Whether building a new home or remodelling, there are endless tiling designs for your home as well as types of tiles. Different parts of your home require different designs. Therefore, it’s essential to work with a professional when choosing and installing house tiles. To help you make the right choice, we discuss everything you need to know when buying and installing tiles for your home.
types of tiles
Every home uses various materials, and tiles are some of the most important ones. It’s no wonder since they are durable, strong, easy to maintain, and give your home a classy look. However, they come in various designs and an array of colours, making the task of choosing the best tiles for your home overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, here are different tiles and their features.
Ceramic tiles are simply white, red, or brown clay fired at high temperatures to reduce water content, glazed, and then a pattern is applied. Ceramic tiles are popular as they give both the interior and the exterior of your home a unique design. They are versatile and can be used for flooring or the walls of your kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Their notable characteristics include:
- They have high water resistance, hence suitable for use in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- Dense and less brittle hence durable. Due to this feature, these tiles can last up to two decades when installed properly.
- When heating the clay, other additives are used, making the tiles very strong.
- Ceramic tiles are dirt and residual resistant and can retain their look and furnish by cleaning using standard household methods.
With these features comes numerous benefits of installing ceramic tiles.
- Easy to maintain since they are stain and dirt resistance
- The colour doesn’t fade even when exposed to direct sunlight
- Ceramic tiles include glaze additives that make them skid and slip-resistant
- Due to the glazing on the tiles, they have a low resistance to scratches and abrasions.
- Eliminate allergy concerns since the hard surface repels dirt, dust, pollen, and animal hair.
But along with advantages come a few disadvantages of ceramic tiles.
- The hard surface of the ceramic tiles can be uncomfortable to stand on.
- Ceramic doesn’t hold on to heat well and can get very cold during winter.
Vinyl tiles are synthetic but look like wood and feel like stone. These tiles are durable, more hardwearing and water-resistant, making them suitable for the bathroom and kitchen. Their notable benefits include:
- Naturally warm under feet
- Easy to install without breaking the existing floor
- Easy to clean hence suitable for kid’s play areas
However, vinyl tiles have their share of cons which include:
- They are not entirely stain-resistant
- They dent easily on heavy furniture
Vitrified tiles are more like ceramic tiles but have silica and clay composition. When vitrified, the two components melt and form a glass-like element in the tiles, making them retain their original shine for many years. These tiles have the following features:
- Posses low porosity and hence are water and frost resistant
- They are anti-skid, a feature that makes them abrasion resistant
- They are highly durable
- They are easy to install
Despite the features, vitrified tiles are a bit expensive than other tiles, but their durability justifies the price.
Porcelain tiles are ubiquitous, primarily due to their ability to emulate brick, natural stone, and wood without any maintenance. They are made using clay like ceramic tiles, but in this case, the clay is more refined and burnt at higher temperatures. The result is denser and more durable tiles than the ceramic. In addition, porcelain tiles have the following benefits:
- More durable – during construction, professional tilers follow careful construction practices, which prevent cracking and other issues that may result. This makes porcelain tiles very strong and durable, hence suitable for use in high traffic areas.
- Liquid resistant – these tiles are dense and less porous, hence liquid resistant. Due to this feature, porcelain tiles are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens.
- Stain-resistant – the dense porcelain tiles are impervious to most spills, and hence stains have no chance of sipping and settling in.
- Requires minimal maintenance – due to their highly durable properties, porcelain tiles are easy to maintain. You only need to wash regularly between the grouts, and your ties will last for many years.
Marble tiles are made of extravagant natural stone. They are popular in commercial and residential buildings and have been used as tiles for homes for centuries. There is a wide range of marble tiles, each with distinctive qualities that give the marble its unique appearance.
In residential buildings, these tiles are used as kitchen and bathroom countertops, flooring, among others. Their popularity is associated with the following benefits:
- They are available in a wide array of colours, have a smooth surface with veins. Due to this natural feature, marble tiles never get old.
- They have a beautiful appearance that looks stylish and expensive, but marble tiles are quite affordable in a real sense.
- Marbles are in abundance and variety, hence cost-friendly
- They possess an adequate compressive strength for decoration as they are resistant to acid rain, moisture, and other harmful environmental factors.
- Due to their smooth and polished surface, marble tiles are easy to clean.
- They have a soft surface, which is vulnerable to acid. You, therefore, need to observe certain care principles to maintain your marble tiles.
