How to Choose Floor Tile And Wall Tiles

Wall and floor tiles are long-lasting and attractive design elements that are crucial to bathrooms and kitchens. They can create a room with an earthy, rustic, elegant atmosphere, and can aid in coordinating the overall colour scheme.

Each tile has advantages and disadvantages, however the dimensions and shapes of the tiles are also important. Certain rooms may require resistance to slip and longevity. Here are some of the main issues to be aware of when you are buying wall and floor tile.

What are the main materials wall and floor tiles are constructed from?

They reflect sunlight beautifully and add an attractive visual appeal to any space. But, they can get damaged easily and offer little resistance to slip, which is why they should only be installed for walls.

Ceramic tiles are inexpensive and simple to install and keep clean, as well as are available in a range of gorgeous styles and colors. They’re usually glossy , but don’t provide the same slip resistance as other kinds of tiles. Terracotta is a kind of ceramic that is beautiful with shades of reddish-brown and is very durable when sealed.

Porcelain has a lot in common with ceramic, but it is much heavier and costlier. It is more resistant to slip and doesn’t stain easily. However, it is fragile and requires to be thick in order to last on flooring.

Stone tiles are ideal for floors because they are durable and last for a long time. They also have excellent resistance to slip, and sealed stones resist staining. Certain types of stone need regular sealing.

Vinyl tiles are affordable and can be installed by DIY with peel-and-stick backing. They are usually used as flooring and come in a range of ceramic and faux stone designs. They can also stain easily.

Linoleum interlocking tiles are cheap, however they are somewhat more difficult to install, particularly on floors that are slightly uneven. They’re not particularly resistant to moisture and are more suited to bathrooms rather than kitchens.

How big should tiles be?

Large and small tiles offer extremely different visual effects when placed in the room, and can have different installation cost. Tiles vary from less than 1″x1″ and up to 18″x 18″ or more.

One of the best guidelines to remember when selecting the right size tile that you will use for the home, is to choose tiles that are appropriate to the size of your space. Large tiles are ideal to open, large spaces because they have fewer grout lines, which gives the room a more clean look and smaller tiles are best for smaller spaces like backsplashes.

One exception is a bathroom with a small size which can benefit from huge, elongated tiles to give the appearance of a larger area. A floor that is open may be lacking in dimension using a single design of big tiles and require smaller tiles to break the visual lines, and to add an interest and depth to the space.

When it comes to the installation cost, smaller tiles are more labor intensive and typically come with more expensive prices. However, it is possible to purchase large tiles that feature the look of mosaic tiles in order to lower cost of installation.

How do I determine if the tile I purchase is of high-quality?

While the qualities you should consider in an tile will differ based on the tile material, there are couple of things to look for when purchasing tiled floors and walls.


Tiles that are thin will crack more readily, therefore be sure the tiles are enough to withstand damage and wear. Wall tiles could have a thickness of 1/8 ” however flooring tiles must be more robust to stand up to the load of furniture and individuals.

Porcelain and slates are extremely fragile and must be at least 3/4 ” thick to prevent destruction when used for flooring tiles. Terracotta or ceramic tiles smaller than 1/4 ” are not durable enough as flooring tiles. Linoleum and vinyl tiles may be as small as 1/4 ” however anything that’s less than 1/10″ could wear down quickly in areas with high traffic.

Even Surface

The tile’s level is crucial for creating a safe and comfortable surface for walking on. Tiles for walls can be slightly uneven, but without causing harm, but flooring tiles should be as level as they can to avoid accidents. A light texture can be helpful for anti-slip, but too much could lead to scraped or stubbed feet.

Consistent Pattern and Color

While some tiles can be given an aged, distressed appearance intentionally, some tiles don’t have the best production and glazing methods which can cause fade and inconsistent color. Choose flooring tiles as well as wall tiles which are similar in appearance, shape pattern, sheen, and shape.

What color of floor and wall tiles should I select?

Pale neutrals and whites help make a room feel airy and spacious but also expose dirt and stain easily. However, darker shades could make rooms appear smaller, and are best avoided when you have a small space. If your kitchen is an open floor plan and many windows and dark neutral tiles, they work when paired with tan or oak granite countertops.

Kitchens can make use of the psychology of color, such as green and red to create a warm and inviting ambience. Colors that are vibrant can bring the life of a kitchen, however they can make the room seem smaller if they are they are used in large amounts on the flooring. Find floor tiles that have gemstone-tone accents, as well as glass tile backsplashes that are olive green to give some color but without taking over your kitchen.

Pastel blues are a great option for completing the look of a kitchen or bathroom that is themed on the beach. For a more lively appearance, you can mix with matching white, brown and pale yellow tiles on the backsplash.

Traditionally, bathtub or shower wall tiles are white however, gray stone or ceramic wall tiles are becoming popular also. They are perfect for older master bathrooms that feature warm bathtubs.

A lot of wall and floor tiles come with two or more colors within their designs. Although these tiles are gorgeous, the intricate designs can be overwhelming when used in huge quantities. If you have a tile pattern that you like but it’s too busy for walls or floors think about making use of it to add a splash of color in an entryway , or as an accent wall.

