Tile Fix Direct Blog

Refresh Your Faded Black Limestone Patio with LTP Blackstone Sealer & Restorer

Has your limestone patio faded from black to grey in the years since it was first installed? Do you dream of that freshly paved look again? Well you’re in luck! Introducing LTP’s Blackstone Sealer and Restorer which will make your limestone patio look good as new. LTP are experts when it comes to sealing, cleaning and maintenance products for a range of tile and stone materials, so you can trust that Blackstone will do the job.

LTP has launched a new outdoor sealer and restorer designed for use on external dark natural stone and artificial stone surfaces. This new formula restores the appearance of faded limestone, marble, slate and concrete whilst also creating a permanent finish which provides the stone with protection from the elements. It is quick and easy to use and can be applied in multiple coats until the desired colour effect is achieved ranging from grey to ebony.

LTP Blackstone Sealer & Restorer is ideal for patios, paths, terraces and even external cladding, transforming tired grey into bold black. This before and after image from a satisfied customer really shows the difference LTP Blackstone can make to faded limestone paving.

When applying the restorer wear gloves and ensure that any surfaces that aren’t being treated are covered and protected. For honed surfaces use a soft cloth or sealant applicator, for rough cut or textured surfaces apply with a foam roller or paint brush, make sure to apply the product evenly. Allow the sealer and restorer time to absorb and dry between each application. Once the final coat has been applied do not walk on the treated surface for at least four hours. The surface can be treated as normal after a full 24 hours have passed.

It’s important to remember that this product is a permanent staining solution that will darken the surface of the stone and the grout joints making it very difficult to remove once applied. Test on an inconspicuous area before general application and do not walk on treated surfaces until the solution has completely dried.

A couple of coats and a day to cure is all it takes to give your patio a new lease of life. From faded grey to shining black, give your patio a little TLC this summer. LTP Blackstone is available in 1L bottles at Tile Fix Direct, which should give you approximately 30m2 coverage in a single coat.

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Electric Underfloor Heating Pros and Cons

Underfloor heating used to be seen as a luxury used only in extravagant homes and high-end hotels, but those days are gone and most of us know that it’s now a really affordable option. It’s also really practical, particularly in small spaces where it can be used as a replacement for bulky radiators. As with everything, electric underfloor heating has its pros and cons so we’re going to spell them out for you to help you decide whether it’s right for you or the job you are working on.

Pros of Electric Underfloor Heating

  • Easy to install – compared to other heating systems, electric underfloor heating is relatively easy to install. The mats often have a self-adhesive coating on the underside to fix them to the floor, and they are then covered in a self-levelling compound or tile adhesive. A certified electrician will need to connect the system and ensure it is all working correctly before tiles can be installed.
  • Makes the most of space – in smaller spaces underfloor heating can be used as the sole heating system, freeing up wall space where bulky radiators would usually sit.
  • Ideal for wet rooms – underfloor heating is suitable for use in wet areas, which makes it ideal for use in bathrooms and wet rooms. It helps to evaporate water on tiled floors, minimising the risk of slipping and making the floor safer.
  • Flexible heating option – electric underfloor heating can be installed on any level of the house and because the mats are very slim it is perfect for use in renovation projects.
  • Luxurious experience – there’s no denying that underfloor heating provides a luxurious feeling underfoot – whether you use it in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or living areas.

Cons of Electric Underfloor Heating

  • Expert installation – you will need to make sure you hire qualified tradesmen to install the system and keep hold of all information regarding installation in case of any problems in the future.
  • Insulation – to make the most of your electric underfloor heating you may need to install additional insulation beneath the mats. Tile backer boards will help your UFH system work most efficiently.
  • Longer heat up times – electric underfloor heating can take a little longer to heat up than other options, however if you use your thermostat to create a custom heating schedule that suits you it’s unlikely you will notice.
  • Running costs – if you use electric underfloor heating as the only source of heating in your home it may be an expensive choice, however it’s more likely that it will be used for one or two rooms or as an additional heating method – for this it is a cost effective option.
  • Faults – if there are any faults with the system you may need to rip up the floor to fix or replace the electric underfloor heating which will be expensive and disruptive.

