Fancy techniques aside, tile simply refers to any kind of durable material that can be laid in rows over a surface. While people have interpreted that to mean everything from solid gold to broken seashells, in kitchens and baths it most commonly refers to stone, ceramic, porcelain, and glass. All of these materials are beautiful, strong, and come in a variety of shapes and colors.
So, how do you decide which material, cut, and size is best for your bathroom or kitchen? Like most problems in design, this is an issue of functionality and practicality. However, it can be resolved by answering three questions:
1. Where will this tile be placed?
2. What is your budget?
3. How often will this tile be used?
1. Where will this tile be placed?
Deciding exactly where the tile will be placed will help you narrow down size and material. Are you using this tile for a backsplash? A counter? Floor? Walls? Most commonly, stone, ceramic, and porcelain are used for counters and floors. Glass is mostly used for walls and backsplashes. This shower has a ceramic mosaic floor (which provides a solid grip in an otherwise slippery shower), accented with easy-to-clean rectangular glass tiles.
Glass tiles are a common choice for bathrooms and kitchens today because they're easily recycled and come in a wide variety of colors and finishes. Mosaic tiles — usually shaped in rectangles, squares, or "pennies" — have become increasingly popular. These glossy mosaic tiles work well on this bathroom floor because they're easy to clean and provide traction during your post-shower dry down. Remember that a glossy floor tile isn't the same as a glossy wall tile — before buying, explain to an in-store expert where your tile will be installed. Floor tile has to be safe to walk on, so you want to make sure that the texture and strength of the tile is correct.
A no-slip grip and incredible strength make porcelain a common flooring choice. It's an extremely durable and water-resistant material that can even be used outside.
Ceramic tile is a good fit in bathrooms or other moisture-rich environments. It's easy to clean and install, it's waterproof, sturdy, and is a great value for the price. Designers also like ceramic tile because its surface is ideal for paint or decal ornamentation.
When it comes to durability, natural stone is the crème de la crème. It has a completely natural beauty, and since no two stones are exactly alike, a natural pattern will emerge on tiled floors or walls. Pay attention to maintenance requirements when choosing stone. Some stones need to be sealed, otherwise they'll stay porous and can become stained or even crumble. A smooth stone works well for kitchen clean-ups, but a textured stone floor will help prevent slips on a bathroom floor.
Consider shape and size. This is particularly important if you're planning to install the tile yourself. Larger tiles have a distinctive look and are easier to fit and place than smaller tiles. If you're using ceramic tile, check that all the edges are straight; this will make grouting much easier. Also make sure that all of your tiles are the same size — the manufacturing process can result in variations up to 1/4 of an inch.
Square and rectangular tiles are also much easier to place than those with an irregular shape. These porcelain tiles with mirror inlays are absolutely stunning — but if this is a look you're going for, it's a good idea to call in a professional.
2. What is your budget? There's a wide range of prices for tile. Some general estimates (not including installation):
• Ceramic tile ranges from $2-$30 per SQM.
• Natural stone ranges from $20-$80 per SQM
• Glass tile ranges from $20-$60 per SQM
• Porcelain tile ranges from $20-$85 per SQM
Ceramic tile is usually less expensive than glass and when glazed is just as easy to clean.
3. How often will this tile be used?
While there's no set industry standard for tile durability, most tile is classified using PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) ratings, which are:
1: No foot traffic.
2: Light traffic
3: Moderate to light traffic
4: Moderate to heavy traffic
5+: Heavy to extra-heavy traffic
A lot of porcelain tile is classified as a 4 or a 5. This makes it a great choice for a family kitchen.
It's important to choose a floor tile that can stand up to the daily wear and tear of your household. Scuffs, spilled foods, cleaning supplies, dog scratches, etc. should all be taken into account. Make sure to choose a tile that is specifically formulated for floor use. This natural stone tile shower is a great example, since it has a high COF (coefficient of friction) to keep it from being too slippery. You'll definitely want to do this when choosing a tile for your bathroom floor. Something with a slight raised pattern or texture will increase friction, even when wet.
