Monday, January 6, 2014

The 4 Questions You Have To Ask Before Purchasing Tiles

By Mike Hartwick


Purchasing tiles can be an extremely exciting task for the homeowner. It can also sometimes be overwhelming. Here are 4 questions you need to ask yourself to help you get through the process with the least amount of time, money, and frustration:

Exactly where are you going to install the tiles? Knowing the answer to this simple question will make it much easier to define exactly what material or kind of tile you need for the project more than any other. There are so many different kinds of tiles available and it is the place that you are going to utilize them that will determine what tile material you finally choose. If you're going to be laying tiles on the floor, you can only use floor tiles. This might seem obvious, but most people don't realize that on the wall you can use either floor or wall tiles. This is because floor tiles are designed to considerably tougher than wall tiles, thus they can perform both jobs. Wall tiles being more delicate, could not handle the heavy use of being used on the floor. You must also determine whether the place you are going to have them installed is going to be moist or encounter high temperatures such as a backsplash or perhaps a bathroom, because this can rule out many materials. If you are tiling an area that is outdoors it's essential to also select tiles that are graded strong enough and non-vitreous enough to be used as outdoor tiles.

What do you want the tiles to do for your space? Once you have decided what place the tiles will be installed, you need to think about what you want them to accomplish. If you want to portray a certain feel or look you will need to pick a material that not only can be used in the space but also that conveys what you want it to. For example if you wanted a Mediterranean look for your patio, you might use quarry tiles. If you wanted a safe, durable space around your pool you might choose rubber tiles. Just as important is the tile pattern you decide to use. The pattern you choose can make a room look smaller, bigger, longer, wider, or more modern. Deciding what you want to accomplish in your space will help to determine both the material and the pattern.

How much time do I want to commit to maintaining my tiles? You've selected the area you have to install your tiles, and what you want them to achieve. This should have simplified your selection of tiles tremendously. The next task is to honestly answer just how much you want to clean. While some tile materials can be extremely effortless to clean others can be extremely difficult to keep clean and maintain. Wood tiles for example, while they look like they need a lot of a care, are easily cleaned with most household and tile cleaners because they're actually made out of porcelain or ceramic. On the other hand, many stone tiles like quarry tiles, have to be power washed and most have to be routinely sealed to prevent water and moisture from being absorbed into the tile. So be sure you always find out what type of upkeep and tile cleaner the material of tile you are considering needs. It could have a big impact on your decision.

What's your budget and can you install the tiles yourself? As with all materials some are relatively cheap while others can be very expensive, and tiles are no exception. Ranging from ceramic to hard to find stone, there are tiles for every budget. There are always good deals to be had, and Mexican tiles are a perfect example, they are handmade works of art which are even cheaper than ceramic tiles. Make sure you are clear about how much you have to spend because not only will you have to pay for the actual tiles, but for the installation as well. And if you can install the tiles yourself you can save yourself a lot money. Rubber tiles and wooden deck tiles are great because they can be put down by anyone because they just snap together. That being said unless you are comfortable using a tile saw or have experience laying tile there are a few materials and patterns you should leave to the professionals.

These 4 questions can help you to purchase the correct tiles and save some money too. If you answer them honestly they will help you weed out all of the options which don't work for you, and leave you with only the ones that do. Not only will answering these questions make buying the right tiles fun and easy but quick as well.




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