With its range of styles and applications, tile can bring function and visual interest to your home.
Given its durability and ease of cleaning, tile is traditionally found in high-traffic areas — such as kitchens, bathrooms, foyers and laundry rooms — but it can also be used to striking effect in almost any room, either on the floor or on the walls. Whether your esthetic is rustic, traditional or contemporary, there are a plethora of styles and sizes available.
Benefits of Tile
One of the primary benefits of tile is that it does not absorb mold, germs, dust mites or bacteria. It also doesn’t require the use of strong chemicals for cleaning or surface maintenance, which means it has a low indoor environmental impact. Both of these factors make it an ideal choice for allergy sufferers.
Tile is considered a sustainable choice. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are clay-based and kiln-fired, making them durable and long-lasting. Neither variety emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as they are made with naturally occurring clay and minerals.
Certain varieties of tile, such as ceramic, can also be cost effective. Of course, more complex designs can cost as much as quality hardwood flooring.
One drawback of tile is that it can be challenging to install properly, which is why it is recommended you use a professional over the DIY approach.
The techniques used to manufacture tile allow it to be printed or embossed. There are also tiles that reproduce the look of hardwood, marble and stone. Tiles can be made into a variety of shapes, from the standard squares and rectangles to geometric options and planks.
With so many options for colour, texture and shape, tile can be a striking way to bring visual interest into any space, inside or out.
Connect Inside and Out
Porcelain tile is ideal for outside use, a modern alternative to stone or concrete. Being strong, scratch resistant and hard-wearing, it can handle heavy foot traffic and your patio furniture. It also doesn’t absorb water, making it ideal in variable weather conditions. Depending on the area, it can often be installed directly over grass, gravel or sand. For an indoor-outdoor transitional space, tile can seamlessly connect inside and out.
Wallpaper might be having a moment, but patterned tile takes a room to the next level — and can also be used on the floor. Whether it’s for a statement wall, fireplace surround, backsplash or floor, using patterned tile is a lasting way to add style and creative flair to your space. As with wallpaper, choosing the right colour, pattern and scale of your tile is important — tile is celebrated for its ability to last a long time, after all.
Decorative tile inserts are another way to up the visual interest in a space, and are especially popular in the bathroom. They also make a striking detail around a fireplace. These inserts are an effective to way to delineate areas, from creating inset borders on flooring to providing a backdrop to a sink, shower or niche.
The Look of Wood
One complaint about tile used to be that it was less cozy than wood floors. Now you can get ultra-durable tile that mimics the look of real hardwood, but doesn’t scratch as easily. Beyond the living room, this allows homeowners to have the look of wood in their kitchens or bathrooms without the risk of water damage.
The Stone Effect
Whether you use natural stone tile, or ceramic or porcelain with a stone effect, this natural look works well in a variety of spaces. Being man made, ceramic and porcelain tile are available in countless colours, making it easy to find a tile that coordinates with your interior décor.