5 Helpful Tips for Choosing the Perfect Tile for Your New Home

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When choosing tile for your new home, it is important to spend the time up front to plan exactly what you want to achieve as your final project. Not spending the extra time up front to determine what it is you want, could result in costly redo’s down the line or a project that you are just not happy with. Here are 5 helpful tips for choosing the perfect tile for your new home or remodeling project.

1. Take the time to plan your tile layout thoroughly and completely.

Take the time to measure the project carefully and make sure that grout lines are taken into account. Make sure that you consider where doors, windows, floors, ceilings, corners, and specialty tiles and borders will fall in your layout. As no room is perfect, accounting for these imperfections up front will ensure your ability to minimize the effects of any cut tiles on your final design.

2. Tile material is perhaps the most important consideration when choosing tiles.

Choosing a tile that is appropriate for the intended application is an important consideration. Avoid using glass tiles in floor installations. Heels and furniture can easily damage glass tiles. For floors, a scratch-resistant dense porcelain tile works well. To avoid tiles cracking or splitting, the substrate under the tile needs to be firm. The surface of the tile is an important consideration; slick surfaces are not good in damp areas and neither are unfinished surfaces. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors says that the majority of commercial accidents are the result of slip and falls, this is something to take into consideration in residential applications as well. Glass tiles or smaller accent type tiles work well for backsplashes or accent walls. Stone, slate, concrete, and terra cotta tiles make a great choice for fireplace surrounds.

3. The color of the chosen tile helps set a rooms tone.

Color can be bold or subtle. Even simple tiles can be jazzed up with bold color accent tiles. Tile colors are available in more than just solid hues. Tiles are offered in solid and variegated colors, and an unlimited variation of patterns. In addition to manufactured tiles, hand-painted tiles add a unique design choice. Before deciding on a tile color for an existing room, take into account any existing colors in the room and how much light the room gets. Consider the effect you want the tiles to make on the room. A good way to gauge the effect of a color choice is by using a color wheel or samples of the tiles that are being considered.

4. Texture is also an important consideration when choosing tiles for aesthetics.

For high traffic areas where you want to camouflage dirt and scuff marks, choose a tile with a mottled pattern or variegated texture tile, according to Garden State Tile. Combine tiles with different finishes to create different moods, unglazed terra cotta tiles combined with glossy tiles can create energy. Consider accent tiles that starkly contrast with the field tile to create interest.

5. The grout chosen is just as important as the tile choice.

Grout comes in almost as many color choices as the tile itself. One big consideration in choosing the color is that some of the more exotic colors may go out of style and make color matching in the future more difficult. Grout also has different finishes that can be chosen depending on the application. Sanded grout is a good choice for surfaces that need to retain the strongest structure; there is also an epoxy grout that maintains superior strength. SFGate recommends sealing grout in applications where staining is a concern. Acrylic urethane grout is a good choice in areas where the joint needs to remain flexible. Most grout is applied over the installed tile and wiped away. Depending on the application, there is also grout available in tubes similar to tubes of caulk.

There are virtually unlimited choices when it comes to tile and it is important to carefully decide and plan your materials, layout, colors, finishes, and grout. Taking the time upfront to plan will ensure a final product that you will be happy with and save money and time overall.