Category Archives: Best Tiles & Grout For Every Application

Tile Selection #2: Service Check

corrected glass tiles 3

 Apparently, Cinderella was so light on her feet that her glass slippers were not a risky business.

Would you be as confident using glass tiles on the floor in a high traffic zone in your home?

Probably not.

You’ve worked hard and completed your due diligence to locate and define the best tiles and most appropriate grout colors for your project.  Now is the time to fine tune your selections before placing your order.

Always consider maintenance. For high traffic areas, wouldn’t you benefit most with floor tiles that are easy to clean? While solids are classic, very light colors like white and almond or very dark shades such as navy, black or chocolate brown will show any dirt or marks more easily. Just as troublesome are high-sheen tiles as they will show pet and people footprints in dulled relief.

When Classics are good: Your tile selection could well be a lifetime commitment. It’s not an easy or inexpensive task to rip out the tiles if you make a mistake. Neutral colors in solids or lightly patterned designs will not look dated over time, as trendier looks will. New on the scene are textured tiles mimicking fabrics such as linen, and weaves like damask and basket. Texture in subtle colors is a great way to go. You won’t go wrong with “imitation” stone tiles either. They look real but are usually made of porcelain. Just don’t go for a too rough “pre-dawn-of-time-cave” look with your selection. In general, you may find that you will tire quickly of any Novelty Acts and it will also be a hard sell to the next owner, as the case may be.

Suitability: Scale is always a major consideration when weighing your options. The answer to the question of what size tile to use starts with the size of the area to be tiled. Logically speaking, larger tiles make sense in larger areas and accordingly, smaller tiles are for smaller spaces. But this is where it gets tricky.

Big spaces don’t suffer the inferiority complex small spaces do. There’s no concern about appearing “bigger”. Sizable tiled areas can benefit by using large tiles with highly contrasting grout colors to create an obvious pattern. In substantial scale, the pattern becomes a design element that will add another layer of interest to your esthetic vision.

As for those smaller areas, you’ll want to pick a tile that’s size appropriate. One thing to bear in mind is that the smaller the tile, the more of a graphic pattern it will produce. Tiny tile arranged in a dense, boldly colored pattern with highly contrasting grout gives me a headache just writing about it. Imagine living with it. This fact alone, makes a strong argument to use the largest size tiles for the walls and floors even though the space itself may be closet sized.

Every change in color and material will stop your eye to register the change.

The key words for small space design are neutrality and seamlessness. A limited color palette is a big help too. Small is beautiful, if the tile color blends with the wall color and the ceiling matches the walls. The differences of materials and surfaces will be diminished and you won’t be aware of where the walls end or the ceiling begins. As such, the space will appear expanded.

Good design is not accidental. It is very considered in every way.

Mindfulness rules.  What is your overall design objective, in terms of how you want your home to look and feel. It is, after all, your personal oasis. Be sure that your selections will not only satisfy your preferences for an area, but will also coordinate with the rest of your home. It’s disorienting to feel as though you have stepped into a foreign country upon moving into different room.

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