In the foyer, the bathroom, or any other room of the house, custom tile creates an unsurpassable look of elegance. These days, tile is made from a variety of materials, and can come in a variety of different styles. So, if you're considering custom tile for your new home, here are a few things to think about.
Care and Upkeep
Ask the builder about the care of each type of tile. Most require you to sweep on a regular basis because small debris can scratch the surface of the tile and cause damage. Some might require you to use a special type of cleaner when doing a more thorough wash. While tile isn’t regularly refinished the way hardwood floors are, you’ll still need to periodically replace the grout.
What will the tile have to endure? Tile in the entryway, for instance, will get a lot of traffic. Even if you're the type of family that doesn’t wear shoes in the home, the entryway will still need to be strong enough to hold up against shoes, water, and dirt. Tile kitchen backsplash, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be strong, but you probably want to be sure it can be cleaned easily. Bathroom tile needs to be able to handle moisture. The tile you choose should be suited for the particular area.
Tile also comes in different sizes. People like to use small pieces to create interesting mosaic tile designs, but small tiles can feel funny underfoot and may require more maintenance. Larger pieces have a broad appeal, and you can make the look more interesting by varying the sizes or arranging them in a unique pattern.
When most people think about tile, they’re thinking about ceramic tiles – popular in bathrooms – or stone tiles – popular in entryways. However, tiles can also be made from vinyl or other materials. Talk to your builder about the look you want. You could also find eco-friendly flooring made from recycled materials. It’s all about deciding on your priorities.
Most tile is durable and likely to last, but accidents do happen. Ask the builder how difficult it will be to make repairs if you were to accidentally crack a tile or two. In most cases, it’s a simple matter of replacing those tiles, but if you’ve chosen a unique pattern, it might be hard to get an exact match. In cases like this, it’s smart to purchase and store a few extra tiles for repairs throughout the years.
The smooth surface of tile floors might look great, but it can also be dangerous. You don’t want to be skidding across your floors whenever you walk around the house in your socks. Take some time to feel the materials you’re considering. If possible, look for them in a show home so you can walk on the floors to get a better sense of what they’re like in action. Remember that floors can become more slippery when wet. A tile floor in the entryway may become more dangerous in the winter months when everyone has wet boots.
Consistency of Look
Even when tiles are made from the same materials, they don’t necessarily have a uniform look. Many people love the slight differences between tiles, but others don’t want the variation. For instance, slate tiles are likely to have a uniform look, but granite or marble tiles can vary in pattern. The best way to see if this is something that might bother you is to look at tile floors laid out. Sometimes, the differences that are very noticeable up close are much more subtle when laid on the ground.
The Overall Look
You’re probably choosing tile because you like the look, but don’t forget to think about how that look plays in with the rest of the home. For instance, you’ll want to make sure the colour of the walls complements the tiles on the floor. You want to be sure the style of tiles matches your design aesthetics. A good Area Manager or interior designer can help make sure you get this right.
Tile floors are an excellent choice because they offer durability without a lot of maintenance. However, you should still think carefully about which type of tile is right for you.