Ahhh tile, how I love thee! Tile is an easy and (usually!) inexpensive way to add texture, color, and drama to a space. It’s important to know the difference between tile and what their purpose is. When I originally wrote this back in 2018 my love affair with tile was just beginning. Now in 2020, we are taking another look and we are taking a deep dive into all things tile!
To start, we have to know the different types of tile. For today’s post I am just going to concentrate on interior tile. There are four basic interior tiles we are going to cover today so let’s get going!
Ceramic tile is one of the most common tiles you will find in our homes today. Ceramic tiles are made from regular clay and are generally cheaper than porcelain tile. However, with the rise of popularity in porcelain tile over the years there is little price difference between the two. Ceramic tiles have a hard, solid surface. Some pros about ceramic flooring are that they don’t hold dirt, dust, or allergens. They can be used in almost any room and ceramic tile is also easy to care for since it has a hard, solid surface. There are also endless color and print options and the cost for the average tile is relatively inexpensive. Some negatives about ceramic tile is that because it has such a hard surface, it can be hard to stand on for long periods of time. Also, if you live in a cold climate, the tile will be cold to walk around on in the winter time!
Porcelain tile is stronger, harder, and even more water resistant than ceramic tile. Porcelain tile is made of clay that has finer particles in it and is fired at a higher temperature. But because of this, porcelain tile can be more brittle than ceramic tile. One advantage to porcelain tile is, that because of the way it is manufactured, porcelain tile can be made to look like other materials. For instance, porcelain countertops and bathtub tiles that look like marble are gaining popularity. Just make sure if you do decide to go with this route that you are working with a fabricator who knows what they are doing. Because of porcelains brittle nature it can easily chip and great care has to be taken during installation. Porcelain cost roughly the same as ceramic tile but because of it’s brittle nature it can be more prone to cracking.
Cement tiles are one of the most popular tiles on the market. And for good reason, they add color, texture, and style to any room! Cement tiles are made by hand, one at a time, using pigments, cement, and a mold. Cement tiles can be used anywhere-even a shower. So let your imagination run wild with this one!
Mosaic tile is the tiny little square tiles you see commonly used in showers and as a backsplash. Mosaic tiles are often added to subway tile to break up the pattern or to add some color. They can not be used on the floor so keep these pretty little things strictly on the wall!
Pinterest is a great place to find tile inspiration. Whether it’s for a bathroom or a kitchen, it’s easy to find photos of what you’re looking for. It’s also easy to go down a rabbit hole so try to be as specific as possible. Search for blue shower tile instead of just shower tile. Or maybe you want wood looking tile or tile that is metallic. The more specific you can be, the better.
When you have your general color scheme in place and you’re ready to start picking out tile, buy a sample first! You’ll want to bring the tile home and actually put it in the space you’re looking to use it in. The lighting in your home is going to be very different than what you have in the store. Also, if you’re ordering tile online, everyone's monitor is a little different so I would also order a sample to make sure the color is what you thought it was going to be! Once you have your tile in hand you will want to hold it up against the wall or put it on the floor to see if you like it. I recommend placing a white piece of printer paper behind the tile so make sure the current color on the wall or floor isn’t impacting the color of the tile you chose. The photo below is an example of what I mean by that!
If you are looking for wall tile, porcelain, ceramic and glass tiles work great. Especially in kitchens because they stand up well to heat. Backsplash wall tile is a great way to add some texture, color, and drama to a space. Natural stone tile is becoming more popular for backsplashes, just know they require regular sealing.
Peel and stick wall tile is another great option for the DIYer. Daltile offers great options and the bonus is this can be installed anywhere-the possibilities are endless! Peel and stick wall tile backsplash is an inexpensive way to help protect your bathroom and kitchen walls from water. Another bonus is when you get tired of it, it’s easy to change! Just keep in mind it’s not as durable as real tile and will have to be replaced so the cost savings in the long run diminishes.
Extra large format porcelain tile give you the look of marble without the price tag. It’s gaining in popularity because it can be used in showers and eliminates most or all grout lines. Yea for less cleaning!! Grout in the shower is the bain of my existence. It’s always so hard to keep clean. Anyways, I digress. Large format porcelain tile is brittle because it’s only 1/2” thick so just make sure the fabricator has a good reputation! This photo from Bedrosians Tile and Marble is GORGEOUS!!!
Choosing the right tile doesn’t have to be complicated. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to go bold and add some color or texture. Just keep in mind where the tile is going and what it will be used for. Check for slip resistant factor in bathrooms go shopping for tile with a plan!
Need help with your next design project? I offer a designer on call service where I am happy to help you pick out just tile. There are so many things to take into consideration when designing your next project that sometimes having a professionals advice can really go a long way! Visit our services page to learn more about how I can help you.