Today I am going to share with you guys a little buyers guide for selecting tile and then give you guys a sneak peek of what I have been sourcing recently for one of our remodels. Tile can sometimes be a little tricky because there are so many different types and it is hard to know which tile is best for which tile. Also, as cement tiles have become more and more popular we have been getting a lot of questions about how and where to use them and about their care and maintenance. So here is a brief guide to some of the most common types of tile.
The cheapest and one of the most common types of tiles, ceramic is a popular choice with homeowners, especially in bathrooms. They are stain, odor, water and bacteria resistant so they are great in kitchens and bathrooms that have high traffic and high moisture. For all you DIYers out there, this is the easiest tile to install, so have at it!
DESIGNER TIP: One important thing to note is that color can vary pretty dramatically from lot to lot, so make sure you buy enough tile because if you have to go back for more you will not be able to guarantee the additional tile came from the same lot. When ordering tile I always order 10% than required to take account for breakage and mismeasurement.
COST: Typical cost will run you $1-$8 per square foot.
Porcelain is the most the sturdiest, most durable tile types and is perfect for floors and high traffic areas. It is actually a type of ceramic tile that is fired at higher temperatures, making it more durable. They also are the best option is you are looking to do radiant in-floor heating in your home. There are two different types of porcelain tile, through-bodied and glazed. Through-bodied means that the color and texture goes all the way through the tile so that if a chip or scratch occurs, the tile underneath the surface is still the same color. Glazed tiles are just that, coated in a hard wear layer that is typically colored. They come in the widest range of colors but if they are chipped or scratch the layer underneath the glaze will be a different color.
DESIGNER TIP: Do not try to DIY a porcelain tile unless you know what you are doing. Because porcelain is non-porous it needs a special setting material designed for non-porous surfaces. Check with the manufacturer for the correct installation materials before doing it yourself.
COST: Typical cost will run you $3-$7 per square foot.
Glass tile is just what it sounds like, piece of glass sold individually or adhered on mesh sheets. Due to the fact that they are made of glass they are obviously very delicate and should not be placed in high-impact or high-traffic areas. They are best for backsplashes and accent areas in your home. They are great because they are translucent and reflective so the color can seen all the way through the tile and it really can bounce light around a space and lighten it up. They are also super easy to clean, but will show fingerprints easily due to the reflective nature of the material.
DESIGNER TIP: Do not attempt to install glass tile on your own unless you are a highly skilled DIYer or have experience working with glass tile. In fact, even when selecting an installer make sure that they have experience working with glass tile before hiring them. Glass tile is VERY hard to install because the adhesive is visible through the tile. Both the tile and installation itself is expensive so you would hate to make a mistake during the installation process.
COST: Typical cost will run you $7-$30+ per square foot.
So patterned, cement tile is all the rage right now. I absolutely love the look and this is actually what I have been sourcing for the bathroom/laundry room in our Spanish style beach reno. Cement tiles are great because they are decorative, very durable, and allow for a lot of bang for your buck from a decorative perspective. Because they are made of cement they are incredibly porous, which makes them prone to etching and staining from oils, acids and abrasives. It is very important to have your cement tile floors sealed after installation and every few years there after. Also, since cement tiles are not as common, some installers might not be as familiar working with them. Make sure you do your homework on the tile and the installation process prior to purchasing and having them installed in your own home.
DESIGNER TIP: Pre-seal your tile before installation. Not to be confused with sealing your tile, pre-sealing is a process that occurs prior to the floors ever being laid. As I mentioned, cement tile is very porous and because of that it makes grout removal extremely difficult. The pre-sealer, also called a grout release, helps make the grout removal process much easier after the tiles are installed. One other thing to mention. Cement tiles are typically priced by the piece. Please make sure you are not getting that confused with the square foot price. You could be in for a rude surprise.
COST: Typically will run $9-$20 per square foot.
Stone tiles encompass lots of different materials ranging from granite,marble and travertine to onxy, slate and soapstone. Stone is exactly what you think it is. Piece of natural material that are cut into thin, even pieces. Stone tile is very durable so it makes a great option for flooring, but it is also gorgeous so it makes great backsplashes as well. Some of the stones are softer than others, such as marble and soapstone, so they are more suitable for use in countertops and backsplashes. Almost all stone can be damaged by exposure to water, acids, harsh cleaning chemicals and pigments from things like red wine or tomato sauce. It is important to have your floors, counter tops, or backsplashes sealed professionally after installation and resealed every 10 years or so.
DESIGNER TIP: If you are nervous to have marble as kitchen counter tops due to wear issues, we highly recommend using them in back splashes. The look gorgeous in bathrooms on shower floors and walls and they really bring a high-end look to a kitchen as a backsplash without the worry and cost of marble countertops.
COST: Typically will run $6-$15 per square foot.
We have been working on a gorgeous Spanish-style beach remodel in Ranchos Palos Verdes. To stay true to the Spanish architecture of the house we are using a cement tile in the bathroom and laundry room. We are also remodeling the kitchen and it is going to be gorgeous! We are doing navy blue lower cabinet, white uppers and a white backsplash. I put together a board of some the different options I have sourced for the client. The first six are options for the floor and the last three are backsplash options. We wanted something simple for the backsplash so the other details in the space could really sing.
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Feature Image: Studio McGee