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General Tile Handling

Displaying Our Tiles

Black Dog terracotta tiles are designed as wall tiles and not floor tiles. They are decorative pieces to hang up in a variety of situations whether indoors or outdoors.

We do not recommend leaving them on the ground in the garden particularly during winter when water in the tile can freeze. They are not robust enough to be used as floor tiles or decoration in amongst floor tiles.

We also do not recommend using them as coasters as the uneveness in the designs will tend to make cups and mugs less stable.

Frost Resistance

Black Dog terracotta tiles are frost resistant but we suggest that when hanging them up outside find a site where the tile is not going to be deluged with water. If the tile becomes waterlogged in winter and is subject to freezing conditions then water can potentially freeze causing water in the tile to expand leading to chipping and flaking.

The tiles are normally mounted on walls moisture in the tile will tend to drain out or evaporate so chipping and flaking is not normally a problem.

Removal Of Backing Card

Black Dog tiles are normally mounted on a backing card. To remove the backing card from the tile simply pull the tile off the card.

How do you intend to hang the tile?

Your tile will either hang from holes that are incorporated in the design (this is most of our designs) or a slot cut into the back. For those with little or no knowledge the following is a non-technical, no-jargon guide to help you.

Hanging tiles with a slot in the back

For the few designs with a slot (Rose & Sunburst, Highgrove Hen and Lucky Cat) you will need to put a nail or screw in the wall first. The nail or screw head must protrude at least .2" from the wall in order to hang the tile on it. The tile can be levelled by adjusting it along the slot.

Hanging tiles via holes incorporated into the design

Nearly all of the designs have hanging holes incorporated into the tile which you fix through. For these designs you need to find an appropriate sized nail or screw to fit the hole(s). You fix the tile by tapping in a nail or screwing the tile to the wall.

Every design mentions where the fixing points are. Some designs just need one fixing whilst other may require two or more.

Fixing with nails

We are a lot less keen on nails for hanging our tiles but if you do use them you might like to drill a hole slightly less wide than the nail so when you tap the nail in you can use less force. After all, if the hammer misses the nail and hits the tile with any force it will break. Using this tip may be useful if you think the tile may be moved to another spot. If the nail is easier to put in it will be easier to take out again.

Fixing with screws into wood

A screw with a minimum length of .75" will be fine. It is usually sensible to drill a hole before using screws. Select a drill bit that is the same width as the shank of the screw (not the thread) to drill your hole. See diagram below.

It is best to use a screw driver rather than a drill-driver as you have more control. As the head of the screw gets closer to the tile tighten slowly. Wiggle the tile to see how much movement there is. Gradually tighten until there is little or no movement remaining - then STOP. Tighten too much and the tile is likely to crack and break.

Fixing With Screws Into Drywall

Using .75"- 1.15" long screws will be fine for fixing into drywall with the use of wall plugs. Select a drill bit which is about the same size as the shank of the wall plug. Drill a hole and pop the wall plug into the hole – you may need to tap it in with a hammer so it is flush with the wall. See diagram below.

It is best to use a screw driver rather than a drill-driver as you have more control. As the head of the screw gets closer to the tile tighten slowly. Wiggle the tile to see how much movement there is. Gradually tighten until there is little or no movement remaining - then STOP. Tighten too much and the tile is likely to crack and break.

An alternative to wall plugs and screws are panel pins which can be tapped into drywall. They will support the weight of the tile but do not secure the tile to the wall.

Fixing with screws into brick/stone

A screw .75" - 1.15" in length will be fine. The screw should just fit into the hole of the wall plug. The ribs of the plug are forced into the stone when the screw is in far enough. Select a masonry drill bit which is about the same size as the top of the wall plug. Drill hole and pop the wall plug into the hole – you may need to tap it in with a hammer so it is flush with the wall. See diagram below.

It is best to use a screw driver rather than a drill-driver as you have more control. As the head of the screw gets closer to the tile tighten slowly. Wiggle the tile to see how much movement there is. Gradually tighten until there is little or no movement remaining - then STOP. Tighten too much and the tile is likely to crack and break.

A note about tiles with multiple holes: Drilling into stonework is always difficult. Once you have marked up the positions of your holes you want the drill bit to stay on those marks. If the drill bit slips off the marks it is very difficult to get in back to where you want it. For any drilled hole that is slightly off get a bigger drill bit to increase the size of the hole. Of course, this in itself does not solve the problem, but if you then fill the hole with putty or wooden dowel you can then drill this instead, which is considerably easier than drilling stonework.

Bonding with wood onto wood, plasterboard, brick or stone

If you want to bond the tile to the wall you will need an adhesive such as silicone sealant, roofing sealant or a No More Nails type adhesive. The adhesive must have a 'body' to it unlike superglue which is a thin glue. As the back of the tile is rough any sealant/adhesive will grip the surface.

It is best to pop a nail(s) in the wall first by drilling a hole slightly larger than the nail shank so you can just push it in and pull it out with your fingers.

Put adhesive on the back of the tile in lumps (see image below) so that when you press the tile against the wall then the adhesive spreads out to fill the gap and provide suction. Avoid putting mastic close to holes in the design as it will try to come through when the tile is pressed against the wall. Once the adhesive has set and you can not pull it off the wall just pull the nail(s) out.