The foundation of any good kitchen and bathroom renovation– both figuratively and literally– is the floor. While it may not draw the same ‘oohs and aahs’ as bolder statement pieces, adding a new floor to your renovations can dramatically affect the look, feel and value of a home. If you’re considering any kitchen or bathroom renovations, most contractors will suggest installing tile, and it’s no coincidence. Using tile in these areas has a number of benefits; tile is easy to clean, cost effective, durable, and versatile – plus, you can pretty much find it in any shape, colour and style! With so many options, you might even start to feel a little overwhelmed. To choose the perfect tile for your renovations, here’s what you need to know:
The first thing you need to consider is where the tile is being placed. All tiles come with a Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating, which classifies the surface of the tiles from least resistant to abrasion (1) to most resistant to abrasion (5). Tile placed in light to moderate traffic areas need at least a PEI class 2 rating, while heavy traffic requires a PEI class 4 or 5. Tiles that are rated a PEI class 1 are the least durable and should be chosen for wall use only.
First and foremost, it’s important to choose a style appropriate for the area. For a kitchen renovation, choosing a tile with a slight texture or matte finish will offer some additional slip-resistance. Next, you will have to decide what material you want to use; the most popular options are ceramic (porcelain and non-porcelain) and natural stone (granite, marble, limestone, travertine and slate). Both varieties have their own advantages and disadvantages, but by looking through samples and making a cost-comparison chart, you should be able to decide what option best fits your décor and budget.
There are two ways to go about choosing grout for your renovations. Option one: choose grout in a similar colour as the tile for a clean and unified look. Option two: Choose grout in a contrasting colour for a bold and dramatic appearance. There’s no wrong answer here, it’s up to you and your vision for the room. You should, however, ask your contractor about stain proof grout if the tiles are being installed in damp or hard-to-clean areas.
Hiring an experienced renovations company will give you the best results, but if you’re choosing to complete the renovations yourself, it’s important to know that a few small details can make a big difference. Tiles used in a kitchen and bathroom renovation are likely going to see some water in their lifetime. It’s very important to use the correct adhesives, mattings and water resistant backgrounds for these types of installations. Without the proper waterproof foundation, kitchen or bathroom tiles are susceptible to premature damage and repair.
There’s no question about it, a kitchen and bathroom renovation can completely revamp an old and tired-looking home. Just make sure to consider your renovations from all angles. Choosing the right finishes for your renovations can be the difference between getting a new look and getting your dream look.