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How to Choose the Right Kitchen Tile

Nowadays, we all know that the kitchen is the heart of a home.  Although kitchens were once made for only cooking, due to our changing lifestyles they became a part of our living spaces where more time is spent for friends and family gatherings as well as entertaining. That being said, the idea of a kitchen as a living space encouraged homeowners to either enlarge or remodel their kitchens not only for their cooking needs but also to wow their guests.

Pantheon Grey and White

Tile selection plays a major role in any kitchen renovation both for lifestyle and resale purposes. From the functionality perspective, main purpose of a tile backsplash is to protect our wall areas whereas for the floors, we look for sturdy and easy to clean options. From the design perspective, the options are endless in today’s tile world. So it is no surprise that homeowners often feel overwhelmed after meeting with wide variety of material and design options we offer. Fortunately, a few simple tips can help narrow down your options and make the right tile selection for your kitchen. Let’s have a quick look at what we can do to make your tile selection process easier.

Knowing the Materials

While there is enormous choice of tiles, it is important that first we make the distinction between manmade and natural stone tiles. Manmade tiles – including ceramic, porcelain and glass will be more cost-effective options compared to natural stones. Providing endless designs options, a variety of colors, textures and finishes, manmade tiles will give us more flexibility to create the design scheme in our mind. While ceramic and porcelains can go either on walls or floors, it’s good to keep in mind that glass is commonly reserved for backsplashes.

Zircon Gem-11

Moreover, manmade tiles can also mimic the look of natural materials such as marble and wood, at the same time being durable and long lasting, meaning maintenance-free over the years. It possible to get hardwood looking floors with porcelain tiles without having to worry about the moisture and high humidity in your kitchen.

Acadia Blanco

On the other hand, natural stone has its own beauty and distinctive look. Natural stones tiles are known as being impeccable and classic, still being the favorite choice for the timeless luxury look.

Even though natural stone tiles are more pricy, they are a great investment for kitchen projects that will quickly add value to any home. When used in the right place at the right time these breathtaking pieces will absolutely make a statement in any kitchen for a timeless design.

Trellis 17

It is true that natural stone tiles have stricter care requirements though. Whether it is your kitchen walls or floors, natural stone tiles will require yearly sealing and careful cleaning to maintain their beautiful surface and color. However if you follow the rules, there is no doubt that you can still keep your stone looking as pretty and charming as its first day.

When it comes to kitchen tile selection, walls and floors have different key factors. Tiles can be installed as a backsplash behind the stove, on the entire wall or on the floors. Determining where the tiles will be placed will require different factors to consider.

Backsplash Selection 

First of all, the sky is the limit for kitchen backsplash. Since backsplash tiles are not exposed to heavy traffic, more options are available regardless of the tile’s density. Just keep in mind that your backsplash will be exposed to oil and grease especially in a kitchen with heavy cooking. While natural stone materials will require yearly sealing, manmade tiles will have an easier cleaning routine for a busy kitchen. Also highly textured backsplash tiles can become another difficulty while cleaning heavy cooking areas. Which one is more important to you, ease of use or a unique design? The decision is yours!

Abalone Squares
Alcamo Waterjet

Floor Tile Selection

While choosing your kitchen floor tile, other factors come into play such as the tile’s ability to withstand heavy traffic, pets and kids as well as cleaning supplies. Homeowners with kids, pets and messy cooks often give the priority to low-maintenance floor tiles because they are water and stain resistant.

Tanglewood Miel

However don’t forget the fact that natural stone tiles still have a wide appeal to so many people that it increases the resale value of your home.

Also natural stone floor tiles are hard wearing enough for heavy traffic whereas for ceramic and porcelain tiles, the hardness of the material – which is determined by PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating should be double checked to make sure it suits residential traffic.


Choosing the Right Finish

Especially when choosing kitchen floor tiles, the right finish and friction rate are crucial. Remember that a glossy floor is also not the same as glossy backsplash tile thus tiles have to be safe walking on it in order to prevent slipping. For porcelain and ceramic tiles, new non-slip and textured options are the most common flooring choices among homeowners. They do not only offer a unique look but also allow for a safer floor to walk on.

Movement Hexagon Deco Ivory

In flooring, natural stone tile options are not as slippery as porcelain and ceramic options. Many marble, travertine and other natural stones tiles are still widely used in luxury homes where homeowners prefer all natural materials.

However, it is advised to keep in mind that stones with a polished finish are still likely to be slippery. To be on the safe side, honed, brushed and tumbled finishes can be considered on kitchen floors if you are considered about the safety of your kids.

Choosing the Right Size

Getting the right tile size on walls and floors is very significant especially when trying to make small spaces feel bigger and brighter. A small kitchen can actually look visually expanded when larger tiles are used with fewer grout lines. On the other hand, small mosaics will results in more grout lines and will give a grid-like appearance especially for the walls.

Vegas 8i

However this should not avoid homeowners using beautiful mosaics tiles on theirwalls. With smart planning in your design, you can still use mosaics by mixing them up with different size tiles throughout the kitchen, to achieve a more spacious look. For instance, the best idea would be to limit the small mosaics on the backsplash area and prefer larger size tiles for the floors.

Madison Park

Choosing the Right Color

It is a well-known fact that lighter colors always help a room look bigger and this applies to kitchens too. Whites, creams and beiges help reflect more light compared to darker colors in tiles. On the other hand, glossy, mother of pearl and metallic tiles reflect the light as well, which is another simple trick to add some extra depth to a kitchen.

Satelite Beach

Apart from small kitchens, different colors play different roles and help set the tone of your kitchen. For example darker tiles such as blacks, rich chocolates and greys can look best especially on the floors in large kitchen areas with an open floor plan and plenty of light.

In a kitchen where you want relax, you can choose tile colors that similar to your cabinet and furniture color to keep the overall look steady and constant.

Sankaty Hex

Since kitchen is the central hub of a home, much more thought is given to kitchen design and functionality. Before making your tile decisions, it is crucial to learn about different kinds of materials, application areas, impacts of color and size in order to get right choice that fits your needs. Don’t forget that installing kitchen tile will always be great investment when you make the smart decisions!

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