How To Buy Kitchen and Bathroom Tile – Wall, Flooring Ideas

How To Buy Kitchen and Bathroom Tile – Wall, Flooring Ideas

How To Buy Kitchen and Bathroom Tile

Tiling—to many in the profession, it is an art. While there is certainly a learning curve for advanced tiling techniques, an average Joe can lay tiles if he knows how to do it and, perhaps more importantly, what to buy.

If you are thinking of embarking on a tiling project in your kitchen or bath, here are some tips on what kind of products you should buy.

  1. Size Matters. Size matters when you are talking about tiling. Larger tiles will take less time to hang. Smaller ones require more precision in general, and, in most cases will cost a little more. Many consider smaller tiles to be more elegant, although everyone has his own tastes-do what you think will look good.
  2. Weight. Size will generally correspond with weight. Weight comes into play when you are talking about backsplashes. If you are sold on a style of tile for your kitchen backsplash that is very heavy and your support wall is flimsy paneling, you may be setting yourself up for disaster. Tiling for backsplashes should be as light as you can go without compromising your taste. This makes for an easier application (less adhesive) and it will prevent any future disasters involving slipping tile.
  3. Shape. There are many different shapes of tiles. The most popular shape is the square, although the subway rectangular has become quite popular as well. These are rectangular tiles that when used as a backsplash in a shower stall, look a bit like the tiles you see at subway stations. It is more of a retro look, but some people have adapted it in white for showers or a funky kitchen backsplash in a bold color. Some people prefer to mingle triangles in their design as well.
  4. Color. Tiles come in a great variety of color. Many people like to use white in the bathroom because of its clean appearance. Others like to add a splash of color or a mosaic design to spice the sterile room up. Kitchen backsplashes can be bold against your cabinets, or can be a subtle transition into the countertops. Similarly, you can tile your countertops in any color you want. Before you choose your tiles, make sure the colors will coordinate and create the effect you desire.
  5. Vitreous vs. Non-vitreous. Ceramic tiles can be non-vitreous, semi-vitreous and vitreous. The longer and hotter you fire the ceramic batter, the denser and more vitreous the tile will become. Before you choose your tile, make sure it is suitable for the location where you will place it. For instance, non-vitreous tiles are not a good choice for kitchen floors since there is a potential of moisture (in the form of spills and cleaning products) as well as heavy traffic.
  6. Glazing. Glazing helps block water absorption to a degree. These tiles are coated on the surface with ground glass and pigments and re-fired in the kiln. The glaze acts as a sealer and protects the ceramic underneath the surface. These make up more than half the tiles sold in the United States per year. They are slippery when moist, so use a rougher glazed tile for bathroom flooring. Tiles with a friction rating of at least .70 are optimal. Generally speaking, glazed ones are best used for countertops and walls.
  7. Mosaic Tiles. These tiles are 1 inch square and smaller. These are decorative and allow you to make a geometric design, border, or special arrangement. They can be glazed or unglazed.
    How To Buy Kitchen and Bathroom Tile – Wall, Flooring Ideas

How To Buy Kitchen and Bathroom Tile

Tiling—to many in the profession, it is an art. While there is certainly a learning curve for advanced tiling techniques, an average Joe can lay tiles if he knows how to do it and, perhaps more importantly, what to buy.

If you are thinking of embarking on a tiling project in your kitchen or bath, here are some tips on what kind of products you should buy.

  1. Size Matters. Size matters when you are talking about tiling. Larger tiles will take less time to hang. Smaller ones require more precision in general, and, in most cases will cost a little more. Many consider smaller tiles to be more elegant, although everyone has his own tastes-do what you think will look good.
  2. Weight. Size will generally correspond with weight. Weight comes into play when you are talking about backsplashes. If you are sold on a style of tile for your kitchen backsplash that is very heavy and your support wall is flimsy paneling, you may be setting yourself up for disaster. Tiling for backsplashes should be as light as you can go without compromising your taste. This makes for an easier application (less adhesive) and it will prevent any future disasters involving slipping tile.
  3. Shape. There are many different shapes of tiles. The most popular shape is the square, although the subway rectangular has become quite popular as well. These are rectangular tiles that when used as a backsplash in a shower stall, look a bit like the tiles you see at subway stations. It is more of a retro look, but some people have adapted it in white for showers or a funky kitchen backsplash in a bold color. Some people prefer to mingle triangles in their design as well.
  4. Color. Tiles come in a great variety of color. Many people like to use white in the bathroom because of its clean appearance. Others like to add a splash of color or a mosaic design to spice the sterile room up. Kitchen backsplashes can be bold against your cabinets, or can be a subtle transition into the countertops. Similarly, you can tile your countertops in any color you want. Before you choose your tiles, make sure the colors will coordinate and create the effect you desire.
  5. Vitreous vs. Non-vitreous. Ceramic tiles can be non-vitreous, semi-vitreous and vitreous. The longer and hotter you fire the ceramic batter, the denser and more vitreous the tile will become. Before you choose your tile, make sure it is suitable for the location where you will place it. For instance, non-vitreous tiles are not a good choice for kitchen floors since there is a potential of moisture (in the form of spills and cleaning products) as well as heavy traffic.
  6. Glazing. Glazing helps block water absorption to a degree. These tiles are coated on the surface with ground glass and pigments and re-fired in the kiln. The glaze acts as a sealer and protects the ceramic underneath the surface. These make up more than half the tiles sold in the United States per year. They are slippery when moist, so use a rougher glazed tile for bathroom flooring. Tiles with a friction rating of at least .70 are optimal. Generally speaking, glazed ones are best used for countertops and walls.
  7. Mosaic Tiles. These tiles are 1 inch square and smaller. These are decorative and allow you to make a geometric design, border, or special arrangement. They can be glazed or unglazed.

