NWT Materials

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions.

Here are the answers to some common questions about NWT Materials

PLACING AN ORDER

CAN I BUY ONLINE?

We are not prepared to sell directly through our website. For ordering tiles, custom requests, pricing, lead times or other needs please email or call us so one of our Design Consultants can offer personal assistance.

DO YOU SHIP INTERNATIONALLY?

We have successfully supplied tiles for projects all over the world. We are happy to provide a shipping quote for international orders.

CAN I GET SAMPLES?

Yes, we understand the importance of coordinating all the elements for your project and are happy to provide samples during your selection process.
Multiple samples can be ordered to give a sense of colour range. When you are ready to place an order you can also provide an approved colour control sample to the factory. Our team will use your sample as a guideline but please remember there will always be colour variation.

HOW SHOULD I DECIDE WHICH TYPE OF TILE TO USE?

The application environment and the traffic levels it will experience will determine the type of tile you should select. Please contact us and we will direct you to the product that best suits your needs.

ARE THERE ANY MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITIES? DO YOU CHARGE A SET-UP FEE FOR SMALLER ORDERS?

There is a 3 sqm minimum order per colour for New Terracotta Glazed and Cotto Tiles; NWT Cement Tiles; Zellige Tiles.
Minimum quantities depend on stock availability for NWT Terrazzo Tiles.
Because each order is custom made, a set-up procedure is required

SHOULD I ORDER EXTRA TILES?

Yes, we advise a 10% contingency on top of the minimum quantity needed. This overage allows for the possibility of breakage during installation, for greater range selection and extras in case of damage in the future. Always refer to your installer when determining quantities.

CAN I RETURN MY TILES?

Because we make our tile specially for you, returns are not accepted unless they are defective or damaged in shipping.

ONCE AN ORDER IS PLACED CAN I CHANGE IT?

Because each order is custom made, we cannot change it once it has gone into production. If you do have a change, please contact us immediately to see if we can help resolve the matter quickly.

WHAT WOULD BE THE MINIMUM LEAD TIME FOR EMERGENCY ORDERS?

If you need materials sooner for a rush order or job completion, please call and ask for a lead time specifically for you.
Although we keep a limited quantity of our most popular products on hand, we operate on a first come first served policy without discrimination. When your order is placed check with us what is the estimated lead time.

GLAZED TILES

PRODUCT UNDERSTANDING

WHAT IS A BISQUE?
When you look at a glazed tile from the side you can see 2 layers. The body of the tile, or largest layer, is called the bisque. The top layer is called the glaze.

WHAT IS A CRAQUELÉ?
Some tiles are intentionally induced to craze to produce what is known as a craquelé finish. Craquelé glazed tiles should not be used on kitchen counter tops or surfaces subject to heavy uses.

IS CLAY A NATURAL MATERIAL?
Clay is a natural and biocompatible material that naturally embodies extraordinary thermal and structural performances.

WHY OXIDE EXPLOSIONS HAVE SUCH A VARIATION?
Oxide Explosions tiles vary in colour and surface quality due to variations in glaze thickness and temperature during the firing process. This natural variation is intrinsic to their beauty.
To avoid misconceptions, we require that all clients approve the full variation within each reference.

WHY IS THE NOMINAL SIZE BIGGER THAN THE REAL SIZE?
During the production process ceramic tile will shrink, on average by 5 to 10% in size, depending on the clay type.

WHAT ARE SHEETED TILES?
The majority of our geometric designs can be divided into repeating components. These components are known as standard sheets. They fit together easily, requiring minimal or no tile cutting.

BESPOKE & CUSTOMISATION

CAN YOU REPRODUCE ANCIENT TILES?
Yes, we are quite well known for that. Please send us more information.

CAN I CUSTOMISE A PRODUCT?
Yes, we can customise tiles and objects to best fit your style.

CAN I USE MY OWN DESIGN?
Yes, you absolutely can. There are additional development charges and set-up fees applied to bespoke orders.

CAN I ORDER EDGE GLAZE TILES?
Yes, you can glaze edges. The edge selection you make will depend on your installation layout.

