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For a given space, there are a plethora of tiling options – all categorized by texture, color, material type, and most importantly design. Floor tiles range from terracotta to ceramics to mention but a few; all coming in varying styles, colors and designs.

Certain homeowners would prefer blue flowery ceramic tiles while others would just want plain grey plastic tiles – it’s all a function of choice. Making the right choice could lighten up your home but a wrong one will rapidly choke the excitement of having a new look around your home. In other words, you’ll have to dedicate a chunk of your time to rigorous research so as make informed decisions.

Are you planning to overhaul your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom tiles! Here are some important tips for you:

Tips to making an informed decision

Taking quality time to research the various designs, textures and materials of tiles suitable for your home will no doubt inform your decisions. Here are some things you should look out for:

  • Budget Considerations

It is important that you factor in your budget when planning any sort of home improvement. Some tiles are relatively affordable while others are on the high side. In most cases, it’s always a trade-off between durability and affordability. Ensure that you know the appropriate square footage before heading to the retail points. Ask questions about the cost of installation, grouting cost and others.

Always seek expert advice and analysis before making final decisions.

  • Tile Hardness and Scratch Resistance

One of the most important features of floor tiles to look out for is Hardness; often described using the Moh’s Scale (rating 1-5). The Moh’s scale helps to determine a material’s scratch and foot traffic resistance.

The ratings obtained from this procedure are purely based on painstaking laboratory tests and are issued under the auspices of the (PEI) Porcelain Enamel Institute. Basically, the Moh’s scale will come in handy when choosing the best product for your home. Whatever tile you’ll be considering should be a function of your home’s traffic.

Rating 1: Wall applications only

Rating 2: Suitable for regions with no exterior access. For instance, bedrooms and restrooms with light foot traffic and zero scratching dirt.

Rating 3:  Suitable for walls and counter-tops with minimal foot traffic and little to no scratching dirt. Can be used in most rooms in the home except foot traffic hotspots such as entryways and in some cases kitchens.

Rating 4: Suitable for all spaces in the home

Rating 5: Suitable for the home and commercial spaces. Can withstand extreme scratching and heavy foot traffic.

  • Slip Resistance

Introducing water to most tile surfaces could create highly unsafe conditions because the majority of tiling materials are inherently slippery. Provided you’ll be accommodating kids and aged persons most of the time, your best bet would be tiles with elevated Coefficient of Friction (CoF > 0.6). Spaces like the bathroom shower area should be a top priority because the propensity for accidents is much higher there.

Hence you should be looking to purchase any of these:

Ceramic tiles with a specialized textured coating

Slates

Small sized mosaic or glass tiles – these ones are typically smaller tile plates and they provide lots of grout lines that will ensure a more textured tiling surface and consequently, increased overall surface traction.

Pebble stones

  • Bring in samples

It is sometimes good practice to simulate the feel of your room before permanently affixing tiles. If you can lay your hands on samples of your chosen tiles, take them home and lay them where you’d want them laid. This approach will ensure that you find the best tiling material that blends with your furniture, walls, and others.

  • Maintenance Considerations

The type of tile will determine how often maintenance will be required. Porous tiles will often require more cleaning while others will only require maintenance a few times. Weigh up your options and choose a tile that suits your cleaning time.