CHOOSING THE PERFECT FLOOR TILES
Choosing the perfect floor tiles is an important task for most people. With the countless number of shapes, sizes and colours available on the market, it is of little wonder that many people find picking the right floor tilesa stressful experience.
But choosing floors tiles involves a lot more than simple aesthetics. There are a lot of technical and professional considerations to floor tiling, and it doesn’t matter whether you are laying outdoor tiles or indoor tiles. So to simplify the whole process, this article will outline the main points to consider when choosing floor tiles:
Before you select any floor tiles, it is important to note how the tiled area will be used by you and your family. Is the space indoors or outdoors? Will it see light or heavy traffic? Is it under cover or totally exposed to the elements? Know the answers to these questions before you go tile shopping.
Durability is a key consideration when choosing a floor tile. According to the Porcelain Enamel Institute’s (PEI) durability rating, tiles range from Grade 1 – which offers light resistance, to Grade 5 – used in commercial areas such as airports and shopping malls. Odds are that you will need tiles in the Grade 3 or 4 categories.
Tiles come in a variety of styles, almost too many to list. Here are the most popular styles:
- Sandstone Pavers – Great for outdoor areas, but make sure that you only buy high quality sandstone.
- Ceramic – One of the most popular styles due to the wide range of colours, textures, patterns and sizes available. Can be used indoors and outdoors, but be sure to check the PEI durability rating before buying.
- Slate – Made out of finely grained metamorphic rock, slate tiles are great for outdoor areas and living areas inside. Click here to find out more.
- Porcelain – More dense than ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles are great for outdoor use.
Size and Shape
Both indoor and outdoor tiles come in a variety of sizes. For indoor use, the most common size is 200mm x 200mm but any builder will be more than willing to cut smaller or larger tiles, for a price of course.
From a design perspective, larger tiles in a small room can make the room look bigger, but smaller tiles in the same space make the room look a bit frantic. Take into account that larger tiles are more expensive as they require more time and effort to cut. At the end of the day it all depends on your budget.
Almost all tiles are rectangular in shape, mainly due to the fact that it is easier to lay square tiles. One interesting new trend is to lay tiles in a diagonal pattern in smaller rooms. This gives the room an illusion of space, with the grout lines leading your eyes to the corners of each wall.
Colour and Design
Finally, it is important to pick tiles that will complement your existing surroundings. This is particularly important with indoor tiles, as you will have to make sure that the walls, furniture and any other features have a consistent style.
With this article in hand you are well on your way to choosing the perfect floor tiles! Good luck!