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Selecting Tiles: 8 tips

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If you would like to take an informed decision when it comes to selecting tiles for your space, here are a few tips to help you.

With the plethora of options available in the market, it’s a challenge to choose the right tile for the right space. There are vitrified tiles, ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, cement tiles, quartz, stone and even glass tiles available, making decision making a huge challenge. To help you out we’ve outlined a few tips to help you select the right tile for your space:

Down to the basics: The first step is deciding what kind of tile you need. For flooring, Vitrified tiles are the best bet since they are durable and can withstand heavy traffic. For walls, you can choose either ceramic or porcelain tiles as they are non-porous or do not absorb stains. For outdoors it's best to opt for either matt finish or anti-skid tiles to avoid slips.

Size-it-up: Tiles these days are available in a wide range of sizes. Some popular sizes for floors include 300×600 mm, 600×600 mm, 610×610 mm and 800×800 mm, while wall tiles generally come in sizes of 250x350mm, 300x450mm, and 300x600mm. According to experts, large format tiles lend a more spacious look to space. However, it is advised to match tiles to room size. If the room is small, and you use large size tiles on the floor, then the room will look even smaller. For such a room, it is recommended to go for medium format size tiles like 250×350 mm. Also, it’s a good idea to opt for the size that entails a minimal amount of cutting and wastage.

Example: If you have a room that is 6×5 ft, then pick a tile that is a multiple of the size of the room.

Choose the right finish: With digital printing, it is now possible to recreate any pattern on a tile. However, the pattern and design should not be the only deciding factor. It’s important to identify the right finish as well. Glossy tiles look great on walls, while stone finish tiles are ideal for exteriors. For bedrooms, wood finishes are recommended since they lend a warm feel while for bathroom and kitchen walls one can experiment with metallics and mosaics in combination with plain tiles. For living rooms, natural finishes and designs are recommended while for restaurants it's advised to look for anti-skid, high resistance vitrified tiles with a pattern or a design that suits the décor.

 

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The right color: For flooring, it is usually advisable to opt for light colors to create an intimate look indoors. For outdoors one can experiment with darker colors. Light colors make the room look more spacious and airy while dark colors are easier to maintain.

Plan ahead: Always purchase an additional 5-10% more tiles than you actually need. This takes care of cuts and breakages should you have any. Most companies will offer a refund on unused boxes of tiles.

Grout it right: While there was a trend to use contrast grouting at one point, its always advised to use a grout that matches the color of your tile. The focus should be on having thin grout lines and make them as less visible as possible.

Mix and match: While a single tile laid over an entire surface lends a more consistent and spacious feel, it’s a good idea to experiment with 2-3 tiles to lend your space a personal touch. On floors, one can experiment with borders and a combination of two complimentary tiles. For walls, one can use up to three tiles to create a unique and interesting décor. One can mix and match mosaic tiles with medium format tiles, metallic tiles with plain ones, play with patterns on one wall and use plain tiles on the rest and even use contrasting colors for a statement pattern. Many tile manufacturers sell tile concepts which are pre-set tile combinations.

Ability to absorb water: This is one very important technical detail one needs to know to understand the tile strength. Tiles with less water absorption have a longer life since they are more durable.

Tiles are considered to be an investment for easy maintenance and hygienic living. Make your choice with care.

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