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

ARE ALL YOUR TILES SUITABLE FOR ALL PURPOSES?
No. Some glazes are recommended for walls only. Some glazes are not suitable for use in swimming pools.
Please check for usage information in Glaze Guide.

CAN I MIX DIFFERENT COLOURS AND SIZES?
Many shapes and sizes can be used together. Please check Layouts information in Format Guide.

WILL SETTING TILES ON A DIAGONAL REQUIRE MORE MATERIAL?
Yes, typically more material is required when tile is set on a diagonal versus a straight-set. Please refer to your installer when determining how much material is needed.

WHAT SIZE DO YOU SUGGEST FOR GROUT SPACING?
New Terracotta tiles are sized to accommodate a 1 to 4 mm grout space, depending on the format. Many factors determine the size of a grout joint. It is important to discuss this with both your architect and installer and follow a jointing scheme.

DO I NEED TO SEAL THE GLAZED TILES?
In general, our tiles do not require sealing. However, tiles with craquelé glazes, in certain installations, should be sealed prior to grouting.

CAN I USE YOUR TILES AROUND THE FIREPLACE? ARE THEY HEAT-RESISTANT?
Our tiles are fired in kilns at very high temperatures. They can be used in fireplace installations and will not be damaged
by heat.

CAN I USE YOUR TILES IN THE SHOWER?
Yes, our tiles are suitable for wet applications. Please note that in regularly wet areas, such as showers, it is common for some tiles to darken and lighten as they become wet and then dry.

WHAT TILES CAN I USE IN A POOL OR FOUNTAIN?
We have several glazes suitable for pools. Please check for usage information in Glaze Guide.

CAN I USE YOUR TILES IN EXTERIOR APPLICATIONS?
We have had our tiles installed outside on vertical surfaces for several years now with no issues. We do not recommend using our tile outside on horizontal surfaces. Please contact us and we will help determine the suitability of our tiles for your exterior installation.

IS TILING WITHOUT GROUTING POSSIBLE?
In practice, tiling without grouting is not recommended. Even for cut edge tiles, minimum 1 mm and better yet, 2 mm grouting is recommended.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN MY TILES?
For everyday cleaning, simply use a pH-balanced natural cleaner to care for your tiles. We do not recommend the use of any acids to clean our tiles and it is always wise to test any other cleaning methods in an inconspicuous area of your installation.

HOW SHOULD I CLEAN MY GOLD AND PLATINUM GLAZED TILES?
Exactly the same way as per the other glazed tiles. Always avoid the use of abrasive cleaning pads.

COTTO TILES

PRODUCT UNDERSTANDING

IS CLAY A NATURAL MATERIAL?
Clay is a natural and biocompatible material that naturally embodies extraordinary thermal and structural performances.

WHY IS THE NOMINAL SIZE BIGGER THAN THE REAL?
Clay shrinks both during the drying process and the firing process. Cotto tile will shrink on average by 5% to 10% in size, depending on the clay body formulation and by the firing time and temperature.

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

ARE ALL YOUR TILES SUITABLE FOR ALL PURPOSES?
No. High porosity is one of the cotto tile characteristics. For this reason we do not recommend cotto tiles for pools, fountains nor shower flooring.

WHERE CAN I USE NEW TERRACOTTA COTTO TILES?
Fired to extremely high temperatures, the tiles are resistant to frost and excellent to store heat, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Being non-slip and hardwearing they are also ideal for conservatories, patios and swimming pool areas.

CAN I USE YOUR TILES AROUND THE FIREPLACE? ARE THEY HEAT-RESISTANT?
Our tiles are wood fired at very high temperatures. They can be used in fireplace installations and will not be damaged by heat.

CAN I USE UNDERFLOOR HEATING WITH NEW TERRACOTTA COTTO TILES?
One of the major advantages of terracotta tiling is that they are the highest recommended floor covering to use in conjunction with underfloor heating. During tiling, appropriate expansion gaps should be left between tiles by the edges of the wall, at certain intervals to cover up shrinkage and expansion caused by the floor.

IS TILING WITHOUT GROUTING POSSIBLE?
Tiling without grouting is not recommended.