- Marble tiles installation requires a skilled tiler.
- These tiles have a highly porous structure, making them susceptible to stains and contaminants.
tips for choosing the best tiles for different parts of your home
Choosing the ideal tiles for your home can be an overwhelming task, mainly because of the wide variety of tiles in the market. When choosing, you need to determine which tiles will best suit your home, the best size and design and whether the plan will match the existing decorations.
When you walk into a tile showroom, avoid making decisions based on the first impression of the tiles. Instead, visualise your home under different tile settings and choose the one that seems to be the best. These tips will help you select suitable tiles for various rooms in your house.
visualise the area that needs to be tiled
When buying, you need to consider the amount of traffic on different parts of the house. To do this, ask yourself the following questions.
- Are you looking for floor or wall tiles?
- Will the tiles be indoors or outdoors?
- Will they be subjected to a lot of moisture?
Answers to these questions guide you in buying all house tiles without compromising on quality and design. You also need to visualise which part of the house you want to install the tiles on.
Wall tiles are effective in enhancing the beauty and ambience of any space. You can use them outside on the balcony or indoors in the living room, bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen. Make sure to choose wall tiles that complement the colour and texture of your floor tiles.
When selecting wall tiles, make sure you choose them according to the room you’re going to install them. For instance, kitchen and bathroom tiles need to be water and germ-resistant. If they are outdoors, make sure they can withstand natural heat, cold, and rain. Living room tiles need to be stylish, while bedroom wall tiles are soothing. In addition, consider the following factors when choosing wall tiles for the home:
- The trending wall tiling – take time to browse several online magazines for trending wall tiles and see which style matches your taste.
- Tile size – use bigger slabs with a lighter shade in smaller areas like the bathroom and kitchen. For larger areas such as the living area and bedroom, go bold with colours such as grey, black marble, and even blue.
- Consider the size of the room – use large tiles to make the room look larger and airier. If you want a more cohesive design, consider using floor tiles on the wall. However, remember that you cannot use wall tiles on the floor. If the room is small, use brighter tiles to enhance the size, but you have various options to choose from if the room is large.
- Colour of the wall tiles – while this is entirely your personal choice, some pointers may guide you in the right direction. For instance, you should choose vibrant colours for your kitchen walls, which should complement the cupboard. Conversely, use light coloured tiles with a gloss finish for darker rooms to reflect more light.
The type of tiles you choose for your flooring determines the strength and the appearance of your home. However, choosing the right floor tiles can be a challenge as you have to balance the aesthetics, the durability of the material, and the price. Using the tips below will help you find suitable flooring tiles for your home.
Tiles are a decorative element of your bathroom that combines aesthetics and practicality. However, buying tiles for your bathroom is a serious business. Here are a few things that you need to consider before making a choice.
- Know your budget – as discussed above, tiles come in different types, styles, sizes, and prices. When buying the right ones for your bathroom, you need to determine your budget. Once you have a clear budget, you’ll have a variety of choices to choose from, from ceramic to porcelain and natural stone. Ceramic is the most affordable, followed by porcelain. The price difference between the two types is understandable as porcelain is more durable and has a thorough body composition.
- Settle on a colour scheme – choosing a colour scheme for your bathroom is complicated. However, you can start by picking your vanity and cabinet colours to guide you in creating your tiles pallet. Next, choose lighter tile colours and add a pop with towel and doorknobs.
- Consider the size of the tiles – using oversize tiles make the space look larger. But if you are more traditional than following current trends, you can never go wrong with subway tiles and basketweave. For instance, you can install 4×16 subway tiles to put a modern twist on your bathroom look.
The kitchen can have different types of tiles in various applications to enhance the look of your space. When choosing tiles for your kitchen, consider where they’ll be going, the floor or the wall. For instance, the wall requires glossy tiles, while the floor tiles must be safe to walk on, making polished tiles unfit for the kitchen floor. These tips will help you choose the proper application and type of tiles for your kitchen.
- Determine where you will install the tile – kitchen tiles can be used as backsplash, flooring, or above the cabinet shelves. Understanding which part of the kitchen the tiles will go to helps you choose the right type.
- Choose tiles that are easy to clean – the place where you prepare, clean, and cook your food should be spotlessly clean. It’s therefore crucial to tile materials that are easy to clean. In addition, make sure the tile materials you choose for your kitchen don’t stain or crack easily.
