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What are the different types of tiles and how do I make the right choice?

1st Dec, 2022 | Bathrooms

As with many aspects of your home there are many options when it comes to tiles and as tiles tend to cover large areas of your home, whether that be your hallway, kitchen, or bathroom, they are the backdrop for the pieces you choose to pair with them. It is therefore a big decision when deciding which tiles to choose and hopefully this blog will play a part in helping you make the perfect choice which you can love and enjoy for years to come.

At Warner’s Innovations we work closely with tile manufacturers based in Spain and Italy who are known for being among the best manufacturers of tiles in the world. Their materials and composition are a beautiful combination in producing a tile which will last for years to come.

There are three main options when it comes to the material of your tile, Ceramic, Porcelain and Natural Stone and we will talk you through the features of each one so you can see which would be best for your space.

Ceramic Tiles

You can achieve some beautiful shapes and colours with ceramic making them perfect for a feature tile as we use in many of our projects. They are a great way to break up your space and add interest to a certain area or zone. Ceramic tiles are shaped and then placed in a heated kiln. The heat and firing of them draws out the moisture which allows them to be low in weight and the process means they have more character to them compared to porcelain tiles.

There are many benefits to ceramic tiles, such as:

They are lightweight and low maintenance.
The higher flexibility of the initial material allows for incorporating shape and pattern into their designs.
Perfect for bathroom walls and kitchen splashbacks.
They are the more cost effective that porcelain or natural stone due to their production method and materials.

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are created from a denser clay which is moulded and pressed into shape. Porcelain is fired at a much higher temperature than ceramic and is kept in this high heat for a longer period of time which gets rid of almost 100% of the moisture.

This process therefore leaves you with a tile which is more durable and heavier than the ceramic alternative. Porcelain tends to be the more favourable option for areas in the home with more foot traffic, a hallway, kitchen or living space for example.

The benefits of a porcelain tile include:

Their weight and structure mean they are durable and tough but give a sophisticated and uniformed finish.
Low maintenance and perfect for many areas of the home.
The dense fabrication means they are more resistant to water, they are less porous than other options making them reliable due to the risk of them cracking due to damp conditions is reduced.

You can achieve many different looks and style with Porcelain, whether that be wood effect, slate effect or concrete effect. The floor tiles seen in the project below are porcelain, however when laid in a randomised pattern and staggered similar to how you would with wooden flooring, you can create that rustic feel to stay in keeping with the style of your home. Here we have used it throughout the space and into the wet room area to elongate the floor creating that seamless feel.

Natural Stone

Natural Stone is another popular option and one which is great for injecting character and variation to your home. Due to being a natural material no tile will ever be the same as another allowing your home to be even more unique and unlike any other. The quality and finish of a natural material is also timeless, they don’t become outdated like some finishes can.

There are different finished which relate to how they have been treated. Despite being natural you can still have a more regular format with a Honed finish, alternative a more rustic feel with a Tumbled and Etched finish.

In relation to care, they will require slightly more compared to alternatives to prevent them from staining. You will always need to make sure your natural stone tiles are sealed correctly to ensure the prevention of staining and marking is maximised. You can also add intensifiers to intensify their colour and any veining or markings which have naturally occurred.

Natural Stone benefits include:

They can bring the feeling of warmth to a space through their colour and texture, in contrast they also keep your room cool in warmer months.
Their characterful and timeless beauty.
A great option with under floor heating as natural materials are good conductors of heat.

When choosing tiles for your home, as well as thoughts into the style and colour, you also need to think about their durability as different areas of your home see more footfall. The bathroom for example doesn’t experience as much as a hallway or kitchen might.

Lighting is an element that completely changes how tiles and colours can look, so if you are thinking of re-tiling or are in the process of planning a renovation project, gathering some samples from showrooms and putting them in different corners of your room will give you an idea into how your light will look upon them, do this at different times of the day too.

The finishing touch is then your grout colour which many people leave until the last minute. This can completely change the overall look of your space. Selecting a contrasting grout can emphasise the layout of the tiles and be another way to incorporate pattern. Alternatively having a grout which seamlessly blends in with the colour of your tile leaves a minimal aesthetic overall.

Whichever tile you choose, many say they can be cold underfoot and while this is likely to be the case due to their material, underfloor heating is a great addition and works beautifully with any of the options above. It is even possible to have this below your wet room tray, so you will never have cold feet even when in the shower!

We have lots of options in our showroom and you are more than welcome to come and visit, we would be more than happy to go through what may be the perfect solution for your home.

Still have questions? Visit our showroom based at A3 Enterprise Business Park, Brunel Drive, Newark, Nottinghamshire or call on 01616 551555.