Frequently asked questions:

Here at Tom Gavins’, we have the experience to know that getting the perfect finish on you walls and floors can be complicated, so we have compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions to help you along the process!  Laid out below according to material type, so just follow the link of whatever finishing type you are looking at.

FAQs about us:

  1. Do you supply and fit flooring/tiles/vinyl floors/laminates/bathwear?   Yes, yes we do! We bring in our own crafts people and plumbers so that we can offer a one stop shop for tile, flooring, bathrooms, solid floors, sanding……
  2. How long have you been in business? Ages. Well, since the early 1990s. If its floor related, We’ve done it!
  3. Do you sand and varnish floors? Yes we do- contact us or call for a quote. We can also do bespoke staining of timber floors to almost any colour. Calls us to discuss your options!
  4. What kind of Timber floors do you supply? We can supply and fit laminate floors, engineered wooden flooring, Semi-solid flooring, Solid wooden flooring AND wood-effect luxury vinyl  tiles.
  5. Can you supply and fit bathwear? Yes- we supply some of the highest quality bathwear in the country from RT Large, MyLife and Image, and we can fit or supply them to you. We fit and can arrange plumbing of all bathroom furniture and units.
  6. Do you Tile floors and/or walls? How about full bathrooms? Yes, yes and yes! We have directly employed tilers on staff that can do all manner of tiling, and if we are too busy then we will happily recommend one of our subcontractors or colleagues. Call or contact us to check availability for your job.

Timber flooring Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is laminate flooring? Its magic, is what it is- check out our laminate breakdown page here.
  2. What is Semi-solid/Engineered Flooring? Essentially its a solid wood layer on top with plywood or birch layers underneath, which make it very strong. It can be floated, glued down or installed over battens. For more details, see our Engineered flooring selector page!
  3. What is luxury vinyl tile? Luxury vinyl tiles (LVTS, if you feel fancy) are Vinyl planks or tiles that click together like a laminate floor. They can be patterned, can look like porcelain tiles or like timber flooring, but are completely waterproof and softer underfoot than traditional tiles or solid floors. They are IDEAL for rooms like bathrooms, kitchens, salons, playrooms etc as they are very easy to clean, won’t crack and are waterproof. They are usually floated but can be glued down either. They do a require a very level subfloor.
  4. Do you sell/ install cork flooring? Yes! we are one of the few suppliers in the Republic of Ireland who supply, install and maintain cork flooring. We stock two main type: glue down cork tiles and engineered cork boards, which are amazingly coloured cork panels affixed to birch plywood backing. Cork can be sanded and is waterproof and very comfy- we have a breakdown of its uses over here!
  5. Do you sell flooring without installing it? Yes we do, and we can deliver as well!
  6. Do you install floors that we have reclaimed/bought elsewhere? Yes we do- email or call us and we can install for you!
  7. I have a sports hall/dance floor/ badminton court/ roller rink that needs to be sanded and re-finished- can ye oblige? Yes we can! Call us and we can get a quote out to you. We usually call up and inspect the floor to make sure it is suitable and we can go from there. Keep an eye on our sports hall and our sanding and varnishing pages for offers and maintenance specials!
  8. Do you fit sports halls from new? Can I see some examples? Yes we do, and yes you can- our sports hall maintenance page is located here, you will find all the details you need there. We are happy to provide a free  quotation service for tenders, just call us and let us know what you need.
  9. Can I re-use my old skirting boards? You can, but we do not recommend it. If you are not removing the skirting boards we can fit a scotia trim at the bottom instead, but if they are being removed, it is unlikely that they can be reused.  The reason is that very often, skirting boards that have been nailed on (99% are) come off a little bit warped or damaged, and never really look right when they go back on. For this reason if they have to come off we advise getting new ones. In older homes e.g. Victorian era homes, often these cannot be removed, but you can get away with not removing the skirting boards, as some flooring (usually up to 14mm in depth) can be fitted in underneath without damaging them.
  10. Will you uplift and remove an existing floor? We can do- let us know what is there before the job starts and we can make the necessary arrangements.
  11. Can you shave down/ reduce doors after flooring installation? Yes we can, we can shave down wooden doors, but not PVC/metal doors etc. there is a fixed charge of €15 per door shaved.
  12. Can you supply door saddles/scotias/archetraves? We can, just let us know! Floor trims and scotias supply starts at €5 per m, depending on your floor we may be able to get or make you matching items- these very in price depending on supplier or labour involved.


Tile Frequently Asked Questions:

Whats the difference between porcelain and Ceramic tiles?