At Tile Fix Direct we have three options when it comes to choosing a brand:

DEVI

DEVI are celebrating their 75th birthday in 2019! They are market leaders in Europe aiming to provide “high quality electrical heating solutions with long-lasting effects.” They are confident in their range of underfloor heating products, including mats, cables and thermostats, even offering the DEVIwarranty™ that not only covers cable or mat replacement, but also the cost of installation and floor materials – up to 20 years! Shop DEVImat underfloor heating online.

Orbry

Orbry provide a range of wet room products at affordable prices. Their range of electric underfloor heating products includes, 100W & 150W self-adhesive mats, thermostats and insulating tile backer boards to help you get the most out of your system. Shop Orbry underfloor heating online.

Schlüter

Schlüter’s DITRA-HEAT underfloor heating system combines a decoupling mat with electric heating cables. The innovative DUO system also provides other benefits including soundproofing, waterproofing and an insulating thermal break layer. They also have a range of thermostats including a wifi controlled option that links to a smartphone app. Shop Schlüter underfloor heating online.

Our staff have many years experience and are familiar with all the systems we sell so get in touch if you have any questions. Alternatively use our electric underfloor heating selector to help you work out what you need.

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We’re Making It 2Easy To Get a Free Hoody

Free Tile Fix Direct hoody BAL Flexbone 2EasyWe’re really excited about the new Flexbone 2Easy matting from BAL and to spread the word we want you to share pictures of yourselves installing it! To reward you we will throw in a free TFD hoody if you tag us in the post.

In case you haven’t seen the new Flexbone 2Easy matting, BAL describe it as a “unique floating uncoupling mat where no adhesive is needed underneath – a truly uncoupled system! Because it is floating, only basic preparation is needed – simply sweep solid, level floors and lay the mat. No remove of residue, bitumen or laitance. No priming needed. Tile immediately to contaminated, stained or cracked screeds and over bitumen. Fast-track tiling on new anhydrite and sand:cement screeds that aren’t cured as moisture evaporates through covering joints.”
 

Here’s what you need to do to claim your FREE Tile Fix Direct hoody:

  1. Buy a roll of BAL Flexbone 2Easy from us.
  2. Take a picture of it being installed.
  3. Upload the picture to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – tag us and use the hashtag #TileFix2Easy

We’ll get in touch to get your contact details and order number (so we can verify you bought the matting from us) and your hoody will soon be in the post! Get in touch if you have any questions about BAL Flexbone 2Easy or this competition.

Terms & Conditions

  • One hoody per customer. Subject to availability.
  • You must tag Tile Fix Direct on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and include the tag #TileFix2Easy.
  • Full roll of Flexbone 2Easy must be purchased from TileFixDirect.com.
  • Photos must be clear and free from offensive material.
  • Tile Fix Direct reserves the right to end this promotion at any time and without warning.
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Product Feature: Marmox Thermoblock

Creating a well insulated and environmentally friendly home is becoming one of the top priorities of both construction companies and home owners. While there are many ways to insulate a building once completed, starting at the bottom is one of the most effective ways to insulate a property by eliminating the ‘thermal bridge’ – this is when heat is lost through the bottom layer of blocks or bricks where the wall and floor meet. Using an insulating block such as Marmox Thermolbock to replace this bottom course of bricks or blocks eliminates the cold bridge at the wall & floor junction.

Marmox Thermoblock is a highly insulating, load-bearing building block that can be used to reduce or eliminate the thermal bridge. Many insulating materials cannot be used at the bottom layer as they are not strong enough to bear the load of the bricks or blocks above, however Thermoblocks are made of the same XPS material as Multiboard tile backer boards, but with a strong and rigid epoxy concrete frame.

“The standard Marmox Thermoblock comprises of a 60mm thick core of fire resistant XPS insulation encasing two rows of high strength, low conductive, epoxy-concrete columns. These are fixed to the top and bottom surfaces of the block, which are 2.5mm thick layers of fibre reinforced polymer concrete incorporating the latest innovation in building technology – Carbon Nano Tubes.”