- Ensure they match with your cabinetry – your kitchen cabinet should be the primary determinant of the tile colour you choose for your kitchen. The tile and cabinetry colours should be in harmony to create a cohesive design. If you are unsure how to match the two, bring a picture of your cabinetry to compare different styles.
- Go for the most durable – kitchen renovations are expensive, hence advisable to choose the most durable tiles that will serve you for years before you think of renovating. In addition, make sure you take good care of your tiles to prolong their lifespan.
Using tiles in outdoor spaces is now a common practice among homeowners, something that has resulted from the availability of different types of tiles and designs. However, despite the variety of options, you still need to consider various factors when choosing outdoor tiles.
- Where and how you will use the tiles – while outdoor tiles are made to withstand harsh weather elements, they are not equal in strength. As a result, some tiles are prone to cracks, scratches, and other forms of damage. You also need to consider whether you will install the tiles on the floor or the wall and make the right choice.
- The weather in your area – When buying, ensure you select a type that can withstand specific weather requirements in your area. For instance, if you live in an area that snows a lot, tiles that can withstand heat won’t be ideal. In addition, if the area rains a lot, choose tiles that have a high grip.
- The amount of sunlight the area gets – if you want to install the tiles in a shady spot, it’s advisable to go for lighter coloured tiles that will brighten the space. On the other hand, a bright space requires darker colours to balance the light.
- The style and colour scheme of your home – your outdoor colours should complement your home’s current design and style.
Choosing tiles for different parts of your home shouldn’t be a drag. You only need to know the features ideal for various aspects of your home, and you are good to go. In addition, checking online reviews has a significant impact on the decision you make. With this information, you alleviate any stress you may have when choosing house tiles.
Before tiling, consider the kind of mood you want to achieve. Is it atmospheric or serene and relaxing? The colour choice depends on the room you are tiling. For instance, the kitchen needs to have a vibrant feel, and you, therefore, need to choose tiles with contrasting colours.
On the other hand, the bathroom needs to be more relaxing, and you should therefore go for colours that blend well together. Whichever your choice, you should make sure that the tile colour complements the other design features in the room.
In addition, make sure that you use grout colour that achieves the style of your house. For instance, if you want to emphasize the lines and design, you should go for a contrasting grout colour. But if you’re going to achieve a subtle effect, then a complementary grout colour is the best choice. Whichever the choice, make sure that the grouted areas are well sealed to prevent staining.
Tile Texture and Pattern
The tile texture and pattern is entirely your personal choice. However, consider using a polished tile for easy cleaning. But if you want to use natural terracotta with no glazing, make sure it’s well sealed to prevent staining.
Tiling Installation Tips for Professional-Looking Results
Once you have the tiles, you need to install them in the right way to achieve professional-looking results. That’s achievable by following the following tips.
Making Proper Use of Grout
Grout is more than just a filler for tile seams. You can use it to enhance the overall look of your tiles. But to achieve this, you need to know how to match it with your tile colours. For instance, using a dark grout on brighter tiles gives you a stark and imposing look. On the other hand, if you want a uniform looking tile work, you can use grout of the same colour as it invisibly melts away.
Using the Right Underlayment
How good your tile work looks depends on the underlying material. Before installing the tiles, make sure that the underlying subfloor is stable to avoid transferring the weakness to the tiles. You can ensure the stability of the underlayment by installing cement boards to form a strong base for the tiles.
Using Minimal Tile Cutting
Cutting tiles during installation is unavoidable. However, too many small pieces look cluttered and visually chaotic. It is therefore advisable to avoid cutting them whenever you can.
Installing Full Tiles in Prominent Areas
As mentioned above, cutting tiles is unavoidable. However, if you must do it, make sure that you install the pieces in less prominent places such as under the cabinetry hangs, near the walls and borders. For more central areas such as the kitchen and bathroom floors, always use whole tiles.
Using High-Quality Tiles
While cheap tiles don’t always mean poor quality, most of the time it does. Instead of buying bargain and clearance tiles, wait until you have enough cash to purchase high-quality tiles. This will save you from ending up with poorly made tiles that crack within a short time. Remember that tile installation is a complicated and expensive task. It’s therefore advisable to buy high-quality tiles from established manufacturers.
Common Tiling Mistakes to Avoid
House tiles are a perfect and versatile solution to give your homes a fresh and stylish new look. But to achieve the look, you need to follow the above tips and avoid these mistakes.
