Tiles have always been a very popular flooring option. The wide variety of style, design, pattern and colour which is available in this category of flooring material is one of the important reasons for its popularity. In addition to there are many different types of tiles available both in texture and in price.
Different types of tiles available
With options galore to suit every taste and pocket, tiles present far more choice than any other flooring option. Coupled with the fact that it is easy to install and maintain makes choosing tiles quite an easy task. Some of the important types of tiles which are readily available in the market are:
- Travertine: It is a by-product created from the naturally occurring hot springs across the world. It essentially limestone which in combination with the other miners prevalent in the area make for interesting and unique patterns.
- Ceramic: Fabrication by the process of heating and subsequently cooling clay and other natural minerals enables many different textures and hues to be created on ceramic floor tiles. Thus they are available in innumerable shapes, sizes, colours, styles, textures and finishes.
- Porcelain: This is a form of natural clay which on heating becomes denser thereby imparting a beautiful look to the tiles. They are suited for installation both indoors and outdoors since their high-density makes them hardy and resistant to the elements of weather.
- Slate: Available naturally in the form of metamorphic rocks, slate comes in diverse shades. The availability of a rich colour palette which ranges from black to tan, navy to sage and even copper to red makes slate a popular choice.
- Marble: Probably the costliest but the best form of tiles available, these tiles are extremely durable since they are made from naturally occurring marble. Honing, polishing, tumbling and brushing give it a classically beautiful look which cannot be replicated.
- Granite: This igneous rock is unique because of the presence of small flecks on its surface. Granite too comes in rich colours which give it a unique visual depth. This definitely is a stone which is naturally unique.
- Onyx: This is characterised by a soft transparent beauty having a very smooth texture and available in earth colours. All of this combined together make it a flooring material worth giving a second thought.
- Quartzite: This naturally occurring rock is beautiful, comes in a wide variety of colours, and is extremely durable and very versatile. Quartzite is thus considered to be a very good choice for tiling both indoors as well as outdoors.
Tips to choose the best tiles for the floors
With such a huge diversity of choice, it would seem quite overwhelming to zero in on one choice. But the following 5 important points will not only make tile selection easier, they will also ensure that a buyer chooses the perfect tile for his home. These points are:
- Hardness: This defines the tiles ability to withstand wear and tear, scratches and also foot traffic. Thus tiles should always be chosen based on the function or functions it is supposed to perform. For areas facing heavy foot traffic, hard tiles need to be chosen and vice-versa.
- Porosity: This defines the amount of water that a tile can absorb. Thus it becomes a critical point to consider when choosing tiles for high moisture areas like the basement or for the bathroom and kitchen where there is ample use of water.
- Slip resistance: Tiles generally tend to be slippery especially when water is present. This can become a safety hazard especially if there are children and aged people around. Thus care should be taken to choose tiles with a matt finish or tiles with a higher co-efficient of friction.
- Colour: Since tiles chosen are for the floor, the choice of colour attains great importance since they define the look of the room in totality. Thus light coloured tiles make a small room look big while at the same time giving it a fresh look. Rich colours, on the other hand, tend to make the room appear cozy, warm, inviting and even romantic depending on the choice of the shade.
- Size and shape: It is said that using larger tiles in a small room gives it an illusion of space. It has also been seen that for patterned tiles, the size and shape chosen enable the creation of many unique and original patterns thereby increasing their utility.
Thus there is always something which can be found in this category to suit both the monetary and aesthetic requirements of the buyers. This makes it a universal choice for many different buyers and homeowners.