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are both made of clay and minerals, then formed and fired into tile shapes. The differences are that porcelain is fired at a slightly higher temperature and absorbs less water- which makes them a little bit harder wearing and less impervious to swelling.

What does rectified mean? Whats a rectified tile for?

Rectified tiles are cut after forming, which gives them straighter lines and neater 90 degree corners. This means that they look cleaner and smoother when installed, especially on floors. They are a better choice if you would like thinner grout lines

Can I tile over tiles already in place?

This depends of the condition of the tiles that are down. If they are stable, i.e none are loose/wobbly, if they are nice and level, it is sometimes possible to tile over tiles. However, they need to be cleaned, levelled (for floors), primed and you need to be sure your doors etc wont be obscured. The best bet is to call in a professional to assess it for you- quotes are free!

Can I use mosaic for a backsplash?

Yes, you can of course-Mosaics look amazing as a backsplash! On a practical note, a polished mosaic tile is easier to clean that an unsealed stone finish, but yeah, go mad!

Whats an R-Rating?

An R Rating is a numbered rating assigned to tiles, and it explains how slip resistant a tile is. The scale starts at R9 and goes up to R13. R9 are suitable for low traffic area which see little to no moisture e.g. A sitting room, while R13 tiles are very structured and textured, providing grip in areas of high moisture content e.g. Swimming room changing rooms. The chart below gives a quick guide for R rating choice by room type. Remember, no tile is completely slip-proof, as everything can be slippy in the right circumstances, so please choose tiles carefully for your own needs!

Rating For room type:
R9 Use in low moisture areas; sitting rooms, inner hallways
R10 Use in light moisture, low traffic areas: inner hallways, cloakrooms
R11 Use in higher traffic, higher moisture areas e.g. Kitchens, bathrooms
R12 Use in commercial settings e.g. Lobbys, extrernal facing hallways
R13 Use in wetrooms, Suanas, commercial kitchens

Do wall tiles have R-Ratings?

Not as such- if you are fitting a wetroom, it is handy to have some extra grip on the walls, but is not always necessary.

Do I have to use R-Rated floors in my project?

If you are installing a wet room or a commercial project, then yes, an R-Rated floor is required by government guidelines and strongly recommended- let us know what you are looking to fit an we can talk you through your options. If it is for a domestic application that is not a wet room you have a little more flexibilty.

Can I use a wall tile on the floor?

No- it will not last very long and might be very slippy! You can use a floor tile on the wall though, as these are generally stronger and have better structure.

Do you sell natural stone tiles?

Yes we do, please let us know what you are looking for and we can show you the options we have available!

Can I use my floor tiles outside?

This depends, some tiles can be used outside as well as indoors- you will need to check that they are porcelain, at least R11 rated, frost-proof and that whoever is installing them uses a suitable adhesive. Highly poilshed tiles are not recommended for outdoor use, as they would be slippier than an ice rink..


Can you recommend a tiler to me?

Yes we can! We have our own directly employed tilers or if we cant get to you we will happily recommend one of our colleagues- call the showroom on 021 4374285 or email and we can recommend the best person for your needs.



Bathroom Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of toilet do I need?

Right, this depends on what direction/angles your pipes are installed at. Generally, the options are Close coupled, Back to wall or wall hung, (which float and look amazing) but some are easier and more practical to fit than others.  If in doubt, best bet is to get it checked by a plumber or call us to have a look: there is nothing worse than going to the rouble of  picking out and getting a toilet and then finding it wont fit. If in doubt, give us a call, we can advise on the best choice for the pipes in situ.

Can I get short projection toilets?

Yep! We have several ranges of short projection, comfort (tall) toilets and everything in between! If you are worried about your space, remember to plan for the toilet AND the person it accommodates, and watch out for shower doors that open out catching the toilet as well.


I’m taking out the bath and installing a wet-room or shower: what do I need to know?

First things first: Measure the bath and decide what kind of wet room or shower you want to install- how big, where is the door going to go, will the shower door swing out, am I having wet room panels…..if in doubt, plot it out on a piece of paper, you would be amazed how hard it can be to visualise all theses things..

Second: if bath is coming out, the area might need to be re-tanked and or lined before anything else goes back in- this prevents any moisture getting into the walls.

Third: if you are keeping your tiles outside of the bath area, you may not get an *exact* match- always bring a sample with you if you are matching tiles to something in situ!

Instead of tiles, can I have PVC panels on the walls?

You can of course! They are ideal for older walls that might not be exactly straight or even, and finish a bathroom beautifully! Plus, they can also cover the ceiling and be sealed to prevent moisture getting in behind them. call or email us with your measurements for a quote!