Tile Selection: How to Choose Tile for Your Home

Display of glass, stone and ceramic tile. Photo credit: Tile America

With so many options (ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone) where do you begin when starting your search for tile for your home? We usually work from the floor up especially in the bathroom. Important considerations are the size and scale of the tile, durability, slip resistance and cost. Porcelain tile has revolutionized the industry because it is long-wearing, and highly resistant to stains and water. It artfully takes on the appearance of many natural materials such as natural stone, terracotta, wood and painted cement tile without the maintenance and cost.

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  • Textured hexagon floor tile in a Gaudi inspired design. Tile source: Tile America

​​​​​​When selecting floor tile, we always check the slip resistance rating to make sure it is suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms or mudroom floors. The slip resistance rating is called the dynamic coefficient of friction or (DCOF) and can be found on the tile specification sheet. The minimum rating for a wet interior floor .42. The ratings are not an exact science so once you find suitable tile, check to see which tile provides the best slip resistance for your application.

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  • Comparison of white grout vs. black grout. Photo credit: Tile America

Grout  Selection                                                                                                                                                                                         

While some may think of the grout selection as an afterthought, it can be as important a choosing a tile. A grout color can completely transform a tile, changing it from ordinary to interesting. For example, a contrasting grout color will enhance the tile pattern, while a warm or cool color will take a white tile in two very different directions.

In wet areas we specify epoxy grout rather than traditional cement grout because of its resistance to stains, cracking and shrinking. It carries a much higher price tag than cement grout but is well worth the added expense because it is easy to clean and maintain.

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  • Classic white subway tile with warm colored grout.

Timeless Rather Than Trending                                                                                                                                                               

Our overall approach to any tile selection is to choose something that a client will love in 10 or 15 years rather than something they’ll look at and think “that’s so 2022!” When it comes to selecting tile, we suggest timeless over trending!