Failure to Prepare the Surface
No matter what part of the house you’re tiling, you need to prepare the surface adequately to achieve a satisfactory job. Surface preparation involves tasks such as filling any cracks and dents, levelling the surface where it’s uneven, and sanding bumps that are more than 4–5mm. In some instances, you might want to apply a new top surface if the existing one is too uneven.
Other preparations depend on the nature of your surface and primer solution to ensure the adhesive works properly. For instance:
- If you are tiling an already tiled area, remove the existing tiles and re-skim the surface, or you can install the new tiles directly on top of the existing ones.
- If you want to tile a freshly plastered drywall, you need to give it time to dry, at least weeks before applying a primer solution.
- Tiling a wooden surface requires the use of polyurethane-based paint to prime the surface.
Using Wrong Adhesive
Unlike what many people think, you can’t use any adhesive in your tile installation project. However, the type of adhesive you use in some regions of the house impacts your project. Using the wrong one can interfere with the longevity and integrity of the tiled area. Therefore, make sure you use the suitable adhesive to avoid the expensive and laborious task of tile replacement.
The type of adhesive you use depends on the area you’re tiling and the material you’re using. Here are a few tips to help you choose the suitable adhesive for your project:
- Flexible adhesives – this adhesive is most suitable in areas where you experience movement over time, such as wooden floors. A flexible adhesive is ideal in this case as it won’t crack in case the movement occurs.
- The waterproof adhesive is most suitable in areas where the tiles are subject to direct contact with water, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and outdoors.
- Heat-resistant adhesive – these adhesives are made to withstand high temperatures, making them suitable for installing tiles near the fireplace and the recessed area behind a wood-burning stove.
- Rapid-set adhesives are made to withstand slip resistance, hence suitable when installing natural stone or large format tiles. In addition to resisting slip, these adhesives have waterproof and flexible adhesive features, therefore, have a wide application.
- Ready-mix adhesives – these adhesives are most suitable for installing ceramic tiles.
Not Using Markers and Battens
Many people make the mistake of depending on their bare eyes when installing tiles and expecting consistent results. Using your eyes or an exciting feature as your guide may lead to wonky-looking tiles. For a final professional look, use a spirit level or a thin strip timber as batten and mark the centre. Start laying your tiles from the centre and moving outwards, ensuring they are evenly lined vertically and horizontally.
When installing floor tiles, start from the centre of the room, moving towards the corners. Then, wrap up with the doorway area to ensure you exit the room without stepping on the freshly installed tiles.
Failure to Plan the Layout
Not planning the tile layout before installing is another common mistake to avoid. Planning your design helps you calculate the number of tiles you need, both whole and cut pieces. In addition, you can determine whether you have enough tiles and whether they are of the correct size. It may seem like extra work but planning your layout before installation gives you the freedom to play around with your design before permanently fixing the tiles.
Picking the Right Tile Installer
Installing tiles for home is a complicated and technical project that requires confidence and professionalism. Even the most minor mistakes in tile installation can turn out to be a big problem. In addition, tile repair is a chaotic and expensive task. To avoid the common mistakes discussed above, you need to work with professional tilers.
Again, hiring a good tiling company is not always an easy task, especially with so many competitors in the market. That’s why it’s important to give close thought to the matter. The following tips will help you hire the best tiling experts in your locality.
Determine Why You Need to Hire a Tiler
Before you search for a tiler, focus on the fundamental reasons why you need to hire one. In most cases, your number one reason may be that you want the complete project to be visually appealing to the eyes. Another reason for hiring a professional tiling company is to ensure that all your home tiles are structurally perfect for a prolonged lifespan.
A tiling expert must possess specific fundamental knowledge and experience to help them handle the job as per your expectations. The number of years the tiling company has been in business and the number of customers they’ve served determines the amount of knowledge they’ve amassed.
Working with a professional tiler has added advantages, such as helping you choose the suitable tiles, the ideal size, and the number of tiles you require to complete the project. In addition, such a tiler applies the above-discussed tips for the best tiling results.
Once you’ve chosen the company you wish to work with, request their work portfolio to help you determine if their experience matches your expectations. You can do this by asking the tiler to connect you with their previous clients or looking for online reviews.
In addition to customer reviews, the type of information on their website can tell you their level of experience in tiling. If you’re having difficulty getting a professional tiler, don’t shy off from asking for referrals from friends and family members.
