For anyone remodelling their kitchen or bathroom, there is a wide variety of floor tiles and wall tiles available – one could say an overwhelming choice. But that does mean anyone can create a unique design within their home with the use of tiling and moreover a design that will be hard-wearing and easy to maintain. Some people base the whole colour scheme of, say, their kitchen around a tile they have fallen in love with and retro or vintage style tiles are increasingly popular with their wonderful geometric patterns. These are particularly suitable for period homes.
If you are just redecorating your kitchen or bathroom and have to retain the existing kitchen cupboards or bathroom sanitary ware then your choice may be limited to porcelain tiles that suit your existing fittings. However, tiling is still a great way to create a completely new look in a cost effective way.
So, what do you need to know about porcelain tiles before going ahead with a purchase?
Porcelain tiles have many advantages because they are very hard-wearing so can be laid on a floor in busy areas such as hallways where people walk straight in from the street or garden. They are very resistant to chipping but do check they are suitable for busy traffic areas before buying as some of the more fragile types are only suitable as wall tiles.
Some types of porcelain floor tiles are frost-resistant so are ideal for outside areas such as balconies, patios or verandas which can help you create a great design feature where the interior flooring continues to the outside. This can look stunning, especially if you can create a low-level threshold so there is little variation in the interior and exterior floor levels.
Porcelain is generally suitable for any type of domestic use but they can also be used in commercial areas such as offices and shops with heavy foot traffic. Some types of porcelain tiles have the pattern and colour running right through the entire thickness of the tile (these are called "full-bodied" tiles). They are more expensive than the traditional glazed types but more durable as in the unlikely event of a tile being chipped the damage is hardly noticeable.
So if you are looking for a beautiful yet durable tiling option in a wide variety of colours and designs then porcelain tiles are the perfect option. They also come in a highly realistic range of natural stone effect designs including, slate, marble and limestone – enabling you to create the natural look without the maintenance headache of natural stone tiling.
One thing you should always bear in mind is that their very strength and durability makes them harder to cut than ceramic tiles and even some natural stone tiles. It also makes they much heavier. This means special tools and special adhesives, mortar or grout are required so it is less easy to install porcelain tiles as a DIY job and you may need a professional tiler to install them.