The combinations of colours, styles, and shapes for wall and floor tiles are endless, and there is a tile for every traditional, contemporary, and modern style-loving person out there. When you’re choosing floor and wall tiles
, try not to put aesthetic at the top of your list. It can be tempting to automatically choose a style and look at everything else after that.
But if a tile isn’t durable or of high quality, it will chip and wear in no time, making it lose any aesthetic value it had very quickly.
Are wall tiles and floor tiles the same?
Although it’s a common assumption that wall and floor tiles are the same, there are actually a few differences between them, such as:
- Wall tiles are often lighter and thinner than floor tiles
- Wall tiles often have a glaze which is not suited to the high foot traffic that floor tiles receive
- Wall tiles are sometimes made from a different clay which is softer and not intended for heavier loads
- Floor tiles are often larger than wall tiles
There’s lots of advice online that says that floor tiles can be used as wall tiles but not the reverse. Whilst this isn’t necessarily untrue, it’s always better to use tiles for their intended purpose, i.e. place floor tiles on the floor, and wall tiles on the wall. This should prolong their life and make sure you get the most out of them.
Which tiles are best for flooring?
When it comes to determining the best floor tiles for your home, you’ll need to evaluate your lifestyle, and the area that you want to use floor tiles in. Is it a high traffic area? Is it outdoors? Will it be exposed to moisture on a regular basis? Deciding the location, and the type of wear and tear that your tiles will experience is absolutely vital before making any type of design decision. Some common floor tile materials include:
Vinyl Floor Tiles:These are the most common and most inexpensive type of floor tile. Vinyl can mimic other types of flooring, so you could get vinyl wood effect floor tiles for the fraction of the price of real hardwood flooring. However, it tends to be a bit lower in quality than other tile materials, so pay attention to the manufacturer and the overall sturdiness of the product. Choose a vinyl floor tile that’s fairly stiff, since it’ll be sturdier and wear better. It’s also important to pick tiles with a warranty — just in case.
Ceramic Floor Tiles: These make a great choice for any area that’s going to be exposed to moisture (bathroom and kitchen floor tiles), outside elements (hallway and patio tiles), or a lot of foot traffic. While ceramic tiles tend to be more expensive, they will wear extremely well. Make sure there are no flaws in the glaze. If tiles are unglazed, they need to be sealed so they’re stain resistant. Porcelain is often chosen as a tile material, because its extremely dense, very hard and resistant to wear and moisture.
Granite, Marble, Slate and Other Natural Stone Floor Tiles: These tiles are extremely durable and hard. They are more on the expensive side, and may require some type of treatment, so be aware of what’s involved before purchasing them.
What wall tiles are best?
Whether you’re looking for kitchen wall tiles or bathroom wall tiles, there are a range of different materials and designs to choose from. Here’s a list of some of the most popular materials and styles:
Metro wall tiles: Inspired by the London Underground, these brick-shaped tiles are an elegant and contemporary design and look equally as beautiful in the kitchen as they do in the bathroom.
Glitter wall tiles: Glittery tiles have grown in popularity in recent years and bring light and a bit of sparkle into the home. Their subtle and chic design makes them perfect as both floor and wall tiles.
Country kitchen wall tiles: If you’ve got a house in the country or just love the rustic country style look, then opt for gorgeous country kitchen wall tiles in stone, ceramic or even wood.
Ceramic wall tiles: These tiles are popular as they are hygienic, easy to clean and durable. They also come in a huge range of different sizes, patterns and colours, and in a variety of different finishes.
What size and shape of wall and floor tiles should I buy?
The size and shape of your tiles will depend on the look you’re trying to create. You can achieve a very different ambiance with a set of small mosaic tiles, compared to larger white metro tiles. Think about the pattern that you’ll be laying these out in, and what will make the most sense. Do you have a square shape set aside? Or are you going for a more intricate pattern? Answering these questions should help narrow the shape and size that will look best.