WHAT SIZE DO YOU SUGGEST FOR GROUT SPACING?
New Terracotta Cotto tiles are sized to accommodate a 4 to 6 mm grout space. Many factors determine the size of a grout joint. It is important to discuss this with both your architect and installer and follow a jointing scheme.

ARE NEW TERRACOTTA COTTO TILES PRE-SEALED?
We always send our tiles in a natural state, therefore they must be always sealed upon installation. When needed, the necessary treatment products can be sent along with the material but they would have to be applied on site.

DO I NEED TO SEAL THE COTTO TILES?
Yes. Sealing is essential to protect the beauty and ensure the longevity of any cotto tile.

CEMENT TILES

PRODUCT UNDERSTANDING

ARE CEMENT TILES A GREEN MATERIAL?
Cement Tiles are truly a green material. During the production of cement tiles no heating is involved, as the tiles are not kiln-fired but left to dry in fresh air for 21 to 28 days and the materials used are environmentally friendly and sustainable, just like many centuries ago. That’s why more and more professional designers and consumers like to use cement tiles as a high quality and decorative element.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE CEMENT TILE CURE?
After pressing, encaustic cement tiles are soaked in water to ensure proper hydration for curing.
Like structural concrete, cement tiles cures and hardens chemically over time. It is not that the cement dries, but that it goes through hydration and carbonation (chemical reactions that converts the calcium oxide in the Portland cement to calcium hydroxide, and eventually calcium carbonate). It takes about 4 weeks for the cement to reach 90% of its potential strength, and it will continue to gain strength for decades.

DO COLOURS VARY OVER TIME?
The tile colour will change slightly as the cement cures, and will be affected again when sealed. Tiles may also fade in the sunlight and rain.

BESPOKE & CUSTOMISATION

CAN I CUSTOMISE A PRODUCT?
Yes, we are happy to produce custom colours and sizes to best fit your project, although there are limitations to what we can achieve in concrete.

CAN I USE MY OWN DESIGN?
Yes, you absolutely can. There are additional development charges and set-up fees applied to bespoke orders.

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

CAN CEMENT TILES BE INSTALLED OUTDOORS?
There are several considerations in regards exterior using of Cement Tiles. First, tiles may experience some cracking if installed in an environment with freeze conditions. A second consideration for outdoor installations is sun exposure. The tile colour may diminish with UV exposure, especially blue and green pigments. Furthermore, if you want to keep a glossy, perfect finish, we do not generally recommend them for outdoor use.

CAN I INSTALL YOUR TILES ON THE KITCHEN BACKSPLASH?
Yes, certainly. As with any installation, however, they should be well sealed to prevent staining.

CAN CEMENT TILES BE USED WITH RADIANT HEAT FLOORS?
Yes, cement tiles have excellent thermal mass and are sublime with a radiant heat floor. When installing over radiant heat, we suggest a larger grout joint (3-4 mm) instead of the small grout joint (1-2 mm) we normally recommend. Also, the grout material should be flexible. This will allow for some natural expansion/contraction of the heated floor without cracking the tiles.

WHAT SIZE DO YOU SUGGEST FOR GROUT SPACING?
NWT Cement Tiles are sized to accommodate a 1 to 2 mm grout space, a much tighter grout joint than is typical with ceramic tiles, so the visual effect is more like a carpet.
Many factors determine the size of a grout joint.  It is important to discuss it with both your architect and installer.

ARE NWT CEMENT TILES PRE-SEALED?
We always send our tiles in a natural state, therefore they must be always sealed upon installation. When needed, the necessary treatment products can be sent along with the material but they would have to be applied on site.

DO I NEED TO SEAL THE CEMENT TILES?
Yes. Sealing is essential to protecting the beauty and ensuring the longevity of any cement tiles.

WILL THE TILE BE STAINED BY WINE OR ACIDS?
If it is correctly sealed, it will not absorb stains. Soda, wine, acids, etc. should not be left to sit on the tile as they will eventually eat through the sealer and stain the tile.

HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY CEMENT TILES?
The tiles should be cleaned with pH-neutral soap and water. Do not use any acids or bleach on these tiles. If sealed with a topical sealant, they may need to be resealed every couple of years.

