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A Guide To Choosing Interior Tiles

Posted on 7th January 2021

With such a wide range of interior tile choices available, it can seem daunting at first to know where to start when selecting the tile for your interior wall or floor.

The key to not making an expensive mistake when purchasing interior tiles is to do your research first, thinking carefully about the look you want. Creating a mood board of different looks from websites, magazines, and social media is an excellent starting point. This research can help you decide on the style you want and what key features you want to include.

At Stone & Surfaces Direct, we have worked with designers and architects over many years, and we continue to share our experience with our clients to ensure they get the best possible value for their interior project.

The first point is to decide on a budget and try wherever possible to buy good quality materials as they will last longer and give you the peace of mind that your investment will add value to your home. This doesn’t mean buying the most expensive as many tile showrooms are often wholesalers, and the price you pay will inevitably include the costs associated with the glamour and glitz of the surroundings. E-commerce sites such as Stone & Surfaces Direct means you buy direct from the factory and can make enormous savings.

To benchmark, your choices, get samples and ensure the material you choose is UKCA certified, which means it has the technical performance data to ensure it is suitable for the application of your choice. Once you have a favourite, it can sometimes be helpful to buy 1 m2, lay it out in the area you intend to use it, and live with it for a while to be sure it is the right choice.

Most tiles you look at will either be porcelain or natural stone, with both having their specific advantages. Natural stone has its unique characteristics, with markings and shades that are specific to the batch you buy and in large areas create the most natural look and feel. Where the traditional, antique look is required natural stone still has its timeless appeal, but equally in the best quality porcelain tiles there are usually many different patterns to hide the repeatability of tiles with the same markings so they can look like the real thing. The advantage of porcelain tiles is that there is usually less maintenance associated with the product as it is tough and has good performance characteristics, particularly relevant in wet areas such as bathrooms.

Most stone tiles used in an interior application should be sealed to help the care and maintenance, rather like scotch guarding a carpet. This is not a disadvantage, but it should be understood when choosing the material as it will typically slightly enhance the colour of the tile.

The other points to consider are the colour and texture of the tiles. Think about how the room you are re-designing works with other areas in the house so that it complements the different spaces in your home that are adjacent, and also where the floor area is close to the exterior paving consider whether you will want to create an inside-outside look using similar materials, but perhaps with different textures. It is often better to use a tile with a good slip resistance that is not polished for wet areas and patios.

A few other simple tips:

  • Light coloured interior tiles are great for making a small room look bigger, but they can be hard to keep clean, whereas the darker colours are good for hiding the dirt from heavily trafficked areas
  • Bright colours will add some drama to your space, and great for feature walls
  • The palette of cream, beige and natural stone tiles will give a calm look, whereas warmer tones, like terracotta and yellows, can create a more Mediterranean feel
  • When considering the tile size, fixed-width, random length tiles or random sized tiles will create a more traditional look and feel to your space, whereas standard modular sized squares and rectangles tend to give a more contemporary look, with big tiles in large areas often desirable
  • If you are reflooring a smaller space, such as a bathroom or toilet area, small tiles can help the feeling of freedom and reduce intricate cuts

In summary, work through your list of preferences and when installed, enjoy the satisfaction of your vision becoming a reality, that will create a long-lasting investment for your home and many years of pleasure when maintained correctly.

Click here to view our full range of interior natural stone tiles.

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