10 Considerations for Choosing the Right Tile for the Job
Once you decide to go with tile for your flooring or wall decor, you’ve already narrowed down the options substantially. Now you have another decision: which tile?
The choices may seem endless, but here are a few (10, to be exact) key considerations to keep in mind when picking out your dream tile.
1. Where is the tile going?
Depending on wall vs. floor, shower vs. kitchen, etc., you’re going to make different choices. For example, if you’re tiling your entire home’s floors, you wouldn’t choose a small scale tile that will need a lot of grouting.
In addition to size or scale, wall vs. flooring tile also brings up questions of durability, color, type of tile, and shape.
2. How much will you need?
Now you know where the tile is going, you can easily determine the square footage of what you’ll need. This question will help as you move toward answer questions of budget, materials needed, etc.
3. How durable does it need to be?
Are you tiling a high traffic area, like your mud room floor? Or are you looking for a beautiful glass tile for a wall accent or fireplace?
Durability is certainly more important for floor tile, so pay attention to the PEI scale and choose a class 3 or higher (0 being the lowest, 5 being the highest). In addition, shower and kitchen walls also need to be durable from a waterproofing and maintenance sense.
4. What are the safety concerns?
In addition to durability, some areas of the home need to keep safety in mind. Remember that mud room? A more textured tile option will ensure wet boots after a rain or snowstorm don’t cause any of your family members to slip and fall. Similarly, shower floor tiles need to have a fair amount of traction.
5. What is your lifestyle?
Between the kids and the pets, does your family tend to have a well-lived in home? (In other words, would a tile that hides the dirt and debris a little better be the best option?) If so, a darker or multi-colored tile might be ideal.
Or, do you tend to be the spotless type, constantly scrubbing and cleaning your home? If so, you would be able to get away with a light colored tile on the walls and floors.
6. What size, shape, and pattern is right for the space?
Remember that different tile sizes, shapes, and patterns will make a big difference in the final appearance. For instance, a larger tile in a small space will make it appear like a much smaller room.
Do your homework by bringing home a sample or buying just a few tiles to lay out on the floor or put against the wall so you can get a better sense of what works best.
7. What color (and design) makes the most sense for your space?
Tile is meant to accent your design style, not take away from it. Pay attention to how a tile plays with your current aesthetic (or how you plan to redecorate, if that’s the case), specifically in color and tile design.
8. Do you plan on selling?
Another consideration for a tile job is whether you plan on selling your home in the future or not. If not, go with whatever style you love – the sky’s the limit! However, if you do plan to sell soon or even in the future, you might want to consider a tile that appeals to the widest audience possible.
9. What is your budget?
The cost of tile, depending on the quality and material, can get expensive quickly. Since you already know your square footage, you’ll quickly be able to calculate the tile cost at the tile store or showroom. You may not mind paying more a square foot for an accent on a wall as opposed to floor tiling for a large space.
10. What grout will you choose?
Tile is important, but grout finishes the look and can drastically change how the tile looks by itself. Be selective about the size of your grout line (how much space between tiles there is) and grout color.
It’s time to get out there and choose the tile of your dreams, keeping these 10 considerations in mind.
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