Five Questions to Ask Before Buying Tiles
All tiles are created equal, right? Not quite! To help you find the perfect tiles for your home, there are five need-to-know questions you should ask first.
Where will the tile be placed?
Do you want to tile a splashback? Floor? Countertop? Or perhaps walls? Knowing where the tile will be placed helps you decide whether it should be porcelain or ceramic.
When it comes to flooring, porcelain tiles are your best bet. They’re hardwearing, have no-slip grip and incredible strength. They’re also water-resistant which makes them a no-brainer for bathroom installations or outside use. Plus, porcelain tiles can be manufactured to imitate the look of natural materials, such as timber and stone, so they are increasingly used as an affordable alternative to the genuine thing.
Ceramic tiles are generally cheaper than porcelain making them a great option for larger surface areas like bathroom walls. As they’re also glazed, colours can be more diverse and vibrant, allowing you to create a striking feature wall, splashback or counter top.
Which size is best?
As a general rule of thumb, choose tiles relative to the size of the room. So, a large space like a living room can handle large format tiles such as 600 mm x 600mm Eclipse Lunar. While a small, powder room generally looks best with a smaller style like Eclipse Zenith - Saronto. Also keep in mind that wall tiles should never be larger than their complimentary floor tile as this upsets the proportional look of a room.
What’s the right colour?
Colour plays a really important role in tile selection. Light coloured or neutral tiles will make a space appear larger and are a great option for a guest bathroom or narrow hallway. While dark colour tiles can be a striking addition to a kitchen or open floor plan where there is plenty of light. When thinking about colour, also consider your grout lines as they make a big impact on the final result and whether a space looks smaller or larger. The more grout lines you have, the busier your wall or floor will look and this may have a tendency to make a small space look even smaller. To create a seamless look and minimimise the appearance of a ‘grid’, ensure your grout colour is similar to the colour of the tiles you choose.
Are you going to install them yourself?
Ceramic tile is easier to cut and install than porcelain. They’re also easier to affix to the floor.
What is your budget?
Not all porcelain tiles are costly, but it is generally more expensive that ceramic. Porcelain tiles start at $15 per square metre excluding installation while ceramic tiles start at $11 per square metre excluding installation.