Choosing Tile For Your Home
Choosing tile is one of the most enjoyable parts of building, and one of the most beautiful. There are so many colors, materials and types of tile that it can be difficult to choose. But there is no reason to despair! We have written this basic guide with tips on how to choose the best tile for your home.
1. Know your materials
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles have their strengths and weaknesses. Ceramic tiles are usually more affordable, and are very versatile. Porcelain tiles are generally more durable and can also be slightly more expensive. Regardless, we recommend coordinating with your contractor and/or tile setter to ensure the tile you’d like will work in your space.
2. Consider the space
Tile can serve different roles depending on where and how it’s installed. For instance, large format (12” × 12” or larger) tile on the Bathroom floor is comfortable, and easier to keep clean. However, when wet, large smooth surfaces become very slippery. For the shower floor, a smaller-format tile (3” × 3” or smaller) means more grout, which gives your feet better grip while showering.
3. Don’t forget the trim
Between each tile you’ll have grout, but what do you do at the edges? Some tiles come with custom-made trim pieces. Two of the most common tile trim pieces are called “quarter round” (an edge piece with the profile of a quarter circle) or “bullnose” (a flat or “field” tile with one rounded edge). You can also use products like Schluter for a more modern look. Coordinate with your general contractor or tile setter to explore your options and make sure you’ve purchased everything — including the trim.
4. Make the colors sing
Tiles come in all kinds of colors. Remember to consider what other colors — flooring, cabinetry, paint, etc. — that will be nearby. If you can, bring a sample of those other materials with you to the tile store, or work with an interior designer to help ensure that the colors you’re choosing will work well together.
5. Work with a skilled tile setter
Tiling might seem easy, but it’s a skilled craft just like any other. Knowing how to properly prepare the space, lay a mortar bed or anti-fracture membrane, plan and execute the right pattern, choose the right grout — and more — takes years of experience to master. Not to mention, a poor tile job can lead to leaks, mold and other issues. Competent tile setters might cost more up front, but the beauty and durability of the finished product will be a net savings in the long run.
6. Care for your tile, and your tile will care for you
Special grout sealers are usually unnecessary. Just a simple scrub with soap and water on a regular basis will help keep your tile clean and free of mildew. If you find particularly difficult-to-clean spots, try a little bit of powdered cleanser (like Bon Ami or Ajax) and a scrub brush. In the Kitchen, avoid placing acidic foods (like lemon juice or pasta sauce) directly on the surface, and clean them promptly if they spill. In general, a well-cleaned tile surface will last for decades.
Choosing materials can be daunting, but once you know the basics, it can be so much fun. At Pillar, we build the best tools for coordinating home remodels. As you move through the selection process, our platform lets you gather your ideas, make decisions, and coordinate quickly and effectively with your contractor to make sure what you’ve chosen gets installed in just the way you want it onsite. Keep an eye on our blog for more great home remodel tips as you navigate your next project.