe designing dome shaped ceilings for bathrooms would be too challenging for our modern day tilers” I thought, grinning.

“Credit” to the skills of the tradesmen who laid the tiles.

Over 2000 years later and what did I see? Mosaics beautifully patterned when laid, resembling the Roman art of tiling, in the suites in the Burj hotel in Dubai. Obviously in our modern day, tilers admire the art of tiling of those early day Romans, copying their masterpieces.

Besides the Burj hotel in Dubai, the city can boast its skills in tiling from the airport to its shops, offices and other hotels, even the railway stations.

One hotel in Dubai that can boast its tiling magnificence is the Atlantis. This was one time when I took a photo of “a floor” and when doing so a vibe of “how strange this woman” came from the onlookers.

Burj Al Arab Penthouse suite bathroom
Burj Al Arab Penthouse suite bathroom | Source

Back on Home Territory!

With a tiling job pending at my premises it’s a toss up as to who will tackle it, my husband, me, or an experienced tiler! I think it will be wise to take the last option but having said that, there are websites that take a novice like me through the steps of tiling and the best advice on which tiles I should use for this odd tiling job.

Being the old fashioned woman I am I believe in seeking professional advice of a sales consultant at a tiling outlet as well as the information online. The showrooms where rooms e.g.; bathroom settings are tiled, give the overall finished effect of a choice of tiles. Pick up some good ideas for accessorizing tiled rooms in the showrooms too.

Taking time to look through the “Gallery on Tiles” will pay dividends remembering that the area you will tile will be in eye view every day thereafter.

Looking at the full range available, as laborious as it may be, can spare you the grief I had after having tiled a large house throughout with a “cheap” tile in an endeavor to save both money and time. I ended up covering the floors wherever possible with rugs. To my detriment I had devalued the house too. What a hard lesson to learn in “false economy!”

CTM Gosford, Australia
CTM Gosford, Australia | Source

Tiles Available

CERAMIC TILES - As it is a porous tile it is recommended more for indoor use to prevent weathering caused by frost. Ceramics are cost effective and durable, ideal forresidential use. A vast selection of patterns and colors are readily available.

PORCELAIN TILES – Due to it’s high breaking and wear resistance properties, porcelain stoneware is often used in public areas where heavy traffic occurs.

Low porosity permits polishing these tiles creating an extraordinary brilliant surface.

STONE – Stoneware has a water absorption rate of less than 3% making it frost proof this due to low porosity. Therefore it is good for outdoor use. Marble, Onyx, Granite and Slate are all Stone tiles.

NATURAL STONE – This tile varies in hardness (eg: limestone) so not suitable for heavy traffic areas.

RUBBER TILES – These tiles are recommended for flooring of garages, workshops, patios and dance floors.

PEBBLE TILES – This tile is made up of small Pebbles attached to a backing. Generally designed in an interlocking pattern of multiple tiles fitted together giving a seamless appearance.

CORK TILES – The natural warmth of Cork tiles makes it an ideal product for bathroom flooring and anywhere one may be walking with bare feet.

Cork is not slippery when wet as is Ceramic. Cork is hygienic, allergy free and can be wiped down easily.

The full range of tiles available is extensive, each type with advantages to suit your needs.



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    • SanneL profile image


      7 years ago from Sweden

      LadyLyell- I really enjoyed this post, right up my alley, since I have been doing quite a lot of tiling and grouting myself in my days.

      With this great and informative hub you have made it a whole lot easier for those that plans to go shopping for tiles.

      Voted up!


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Loved the story - very informative and a must read for all mosaic enthusiasts and decorators alike!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thanks for the comment. The tiling in all areas in the Burj are equally as nice.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love the photo of the bathroom at the Burj, magnificent tiling, what an art !


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