Tiles have an unwavering charm to elevate interiors—and the durability needed to improve functionality. Whether it’s kitchen backsplash or shower floor tiles you’re after, a beautiful home is yours to enjoy for years.
But in the pursuit of creating a dream space comes the challenge of choosing the right tile for your project. This expert guide will help you navigate it all: tile materials, colors, sizes, finishes, and upkeep.
Tile types and durability
Tiles are durable, water-resistant, low maintenance, and offer versatile design options suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Popular tile choices include ceramic, porcelain, glass, and natural stone.
Ceramic tile is an affordable and easy-to-maintain solution for walls and floors. It’s available in a myriad of styles, allowing you vast possibilities to create a personalized look for less.
Porcelain tile provides added durability. If you’re after floor tiles with exceptional strength and resistance both indoors and outdoors, porcelain is your best bet. It can stand up to high foot traffic and extreme weather conditions while maintaining good looks for decades.
Natural stone tile like marble adds timeless elegance. It’s a durable option for floors and walls and can be used in just about any room. But marble tile requires special care. Its soft, porous nature can do with regular sealing to enhance water, stain, and scratch resistance.
Glass tile is water-resistant and easy to care for. Even more impressive is its ability to reflect light and create a brighter and open feel. A great option for shower walls and floors, backsplashes, accent walls, and swimming pools.
Bigger tiles, less distraction
In selecting tile size, consider the size of the room too. Pick the wrong tile size and a large, open space can feel cold and uninviting. A small room cramped and overwhelming.
Due to fewer grout lines, large-format tiles create a clean, uninterrupted surface. This effect adds a sense of flow in large spaces. Used in a smaller room, the space appears bigger than it is. Shop for tiles that are 8×8-inch or more to achieve this in your home.
Mosaic tiles, tons of personality
Mosaic tiles, typically made of ceramic, porcelain, marble, and glass, add tons of personality. These small pieces are a stunning statement on backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, and shower walls, floors, and niches.
Explore traditional-shaped mosaics to introduce a more formal look. Linear and subway tile with horizontal lines make a room appear wider, while vertical lines create the illusion of more ceiling height. Go for intricate shapes if you fancy an artistic and casual ambiance. Think hexagon, fan, basketweave, and multishaped tiles.
Go for timeless color choices
Stay focused on tiles that complement your desired aesthetic. For a classic or modern setting, look into neutral tiles with an understated design. To infuse warmth and character, explore earthy tones or darker shades. To add a striking accent, there’s a world of bold tile colors to choose from. Opt for timeless colors that will evolve with your tastes.
Tile finishes are important too
Finishes are another element to consider with care. Offered in glossy, polished, honed, satin, and matte, these effects on the surface of a tile can alter the appearance of your space.
Glossy tiles, for instance, create a sleek and modern ambiance. They are easy to clean but very slippery when wet. In contrast, matte tile has a flat, non-reflective backdrop that lends a casual and contemporary look. It’s an ideal finish for slip-resistant floors in wet and high-footfall areas.
Consider upkeep and maintenance
Having your tiles in tip-top shape is important for a healthy home. Their resistance to stains and germs makes it easy to keep surfaces immaculate. When choosing tiles, note that:
- lighter colors and a glossy finish will show stains more
- matte or textured tiles minimize water spots and smudges
- larger tiles with fewer grout lines reduce dirt accumulation
Considering these will simplify the upkeep of your home. But having a proper cleaning routine in place will keep a kitchen backsplash, living room floor, or shower wall tile looking its best no matter the color, finish, or size.