As with any home decoration, choosing your materials carefully can be the difference between an unprofessional and flawless finish. This choice becomes even more important when it comes to choosing tiles; after all, it’s not as easy as painting over or re-papering the wall if you don’t like the end result. For a cost-effective and easy route to a beautifully tiled kitchen use our guide to choosing the perfect tiles.
Think about the Budget
Before you head to your local DIY store or tile supplier, consider how much you are going to spend. There are many varieties of tiles in every shape, size, style, colour and finish, so base your budget around your desired look. If you have your heart set on handmade or natural stone tiles, your budget could run into the hundreds or even thousands depending on the size of the area you wish to tile. Cheaper alternatives are available from suppliers and retailers and, once fitted, these can look more expensive than they first seem.
Narrow Down the Type of Tile You Want
This is a huge factor when determining your overall budget. The most popular choice for homeowners looking for a smart and durable finish is the ceramic tile. These offer excellent value for money, as well as being hard wearing and available in numerous colours, sizes and finishes. Tile shops offer a great range of ceramic tiles for both modern and traditional kitchens. Porcelain and marble tiles also provide a great finish but take more time and care when fitting as they require sealing both before and after grouting. If you are tiling your kitchen yourself, it is important to consider your skill level especially when fitting tiles like these. Natural stone or travertine tiles are more difficult to fit due to their irregular shape, whilst glass tiles (which are popular amongst architects and designers) can prove tricky to cut.
Plan Tile Layout
Next plan the layout of your tiles. This can often determine the size and shape of tile you choose, but remember you can always cut the tiles to size if you are confident enough to do so. Try to choose a size and shape that fits neatly into the space that you wish to tile, although this can be difficult when opting for natural stone tiles due to their irregular shape. Picking a kitchen tile that fits well will limit the amount of cutting you will have to do and make installation that little bit easier. The less cutting you have to do to tiles, the less tiles you will waste, making the amount you spend on the tiles much lower. Measure up carefully for a cost-effective result.
Buying the Tiles
Where you shop for your tiles depends on the type of tile you wish to have in your kitchen. If you are looking for a luxury or made-to-measure natural stone tile, then you may have to contact a specialist merchant. Porcelain or other tile types are available at good tile suppliers and DIY retailers, which tend to offer a wide selection of finishes, colours, shapes and sizes. It may be worth having a look online to see what types of tiles a retailer or supplier offers, as this will set you on the right path to tile shopping success.
Getting the Quantity Right
Measuring up your tiles carefully should give you a clear idea of the quantity you need for your kitchen. We recommend buying 10% more than you need to allow for wastage, breakages and cutting. This is especially important when tiling with marble or natural stone as each tile will vary, meaning you must match the pattern of the tiles during fitting to get a high quality finish. The downside of natural stone tiles is that they often generate considerable waste. If you come to the end of fitting and have a pack or two left over and they haven’t been opened, you can always return them to the store and get a refund or keep them in the event that a tile gets cracked or broken.
If you need professional help and advice from a fully qualified tiler, use LocalTraders to contact a highly recommended tiling company in your local area.