If doing an entire stone or porcelain floor isn't quite your style, consider doing what this family did, and create a kitchen "rug" out of tile. This part of the kitchen floor will probably be used the most by the family, and this tough and long-lasting stone won't suffer the same damage as hardwood in this area would.
If you're feeling resigned to a practical, durable tile to protect your kitchen from kids and your golden retriever, take heart. The backsplash is one area where you can get really creative. This is an area that doesn't take direct traffic, so you can be more free with materials and design ideas. You still want to make sure that your backsplash can still take a few hits — as it'll still have to withstand splashes of hot water, oil, grease and cleaning materials. These colorful ceramic tiles are a great fit for a backsplash behind a stove: they can withstand the heat and are easy to wipe off.
Ceramic is also a great choice for an accented bathroom backsplash …
… as is glass for this beautiful mosaic backsplash. This is a great decorative alternative if you're not quite ready to commit the money or work to tiling your entire bathroom in mosaic tiles, but still want to get the look.
What are your favorite tiling styles?
Nerang Tiles offers a range of the original terracotta tile pavers in a range of unique terracotta colours, including charcoal, yulara, sea salt and cool grey.
Theses original terracotta tiles are also available in the rare and hard to find stair and pool bullnoses in the same thickness and terracotta style as the pavers.
Visit Nerang Tiles to see the full range of terracotta tile pavers including the imitation terracotta porcelain tiles available in more sizes and in both outdoor and indoor finishes with the terracotta style and aesthetics.
The tiles shown are in stock and available at the time of writing this blog post. Please contact Nerang Tiles to check availability.
Timber-look tiles solve the problem of moisture warping timber in the bathroom, and they've never looked better
Warmth, colour and craftsmanship. But also innovation. The factory in Italy has designed this series to combine the Cuban capital’s long and eclectic architectural history and achieve an ambitious and contemporary project.
The technology characteristic of this glazed porcelain stoneware – available in 2 sizes and 3 colour shades in Australia reinterprets the south American atmosphere in a modern key, translating it into eclectic floor and wall tiles, capable of giving a welcoming atmosphere to commercial and residential areas.
Available in either a 200 x 400 or 6 x 270 brick format.
Free your imagination
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast showroom. The Nerang Tiles website is only a snapshot of the thousands of tiles on display so please visit in store to see the full range of floor tiles and wall tiles on offer to suit any area in your home.
Please ensure you transport your tiles in a safe manner for your own safety and for the safety of those around you sharing the road. Nerang Tiles endeavours to make its best efforts to assist customers pack and secure loads for transit but if you are suing your own transit, you are responsible for in making sure all goods transported meet any requirements or laws.
Unsecured loads on heavy vehicles can pose significant danger to road users. The law requires all people involved in the operation of a heavy vehicle to ensure that it is loaded safely and securely.
The law states that the load on any vehicle must:
Please read the Restraint Guide from the National Transport Commission Website or ask a Nerang Tiles staff member for a copy.
Nerang Tiles endeavours to pack and load all goods for safe transport. Consumers using their own transport methods take full responsibility for ensuring the goods are safe and securely packed and loaded in accordance with the Queensland Load Restraint Requirements and any other laws or regulations.
If you are driving a vehicle that is carrying a load, or towing a trailer that is carrying a load, you have to make sure that the load is restrained properly. Load restraint is not just about making sure that the load does not come off —it is also about making sure that the load does not shift in a way that makes the vehicle unstable or unsafe.
Under the Queensland Load Restraint Requirements, any load carried on or in your vehicle or trailer must:
Unless otherwise specified in writing, Nerang Tiles will not be liable in tort or contract or otherwise for any loss or damage to or failure in consignment or delay in the delivery of any goods, either in handling, packing, transit or storage and whether caused by Nerang Tiles negligence, wrongful act or default or by any other cause whatsoever. Nerang Tiles will also be under no liability for loss, damage, or injury to any person, property or thing during the provision of the goods, nor for any loss consequently or otherwise arising from any such loss, damage or injury, whether caused by Nerang Tiles negligence, wrongful act or default or by any other cause whatsoever. Consumers accept full responsibility and liability for the safe and secure packing, loading and transit of goods and to ensure such goods for transit meet the Queensland Load Restrain Requirement.