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Tile

Guide to Choosing the Right Tile for your Home

How to get the most out of your tile

 

There are endless options when it comes to tile; the trick is finding the right one for you. Here we’ll split the decision making process into two phases:

Phase 1: Functionality

Renovated bathroom
Studio S Interiors bathroom renovation demonstrating various tile applications in a single space.

 

Where and how will the tile be used?

   Floor  Wall  Counter  Back splash
 Kitchen  Porcelain
 Natural Stone
 Anything  Porcelain
 Glazed Ceramic
 Glass
 Natural Stone
 Anything
 Bathroom  Natural Stone
 Ceramic
 Porcelain
 Ceramic
 Glass

* These are simply suggested applications based on durability, moisture absorption, and traction. Ask a professional if the tiles you chose are suitable for your intended application

 

Shower with various tiles
Studio S Interiors bathroom renovation demonstrating different applications of tile based on their traction.

Reasoning:

  • Porcelain, Glass, and Glazed Ceramic are the easiest to clean.
  • Natural stone provides better grip.
  • Porcelain vs. Ceramic
    • Ceramic tiles are more susceptible to moisture than porcelain
    • Porcelain tiles are more durable than ceramic
    • Ceramic tiles PEI ratings can range from 1-5, but the majority of ratings are on the lower end

 

The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) scale is used to measure the strength of porcelain and ceramic tiles, to help you determine where they’re best suited for use in your home.

 Class  Amount of Foot Traffic  Suggested Applications
 PEI Class 1  No foot traffic  Walls only
 PEI Class 2  Light traffic Walls and bathroom floors
 PEI Class 3  Light to moderate traffic  Counter tops, walls, and floors
 PEI Class 4  Moderate to heavy traffic  Kitchen floors, entry ways
 PEI Class 5  Heavy to extra heavy traffic  Any

 

Phase 2: Appearance

What feeling do you want to evoke?

Colour

Tile colour can play a large part in the overall impression of a room. Lighter colours make for a brighter room, while darker colours add warmth and an air of prestige. Sticking with a neutral palette allows you to change up your accessories. Continuing with one consistent colour throughout a room is also a great way to make the space seem larger.

winston_b1
Studio S Interiors bathroom renovation showing how lighter colours can brighten up a room.

Size

Generally, larger tiles give the illusion of a bigger room, while smaller tiles have a tendency to make a space feel more enclosed. Small tiles such as mosaics are great for adding a personal touch with something like a backsplash or accent wall. You can also use them as a border around larger tiles to define a space. If an installation is going to require a lot of cuts, for things like fixtures, consider choosing smaller tiles to give the room a better flow.

stone_k5
Studio S Interiors kitchen renovation showing small tiles being used as a backsplash/accent wall.

Shape/Direction

Rectangular tiles can be used to establish the flow of a room, or to give the impression of increased width/length. You can mix up different tiles in the same space but make sure they follow a consistent direction to avoid a room that seems disjointed.

thistleleaf_b9
Studio S Interiors bathroom renovation showing the use of rectangular tiles oriented to give this smaller room the illusion of more depth.

At the end of the day, the tile you choose should be something you love! Trust your instincts and consult a professional if you’re looking for a little guidance.

 

Pricing

Now how we see it, tiles should be looked at as an investment rather than an expense. That being said, here are some general price ranges to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with.

 Tile Type  Price Per Square Foot
 Ceramic  $2 – $20
 Porcelain  $3 – $25
 Natural Stone  $7 – $20
 Glass  $7 – $30

 

Well you’re all set! We wish you good luck on choosing the perfect tile for your home!