Floor tile can be a beautiful, durable type of flooring and is very easy to clean and maintain. It can make a space seem larger, cooler, and more elegant. It can also be very cost effective, as there are many types of tile flooring available to today's homeowner. Smaller and larger tiles can create specific and unique design effects, as well as textured tile, and the grout color you choose.
To help chisel down your options in the type of flooring you choose, we put together a list of which rooms are best for tile, and what types of tile are best for each space. Not sure your flooring project is suited for tile after learning more about it? Don't worry, we have solutions and recommendations for other types of flooring too.
The Best Tiles For Every Room
Tile works great for many different spaces in the home. The type of tile you choose should depend on durability and traffic expectations, and should consider a variety of styles. The perfect tile for your project could be ceramic tile, porcelain tile, glass tile, or natural stone tiles. Here are a few examples of popular tiles for each type of space.
Kitchens are great spaces for a tile floor, because they often require a lot of durability. They withstand heavy traffic, lots of spills, and dropped object impacts often. Porcelain tile can withstand scratches, scrapes, and dents better than any other flooring material. The contemporary kitchen is often an active area of the home, and sometimes includes chairs, tables, and other furniture that gets dragged across the floor.
Porcelain tile is beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. It can last a lifetime with little maintenance and a wide variety of tile designs can match any aesthetic. The kitchen can also be a great space for mosaic tiles, depending on the traffic, square feet, and layout of the space. With a variety of styles and almost every color on the color wheel available for you, mosaics can be a sophisticated and modern way to get creative with your flooring design.
Some homeowners even opt for kitchen backsplashes that enhance the artistic effect of mosaic or porcelain tile kitchen flooring. They can be cleaned with just a damp towel, offer excellent water resistance, and a beautiful, unique design for your space.
While some tile is rated for use on both floors and walls, generally tile used for wall design and kitchen backsplashes is slightly less durable than your porcelain tile flooring, modern concrete floor, and wood floors will be. Still, porcelain tile like white subway tile and other popular choices can be great for both walls and the entire floor of your contemporary kitchen.
Similarly, the bathroom floor has to contend with plumbing and persistent moisture issues, so materials that can offer moisture resistance work best here. Tile and other durable flooring options can help protect the structure of the house and can easily hold small amounts of water and be towel dried. Easy cleanup and protection against moisture are some of the many benefits of tile for bathroom spaces.
Because of the nature of bathroom business, many homeowners use bleach or similarly strong chemicals to clean floors and surfaces here. For this reason, we recommend a light colored porcelain tile that can withstand bleaching and will make the room look bigger at the same time. Larger tiles that can also be used as wall coverings, when paired with a similar grout color, can create a seamless, elegant bathroom design.
Ceramic floor tile, which is a bit softer and less-durable as compared to porcelain tile, can also be used in some bathrooms with normal foot traffic. This is another option that can cover your entire floor and your bathroom walls, according to your personal style choices. Ceramic tile should be reserved only for bathrooms without outdoor access, as dirt and debris can damage ceramics. One of the differences between porcelain and other tiles (like ceramic and stone) is porcelain's resiliency.
Regardless, moisture resistant, resilient flooring made of durable material is always the smart choice for bathroom designs.
Tiling an option for living room flooring may not be your immediate first thought. Because of the comfort, style, variety, and wear that a living room floor can endure, many people choose carpeting for their living spaces. But the look of tile flooring can transform the atmosphere of your living room.
Some tile flooring is also designed to mimic the look of natural wood, stone, and other materials, giving your living room a unique, eye-catching design style. There's a wide range of tile flooring that can also help your living room feel and appear cooler, as tile does not absorb heat the way that solid hardwood flooring does. Some tile can create a textured surface look, but still feel softer underfoot than concrete.
For the ultimate balance of luxury, elegance, and durability, natural stone tiles can upgrade the look of a living room in a big way. You can open up a space by using larger tiles or continuing the same tiling style throughout multiple spaces, or use mosaic tiles to add an artistic focal point. Tile sizes can change the way the eye moves through a room, and different tile materials help you find the perfect aesthetic for your vision. Natural stone tile requires a protective coating and reapplication to protect it, and is best for rooms with moderate foot traffic. It is one of the more expensive options for living room remodeling projects.
MudRoom or Laundry Room
Any room in the house that gets a lot of traffic, debris, or liquid spills should consider tile flooring first. For surfaces that need a little extra durability, like mud rooms, sun rooms, and laundry rooms, porcelain tile works best. It's durable and cleans easily, in some of the dirtiest or most trafficked rooms in the house.
Cement flooring or cement tiles can also be a reasonable choice for heavily trafficked areas. Concrete allows more flexibility in customizing design, and will outlast most other materials. It is generally more moderately priced, and can be an excellent choice for your flooring project.
When Tile Alternatives Are Best
Flooring experts agree that tile is a great choice for rooms with high traffic, chronic moisture, extreme conditions and direct sunlight throughout most of the day. So where shouldn't you put tile?
Typically tile flooring is great for bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms, mudrooms, laundry rooms, living and dining areas, and some outdoor spaces. We recommend not installing tile flooring if you prefer warmer flooring, especially if you live in a cold or very cold climate. In that case, hardwood flooring is a better option because it absorbs and holds heat much better than tile, its biggest drawback if you live in a colder climate.
Any room that has repeated risk for high impacts like a work space (or workout space) in which you'll be using heavy pieces of equipment or tools, or the floor will be subjected to intense conditions might be better off with a tile alternative. Cracked tile is not exceptionally difficult to replace, but can be a needless hassle nonetheless. For those floors we recommend concrete, or potentially vinyl or laminate floors. Even the most resilient flooring can require eventual repair in spaces like these.
More Information About Tile Alternatives
For more information about tile alternatives, you can check out our service pages and blog. We answer many of your questions about all types of flooring options and spaces. Regardless of the flooring types you choose for your spaces, professional installation for your flooring project is almost always our recommendation. A good installation professional will ensure your flooring designs last as long as possible, and create a beautiful, inviting space for you to enjoy.