Whether you’re renovating your bathroom, kitchen, or outdoor area, tiles can be used to give your space a whole new feeling.
Tiling is a versatile way to finish floors or walls, and can be used purely practically, as tiling is hard-wearing and easy to maintain, or decoratively, as the selection of colours and finishes is enormous. Whether you are going for a traditional look or a modern style, tiling can be the solution to so many interior design questions.
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Carpet and wood floors give you plenty of design and finish options, and faux-tile vinyls like the Blooming Tiles collection from www.atrafloor.com can offer a tile effect that’s easier to install – but with genuine tiling you have even more variation, as you can choose from dozens of materials, thousands of colours and millions of designs – and you can even combine them to your own desires.
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With tiling you can choose from porcelain, glass, ceramic, marble, mosaic, granite and more materials. As for the designs, the possibilities are endless. You can even find websites that allow you to design your own custom tiles, ensuring that your home is unique and one-of-a-kind, just like you.
Easy to clean
There’s a good reason why tiles are used in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor decks – they’re water resistant. With carpeting, dirt and stains can seep deep into the fibres. Wine spill? Good luck getting that out. But when you have tiled floors, mopping up spills and sweeping up dirt is a breeze.
Tile is also a preference for those who suffer from allergies. Pet hair, pollen, and other outdoor allergens can get trapped in carpeting, but can be easily swept up from homes with tiles. This is ideal for people who want to keep their homes allergen-free.
MARTIN ROBERTS’ TIPS
Tile care is easy and can use eco-friendly materials, but sometimes requires a bit of elbow-grease!
Warm Water and Vinegar. An oldie but a goodie. Vinegar can help get rid of stains from cooking in the kitchen.
Toothpaste. Grab an extra toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste and get to work. This trick is perfect for getting rid of the build-up of grime found between tiles.
Baking Soda. Combining baking soda with warm water can help you tackle greasy tiles. Mix the two ingredients together and grab a floor scrubbing brush for cleaning.
Lemon Juice. Similar to vinegar, the acidity from the lemon helps get rid of dirt and grime. Now you can clean your home with natural ingredients and leave it with a lemony scent. Just be sure to wipe it down with a damp cloth to get rid of any extra juice.
Mop. The trusty mop is arguably the easiest, quickest, and most effective way to keep your tiled flooring clean.
Buffing. After a few years you may want to use a hand-held or upright floor buffing machine to restore the gleam to your tiles.
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Value for money
According to Realtor.com, fitting tiling can give you a 70 percent or more return on your investment when you come to sell, and tiling can be a relatively easy DIY job. In contrast, the return on investment in carpeting can be a much lower 25-40 percent, and you’ll probably have to pay a professional to lay it. People appreciate the durable qualities of good tiling.
Mosaic tiles like those from www.houseofmosaics.co.uk are an increasingly popular choice for finishing walls or floors in kitchens or bathrooms, and also as decorative touches in cloakrooms, hallways and conservatories.
Mosaic tiles interlock like a jigsaw puzzle, and vary in thickness from around 4mm to 12mm. They come on a mesh backer which is easy to cut, and can be cut themselves with a tile nipper.
For a striking look, you can use mosaic tiles as a feature wall, as you would with paint to define a room. To complement a contrasting tile, or to keep budget down, use as a slim horizontal or vertical border – or use to zone with a larger border, full-sheet width, for example in a shower area.
Use in a kitchen in between cupboards as a splashback to create instant impact, or zone behind the hob as a subtle accent.
Natural stone mosaics can be used on floors to create a wetroom or zoned floor area. Of course it is possible to get a bit carried away…!
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Although the prices of tiles and carpets vary depending on the style and material, tiles generally turn out to be better value for money because they last much longer.
With good care, manufacturers say that carpeting should last you about 10 years – but according to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, which was prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the predicted lifetime of a ceramic tile floor is 75 to 100 years, while natural stone such as marble and granite can last more than 100 years.
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Tiles are usually made from natural raw materials like sand, glass, and clay, typically combined with recycled materials, so they are eco-friendly.
Additionally, tiles can keep your house cool in the warmer months while warming up your home in the colder ones, making your home more eco-efficient and lowering heating bills.
With so many tile options now available, it is easy to find the perfect tile for your home. Tiles are durable, cost effective, eco-friendly, and easy to clean, so what’s not to like? ■
This feature was originally published in Property & Home with Martin Roberts, Winter 2020 issue – read more here.