It’s that time of year for spring cleans, clear-outs and renovations. Choosing new floor tiles or wall tiles for a renovation takes some consideration. A well-tiled surface is built to last and you could be living with your tile choice for a long time, so it isn’t a decision to rush. Careful planning and research is key to completing a home renovation that you’ll love, so it’s important to think about the following factors when choosing tiles for your home…
Where do you want to lay your tiles?
Different tiles are suitable for different purposes. Before you can begin a tiling job, you need a strong vision for where you would like your tiles to go and what effect you want to create. The tiles you’ll choose for a splash-back, border or feature wall, will be very different to those that would suit an all-over project.
And think outside of the box – tiles can be used on floors, walls, splash-backs, fireplace hearths and surrounds, around sinks, for design detail, on kitchen islands, indoors and outdoors…the list is endless – it all comes down to how experimental you are!
Choosing the right colour
The colour of your walls or floors is one of the defining aesthetic features of any room. It’s important to co-ordinate wall and floor tiles, but many people forget that your tiles should complement everything else in the room. If you have a distinct colour scheme in mind, it’s easy to work from there. But if the space you’re working with features an organic mixture of colours and styles, neutrals are a safe bet. This doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to greys and beiges. Any muted colour with a grey undertone will work to bring colour to a space without looking disruptive. This includes a palette of dusty roses, mauves and duck-egg blues. It’s also wise to follow the conventional wisdom that brighter colours will serve to open a space, while dark colours add drama and atmosphere. But you know what, whatever goes with interiors, so be different if that represents you 🙂
Sizing up your tiles
Choosing the right size for your tiles very much depends on the impact you want your tiles to have. If you’re looking to make a room appear larger with your tiles, the bigger the better. Small, mosaic styles are ideal if you’re tiling a surface that needs moulding such as a shower floor. Equally, if you want to create a seamless effect, large tiles with matching grout are perfect. To make a feature of the design of each individual tile, choose a smaller style with a contrasting grout. (People often forget about the fact that you can choose the colour of your grout and it can really make a difference to the finished result!).
Ceramic vs Porcelain tiles
It can be hard to tell the difference between porcelain and ceramic and their manufacturing process is indeed very similar. But the two cannot be used interchangeably.
The difference lies in the materials used and the firing process. Ceramic tiles are made using generic clay baked to reduce water content. Porcelain tiles contain only fine white clay and are fired at a higher temperature than ceramics. This makes porcelain tiles harder, denser and less porous.
As a result, ceramics are an affordable choice for walls in low moisture areas. Because of their durability and water resistance, porcelain tiles are ideal for floors or areas that are prone to moisture.
Patterned or plain?
If you’re feeling bold, you may want to use patterned tiles in your plans. They’re perfect for adding character to a design feature such as a splashback or border, or for creating a designated ‘zone’ in an open space. Subtle patterns in muted colours can be used all-over to striking effect, but patterned tiles often create the biggest impact in isolated areas.
Something a bit different?
I am so in love with parquet flooring and unfortunately, our budget just couldn’t stretch to the real thing during our initial renovation. However, this doesn’t have to mean it’s not possible to achieve that amazing parquet effect…even with tiles! Look how amazing and authentic these ones look…
Considering these factors is an important first step to feeling motivated and ready to see your renovation through. The right tile choice can give any space an instant lift, and really bring the different elements of a room together. Using these guidelines will ensure you find the perfect fit for you.