A Guide to Residential Tile

Selecting the right material is a crucial aspect of any design and construction especially when it comes to those materials that attribute to the aesthetics of your home. However, these days Tiles showrooms have become overwhelming to the point of leaving the buyer exhausted and confused. Showrooms display every type, style, size and colour of tile known to humanity leaving the buyer in decision dilemma. While the industry is coming up with more options since more options equate to better design choice and experience filtering information so that you’re left with an organized set of comprehendible decisions is equally important. This article is BuildingeKart ’s effort towards the same.

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So over the years we’ve rounded up a handful of tile options that work well for our cost-effective modern projects. Of course, manufacturers discontinue some (and release other) options, suppliers change what’s available, and the world is full of change. So in response, here is our guideline on selecting tile.

Here are some characteristics to look for:

  1. They are conventional. Stick to those tiles that come in typical sizes and are consistent between one order and the next. Tiles should be familiar to work with and your tiles sub-contractor should be familiar with them. Bespoke, hand-crafted tiles are unpredictable and are not consistent between lots.
  2. They are available nationally. Exotic tiles imported from other countries have long lead times. Unless, your choice is exquisite, go for tiles that are available nationally. Otherwise, be prepared to over-order so that you are prepared for the variable of potentially needing more.
  3. These tiles avoid fashion. Yes, you heard me right. Flooring is a permanent feature of your home. While we are seeing innovation and new trends in tile designs it is tough to predict what will be timeless even after 10,20 and 50 years.
  4. They are not merely decorative. Yes, they are key attributing factor to aesthetics however they have major function that cannot be overridden for aesthetics and that is durability.
  5. They are bigger. Precision in manufacturing has improved a lot bringing down inconsistency in size and design to as less as 1/32” for an individual tile. However, to ensure that these fluctuations do not add up over tile courses, go for bigger tile sizes.

 

Given the above criteria, I am now laying down the most common flooring options available in Indian market. They are all great options, so chose well and find out the tile on which your heart is set on.

  1. Ceramic Tiles: Ceramic Tiles, one of the oldest of the tiles clan, is made from clay or mixture of organic materials and is finished by kiln firing. They are available in various sizes and shapes, both glazed and unglazed. They are hard and brittle in nature, heat and corrosion resistant in the long run. These tiles come in various finishes like the anti-skid and mat finish, which are used on steps and in bathrooms. Floor tiles come in squares and wall tiles are mostly rectangular. Ceramic tiles are available in various brands like Kajaria, Nitco, Somany and Rak ceramics.
  2. Vitrified Tiles: Vitrified Tile is a type of Ceramic tile, however its making process makes it strong, porous and stain resistant. It is made by hydraulic pressing a mixture of clay, quartz, feldspar and silica, which make vitreous surface. Thus creating a single mass making them hard with low porosity.
  3. Glass Mosaic Tiles: Mosaic started as a piece of art with glass pieces. Manufacturing these tiles involves embedding small pieces of coloured glass, stone, or ceramic tile in a background material such as plaster or mortar. The resulting finish is unique and a variety of designs can be created. These tiles have multi-coloured block in them with a glass finish that makes them shine and are mostly used in kitchens, swimming pools, wash rooms and Pooja rooms.
  4. Marble floor: Now coming to the naturally available flooring material Marble, a type of metamorphosed limestone which is used since ancient times in making sculptures and as a building material. Unlike man made tiles, it tends to lose its shine over a period of time and needs polishing and regular maintenance. One has to be careful when choosing the right cleaning liquids and methods to give extended life.
  5. Granite floor: Another natural option, a common igneous rock composed of quartz, orthoclase, and hornblende, often accompanied by pyroxene or mica. It is called granite because of the granular surface. Granite is frequently used for buildings and monuments. It is a popular choice for not only flooring but also for countertops in kitchen and shelves. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to marble but very durable and stands for longer duration.

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Flooring options are however not limited to tiles. Some other variety of flooring materials that are in prominence are Carpets, Laminates, Bamboo, Timber, Vinyl and leather. In my upcoming articles, I will bring to you more information not just about flooring tiles but roofing and exterior tiles options ranging from our good old Mangalore tiles to Shingles. So, please look forward.

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