Choosing your Ceramic Tiles in 7 Steps
1- Prepare your Visit in Store
This will help you save so much time! We really recommend preparing your shopping trip to the store, so you have an idea of what you are looking for. This will help our experts identify your needs and suggest the right products. To do so, here are a few things you should have on hand for your visit.
📐 Room’s Exact Dimensions
Do not skip this step. Make sure you take the time to measure the exact dimensions of the room you want to renovate. Wrong measurements can lead to material shortfalls, waste of time and eventually extra costs. So, our advice is to draw a clear plan including specific measurements.
✨ Desired Style & Inspiration Photos
First off, determine the most important feature you are looking for in your ceramic tiles: aesthetics, ease-of-care, price or even durability. You won’t be looking for the same products if you are flipping a house, buying your first condo, or renovating a rental apartment. The best example: a family with children will not have the same priorities as a single person with a dog.
And after that comes the best part: scouring the Internet and Pinterest for inspiration! This will help you identify your preferred style. You could even create a moodboard if you really want to visualize what your design will look like.
📸 Pictures of the Room to Transform
As the saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So, make sure to have photos of the space to transform with you to help our advisors get a clear idea of your interior.
💸 Clear Budget
Setting a budget is important for two things. First, it will be easier not to go overboard financially. Second, our advisors will know what range of products to target, which will make your shopping trip twice as effective!
🚪 Main Decorative Features
Bring a cabinet door, a counter sample or any other main design feature that will help find the perfect match (colour, texture, etc.).
2 – Learn About the Tiles Key Features and Sizes
Ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tiles are available in various sizes, from a small 3×6 subway tile to an oversized 24×24 tile (or even bigger). The size will have a huge impact on the way the room is perceived: XXL tiles make a room look wider, while small tiles make it look smaller. As for pricing, 12×12 or 12×24 tiles are normally less expensive.
🧼 Maintenance tip: Wider tiles require fewer joints, thus are easier to clean. To learn more on the cleaning products to use, read all our tips for maintaining ceramic tiles and cleaning joints.
Some product tags may display a “rectified” specification. This means the tile has been cut on all sides post baking to make sure it is perfectly straight. This is mainly for aesthetic purposes. But it also allows for thinner joints, which create a more modern look. Ceramic tiles may also be designed for specific applications. Wall or floor. Indoors or outdoors. Make sure to choose a flooring option that suits your project.
3 – Choose a Colour Palette
Here are two major things to know when shopping for your ceramic flooring. First, ceramic tiles may vary in colour in a same lot* or batch. What does it mean exactly? All tile collections are designed with a colour variation on a scale of 0 (no variation) to 4 (very strong colour variation). You will find the intensity of the colour or pattern variation on every product tag.
A tile shade may also look different depending on the wall colour. For example, very pale walls will make the floor look darker, while darker walls will do the opposite. Same thing happens depending on the room lighting or for grout colour (a light grey grout will turn out darker with a white tile as opposed to a black one).
Now that this has been demystified, you can select the perfect colour shades for your kitchen backsplash, entryway floor or ever shower walls. Our store advisors will also be able to help you choose the perfect tile hue to create the design you want.
🛠 *What is a lot?
A flooring lot (or batch) is your guarantee for two important things: the gauge (size, thickness, shape) and the hue (colour, shade). For uniform and aligned results, it is essential that all your tiles come from the same lot.
4 – Select your Tile Finish
There are many different ceramic tile finishes: polished, frosted, textured, mat, 3D, and much more. You must take this into consideration when making your tile selection. For example, if you’re looking for a ceramic floor, polished or glossy tiles tend to get slippery, especially in a bathroom, as well as to scratch more easily. These finishes should be avoided in high-traffic areas such as an entryway or a store. But they are perfectly suitable for other rooms in your house. Also, keep in mind that the light reflects differently on every tile finish. A glossy tile, for example, will create a luminous environment, with both natural and artificial lighting. Finally, a tile finish also has an impact on cleaning. A glossy tile is much easier to wipe and clean, while a mat or textured tile is more likely to trap dust in.
5 – Select your Tile Pattern Layout
Did you know? You can install your ceramic tiles more than 10 different ways. 11, to be more precise. Discover them all in our article 11 Layout Patterns for Your Ceramic Tiles. The installation layout you choose will also have an impact on:
- Your budget: some layouts require more cuts, hence more broken tiles, hence more costs.
- The ease of installation: the tile-layer can charge extra for more challenging layouts.
- The visual effect in the room: it will make your room look higher or wider.
- And your overall interior style.
6 – Choose the Grout Colour
You cannot install ceramic tiles without grout. And the grout colour can completely change the final design:
- Contrasting colour: it emphasizes the tile shape.
- Coordinating tile shade: it creates a uniform and minimalist look.
So, just like the tile size, the grout influences your design. Using contrasting grout can make your room look smaller, and vice versa. As for grout care, lighter colours tend to require more frequent cleaning.
7 – Bring Home Tile Samples
Taking some ceramic samples home is a great way to make sure you still like the product in the specific lighting of your room and that it pairs well with the rest or your décor. Don’t forget that the colour of your tile may vary depending on the sunlighting and the time of day.
Extra Tip: Estimate the Right Quantity of Tile
Installing ceramic tiles always require cutting. And most of the time, the leftover pieces cannot be used. It is also normal for cutting mistake to occur or for tiles to break in the process. We normally calculate a 10% loss for square or rectangular tiles. The predicted loss will increase for special tile shapes (hexagonal or arabesque), sizes (XXL tiles), pattern layouts (herringbone, diagonal…) or for specific room sizes. With a clear and precise layout plan, assessing the cut loss will be easier. Make sure to ask our advisors to order the right quantity of tiles.
You’re all set! Fully informed and ready to choose your ceramic. Have you started working on your renovation project yet? The most important thing is to ask whatever question you may have to understand what is at stake and make informed decisions. Come visit us in store to speak with our experts or contact us using our contact form.