So, you’ve decided tiles are the right floor for you. Easy to clean, and pretty much indestructible in terms of damaging or staining – an especially desirable trait for busy families with active children and a menagerie of much-loved animals. But which tiles? Interior decorator and author, Tahn Scoon has the following handy tips…
As a fixed feature, your flooring won’t be updated regularly – so it’s not the place to be daring with colour. Take your cues from nature and stick to lovely neutrals, biscuits, stones or charcoals – you’ll never tire of them and can always change up your colour scheme in other, much less expensive ways. When choosing which natural shade to go with, consider your other large area items, such as walls and benchtops and ensure everything connects harmoniously. The easiest way to do this is to stick to either a cool or a warm palette – and then vary the depth of colour. An example of this would be to select a cool white benchtop and team it with light grey walls and charcoal tiles.
Funnily enough, your colour choice will also affect how clean your floors will look. Light tiles will show up mud and dirt more easily, whilst dark floors will highlight dust and fluff. Talking of fluff, it’s not completely silly to take a moment to think about the hair colour of all the people and pets you have in the house. If you have a Golden Labrador who sheds copious amounts of hair, charcoal tiles may not be the easiest choice to live with. Similarly, if you’re a brunette and blow-dry your hair daily in the bathroom, mid to dark tiles will be more forgiving than white.
Once you’ve decided on a colour, you need to settle on the size and shape of your tile. We’ll start with shape, as it’s pretty simple – rectangular generally looks best. More contemporary than square and less fussy as hexagonal mosaics and the like. As for size, let the room dictate. Small to medium tiles in small to medium sized spaces – and larger tiles in larger spaces. So, you might select small 100 x 300 mm subway tiles for a splashback, medium 300 x 400 mm tiles for an average family bathroom and large 300 x 600 mm tiles for a spacious open plan living room.
Generally, ceramic tiles are less expensive than porcelain, so if you’re on a budget, they’re an excellent way to go. However, if you have a little more flexibility in your budget, I always advocate spending it on fixed items first, as those are the things that add quality and value to your home. Therefore, buy the best quality floors, hardware, benchtops and the like you can afford – and save on those items that are easy to update (and will only devalue quickly anyway) such as furniture and furnishings.