How to choose and dec­o­rate with tiles

Lesotho Times - - Property -

TILES were ini­tially found in the form of glazed bricks dat­ing back as far as the 13th cen­tury BC. Till to­day, tiles are of­ten used to cover walls, floors, roofs, show­ers and ob­jects such as ta­ble tops.

They range from sim­ple squares to com­plex mo­saics, and are typ­i­cally made of ce­ramic. Glazed ce­ramic is used for in­te­ri­ors while unglazed tiles are ideal for roof­ing.

Other ma­te­ri­als com­monly used for tiling in­clude glass, cork, con­crete and stone, which is made from mar­ble, onyx, gran­ite or slate.

What can be achieved with tiles? 1. Tiles can be used to cre­ate a wide or nar­row ef­fect, and hor­i­zon­tal or ver­ti­cal bor­ders with colour­ful mo­saics or tiles cut into nar­row strips. 2. Square tiles can be cut in half or thirds to cre­ate brick-like pat­terns or ver­ti­cal lines. These nar­row tiles are great for tiling curved sur­faces. 3. Mo­saics are per­fect for cre­at­ing strik­ing images or de­signs on walls. 4. Peb­ble mo­saics can give a shower a unique sur­face that’s tex­tured and there­fore slip re­sis­tant. The pat­tern can be re­peated on the walls to cre­ate a dec­o­ra­tive border.

How to choose a qual­ity tile 1. Check the grade of the tile. In­spect some sam­ples and look out for ir­reg­u­lar glaze, any colour de­fects or in­con­sis­tency in the thick­ness. 2. Al­ways ex­am­ine the tile la­bel and the man­u­fac­turer’s tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion for the dura­bil­ity clas­si­fi­ca­tion. The tile’s abra­sion re­sis­tance is in­di­cated as the PEI or porce­lain enamel in­sti­tute rat­ing.

The PEI is an in­ter­na­tional stan­dard that mea­sures the de­gree to which a tile’s sur­face will with­stand wear.

It is mea­sured by the amount of glaze abraded from the glaze sur­face dur­ing abra­sion test­ing. 3. Be sure to buy tiles that are ap­pro­pri­ate for your needs. Tiles rated PEI 1 and 2 are suit­able for low traf­fic ar­eas such as bath­rooms and bed­rooms, whereas PEI 3 rated tiles are ideal for in­te­rior and ex­te­rior do­mes­tic ar­eas, which carry more feet. PEI 3 rated tiles can also be used in en­trance halls, pas­sages, kitchens and on pa­tios.

Con­sider your tiling choices When it comes to tiling choices, home­own­ers should know that it’s all a mat­ter of per­sonal taste but there are a few guide­lines that they can fol­low that will make their choice eas­ier.

Here are some tips… 1. Choose a tile that will suit your needs and still be within your bud­get. 2. Go for tiles that can stand the test of time. You can choose from a wide range of de­signs in­clud­ing tiles from the Vic­to­rian era, white ce­ramic tiles, cur­rent trendy tiles of all shapes or forms, mo­saics or out­door slabs. 3. As with any other dé­cor, tiles fol­low trends which change pe­ri­od­i­cally. Nowa­days, neu­tral shades have be­come the ‘it’ thing, es­pe­cially in bath­rooms be­cause they fit in eas­ily with any other de­sign or colour scheme. 4. Mo­saics are also be­com­ing more pop­u­lar be­cause they pro­vide that ‘wow’ fac­tor and are avail­able in all sorts of geo­met­ric shapes, colours and ma­te­ri­als. The cre­ative pos­si­bil­i­ties are in­fi­nite.

To use mo­saics suc­cess­fully in your in­te­ri­ors, cre­ate a fea­ture wall in the bath­room or shower. 5. Printed tiles of­fer home­own­ers ex­cit­ing op­tions, be­cause they merge beau­ti­fully with wood, stone or con­crete fin­ishes.

Also, inkjet tiles look so re­al­is­tic that they can be eas­ily mis­taken for real mar­ble, slate or traver­tine. 6. There is a ma­jor trend to­wards ce­ment-like de­signs in South Africa in com­par­i­son with some of the ex­treme-gloss fin­ishes in Europe.

Home­own­ers might want to ex­plore these op­tions if they’re look­ing for an up-to-date look. 7. The kitchen, the heart of the home, doesn’t have to be dull or bor­ing. Use tiles that meet your phys­i­cal and func­tional needs to cre­ate a plea­sur­able space.

Good to know 1. It’s bet­ter to use thin­ner tiles on walls than on floors. 2. Avoid in­stalling high glazed tiles on heav­ily used floors. High glazed tiles get scratched eas­ily and they be­come slip­pery when wet. 3. Tiles will al­ways re­main a firm favourite with home­own­ers be­cause they’re easy to clean and main­tain. 4. It’s im­por­tant to con­sider the slip-re­sis­tance and wa­ter ab­sorp­tion of tiles when tiling a bath­room. 5. Floor tiles will al­ways be a pop­u­lar choice for home­own­ers be­cause of the many ben­e­fits they of­fer. Not only are they durable but they’re also low main­te­nance. — Prop­erty24

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