How to Shop for Right Tile
Shopping for tile for your next project?
Even if you are not a pro it is a good idea to have at least a basic knowledge of the products that are on the market. There are a few things that you need to pay attention to when buying tiles:
- Package. On the packaging you will find your most basic information about the tile you have selected, such as the name, shade, collection, date of production, and ratings* (*some of the products have not been classified/rated). It is a good idea to select a tile from one production cycle; if not, there may be a problem with the differences in color.
- Ratings. Some of the companies on the market will classify their products according to the grade and standard they represent. The products selected for the highest class, may contain 5 or less percent of the tiles with slight differences in color or flaws in the enamel. These can be used for strips or placed in locations where they will be invisible. The products classified as grade 2 will most often have more defects or imperfections and will not be easily hidden. The lowest quality product or class 3 does not guarantee anything. The rating will also contain information and ratings for tile’s wear, water absorption, slip resistance and lastly tone and frost.
For more detailed information about the tile ratings read our post on How To Read Tile Label
- Dimensions/Size. Depending on the project you are working on you have to consider the dimensions of the space where the tiles will be installed. As the tile come in a variety of sizes consider asking for help before you make your final selection.
- Color and Pattern. As is with the dimensions it is helpful to keep in mind the scope of the project you are working on. With the wide verity of colors and patterns it can be challenging to pick the right product for your project. When on a hunt for the perfect fit, consider tile that will complement your design and your space.
- Price. The prices of the materials can vary widely. It is wise to do your research before you commit to buy. Keep in mind that even though a product you are interested in, may look the same in a few different stores, it does not necessarily mean they are the same. Check for quality, color variations and available sizes. When in doubt, ask the showroom representative or your tile installer about the product you have in mind to ensure it meets your needs.
Problems with tiles
Tiling accuracy largely depends on the dimensional uniformity. However, a good craftsman will sort the tiles, check dimensions, shades, and curvature to make sure that the product looks its best and provides the best return on your investment.
Usually, the professional tile setter can also help with the arrangement of title in a pattern that will hide the slight differences and complement your space. These issues usually occur when tiles are designed to imitate the natural materials, such as: wood, stone or cloth.
When working with patterns it is good to know that certain textures of the surfaces, such as: cloth or wood, will determine its direction. This does not mean that the pattern will be boring or oriented in one, specific direction. The tiles can be rotated accordingly to achieve the best positioning and results.
When sorting tiles you may find that they are not perfectly flat. The easiest way to find out is to take two tiles and apply them- face to face- to one another. If the tiles are barrel (convex) it will not be possible for the edges to touch. Now the opposite, if the tiles form a boat or are concave they will have a clearance in between.
When working on a project you will have to consider how to arrange the tile to form an interesting pattern that complements your space. If you have encountered an issue with uneven tiles as we described above, know that a straight pattern with intersecting joints, will highlight these inequalities, as is a brick pattern. In a situation like this is it recommended to offset by a maximum of one third of the tile.
Still not sure if the tiles you have selected are right for your project? Maybe you have questions or need help with your project? Let us know. Ensotile is here to help!