Tackling Tile Selections - how to make the most of your tile showroom visits
Tile showrooms should have a warning at the door - ‘you could lose your mind inside’.
The sheer variety of tiles on display can be overwhelming. So many possibilities!
When it comes down to the decision, there are 4 main things to consider – size, format, colour and finish. Mix with that your style and colour preferences and you could be in for a long ride.
So, once you’re in the showroom, how can you tell what goes with what? Here are a few things to think about.
Size and Format
First things first. Think about tile size and placement. Do you want the wall tiles to be larger format and stacked on top of each other? Or do you prefer them to be laid in a brick pattern? Each tile format and its placement will amplify an aspect of the space; visually widening a room, creating a longer space or enhancing the height. How do you want your space to look and feel?
Note on Niches
If you’re having niches, make a note of your preferred location and which tile will be used on that wall so a plan can be made around the laying of the tiles here. This is especially important if the niche is on a feature wall.
Once you’ve made a selection, arrange the tiles as they are to be laid. In the showroom, place your wall tile selection vertically, floor tile horizontally. The shade and reflection can make a difference to the look and colour. Find some natural light to give you a truer representation of the colour and the reflective quality of the tiles and how they relate to each other.
Tile edges have a role to play as well. A rectified tile has a sharper edge allowing tighter grout lines between tiles. Non-rectified is a softer, more rounded edge which needs a slightly wider grout line. If you’re trying to achieve a look where grout lines are matching between different selections this can make or break the look. Definitely speak to your designer, builder and tiler about the best way to get the look you want using the tiles you’ve chosen. Another reason why tile specification is so important.
Lastly, check availability. You’ll need tile quantities for each area (including wastage) and an idea of when they’re required on site. At this point you’ve probably fallen in love with your tiles. If the tiles you so love are a 12 week wait, this alone can throw building timelines into chaos. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to make an alternate selection, but if you know this in enough time you won’t have the added pressure of a last minute decision.
Finding the perfect tile is one thing. Finding the perfect tile that’s available and in budget is like hitting the jackpot!
If your tiles are specified as having variation in the colour, pattern or texture, it’s best to organise a site meeting with the tiler and builder BEFORE tiling commences. Tiles will need to be laid out so the colour variation can be mixed or patterns matched as per your specific requirements. This will avoid any miscommunication and potential tiling mishaps, which are very costly to rectify.
Tiles are a major decision. You might want to see as many options as possible and narrow down selections from there. Perfectly understandable, as long as you’re prepared to spend many, many weekends scouring the suburbs for tile showrooms. Or you might just find what you’re looking for straight away. Either way, these tile tips will help.
But… if you just don’t have the time (or you can think of better ways to spend your weekends), you can always engage a designer to do the running around for you or even with you.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve started shopping for tiles and are going to apply or have applied these tips. Feel free to share your experience.