If you’re in the market for tile flooring, you might be confused by all of the conflicting advice about materials, dimensions and finishes. Consider this your guide to cutting through the madness and getting the tiles that you really want! Here are just six things to keep in mind as you shop for tile flooring.
First things first: How much can you afford to spend on your tiles? It’s good to have a limit as you flip through magazines and calculate potential installation costs. You should also remember that rates will vary depending on your location, so the price quoted on one website might be different than the estimates provided on another.
There are many types of tile, and they all have their own pros and cons. You’ll need to decide for yourself which material is right for your needs. For example, marble looks gorgeous but can be difficult to maintain. Ceramic can be ordered in all kinds of colors, patterns and mosaics, but it isn’t the most scratch-resistant. Laminate isn’t stylish, but it’s one of the most durable materials out there.
3. Size and Shape
Gone are the days when tiles only came in boring, standard-issue squares. Today’s tiles are available in a wide variety of cuts and patterns, so it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for stylish circles or zany triangles. If you can dream it, you can order it.
Sleek, polished tiles will elevate the look of any kitchen or bathroom. They’ll also be quite slippery if installed in an area with lots of foot traffic. It’s up to you to determine the right level of traction in your tiles, so do your research about grooves, finishes and slip resistance ratings.
Speaking of finishes, they’re usually the easiest way to protect your tiles from damage and extend the lifespan of your floor. They come in both “gloss” and “matte” versions depending on your budget and style preferences. They’ll cost you a few extra dollars, but many homeowners consider them a worthwhile investment.
If you’re adding tile to an outdoor space like a patio or backyard, you’ll want a tough material that can handle the harshness of the elements, so look into brick, clay and terracotta. If you just need tile in a guest bathroom, however, go ahead and get luxurious with porcelain. It doesn’t need to be rain- and wind-resistant.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you shop for tile flooring. As you can see, there’s more to a smart purchase decision than simply picking an attractive tile pattern and having it installed, so take your time and consider everything carefully. Your interior design depends on it!