Tile Buying Guide

 

Find the Best Tile for Your Project

Thinking of installing tile flooring and not sure where to start? Want more information on the properties of different types of tile you may be considering?

This guide will help you decide what you need to look out for when opting for tile flooring: the type of tile, the finishing or the look, and other factors like the placement and installation.

 

Here are a few things you'll need to figure out before choosing tile flooring:

Tile Placement

One important thing that helps you narrow down the size and material of the tile is deciding where you plan to place it.

A few basic guidelines

  • When tiling a kitchen, prioritize durability and ease of cleaning.
  • For bathrooms, check if your tile choice will withstand the moisture. Also look for textured, anti-skid tiles for this space.
  • Prioritize looks for your selection of tile in living areas.

Choices in Tile Flooring

Ceramic Tile

Looking for a multi-purpose tile? Then, consider the ceramic tile. Nebraska Furniture Mart offers a varied range of ceramic tiles from an ornate decor tile for accentuating a bathroom to smooth, natural effect tiles to embellish the walls of a lounge or kitchen.

The ceramic tile is created with a mixture of clays that are pressed into shape and fired at a high temperature. A ceramic tile may be glazed or unglazed depending on the use of bisque or body.

This tile is extremely durable and can be used in a variety of spaces to provide a unique visual appearance. The ceramic tile is perfect for most spaces in the house, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or even entryways.

Shop for ceramic tile


Porcelain Tile

white subway tile

Do you love an earthy vibe? Do you want a natural stone, brick, or wood look, without any of the upkeep? Then, the porcelain tile is perfect for you!

Porcelain is a lot denser than ceramic and has lesser moisture content. This means you can use it perfectly well on both walls and floors, indoors and outdoors.

While being extremely durable in nature, Porcelain is ultra-hygienic and stain-resistant too. This is because it is less porous and has a low absorption rate. Porcelain flooring can withstand heavy foot traffic while maintaining its color and beauty.

Shop for porcelain tile


Natural Stone Tile

Another popular option for an elegant earthy decor is using natural stone tiles. A natural stone tile is the real deal! It is an actual stone extracted from the earth.

Some examples are granite, marble, limestone, and travertine. These stones are hand-selected from the best sources and crafted into tiles that provide both durability and beauty.


Granite Stone Tiles

These are a great choice for steps or countertops. They provide authentic beauty to any space they are in and are available in a wide range of patterns and colors. They are also scratch-resistant.


Marble Stone Tiles

These are the ultimate signature in luxury. Each marble stone has unique characteristics. The classic veining pattern means you can choose it for both contemporary and traditional rooms. They are also top choices for countertop surfaces as its cool temperature is ideal for baking areas.


Quarry Tiles

These are unglazed ceramic tiles. They are durable, and you can use them both indoors and outdoors. These are one of the best options for floors and are mostly used in kitchens.


Travertine

travertine tile

Travertine in its natural state is a rough-textured stone, which is highly durable and provides that raw beauty to a home. Polishing travertine changes its nature, resulting in an overall richer look. Travertine is a natural stone tile with no two tiles ever looking exactly the same.

It is a great choice for both indoor and outdoor floors. It comes in two finishes – natural tumbled and polished. The tumbled finish happens through a process where many pieces of cut stone are placed with an abrasive grit and water in a rubber/plastic barrel. The grit comes in between the pieces that rub against each other to create a tumbled effect. Because this tile is porous, it needs to be sealed both before and after grouting.

For polished travertine finish, the stone is filled and has a smooth, glossy, or semi-glossy finish. This finish is not recommended as a flooring option for wet areas as it tends to be slippery when wet.

Many homeowners choose limestone because it often has fossilized patterns and offers its own unique look. Generally, most limestone is pale, but darker shades do exist. Whichever tone you choose, limestone will perfectly complement just about any other color.

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Mosaic and Glass Tile

blue mosaic tile

Looking for a tile that’s waterproof and stainproof? Think mosaic or glass. It is durable, easy to clean, does not absorb moisture, and is virtually stain resistant. This tile is also very stylish and attractive and comes in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors.

It is available as both mosaic collection with a mesh backing and as individual tiles. Glass or mosaic tiles are a great choice for swimming pools as they are waterproof. You can also use them in kitchens and bathrooms.

A mosaic tile has a unique look and is made from a combination of various materials like porcelain, natural stone, glass, and ceramic. You can choose from glazed or unglazed varieties and infuse a colorful vibrance into your space by unleashing your inner artist.

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Wood-look

wood look tile

Do you want a wooden finish without the extra maintenance that comes with traditional hardwood flooring? Then, the wood-look tile is an excellent option for you. If you take good care of the flooring, it will still look new in 50 years.

Woodgrain is a look that is available in either ceramic or porcelain tiles. The tile is not actually made of wood; it just physically appears similar to wood. Woodgrain tile is perfect if you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies. It doesn’t harbor dirt and is also resistant to irritants like pollen and dust mites.

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Wall Tile

A wall tile can be used creatively in place of art or paintings to transform a wall. However, many art tiles with painted designs have soft glazes that can be scratched easily. Few art tiles are strong enough to be used for a countertop or floor.

A stone tile such as granite, marble, slate, or limestone, which is commonly used on floors can also be used on walls. A stone wall tile can lend an either formal or rustic, smooth or rough look depending on the material and the texture you select.

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Installation

It is well within your prospect if you want to try your hand at laying your tile floor yourself as a DIY project. However, this requires careful preparation, attention to detail and a clear plan for the various tasks to be completed successfully.

Most types of tile can be installed over various types of substrates, including plywood subflooring, cement board, existing tile, or a mortar base.

Some considerations for DIYers

  • Prepare the subfloor correctly before you begin laying tile.
  • Start laying the tiles with the first tile placed at the centre of the floor.
  • Use appropriate trowel and mortar.
  • Trim tiles by using a tile cutter for small, straight cuts near the flooring edges.
  • Grout to complete your tile floor.

Whether you do it yourself or get someone else to do it for you, you will need to purchase grout and caulking to install your tile floor.Figure out what type of grout you want and how much do you want it to blend in vs. contrast with the tile you choose.

Do you want white grout with black tile? Or, maybe you want black grout with black tile. Or, maybe you want an entirely different option.

You will also need to figure out how much grout you need and factor this into your total cost. Pre-installation cost and time is also another consideration if you want your old flooring removed first.

Though tile installation has the appearance of something relatively easy to do, we always recommend using our Flooring Installation services. This is because getting the grouting and alignment done right the first time is of paramount importance to the layout and well-being of your floor and space. Getting it wrong can either result in your floor looking a little lackluster or worse still – create unplanned and unnecessary expenses.

Whether you like your rustic stone tiles or artsy glass ones, functional indoor-outdoor tiles or fancy ceramic ones, we hope this tile buying guide has grouted the information into a helpful mosaic.