TilersForums.com started out in 2006. A few people got together and created the forum. The aim was to provide a place for people to chat about tile and tiling. It took off slow and steady.
The Directory of UK Tilers
Throughout its life, it has had a few attempts at creating a searchable directory of tradesmen, tilers in this case. Some worked, some didn’t. Each time it got refreshed the whole data was lost.
One was a whole website, with Plumbers and Electricians on it too, amongst other trades. This attempt was to cross-promote our other websites, at the time including a Flooring Forum and Plasterers Forum, as well as the Plumbers Forums and Electricians Forum. The name of that one was Find Trusted Tradesmen and was about the time that all of these ‘Rate my Builder’ type websites popped up. Though ours was always free for the end-user, and the trader. Still, not enough attention was given to it to work.
The Free Tile Advice
Our primary fallback is and will always be our tile advice. The professional tilers on our forums are the reason we have so much knowledge available. Without them, the forum would be nothing. So credit where credit is due. It’s down to them that so many bathrooms are not screwed up by DIY and homeowners. And of course fellow tilers getting it wrong.
While we’ve always been online for the professional and DIY tiler, we’ve opened up a bit to allow tile shop staff, and tile-related tool and product suppliers, to come chat tile. There’s always the risk of this type of forum member having their advice skewed by what they sell in their stores (knowingly, to try and gain sales, or unknowingly just because they’ve only had training in one brand etc). And we filter out some of that kinda content they contribute when we clock it, and help introduce them to other brands that they don’t sell etc.
We do however have some really good forum members that are from tile stores, and don’t skew their advice, they are open about what they sell, and don’t always just push that on people seeking advice.
Tile News – From the blog ‘n’ all
Similar to the directory of tilers we’ve given the tile news blog a go a whole bunch of times. It does work, WordPress, the platform behind our blog (and apparently 30+% of the whole internet!), does an awesome job of getting traffic to the pages. But we’ve changed forum software a bunch of times and in doing that we lost what little content we had. So we’ve started again with the blog.
However, the forum always prevailed. The tile news is in the forum, and always will be. The guys out their in the field are the ones often behind the news. Short of press-releases and tile outlets creating their own blogs, often just for unique content for search engines, there are only currently these guys realising the news.
So whilst this blog once again is new. And we vow to keep this one. The forum will have and always has had the news. So I’m going to count that as a ‘service’ we provide regardless of the state of our actual blog.
Help Choosing Tiles; whether wall tiles or floor tiles – For bathrooms, swimming pools, external patios etc
The new bit.
I’m not sure why we haven’t tackled this before. When I ran a search on the forum we had very little in the area of ‘homeowner coming to get advice BEFORE they actually tile’.
Shocking really. Because we do have a hell of a lot in the area of ‘homeowner coming get advice once the tiling has gone wrong’. It’s actually a huge area of our forum. The content can be found in all forum categories.
A homeowner will post in our tile adhesive advice area when they think the wrong adhesive has been used. They’ll post in our main tile advice are when they think the actual tile installer was to blame.
They’ll also post when they’ve spoken to The Tile Association and are being asked to pay hundreds of pounds for a ’tile expert’ to create a report on the a tiling job that has gone wrong. And we get more and more of those these days too.
Money is tighter than ever for homeowners. Buy-to-let properties are being rented out more rather than people actually getting mortgages, that contributes to poorer tiling being done in said properties maybe. Those lucky enough to get a mortgage are doing more DIY to save the pennies, those are sometimes going wrong.
Certainly sooner than they should do if they chose their tiles wisely, and chose their products properly.
So we have created an area of the forum, which like with the rest of the areas will probably always be worked on and never actually be complete, where people can register to the forum for free, post to the forum for free, seek advice regarding tiles for free, and get their products specified properly for free.
And of course, find a tiler from the forum who we know will do a brilliant job of the tiling (for free? – Yup, still for free), and it’ll have the least possible chance of something becoming erroneous long-term. And actually save money as a result.
We’re hoping to populate this area of the website over the next 12 months. And we’ll end up catching the homeowners when they’re looking for tiles before they’ve actually found a tile shop or tile outlet. And we’ll help them find the right tiles, right adhesives and grouts, right professional tiler, and fingers-crossed not see them again until they next need to install some more tiles in another area of their home.
Post your new thread, fill in as much detail as possible, and hang in there for the forum members to reply and guide you to the right place. All unbiased advice – all using their collective knowledge of the tile world. And of course, all for free with no commercial interest upsetting the apple cart.
Disclaimer: we have sponsors of the forum who foot the bills. That’s how we stay online for free. We’re thankful for their support that’s for sure. We wouldn’t be online without them. However, all of their commercial content is marked as such with their forum tag “Official Sponsor”. And where we have clocked members who are suppliers or staff of an adhesive manufacturer, and they’re not supporting the forum financially, we’ve also marked their account as ‘Company Support’.
All of our advice on the forum is a collective from all our members. And you should always use it as part of a much wider researching mission. Past the content we have, and forum usernames people chose when signing up for the forum, we have very little in the sense of actual background information or their reasoning of them being on the forum and posting said advice.
That all said. There’s no doubt about the fact that between them all, they must have saved the homeowner millions of pounds between them all since we launched, in work carried out properly and to spec.
Big thanks to the members of TilersForums.com, past and present. 🙂