ZELLIGE TILES

PRODUCT UNDERSTANDING

WHAT ARE ZELLIGE TILES?
Zellige is known as Moroccan mosaic tile.

WHY IS THE COLOUR AND TONE OF ZELLIGE SO VARIED?
Zellige is made by hand in an extremely organic way. Natural variations in colour are part of the handmade process.
This is what gives the tile their inherent tonal variation and makes them so uniquely bespoke and beautiful.

BESPOKE & CUSTOMISATION

CAN I CUSTOMISE A PRODUCT?
Yes, we are happy to produce custom shapes to best fit your project, although there are limitations to what we can achieve in zellige.

CAN I USE MY OWN DESIGN?
Yes, you absolutely can. There are additional development charges and set-up fees applied to bespoke orders.

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

CAN I INSTALL ZELLIGE TILES ON THE KITCHEN BACKSPLASH?
Yes, certainly.

CAN ZELLIGE BE USED IN WET AREAS, LIKE FOUNTAINS, POOLS AND SHOWERS?
All zellige tiles are appropriate for showers, spas, basins, swimming pools.  This handcrafted decorative covering dates from 13th century and has a long history of being used in all types of water circumstances.

WHAT SIZE DO YOU SUGGEST FOR GROUT SPACING?
Grout joints are recommended as tight set since all zellige is hand-cut (one piece at a time) and therefore able to be set close to one another.

DO I NEED TO SEAL THE ZELLIGE TILES?
Zellige tiles are glazed terracotta and do not need to be sealed.
Natural Zellige (unglazed terracotta) must be sealed as it is highly porous.

HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY ZELLIGE TILES?
The tiles should be cleaned with pH-neutral soap and water. Do not use any acids or bleach on these tiles. If sealed with a topical sealant, they may need to be resealed every couple of years.

TERRAZZO TILES

PRODUCT UNDERSTANDING

IS TERRAZZO CONSIDERED ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY?
Because most of the materials used in terrazzo are recycled or post-consumer and because of its durability and sustainability, terrazzo is considered environment friendly.

DOES TERRAZZO CHIP, FALL APART, CRUMBLE OR ERODE?
Unless hit by a very heavy and hard object, terrazzo does not fall off or crumble because terrazzo edges are bevelled to prevent this type of damage.
Durability-wise, terrazzo is resistant to impact, fire, frost, abrasion and traffic.

BESPOKE & CUSTOMISATION

CAN I CUSTOMISE A PRODUCT?
Yes, we are happy to produce custom colours, patterns and sizes to best fit your project.
Design-wise, terrazzo is highly customizable and has almost limitless possibilities.

CAN I USE MY OWN DESIGN?
Yes, you absolutely can. Bespoke designs are possible with water jet cutting.

DO YOU SELL PARTIAL SLABS OR FABRICATE CUSTOM SLAB SIZES ON A PER PROJECT BASIS?
Yes, we do. We can supply cut to size slabs (max length 140 cm) at an extra charge of 25%.
Nevertheless, for the great majority of projects, this work would be carried out by a local tradesperson, likely a stone fabricator. We advise working with such a fabricator or architect to ensure calculations on material are correct for your project and to account for any overages necessitated by the design or installation of your project.

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

CAN I INSTALL ZELLIGE TILES ON THE KITCHEN BACKSPLASH?
Yes, certainly.

CAN ZELLIGE BE USED IN WET AREAS, LIKE FOUNTAINS, POOLS AND SHOWERS?
All zellige tiles are appropriate for showers, spas, basins, swimming pools.  This handcrafted decorative covering dates from 13th century and has a long history of being used in all types of water circumstances.

WHAT SIZE DO YOU SUGGEST FOR GROUT SPACING?
Grout joints are recommended as tight set since all zellige is hand-cut (one piece at a time) and therefore able to be set close to one another.

DO I NEED TO SEAL THE ZELLIGE TILES?
Zellige tiles are glazed terracotta and do not need to be sealed.
Natural Zellige (unglazed terracotta) must be sealed as it is highly porous.

HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY ZELLIGE TILES?
The tiles should be cleaned with pH-neutral soap and water. Do not use any acids or bleach on these tiles. If sealed with a topical sealant, they may need to be resealed every couple of years.

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