Topps Tiles has made a “substantial investment” to bolster its marketing presence, revamping its website and resuming TV advertising after dropping it during the downturn.

The tiles retailer has begun ploughing money into advertising again, sponsoring ITV’s London Weather and the Home Channel.

Topps Tiles marketing director Nick Ounstead said: “We stopped spend on advertising in the recession, so being back on TV is big for us. We are dipping a toe back in the water. It’s amazing what it does for staff morale.”

The retailer has also overhauled its website, making it “more inspir­ational”, and giving ideas on how to transform homes. It features a better search facility, more room sets and more photography. It also features film guides to tiling.

In the coming months forums and social networking aspects will be added. “We are trying to make it the place to go to for anything to do with tiles,” said Ounstead. “We don’t want it to be just a transactional site.”

Topps Tiles, which also launched an iPhone app earlier this year, will aim to quadruple the number of SKUs sold online, from 1,000 to between 3,000 and 4,000 in the coming months. “We want the exact offer that you can get in store online,” said Ounstead, adding that the website was “up there as one of our top stores”, but that it was predominantly used as a marketing tool.

He said: “It still isn’t a brilliant market for DIY at the moment but we are doing better than most.”

Rival DIY retailer Homebase has also been ramping up its online offering, launching social networking site earlier this year.