Choose the tiles
The types of tiles
There are different types of tiles on the market: terracotta, majolica, porcelain stoneware, cement paste, slate, marble, glass or stone.
Most of the tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor floors, with the exception of terracotta and majolica tiles, to be used only for indoor flooring. To get an idea of the various possibilities that are offered to you, go and take a look at a specialized shop or consult one of the many Internet sites on the subject.See also
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The parameters to keep in mind
- The location: the nature of the ground (smooth or uneven) determines the size and type of flooring. Before choosing the tiles you will need to have decided exactly where to lay them. - The aesthetic side: The tiles must match the style of your home, do not buy them on a header, the result could be disappointing! To find the right inspiration, consult the Internet sites and newspapers specialized in furniture.
- The maintenance: How to take care of the tiles depends on the type of tile and the room it is in. If you are a freak of order and cleanliness, choose tiles that are easy to wash. We generally advise against white tiles, unless you really are a cleaning wizard.
On the practical side, avoid tiles that are too light, too dark or too smooth: a gray or cream-colored tile with some light grain will hide traces of dirt and require less attention.
- The legislation: the international standard PEI (Porcelain Email Institute) divides the tiles into 5 groups, according to their resistance to abrasion. If the tiles are intended for a family home, the PEI 2 category is sufficient (medium or low resistance). This legislation, however, is not very reliable since it is the manufacturer himself who assigns the different categories to his products.
The moment of choice
- The shop: avoid the large DIY chains and instead go to a specialized store, where you can find a wide range of quality products and competent salespeople who will be able to give you valuable advice.
- The price: on average you have to count 20/25 € per square meter, but be aware that some types of tiles can reach 80 € / m². Some very reputable companies offer a selection of good quality tiles at affordable prices.
- The material: Terracotta or stone tiles are suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces, however keep in mind that terracotta is a rather fragile material.
- The detergents: avoid wax-based detergents, which leave visible traces on the floor. The best detergent? A little bleach or black soap dissolved in warm water ...
- Colors and patterns: in recent times we have witnessed the return of neutral shades and calm colors: beige, brown, chocolate, gray, coffee and milk ... but also green and black, perfect for minimalist furnishings typical of contemporary design.
At the same time, pastel or retro colors are also making a comeback, especially on satin or matte surfaces.
- The materials: currently on the market there are all sorts of tiles: "fake wood", "fake stone" and even "imitation concrete"! We are also witnessing the return of the mosaic, thanks to some recent innovations that have made it possible to reduce the production costs of “mosaic effect” tiles.
The touch of class: some artists love to decorate the tiles. Numerous websites offer to customize their tiles with small phrases: good appetite, life is beautiful… Guaranteed success!