Types of Floor Tiles
Types of Floor Tiles
The variety of tiles available for flooring has expanded greatly in the past thirty or so years. It is now possible to choose from numerous styles and designs and from a range of different materials, including vinyl, cork, carpet, ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles. Provided they are properly laid, floor tiles are functional, sturdy and can last a lifetime.
Not so many years ago the variety of tiles available for domestic situations were extremely limited. All this has changed and now there are a plethora of designs and finishes to suit just about every room in the house and to satisfy the decorative taste of almost any homeowner. Advances in tilingmean tiles that were once only suitable for professional fitting can now be laid by competent DIY enthusiasts.
Another thing to bear in mind is that tiles are often easier to handle and transport than sheet materials as they come in small packages that are easier to carry. Even for a moderate sized room, a carpet is heavy and unwieldy and for an inexperienced person can be impossible to lay unaided. Tiles, on the other hand, are far more manageable since they can be collected in the back of the car, taken home and laid without help.
One of the reasons that tiles have become so popular is because the variety of materials and designs are endless, and with this comes a wide range of pricing. The most expensive tiles are the hard tile varieties, such as ceramic, stone and slate. In the past, slate floors were laid in workmen’s cottages and cheaper houses, but nowadays these styles have become very desirable. Stone and slate flooring that replicates an antique look is very expensive and the cost of laying is likely to be a small proportion of the final overall cost. Although hard tiles are costly in themselves, the extra expense at the outset is likely to pay off in the long run because hard tiles are extremely durable and likely to last a lifetime.
If you want the look of a hard tile design without the expense, vinyl tiles are often designed to imitate the appearance of hard tiles. When planning to install tile floors, the most important tasks are mapping out what tiles are suitable for specific rooms and preparing a budget for materials and installation. If not planned properly a tiling project can easily go over budget. It is best to shop around to learn about variety and affordability before deciding what tile flooring will work best in your home.
Choosing Types of Floorings
Rather than placing all tiles into the same category, it helps to split them up into hard, soft, and semi-rigid types. In the hard category you will find tiles such as ceramic, mosaic and quarry.
Quarry tiles look homely and give a kitchen a warm, rustic feel, but many find them hard and unforgiving.
Soft tiles include carpet, soft rubber and some cork varieties. Carpet tiles have long been a favourite in office buildings, but are now being manufactured specifically for the domestic market and have can used to good effect in homes.
In between these two are the semi-rigid types, such as vinyl tiles. It is best to enquire at your local tile merchant’s what is the most appropriate use for the tile variety you select.
Not all types of tiles are appropriate for every room in the home. It is crucial to consider the desired function for the tile flooring as well as the foundation on which that floor will be laid. For example, quarry tiles are liable to be too heavy to lay on a suspended floor and the kitchen is probably not the best place for carpet tiles, where they are likely to get very stained. When making your choice of tiles you need not be confined to squares and rectangles — octagonal and hexagonal tiles are available if slightly harder to lay.
When choosing tiles that you intend to lay yourself, be realistic about your skill levels. Laying soft tiles requires little in the way of experience and equipment and a good qualitywill usually suffice. Many hard tiling projects, however, are likely to require greater skill and more specialist tools for the jobs of mixing and spreading the mortar, cutting edge tiles and grouting.
Choosing Styles of Flooring
If you are considering a floor tiling project in your home, it is important to make a selection that you will be able live with for a long time. Tiling materials and designs must be chosen with an eye to the future. What might be appealing to you today could change as your tastes and family needs alter, and what might seem like a good idea now could be a choice that you live to regret in years to come, especially after you have gone to great expense to install a new tile floor.
The colour of the walls or the curtains are likely to change several times during the lifetime of the tiles, so it may be wise to opt for neutral colours. It is best to use bold patterns and colours as accents only.
If you desire a more dramatic design, it might be wise to use cheaper tiles that can be more easily changed.