Look for an Insured Company
Working with tiles is a risky job as they can break accidentally. Replacing the broken tiles with new ones can be too costly. However, you can avoid the extra cost by working with an insured company against such accidents. In addition, the insurance should cover the company’s workers in case an injury occurs when working in your home.
Use of the Right Equipment
Installing house tiles is a delicate job that requires the use of the right tools. Using the wrong equipment results in a shady looking job. When you approach the company you want to work with, they should outline how they handle the project. They should also have the right equipment to handle the job and finish it within the stipulated time frame.
Tiling Designs for Different Parts of Your House
The most exciting part about designing your house is the freedom to choose materials and colours for any aspect of your home. But with so many design options, the task can be overwhelming. So, to make it easy for you, we look at different tiling design options for various parts of your house.
Wall Tiles Designs
Wall tiles breathe character in your house by adding personality and style. Knowing the right colour, texture, material, and design helps you customise according to your taste and personality. Some wall designs to try include:
- White tiles designed in a 3D style – the design creates a playful landscape on your walls, helping break the monotony of the room.
- Organic-looking ceramic tiles – this design includes mixing different shades of tiles to add colour and variety to your room.
- Monochrome with a hint of texture – this design uses tiles with slightly varying hues of the same shade. The tiles are laid in geometrical patterns to achieve an elegant style.
- Marble and wood wall tile design – the design is most suitable for houses with high ceilings. It involves interspersing white marble tiles with vertical panels of wood tiles.
Floor Tiles Designs
Using the right floor tile design can be a game-changer to your space. Of course, how you design your flooring depends on the room usage. Here are a few design ideas to get you started.
- Floor bedroom tile design – this is the room where you spend most of your time. You can use long elongated tiles in a triangular structure of white and grey colour combination. However, make sure that the colour pallet complements your walls.
- Living room tiles designs – you can try large white tiles with a brown border between the large spaces. But, again, make sure your colour choice syncs with your living room decor.
- Kitchen floor tile design – try using classic white tiles with black diamonds in between. Match your flooring design with a white kitchen table and kitchen accessories.
- Bathroom floor tile design – bathroom tiling design needs to be spot-proof to avoid long-lasting stains. Try using bright coloured tiles that contrast with your bathroom walls and bathtub.
Choosing the suitable designs for your bathroom helps you personalize your space, making it meaningful to you. Here are a few design styles to try.
- Subway tile accent – this design can use various colours, materials and patterns in a simple white design. In addition, you can enhance the design by using contrasting colours.
- Glass mosaic design – glass mosaic designs are good when you want to add colour pop, shine, and shape to your bathroom.
- Large format tile design – using large tiles in your bathroom brings elegance to your room. The best thing is that you can use a large variety of tiles, including 3D tiles and wood-like plank tiles.
While choosing kitchen tile design, use ones that protect your kitchen surfaces and are easy to clean. Some of the designs that will give your kitchen a sparkling look include:
- Subtle pattern – instead of plain white tiles, add definition and interest by using tiles with fine and intermittent texture.
- Penny tiles – penny tiles have tiny crispy-looking tiles that create an attractive textured wall when you look far away. The design brightens your kitchen and adds a pop of statement colour.
- Statement splashback – this design is best suitable for small, dark kitchens. However, you have to make sure you use colours that blend with the tones of your kitchen cabinetry.
Outdoor tiles need to be durable, easy to clean, and stylish. Here are a few ideas to inspire your outdoor tiling project.
- Checkerboard tile – using checkerboard design outside helps you bring the indoor style outdoors. The design is most suitable if you love a classic design with a twist.
- Limestone tile patio – limestone is mould and bacteria-resistant, making the design most suitable if your deck is close to the swimming pool.
- Granite tile patio – you can use oversize granite tiles to achieve a gorgeous effect on your deck.
- Small-sized outdoor tile design – using small tiles outdoors is uncommon, something that makes the design unique. The plan, however, is suitable if you have a large patio.
Choosing the best house tiles is an overwhelming task, especially if you have no prior experience. That’s why it’s essential to work with a professional tiling company for your house tiles installation project. But, again, don’t choose a tiler blindly. Instead, use the above tips to ensure you are working with the best.
Once you get an excellent tiling company, they will help you choose the suitable tiles for your project. In addition, they can offer valuable tips in selecting the best tiling designs for different rooms of your house. So if you’re looking for professional tilers in Liverpool, be sure to contact us, and we will answer any tiling questions you may have.