Hard surfaces are the new big thing for flooring. Carpet is beautiful and soft underfoot, but when it comes to cleaning, hard surfaces take the cake. With the rise in popularity of hard surfaces we are beginning to see a rise in the popularity of tile. Tile is still the perfect solution for your bathroom and kitchen. With the increase in styles, colors, and materials, tile is beginning to be the perfect solution for other areas in your home.
Homeowners are beginning to choose materials for their living spaces that reflect their personality and spark conversation. Tile’s larger formats, unique textures, and shimmering glass mosaics are just a few of the options available that are inspiring new designs in flooring. Used on their own, or in conjunction with other tile styles, these pieces provide endless design possibilities. Whether your style is contemporary or classic, country or rustic, there is a tile available to satisfy all styles.
The most obvious areas in the home to get a tile facelift are definitely the bathroom and the kitchen. Tile is a great selection for these rooms because it can be cleaned easily, leaving behind a very hygienic atmosphere. Tile is also ideal for high trafficked areas such as foyers, playrooms, and laundry rooms. These rooms tend to get soiled easily from foot traffic, children, or whatnot. Tile makes cleaning them nearly effortless.
While tile is always a great decision, it is not the final decision. There are so many types of tile available today. After you have selected tile you then need to figure out which type of tile you would like to use. When trying to decide the type of tile you want to use on your renovation or new home keep these material characteristics in mind.
Ceramic tiles are thin slabs of clay or other inorganic materials. They are hardened by oven firing and then usually coated with some type of glaze. Ceramic is often known for its durability. One can even find intact installations from ancient Rome and Egypt. The durability of ceramic tile makes it a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms. It is very easy to clean and does not harbor germs. Ceramic tiles are used on floors, walls, countertops, and backsplashes.
Genuine marble tiles have a beautiful, distinctive look unlike any other tile. You will find marble has many whimsical patterns and shade variations that cannot be replicated with other materials. These beautiful patterns and colors can also make marble very difficult to match. Before installation, have your flooring contractor lay out the marble tiles for you to approve the end result before it is permanent. Like most stone tiles, you must seal and regularly clean marble to keep the beauty of the stone. Marble is known to create a very rich feeling when used on floors; especially in a foyer or entrance.
Terra Cotta Tile
Terra cotta is one of the oldest tile materials available. There are records of terra cotta being used over 2000 years ago, at which time it was sun-dried instead of oven-fired as it is today. People typically install terra cotta, either glazed or unglazed, when they are trying to achieve a rustic, weathered look. Terra cotta is very durable and is an excellent choice for kitchens; it can be used on the floors, counters, and walls. When installing this tile in the kitchen it is essential that it be well sealed.
Porcelain is actually a type of ceramic tile, and quite possibly the most popular variation. Porcelain is known for its toughness. For this reason you will see it in public places, such as airports, with high traffic. One of the reasons it is so popular in residential settings, aside from its durability, is that it has unlimited design potential in color, shape, and so forth. This type of tile is ideal for all of your tiling needs.
Granite is an igneous rock with a crystalline structure. This type of tile is quite dense and has the strength characteristics of porcelain. This makes granite the ideal tile for kitchen countertops. Using tile instead of solid granite will drastically cut down on expenses. Make sure that your installer spaces the tiles very close together to minimize grout staining. Also, tinted grout will give you a more seamless look. Make sure the grout and the tile are properly sealed.
Glass tiles come in many shapes and colors. The beauty of glass tiles can hardly be beat, but make sure you do not try to do this yourself. Glass tiles must be installed by a professional to ensure the right look. Some glass tiles can be installed on the floors, but most are used as decorative accents and on backsplashes.
Slate is popularly known as a roofing material, but can be quite lovely on floors as well. Slate is known for its longevity, but has weak bonds between layers and can crack along those planes. To resist damage it is important that slate be installed on a solid surface with mortar.
Sizing, Color and Texture
You would think that after you decide to tile your floor and choose the tile material all of your decisions would be made, right? Wrong. After selecting the material for your tile you then need to look at sizing, color, and texture.
Right now, big tiles are the new big trend. We are not just seeing the increase from nine to twelve inches that happened decades ago. We are seeing sizes go from one inch to twenty-four inches. Small tiles are still being used for decorative touches, but bigger seems to be better these days. One of the benefits of installing larger tiles is that there is less grout to worry about staining. Another benefit is that it has a more seamless, chic look creating continuity throughout the room.
Color is playing a large role in our interiors. We are still seeing the neutral colors in terra cotta and slate, but we are also beginning to see more vibrant colors in ceramic and glass. Colors have the ability to create energy or relaxation. Fun colors are coming into our bathrooms and laundry. Instead of just subtle, relaxing blues we are seeing energizing colors like tangerine and seagrass. The fun thing about tile is that these colors are no longer just played out in paint colors and fabrics, they can also be picked up in tile colors.
Another fun trend in tile design on walls and backsplashes is texture. Three dimensional (3D) is no longer just a term used in Hollywood, it is also a term used in tile. With decorative tile being worked into backsplashes and on walls there is plenty of room to add texture as another defining element. Textured tiles can have images etched into them or just be the rough natural texture of the stone. Either way they add a beautiful element to the tile work.
For more information on the options available with tile flooring contact a certified flooring installer. They will be able to help you find the perfect fit to meet your lifestyle and décor needs.