Tile Types

There are so many types of tiles available on the market that it is quite often difficult to decide which to use and where.  The type of tile used will normally depends on the area to be tiled, the required look and feel, as well as the budget.  Tiles can be used in a variety of areas, such as wall and floors or even external walkways.  The sizes of tiles also vary – from small mosaic type tiles to larger pieces for floor covering in large areas.  There general rule of thumb is to use a bigger tile on the floor than the wall.

Tiles are extremely suitable for areas that need to be hygienic, are exposed to a lot of moisture and have to be cleaned regularly.  Tiles are resistant to water, and their smooth glazed surfaces make them easy to keep clean.  For these reasons it is recommended that tiles are used in the kitchen and the bathroom – against the walls as well as on the floor.  However care must be taken if the tiles are smooth as they may be slippery when wet.  In these cases a rough texture must be chosen, or the tile must be finished with a substance which will prevent slipping.

Anywhere else in the home is suitable for tiling, as tiles are hard wearing and will generally last longer than other flooring materials.  It is considered an investment and good quality tiling can really increase the value of the home.  Soft furnishings can be added to tile quite successfully to soften the lines and atmosphere of the rooms, or to refresh colours with a different palette.  Areas with heavy traffic such as hallways are also suitable for tiles.
The various types of tiles can include:

• Ceramic tiles are readily available in all sorts, sizes, styles and colours and can be used almost anywhere.
• Marble can be very costly but is extremely durable and attractive.  It doesn’t chip easily and marks can be buffed out.
• Porcelain is not glazed so chips in the tile will be less visible
• Pavers are usually used outside but are increasingly being used for interior spaces.  It works great with rustic colours and can blend the interior with the exterior of the home.
• Slate tiles are made of rocks and are generally not uniform, but looks very good.  It can be expensive but is very hard wearing.
• Saltillo tiles are clay tiles which are not fired in extreme heat and are made mostly in earthy colours, good for rustic looking places

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