Julia Kendell

National Tile Week

8th - 14th April

Celebrating tiles in all their glory

Now in its third successful year, National Tile Week is back to celebrate the best of British design and manufacture. National Tile Week is all about showing the nation that tiles aren’t boring and beige - they’re bursting with character, tapping into some of the biggest and best interior design trends. National Tile Week is on a mission to show homeowners how they can creatively include this cost-effective, easy to keep and stylish material into their homes with practical tips and solutions.

Putting tiles on the map with Julia Kendell

Interiors guru, Julia Kendell, best known for her work on DIY SOS and 60 Minute Makeover is back for National Tile Week 2019 to help put tiles firmly on the map when it comes to interiors.

I am delighted to be supporting NTW 2019 to help raise awareness of the versatility of tiles. Consumers don’t realise how vast and exciting the choice of tiles is and I am keen to champion this under-used yet fabulous surface material!

Tile Trends

Experiment with Playful Pattern

Julia’s Top Tip: To master this look, use strong lines and blocks of colour to create a lively statement with an almost ‘origami’ feel.

New for National Tile Week from British Ceramic Tile

With playful pattern set to be the most influential trend to impact interiors in 2019, British Ceramic Tile is launching an exciting new feature floor tile for National Tile Week.

Other Trends to watch in 2019

Back to Brass

Industrial Evolution

Sumptuous Surfaces

Tiles 101

With so many common misconceptions about tiles, it’s time to crack the jargon and share the know-how on wall and floor tiling options:

Ceramic tiles


  • Perfect for use on walls and floors
  • Hard-wearing, easy to clean and cost effective
  • Work well with underfloor heating
  • Waterproof properties perfect for wet rooms
Glass tiles


  • High design impact and help open up smaller spaces by reflecting light
  • Translucent body suitable for shower wall partitions, upstands and splashbacks
  • Easy to install but neat grouting and sealing is crucial for a pristine finish
Multiuse tiles


  • Can be used on the wall and floor
  • No need to shop around for coordinating tiles for both surfaces
Porcelain tiles


  • Thicker and denser than ceramic
  • Perfect for high traffic areas
  • Require some special sealing
  • Some may be too heavy to use on walls
Little and Large tiles

Little and Large

  • Tiles are available in endless size options, from intricate mosaics to large 50 x 50cm formats
All in the detail tiles

All in the detail

  • Matt, satin and gloss are among some of the most popular tile finishes available.
  • Gloss is suited to providing a sense of light and depth
  • Matt delivers a more subdued, understated finish
  • Satin gives a subtle sheen.
  • Natural textures are also able to recreate realistic stone, concrete and slate effects on a ceramic biscuit.

Julia’s top tips for laying tiles

Try your hand at your next tiling project with the help of Julia’s top tips for perfect results.

Tip 1

Invest in quality materials and either borrow or hire professional tools to make the job easier.

Tip 2

Allow an extra 10% on top of the amount required to account for breakages and setting-out, and order a few samples to test cutting and fitting without stress.

Tip 3

A smooth surface is essential and if porous, should be sealed to ensure a firm bond. If the wall is in a very bad state, consider having a new skim plaster.

Tip 4

You can tile over existing tiles if you absolutely need to, but there are a few things to bear in mind. The additional weight may be unsuitable for plasterboard, which supports a limit of 32kg per square metre when unskimmed. Check the combined weights before committing. The additional thickness might also create detail problems around windows, doors and light fixtures.

Tip 5

To prevent ‘lippage’ (where one tile protrudes beyond another), use tile levelling clips.

As with any DIY job, preparation is key. For a successful tiling project you will need:

  • Large sponge
  • Tile cutter
  • Grout and tile adhesive and applicators
  • Grouting squeegee
  • Spacers and leveling clips
  • Spirit level
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety goggles, gloves and a mask