Tiles are still widely considered to be one of the best flooring and surface materials for the home. And for good reason says Richard Nuss, Marketing Manager at Johnson Tiles who explains that tiles are versatile, economical and durable and offer homeowners a plethora of design choices.
In terms of tile sizes, Nuss explains that modern day homeowners are spoilt for choice with tiles measuring just a few centimetres to well over 500mm x 500mm. When sizing up tile sizes, consider the fact that large tiles in a small room such as a bathroom can make the room feel much larger than it really is while small tiles in a generously proportioned room can make it appear too busy.
Part of the appeal behind tiles is that they can accommodate just about any budget says Nuss. Generally speaking ceramic tiles are more budget friendly than porcelain or travertine tiles. For home owners working with a bigger budget, there is also the choice of imported tiles.
When it comes to high-moisture areas of the home, tiles still stand head and shoulders above the rest explains Nuss. “Alternative flooring options such as laminate floors simply can’t stand up to water and steam. Although the materials in laminate flooring are moisture resistant it has been proven time and again that these types of floors warp in high-moisture areas and inevitably need to be replaced. Tiles offer protection against water, steam and damp and are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.”
On the topic of laminates, it is worth noting that by and large laminate flooring does not absorb noise well and can project a hollow sound when walked on, particularly by those wearing high heels. Using an acoustic underlay helps reduce noise but it can still be noisy. Laminate flooring also tends to lack the visual warmth of other materials such as hardwoods. Although a step up from carpeted floors, people can also generally still tell the difference between laminated floors and hardwood or stone.
Another factor that should influence your surfacing decisions is the purpose of the area. High-traffic areas require a durable and practical surface material that will not scratch or show dirt easily. Tiles are particularly fitting for high-traffic areas such as the kitchen, entrance area and passages. Tiles can also be used for outside areas such as patios as they can withstand harsh weather conditions.
“Colour choice also plays an important role in the tile decision making process. Take a sample home first before purchasing the full stock of tiles required and test the tile in the environment in which it is going to be used to make sure that it looks right in the lighting and complements other colours in the room,” says Nuss.
Lastly, consider the maintenance that will be required to keep the tiles in good condition. Ceramic tiles are stain and scratch resistant, easy to clean and durable. Porcelain tiles are also stain and water damage resistant. Certain natural stone tiles need to be sealed prior to or after installation, therefore make sure you are aware of the treatment tiles will require before or after they’re installed explains Nuss.
“Suffice to say tiles are still king. They are extremely practical, affordable and easy to maintain and will continue to look beautiful after many years of use,” concludes Nuss.