When it comes to DIY, tiling the bathroom or kitchen is perhaps the most common job that homeowners are prepared to take on. And when it comes to picking out tiles, most consumers tend to opt for porcelain tiles. Now you can be forgiven for thinking that picking out your porcelain tiles is simply a matter of personal taste. However, finding a suitable solution for the room you plan to update is actually a little more complex. Here we take a look at the factors that you should consider before your splash your cash.
The right size
When it comes to choosing what size tiles you will install, your first consideration should be how large the room space is. Larger tiles are best suited to rooms that are on the small side as they contribute towards making the room appear bigger than it is. For medium to large sized bathrooms and kitchens you have the option of going for whichever sized tile you prefer in terms of design. However, there are more practical considerations that may limit your choice somewhat.
It is important to take a good look at the quality of the walls that you intend to add your porcelain tiles to, paying specific attention to how flat they are. You can do this by laying a 100cm straight piece of timber on the wall and looking for gaps under the edge. If you fit smaller tiles to an uneven wall, they will be more forgiving than larger tiles, which will sit up at the edges. Of course, you should bear in mind that fitting smaller tiles will increase the time in which it takes to complete the project. It is possible to fill any gaps that you find under the timber edge with adhesive, but this can become messy. If you have set your heart on larger sized tiles then your best approach is to ask for a plasterer to skim the walls and inform them what size tiles you intend to install.
Another practical factor that you should consider when it comes to size is the impact that surface water will have. If you use smaller tiles around showers, baths and sinks, there is an increased risk the water can penetrate into the wall due to there being more joins and grouting. This of course means a greater chance of water damage. In addition, it is worth bearing in mind that the grout around showers, baths and sinks is likely to suffer from mould due to the additional moisture. Smaller tiles means more grout, which in turn means more cleaning for you if mould does begin to form.
Impact of Colour
As with sizing, the colour of your tiles can play a huge role in making a room feeling bigger or smaller than it really is. Smaller bathrooms and kitchens are best suited to lighter shades, such as white, creams and beiges. Anything too dark is likely to result in an oppressive feel. Again, homeowners with larger rooms have the opportunity to go for a wider selection of shades.
If you insist on going for a darker shade of tile in a small bathroom or kitchen then it is important to maximise lighting to prevent them from overpowering the room. You could perhaps consider removing a blind or curtain to increase natural light. Where you are updating a bathroom, privacy can still be ensured through the use of frosted glass, without sacrificing any light. Fitting several smaller spotlights as opposed to one larger light fitting is also an effective method. In the bathroom you can also hang a large mirror on one wall, which serves to reflect light back into the centre of the room, whilst creating the illusion of space.
A suitable finish
|Marmi Marble, Porcelain tiles|
The final factor to consider is the finish of the tiles. There is now a huge variety of porcelain tiles available, including wood and stone effect. Your choice of finish should be guided by the other existing elements of your bathroom or kitchen. So if you intend to retain the kitchen cupboards and sink or bathroom suite, you must consider the look that they offer. A contemporary styled bath with sharp edges and sleek design may not look right with a more traditional walnut wood effect porcelain tile. In the same fashion, modern stone effect tiles may not complement a Victorian period sink design. If you install your chosen tiles, only to discover that they don’t quite fit in with your bath suite, do a little accessorising. A few changes to items such as toilet roll holders, mirrors, vanity units and the toilet handle can soon bring the bathroom together.