Glossy ceramic tiles that are suitable for walls are not the same as flooring tiles, which need to be safe to walk upon. Imagine the nightmare of a high gloss tile underfoot in the kitchen – especially when taking into account spilled liquids or slippery foods. It really doesn’t bear thinking about! With that in mind, here are 6 things you should think about before you start tiling your kitchen.
1) Where are your tiles going to go?
You may have got your colour schemes all sorted out but before you start thinking about what finish or material you are going to opt for, you need to consider what type of surface the tiles will be applied to. Are you tiling behind your hob or sink as a backsplash, or on the kitchen walls? Perhaps you want to tile your kitchen floor, or the top of your work surfaces. Different applications need different tiles.
2) All tiles are not created the same
The definition of a tile is a hardwearing material that is able to be laid in a row covering a surface. However, the types of tiles vary considerably. For example, in your kitchen you have the option of choosing tiles made from quarry, stone, vinyl, ceramic, porcelain, glass and even cork. Vinyl and cork are usually used for flooring tiles whilst quarry, ceramic and porcelain tiles, though also suitable for flooring are also often used on work surfaces. A glass tile is better used on the walls or as a backsplash.
3) Budget first, get carried away later!
Kitchen tiles can vary wildly in cost price. You may find an absolute bargain or you may end up blowing the budget if you don’t plan carefully. It stands to reason that vinyl and linoleum tiles are generally cheaper than quarry or high quality ceramic tiles. What this means is that unless money really is no object, you need to do your sums before you start shopping for tiles.
4) How do you live?
It’s true that kitchen tiles can withstand a lot but they still need looking after and how each material performs can differ, especially when you take your particular lifestyle into account. Ceramic tiles are sturdy and easy to clean – for example you can place a hot saucepan on them and they won’t suffer. On the down side ceramic tile surfaces are relatively easy to crack or chip. When considering floor tiles, take into account the amount of foot (or even skateboard, roller skate or pet!) traffic they will see. Your lifestyle needs to be compatible with your tiles.
5) And talking of floor tiles…
Make sure that the tiles you purchase for your floor really are actually floor tiles. This is where something called Co-efficiency of Friction – COF for short – comes into play. If you choose a wall tile for your floor the COF will be too low. This means that the tiles will have too little friction and are too slippery to walk on safely. Look for textured floor tiles or ones with a slightly raised pattern. Quarry tiles, although one of the more expensive choices, look fantastic in a kitchen. Quarry is made from a combination of clay and limestone and is fired to look just like natural stone.
6) Get creative with your tiled backsplash
Now, here’s the good news; this is where you can unleash your inner interior designer! A backsplash, just by very virtue of being in the kitchen will still need to stand up to water or splashes of hot liquids such as sauces and oil – and not to mention cleaning products used on a daily (hopefully!) basis. However it sees far less ‘traffic’ than your counter top or floor tiles. This means that you have a far freer rein when it comes to choosing materials. Opt for porcelain or ceramic or go for a different effect with glass, metal or stone. Your backsplashes are where you can have a little fun and inject your own sense of style in to your kitchen.
No matter what your style tastes are and your type of kitchen is, be it country farmhouse, Victorian terrace, modern loft conversion or new build family home, with a bit of research and planning and some great ideas you can really turn the hub of your home into a kitchen that you can be proud of