Features & Benefits of Marmox Thermoblock

  • Insulating
  • Fire resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Load-bearing
  • Impermeable to water
  • Thermal conductivity of 0.047W/mK
  • Mean compressive strength of 9.0N/mm2
  • Shear strength 0.18N/mm2

Marmox Thermoblock is designed to be placed at the base of a masonry or timber–frame wall to address the thermal bridge. Its thermal conductivity is 0.047W/mK which will result in a significant reduction in y values when used at wall to floor junctions. All building regulations in the UK and Ireland now say: “The building fabric should be continuous over the whole building envelope and constructed so that there are no reasonably avoidable thermal bridges in the insulation layers caused by gaps in the various elements.” Marmox Thermoblock satisfies this requirement perfectly by connecting the wall insulation with the floor insulation.

The blocks are 65mm high, equal to the standard brick height in the UK, designed to give the necessary insulation required. The Thermoblock material is also impermeable to water so it can be used in damp conditions and even creates a moisture barrier – preventing damp from entering the property. When installing Marmox Thermoblock, MSP360 Adhesive & Sealant should be used between blocks to prevent moisture creeping up into the joint and also for timber construction to seal the top surface of the block to the sole plate. Check out the MSP360 product page for coverage information.

Order Marmox Thermoblock and Marmox MSP360 adhesive online at Tile Fix Direct.

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NEW BAL Flexbone VAried & 2Easy Uncoupling Systems

Great news – BAL Flexbone 2Easy and Flexbone VAried are now in stock at Tile Fix Direct! We’re excited to be able to offer you these two exciting new uncoupling products that will save you time and money on your next floor tiling job. BAL now offer a complete uncoupling package of solutions and say “Each and every project has different requirements. Maybe height build-up is an issue, perhaps time is an issue, or the substrate is particularly troublesome. Cavities or no cavities, lightweight or floating, water- proof or not – we have the uncoupling solution for you!”

BAL Flexbone 2Easy Floating Uncoupling Matting

Flexbone 2Easy is a unique uncoupling matting that requires no adhesive between the mat and the substrate. That’s right, as long as your floor is level and stable you can simply give it a quick sweep, roll out the matting and start tiling. Flexbone 2Easy is 3mm thick and has a bone-shaped structure that’s much easier to fill with adheisve than other cavity-style decoupling mats. Because there’s no adhesive beneath the matting it can be used in places where tiling was not an option before; for example rental properties, heritage projects or showrooms where the flooring might need to be changed frequently. You can even use it over new anhydrite or sand & cement screeds that are not cured as the moisture will evaporate through covering joints. The matting comes on a 20m roll but you can also buy it in 5m cut lengths.

BAL Flexbone 2Easy Perforation for Moisture Vapour Dissipation

Flexbone 2Easy Perforation for Moisture Vapour Dissipation

BAL Flexbone VAried Bonded Uncoupling Matting

Flexbone VAried is a bonded uncoupling mat but with the same bone-shaped structure as 2Easy that’s easy to fill and reduces installation time by up to 30%. This matting is perfect for floors subject to lateral movement; it stops tiles cracking or popping up and has 50% higher shear strength than other cavity mats. It’s also waterproof so it’s the ideal choice for wet rooms, showers and bathrooms as no additional tanking is required. Flexbone VAried is recommended for underfloor heating, new cement screeds, timber floors and existing floor surfaces and can be used to install large format ceramic & porcelain tiles, slabs & natural stone with a minimum edge length of 100mm. As well as domestic environments, it is perfect for high load bearing commercial projects such as shopping malls, airports, car showrooms, office buildings and hospitals.

BAL Flexbone VAried Griplock Technology

Flexbone VAried Griplock Technology

Find out more about the full range of BAL uncoupling solutions and which one is right for your project on the BAL Uncoupling Tip Sheet and shop the full range at Tile Fix Direct here.

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