Tile Selection 101

Have you ever walked into a tile store? It can be a staggering experience. Between the various materials, colors, sizes, and styles to choose from, it can leave your head spinning. If you’ve never selected tile before, it’s hard to know how to distinguish tile materials that will work in certain spaces throughout your home and it’s harder still to know how to narrow down your search.


Today, we share a brief lesson in tile selection 101, providing you a few tips for how to make the best selections and offering suggested uses for certain tile materials.

1.Bring paint chips and fabric swatches. Tile comes in a wide array of colors and patterns and it’s important for your tile selections to work with your current paint colors, furnishings, or other design selections. Bring in paint chips and any fabric swatches to help narrow down your options. You also have the option to bring home tile samples to see how the tile would look in your home before making your final selections.


2. Take room measurements ahead of time. Measure the various walls and spaces that require tile and take those measurements with you to the tile shop. Having measurements with you will help you make cost estimates as you shop. To figure out the exact quantity of tile needed for an area, multiply the area’s width and length and then add five percent for waste. Be sure and round up to have extras on hand for any repairs needed down the line.

3. Consider tile application. Certain rooms and certain spaces will require a certain type of tile. Before going to the tile shop, do some research to find out what materials work best for the particular space you are designing. For example, wet areas will need impermeable rather than porous tiles. Glazed and polished tiles are ideal for backsplashes and walls because they are easy to clean but aren’t a great choice for floors because, if wet, they offer very little traction.B21-034. Make sure your tiles were fired together. Tiles that are fired together will have the same appearance. To ensure all your tile in your order will look the same, specify that you would like the tiles to have the same lot number and shade number. This will prevent a slightly off color tile from ruining the overall design.

5. Utilize the expertise of your tile dealer. A professional at the tile shop is a great resource for many of the questions you may have. They will be able to tell you the type of material you should be using in a bathroom as opposed to a backsplash or the type of tile that is best to use for your floor. They’ll also be able to recommend various tile options within your budget and some options that might work for the style and design aesthetic you are trying to achieve.


Have more questions about tile? Ask us in the comments below.


Photos by: Rachael Boling

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s