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
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
|Bathroom|| Natural Stone
* 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
Studio S Interiors bathroom renovation demonstrating different applications of tile based on their traction.
- 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?
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.
Studio S Interiors bathroom renovation showing how lighter colours can brighten up a room.
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.
Studio S Interiors kitchen renovation showing small tiles being used as a backsplash/accent wall.
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.
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.
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!