Hard surface products are most commonly used in hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, around fireplaces and other areas where moisture, dirt and extensive wear and tear occur. There are countless materials including marble, granite, limestone, slate, ceramic, and the very popular porcelain, which often simulates many natural stone products and even wood grain floors. The choices have so many variables in pattern, style, size and shape that it can be difficult to make a final selection. To add to the quandary, new accent products have now become available using glass and metals. Combinations of shiny and matte finishes, polished, unpolished, tumbled, both sealed and enhanced as well as murals, mosaics and borders for scatter rug effects add to the confusion. For me, it’s like letting a kid loose in a candy shop.
How to make the best decision for you?
1. Select with practicality, as well as for effect, based on your needs and location in the house.
2. To stand the test of time, stay with neutrals since they stand the test of time and are easy to live with now and have the best future resale value.
3. To stay in budget, use the more expensive materials (glass, metal, etc) as accents to enhance a more popular priced basic tile while creating a classic designer look.
4. Determine the appropriate tile size(s) for your installation based on room size. Stay away from large floor tiles (over 18” on floors) in very small spaces. Use a diagonal layout when it visually expands the space.
5. For interest, consider multiple sizes of the same product in a larger layout. Stores often have diagrams to show you options.
6. Think one type of floor product in contiguous spaces ( ie: entry, kitchen, den) for uniformity and as a backdrop for area rugs.
7. Slab materials such as granite are more practical than tile for counter tops and tub decks.
8. A well designed tile back splash can be the perfect finishing touch to your kitchen.
9. Murals on walls and mosaics on floors in all price ranges create amazing design focal points.
10. Plan your layouts and ask for help from the experts so you can visualize your space before you meet your tile installer.
So – Add tile to your world for lasting beauty and easy care, get help from the experts to do it right.