There are few products that have the versatility of ceramic tile. With so many variations in color, pattern, and texture, ceramic tile can add beauty and functionality to every room in the house. There are many reasons to choose tile over other flooring materials. Tile is more resistant to chemicals and spills than most other materials. Tile is easier to keep clean and resists stains better than most other products. Tile does not fade and, most importantly, few products can match the durability of ceramic tile.
The diversity of ceramic tile is immense. Looks can range from an antique terra cotta found in an old French country chateau to a highly polished contemporary porcelain. How about a rustic slate design for a log cabin or bright pastels right out of an art deco South Beach hotel? Whatever your house looks like, you can bet that you can find a tile that suits your decor perfectly.
The uses for ceramic and porcelain tile seem endless. It can be used indoors and outdoors and it isn’t just for floors! It can be used in kitchens and bathrooms on counter tops, back splashes, shower walls and tub surrounds. How about updating that old fireplace surround with a modern tile or stone design? Have fun with your selections, be creative or let us help you be creative! What is your style? There are so many ways to personalize your home using tile. You can choose options from handmade tile that reminds you of a renaissance Italian village to sleek, modern tile that will keep up with the latest trends.
Where do you start? Well, here are some things to consider. What color are the walls? What other colors and textures will you need to coordinate the tile with? Think about your furniture, cabinets, counter tops and trim. You’ll need to consider all of these things when you start your selection process. Is resale value of the home important? If so, try to keep things as neutral as possible. Not everyone has your taste (although it’s probably fantastic!). As important as style is, remember to select tile that’s appropriate for the area it’s being installed in. Will it be durable enough for a high traffic area ( see info about PEI ratings)? Will it give you the right look and texture for the space you want to put it in? For instance, do you want a smooth, polished marble for your grand entry or formal dining room or would a rustic, slip-resistant through-body porcelain be more appropriate for your front walkway or back patio? If you have kids and/or pets or you simply don’t clean the floors that often, you may want to consider a tile that will disguise the dirt.
If you want to step it up some, you might want to look at adding listellos (decorative borders) or decos (decorative tile inserts) or even adding glass or metal tiles to the design. Listellos and decos can be found in just about any design imaginable to create a floor or wall that fits your exact style. Do you need to add on to existing tile but they don’t make that tile anymore? A tile border is an easy solution to separate rooms and different materials. These borders also work well when you have an open floor plan and would like to have the same tile throughout, but need to delineate an area like a dining room or the foyer. You can even use borders to create a tile “Area Rug” in the foyer or hallway. Many people don’t realize that there are so many options available now that can be used to create a beautiful and unique space in your home.
When buying tile, there is some information that you’ll need to pass on to your sales person and/or installer. They’ll need to know how many square feet you have to cover. Generally, the installer or an estimator will measure for you. Talk with them about the width of the grout joints that you would like. Standard grout joints are typically 3/8″ to 1/4″ but, depending on the tile selected, grout joints can often be adjusted to the homeowner’s personal taste. How do you want your tile to be laid; Diagonal or Square, Brick joint or Straight set? Do you want to use different sizes of the same tile to create a modular design? Most people order a quantity of 10-15% more than the actual square footage measured. Some of this extra tile is for future repairs, but most of it is to account for the waste that cuts will create. The direction that the tile is laid can also alter the amount of waste needed. Diagonal will usually require more cuts and therefore more waste. Make sure to purchase all of your tiles at the same time – Dye lots vary so tile ordered at a later time may not be an identical match to the original order. Don’t forget to select your grout color. The grout color is a very important part of the overall look of your new floors. lastly, make sure that you inspect your tiles before installation! A few broken tiles are to be expected, but if there is an excessive amount of broken tiles or the tile just doesn’t look like it’s the right color or texture, let your salesperson know immediately before the installation begins.
Enjoy your beautiful new look!