How to choose and decorate with tiles
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