How To Buy Kitchen and Bathroom Tile

Tiling—to many in the profession, it is an art. While there is certainly a learning curve for advanced tiling techniques, an average Joe can lay tiles if he knows how to do it and, perhaps more importantly, what to buy.

If you are thinking of embarking on a tiling project in your kitchen or bath, here are some tips on what kind of products you should buy.

  1. Size Matters. Size matters when you are talking about tiling. Larger tiles will take less time to hang. Smaller ones require more precision in general, and, in most cases will cost a little more. Many consider smaller tiles to be more elegant, although everyone has his own tastes-do what you think will look good.
  2. Weight. Size will generally correspond with weight. Weight comes into play when you are talking about backsplashes. If you are sold on a style of tile for your kitchen backsplash that is very heavy and your support wall is flimsy paneling, you may be setting yourself up for disaster. Tiling for backsplashes should be as light as you can go without compromising your taste. This makes for an easier application (less adhesive) and it will prevent any future disasters involving slipping tile.
  3. Shape. There are many different shapes of tiles. The most popular shape is the square, although the subway rectangular has become quite popular as well. These are rectangular tiles that when used as a backsplash in a shower stall, look a bit like the tiles you see at subway stations. It is more of a retro look, but some people have adapted it in white for showers or a funky kitchen backsplash in a bold color. Some people prefer to mingle triangles in their design as well.
  4. Color. Tiles come in a great variety of color. Many people like to use white in the bathroom because of its clean appearance. Others like to add a splash of color or a mosaic design to spice the sterile room up. Kitchen backsplashes can be bold against your cabinets, or can be a subtle transition into the countertops. Similarly, you can tile your countertops in any color you want. Before you choose your tiles, make sure the colors will coordinate and create the effect you desire.
  5. Vitreous vs. Non-vitreous. Ceramic tiles can be non-vitreous, semi-vitreous and vitreous. The longer and hotter you fire the ceramic batter, the denser and more vitreous the tile will become. Before you choose your tile, make sure it is suitable for the location where you will place it. For instance, non-vitreous tiles are not a good choice for kitchen floors since there is a potential of moisture (in the form of spills and cleaning products) as well as heavy traffic.
  6. Glazing. Glazing helps block water absorption to a degree. These tiles are coated on the surface with ground glass and pigments and re-fired in the kiln. The glaze acts as a sealer and protects the ceramic underneath the surface. These make up more than half the tiles sold in the United States per year. They are slippery when moist, so use a rougher glazed tile for bathroom flooring. Tiles with a friction rating of at least .70 are optimal. Generally speaking, glazed ones are best used for countertops and walls.
  7. Mosaic Tiles. These tiles are 1 inch square and smaller. These are decorative and allow you to make a geometric design, border, or special arrangement. They can be glazed or unglazed.

How To Buy Kitchen and Bathroom Tile

Tiling—to many in the profession, it is an art. While there is certainly a learning curve for advanced tiling techniques, an average Joe can lay tiles if he knows how to do it and, perhaps more importantly, what to buy.

If you are thinking of embarking on a tiling project in your kitchen or bath, here are some tips on what kind of products you should buy.

  1. Size Matters. Size matters when you are talking about tiling. Larger tiles will take less time to hang. Smaller ones require more precision in general, and, in most cases will cost a little more. Many consider smaller tiles to be more elegant, although everyone has his own tastes-do what you think will look good.
  2. Weight. Size will generally correspond with weight. Weight comes into play when you are talking about backsplashes. If you are sold on a style of tile for your kitchen backsplash that is very heavy and your support wall is flimsy paneling, you may be setting yourself up for disaster. Tiling for backsplashes should be as light as you can go without compromising your taste. This makes for an easier application (less adhesive) and it will prevent any future disasters involving slipping tile.
  3. Shape. There are many different shapes of tiles. The most popular shape is the square, although the subway rectangular has become quite popular as well. These are rectangular tiles that when used as a backsplash in a shower stall, look a bit like the tiles you see at subway stations. It is more of a retro look, but some people have adapted it in white for showers or a funky kitchen backsplash in a bold color. Some people prefer to mingle triangles in their design as well.
  4. Color. Tiles come in a great variety of color. Many people like to use white in the bathroom because of its clean appearance. Others like to add a splash of color or a mosaic design to spice the sterile room up. Kitchen backsplashes can be bold against your cabinets, or can be a subtle transition into the countertops. Similarly, you can tile your countertops in any color you want. Before you choose your tiles, make sure the colors will coordinate and create the effect you desire.
  5. Vitreous vs. Non-vitreous. Ceramic tiles can be non-vitreous, semi-vitreous and vitreous. The longer and hotter you fire the ceramic batter, the denser and more vitreous the tile will become. Before you choose your tile, make sure it is suitable for the location where you will place it. For instance, non-vitreous tiles are not a good choice for kitchen floors since there is a potential of moisture (in the form of spills and cleaning products) as well as heavy traffic.
  6. Glazing. Glazing helps block water absorption to a degree. These tiles are coated on the surface with ground glass and pigments and re-fired in the kiln. The glaze acts as a sealer and protects the ceramic underneath the surface. These make up more than half the tiles sold in the United States per year. They are slippery when moist, so use a rougher glazed tile for bathroom flooring. Tiles with a friction rating of at least .70 are optimal. Generally speaking, glazed ones are best used for countertops and walls.
  7. Mosaic Tiles. These tiles are 1 inch square and smaller. These are decorative and allow you to make a geometric design, border, or special arrangement. They can be glazed or unglazed.


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