Ten tips for picking tile
Coming in hot with a home-themed blog post, y'all.
If you follow me on Instagram (@thefestivefarmhouse) you know we recently replaced the tile in two of our bathrooms. And it has made a WORLD of difference. (The big things always do, right?!)
Throughout the process, I got so many questions about how I chose the tile for both spaces. So I thought, what better place to share my top tips then HERE. So buckle up for my top ten tile tips (say that ten times fast). These are my go to checklist items for whenever I'm looking to replace tile in our home. Ask yourself these questions when you're on the hunt and it'll help you narrow down the choices, and per Goldilocks....find one that's juuuuuust right.
1. Establish your need. This may seem like a no brainer, but reeeeaaallly think about what your need is for your particular space. Is it a bathroom? A mudroom? A kitchen or living room? How much wear does it get. Will kids and pets frequent this space? Most people start with the "look" they want. But in my opinion, that's backwards. Because even the best looking tile won't make you happy if the function isn't there.
2. Know your materials. Playing off of number one...study up on the different kinds of tile materials. Or at least ask someone who's in the know. Rooms that get more wear and tear would benefit from granite, ceramic, or porcelain tiles, because those are the strongest. Make sure your material matches your need, first and foremost, and you'll be on the right track.
3. Size matters. In all seriousness, it really does. It's not a hard and fast rule, but the simplest way to pick the right size tile is to choose a size relative to the size of your space. So a smaller bathroom would be a great place for a penny tile, while a large kitchen would lend itself to a larger 12x24.
4. Thickness matters, too. (Get your heads out of the gutter, already.) But only if you are trying to match existing floors, or the tile you are replacing. Don't get yourself in a pickle by falling in love with your dream tile, WITHOUT making sure it's the right thickness. (Been there, done that, cried it out.)
5. Check your dirt. Everyone laughs at me whenever I say this. But try to match your tile the the color of your dirt, especially if it's in an entry way or mudroom. When we first moved in, I desperately wanted an onyx black tile in our mudroom. But after living in the house a little while (that's in the middle of the country no less) and realizing how chalky white our dirt was...I realized it would have been a GIANT mistake. Pick a tile that hides your dirt. You can thank me later.
6. Walk on it. Is it a FLOOR tile you are looking for? If so, don't just look at the sample, WALK ON IT. Make sure you like the feel of it on your feet. I once fell in love with a tile that was so rough on my feet, I had to immediately rule it out. Get the family involved too! If the tile is for a kid's bath, you'll want their approval!
7. All about grout. Fun fact, I hate grout. For real, I hate it. I hate cleaning it, I hate the way it feels when I walk on it. (I'm weird, I know). So obviously for me, the less grout the better. This means larger scale tiles, so there's less grout in between. In our first home, I had a hex tile that I LOVED, but keeping the grout clean was such a nightmare, it scarred me for life. The other trick? If you are worried about cleaning grout, choose a mid-tone color that hides dirt. Nothing too light, nothing too dark. Think Goldilocks on this one.
8. Feel it out. One of my number one questions when assessing floor choices is this: How do I want the space to FEEL? In our master bath, we wanted to create the feeling that the floors had been there a long time. So we went with a wood look tile to create a lived in, classic look.
9. Meet the maker. If you have a particular company that you trust with tile (for me, it's Atlas Concorde USA) then you can't go wrong sticking to their selection. In my experience, tile companies are pretty consistent with their quality. We chose Atlas Concorde USA for both of our bathrooms (shower and floor) because we knew we trusted the quality. Get to know the maker. Read reviews. Make sure you are comfortable with what you are getting.
10. Trust your gut. At the end of the day, whatever tile speaks to you just might be your right choice. I see so many people feeling paralyzed by decision fear. But deep down, they know what they like. Don't get confused by Pinterest boards, or pushy tile salesmen...trust your gut and you'll love the result.
Shower Tile: Atlas Concorde USA Eon Collection, in Marble Hex
Boys Bath Floor: Atlas Concorde USA Eon Collection, 12x24 Corinthian Gray
Master Bath Floor: Atlas Concorde USA Haven Collection, in Barrel