What tile designs do I need to consider?

Tiles come in a variety of shapes and sizes including squares and elaborate arabesque patterns. Certain natural or imitation stones are designed to look irregularly-shaped, however they are designed with care to lock.

For bathrooms that are traditional, go with rectangular or square tiles. Tiles that are rectangular or square can create the illusion of a distinctive shape by using the latest patterns.

Modern and contemporary bathrooms are able to select hexagons as well as other unusual shapes to add style. They tend to showcase the grout between tiles and will require more maintenance than square tiles.

Do floor and wall tiles have to match?

Even though using the same tile on both the wall and floor can help create an unidirectional flow through your space floors do not necessarily have to be matched to the shower backsplash or sink tiles.

Tiles must be coordinated to bring out the colors and shapes within the room, creating an overall look. Choose floor tiles with an lighter version of the color that is used for wall tiles or contain lines or other forms that are the same color like the walls.

White can be used with anything however it can appear extremely stark in kitchens and bathrooms. When you’re coordinating backsplashes or wall tiles, don’t use white tiles that are plain. Instead, pick the tile with colors that complement the furniture in your bathroom or kitchen.

Floor and wall tiles must have the same shapes and patterns to connect the rooms. A hexagonal tile could not work with a curved arabesque tile, but it can work with plain geometric tiles.

Which wall tiles are the best to be used as backsplashes?

The backsplashes of sinks are usually glass since they catch light and create depth in an area. Combining colors and mixing them can enhance the visual appeal more. Glass is not very durable, but it is strong enough to be used as wall tiles.

Tiles for walls made of ceramic are well-known because they can be decorated with various designs. Flowers, faux stones with rustic designs and even tiles that are shaped like dragon scales be great backsplashes based on the color scheme you choose.

Avoid terracotta or stone that is not sealed since they will soak up water. As a rule of thumb sealed terracotta and glazed stone are ideal for backsplashes. However, make sure to check the specifications of the manufacturer to confirm.

Which wall tiles are the ideal for bathrooms?

Ceramic, glass, stone and porcelain tiles are suitable to make shower floors. They are resistant to water and will last for a long time if sealed correctly. Be sure to purchase tiles that are designed for use in bathrooms, as certain tiles may not be sufficiently sealed to provide adequate water resistance.

Which floor and wall tiles will last longest?

Although porcelain and stone tiles are among the most durable however, certain tiles are designed for areas with low traffic. Manufacturers employ an PEI rating to determine the kind of environment that tiles are intended for.

The PEI Rating of 1 indicates this tile was designed for areas with low traffic and a PEI grade of 5 refers to tiles that are able to withstand regular foot traffic. The majority of residential areas require an PEI ratings of at least 3 however large families with many pets might get more usage out of tiles classified as 4. Tiles that have high PEI ratings are still susceptible to being cracked or chipped by heavy objects that are dropped, but they will last for a long time.

Which tiles are the easiest to maintain and clean?

The glass wall tile is most simple to maintain and clean so long as they’re not damaged. Linoleum and vinyl tiles usually stain over time even when maintained properly. Any spills that happen on them should be cleaned up quickly to avoid staining. Terracotta and ceramic sealed repel stains and are easily cleaned.

Polished stone and sealed porcelain are resistant to stains extremely well. Certain kinds of natural stone require sealing every now and then however, this additional maintenance expense is worth it. Natural stone’s texture can make it difficult cleaning, however the impact is not significant.

Quick Tips

Glass and ceramic are ideal for walls, but not floors. Ceramic and stone make sturdy flooring. Vinyl and linoleum may not be as long-lasting, but they are simple to put in.
Tiles come in a wide variety of sizes, however tiny mosaic tiles can be expensive to put in.
Find mosaic tiles that have been crafted into larger tiles that are easy to install to speed up and reduce the cost of installation.
Quality tiles are strong, even, and are consistent in patterns and colors, unless created with a distressed appearance.
Be aware that darker hues can make a room appear smaller, particularly if they are used on flooring. These darker hues are great as accents for floors that are lighter or backsplashes.
Squares, rectangles, circles as well as hexagons and arabesque forms are readily available in range of sizes and shades. Choose rectangles and squares to create a traditional look, or geometric patterns and arabesque tiles for modern and contemporary rooms.
Floor and wall tiles are not required to match and instead can be coordinated by matching the designs and colors of furniture in the room.
Backsplashes can be made using glass tiles to create elegance and depth, as well as ceramic tiles for intricate pattern and design. Shower walls can be constructed using ceramic, stone, or any other tile that is specifically rated for bathroom use.
While floor tiles are able to be used for wall tiles, they are not typically used as flooring tiles due to the fact that they’re not durable enough and they are not slip-resistant. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications prior to using flooring tiles.
Take a close look at the tile’s PEI rating before you purchase it. PEI is a number between 1 and 5 and higher ratings indicate that the tile was made to withstand greater foot traffic.
Vinyl floors and linoleum floors may stain easily. Stone and porcelain that have been sealed are usually simple to clean. Glass is the easiest material to clean provided that the grout surrounding it is sealed.