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How to Choose the Right Tile for Your Home

Posted July 27, 2020

Guest post by Ashley + Jamin Mills of The Handmade Home

Hello, all you wonderful people! We’re Ashley +Jamin Mills from The Handmade Home, and we’re thrilled to be here today to cover a topic near and dear to our hearts: Choosing the right tile for your home. We’ve been there with our own home, and we’ve been there many times with clients. We can tell you first-hand, this is a subject matter that can stump a lot of people when they’re ready to take the plunge and choose something. Today we’re sharing a few elements to consider when choosing the right tile.  

Location, Location, Location  

Where will your tile go?

This may sound like common sense, but it’s a bit of a multi-faceted question when thinking through it all.

When it comes to the project at hand, make sure you do your homework. 

When shopping for tile, always study up on the specifications. Is your tile rated for floor use if it’s going on the floor? Can it withstand a high traffic area like the entryway? What about slippery areas in the bathroom? Can you use grout lines to help with that, if you’re in doubt about slippery surfaces? It’s good to think it through and be aware of how you plan to use your tile, so that you can know what kind works better, in which location. 

Materials 

What is your tile made of? Because the material behind the tile can affect how it behaves in various locations.

Know thyself, and know thy limits. 

Will that porcelain tile work nicely in the back porch, or would you prefer marble? There are pros and cons to both. You’ve fallen in love with that marble tile for your shower, but are you willing to care for it properly with a little extra TLC, or will it eventually drive you bonkers?

Would glass be a better fit for you? Will that backsplash with all the grout lines in the kitchen be easy for you to keep clean, after your partner’s famous week-long chili-palooza each winter? Does your tile need sealing to help it not stain, or turn?

It’s so good to study up on what you plan to use, and why. 

Understand the pros and cons of the installation of what you are laying the tile on. While laying straight to concrete may be cheaper, it might cost you more in the long run with cracked tiles. Should you use a product like Ditra to help with tile movement, or because your transition needs to be as low as possible? 

Design 

This is the driving force behind all decisions, right?

Here are a few of our favorite pointers when it comes to the look of your tile. 

Contrast + Complement

Contrast in shape: When choosing multiple tiles for one space, go with the idea of looks that complement one another, without being too similar. So an organic shape combined with a geometric one may be especially beneficial.

Contrast in color: With dark and light tones in the same shape to play together in unexpected ways. These are just barely scratching the surface on all things tile design, but some basics we like to stick to when choosing them. 

Make It Intentional 

Home renovations are usually tackled in stages. Are you adding to existing finishes in your home? Make sure they flow well and can work together throughout the home. But the same goes for doing it all at once. We love repetition or similar elements to reinforce the unity of a home throughout, so this is always something to consider when it comes to choosing your designs.

Help your home breathe and flow, by choosing your design elements in ways that help them work together. This places intentionality behind all your designs, and the payoff is a beautiful cohesive space. Try to use repetition when it comes to tile, and this helps do just that. 

Pattern

Think through your application when it comes to the tile design and how it’s working in the space.

Will a herringbone pattern of a single, longer subway tile work well under a cabinet? Or should you reserve that for another area?

Which design works best in your space, and why? The possibilities are endless.

Consider Your Finishing Pieces 

Again, this all comes down to doing your homework. 

Based on your application, will you need other pieces for your tile? Corner and trim pieces are sometimes a part of the design, too. Will you need a transition piece for the floor? Something for the corner or edges to trim it out? Will that tile you’ve fallen in love with for the mantel design you’ve drawn up, need some border pieces to finish it off?

Be sure to be ready for the unexpected when it comes to the application of your tile, and you’ll be happy with the overall final installation. 

These are some of our very favorite practical tips to consider before taking the dive with that tile. We hope we’ve given you something to think about, and that you enjoy all things design with your beautiful new space!

Jeffrey court offers some amazing pieces, and we know you’ll love your end result with their beautiful options.

Have an inspired day!

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