Selecting The Best Tiles For Your Space
Choosing the right tiles for your home can be a frustrating and intimidating task.
And with so many shapes, sizes and designs on the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Most people simply go with whatever style that looks appealing or attractive to them without much thought about the layout and size of the room or after-care.
Ultimately, the choice is up to the consumer and what they deem to be the best fit for their home and what best reflects their personality.
But TriniHelper has some tips and guidelines on how you can accentuate and maximize your space by your choice of tiles.
What is the Right Type?
Firstly, you need to choose the right type of tile for your space. Tiles come in different varieties but the most popular are ceramic, porcelain, marble and granite.
Which one is the right one depends on where and how your tiles are going to be used.
Some tiles are fragile and break or crack easily. These would be the wrong types to use outdoors as outdoor tiles need to be stronger and more durable to withstand the elements.
Is the area you want to tile prone to moisture? Like near a pool?
Then keep in mind that ceramic tiles are slippery when wet!
You would not want to use a smooth ceramic tile in these areas.
It is advisable to use textured or matte tiles in these areas to minimize the risk of slippage.
Porcelain tiles are also better suited for outdoors as they are stronger and denser than ceramic tiles.
They’re also resistant to stains and mildew making them easy to clean and maintain.
You can check the PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating of the tiles you want to use which will tell you the hardness and durability of the tile. A PEI rating of 1 means the tile is fragile. These are better suited for walls and areas where there is little foot traffic.
A rating of four or five would be the best for outdoor use, floors or driveways.
Granite and Marble tiles are among the strongest and most durable but also most expensive!
They are naturally waterproof and do not scratch or chip easily, making them the ideal types for kitchen countertops. These can also be used outdoors.
What is the Right Size or Shape?
So, you’ve decided on the perfect type of tile for your project. What next?
You need to consider the size of tile you want to use.
There are a variety of options available when it comes to tile sizes.
Most suppliers stock a range from 1” x 1” mosaic versions to large 12” x 24” styles.
The most common are 12” x 12” square tiles for floors and 8” x 10” for walls.
But what is the right size for you?
When deciding, it is useful to gauge the size of the room and buy tiles relative to that size.
Generally, large tiles go well in large spaces. The smaller the space, the smaller the tile.
For instance, large “slab” tiles would be best suited for a large kitchen with a high ceiling while smaller mosaic tiles would fit well in small bathrooms and closets.
Using large tiles in a small room can create the illusion of a larger room, but may also overpower the space.
It is important to also keep in mind the function of the room being tiled.
Again, ceramic tiles are slippery when wet! Large ceramic tiles on a bathroom floor might not be the best idea.
For bathroom floors and areas prone to moisture, smaller tiles are recommended as more grout lines means better grip and traction and a reduced risk of slipping.
Small tiles in bathroom areas may not only be a safer choice but a more practical one as well.
They would fit better around wall fixtures like showers, toilets and sinks and require less cutting than larger tiles.
Colour and Pattern
This might be perhaps the most difficult choice to make as there are so many colours and designs to choose from.
But if you keep in mind the size and layout of your room, as well as its function, the choice may become simpler.
A general rule of thumb whether it relates to paints, carpeting or even curtains, is that lighter colours make a room seem bigger than it is.
If you have a small kitchen area and you want to make it seem brighter and more open, a light pastel colour may be an effective choice.
Darker colours, like brown or black, can look chic and trendy but may make your space seem more limited.
The placement of your tiles can also have a significant impact.
Laying your tiles diagonally will give the illusion of a larger space.
When choosing a pattern, this is where you can get creative!
There are so many beautiful patterns to choose from, you are sure to find something that suits your taste.
Do you prefer a floral design? Zig zags? A basket weave pattern? Maybe you prefer a mixture of several designs.
You can use different sizes and designs in a single room to create visually appealing patterns or an accent wall.
One design that has been increasing in popularity in recent times is the “faux wood” tile.
Essentially, it is a tile designed to look like hardwood flooring. It looks realistic and may be a cheaper alternative to installing actual hardwood flooring.
So, after agonizing over the type, size, colour and pattern of your tiles, you may think it’s over and you’re ready to start your project.
But giving thought to the type of grout you’re going to use is also important.
Grout fills the spaces between your tiles and bonds them together, making them stronger.
Matching the grout colour with your tiles can make grout lines less pronounced and accentuate the tile itself.
Most people choose plain white grout, which can stand out amid dark coloured tiles and create a trendy design of its own.
But white grout may dirty easily and may require more cleaning.
Darker grout hides dirt and stains better but may become lightened by chemicals used in cleaning.
Experts recommend colours that are neither too dark nor too light.
Colours like light brown and grey are easier to keep clean and are not as prone to fading and discoloration.
You also have to make the right choice between sanded and unsanded grout.
Sanded grout is more resistant to cracking or shrinking. This should be used if you have wide spaces between your tiles, greater than 1/8 inch.
Now you’re ready to go!
Finally, you’ve made your selection of tiles and grout and you’re ready to start your project.
Be sure to select a reliable contractor skilled in tile laying and with a proven track record like the service providers here at TriniHelper.
With us, you are guaranteed professional tile installation and results that meet your every expectation!