October 29, 2014

Today, tiles are found in the majority of domestic kitchens, ranging from small splash back features behind hobs and sinks, to full kitchen floors. It has now become increasingly popular for modern kitchens to have tiles fixed from floor to ceiling, offering a very stylish and modern effect.  

Which size tiles should I use?

a) Kitchen floors For very small kitchens, you should consider small floor tiles (e.g. 300x300mm) to create a good flow. Larger format tiles (e.g. 500x500mm and greater) look best in kitchens that have a lot of floor space where many tiles can be laid without cuts. Large floors also welcome ‘multi-format’ tiles – tiles of the same design that are laid in 2, 3 or 4 different sizes (as a continuous pattern). b) Kitchen walls For cooker splash-backs and areas between cupboards and work surfaces, small kitchen tiles (e.g. 100x100mm) are often the popular choice. However, over the last few years (and certainly in today's market), mosaic tiles are also a common choice. If you are looking to tile full walls from floor to ceiling, both small and large format tiles can work, however, only choose larger format tiles (e.g. 400x200mm) if you can apply the majority of the tiles without cuts.    

Hygiene

Kitchens need to be a place of hygiene, which tiles certainly offer. With their ‘fresh’ appearance and ‘easy wipe’ surfaces, hygiene is one of the first things that come to mind when using tiles in the kitchen. Hygiene is also escalated when grouts with antibacterial additives are used in food preparation areas. We sell a range of BAL grouts with Microban technology, which prevents the growth of bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.    

Floor tiles

The kitchen is perhaps the most frequently used room in any house, often being an entrance to the garden, sleeping areas for pets and storage for heavy domestic appliances. For this reason, it is important to choose a floor tile that is hard wearing (look for tiles that have a minimum PEI rating of IV). Through-body porcelain tiles are often a good choice for kitchen floors as the tile is the same colour all the way through, therefore accidental scratches/chips aren't noticeable. Natural stone tiles (travertine, slate, marble, etc) are becoming a popular choice as they can offer fantastic and unique effects. Due to the popularity of natural stone, tile manufacturers are starting to produce ceramic/porcelain tiles with designs that replicate natural stone.  

Which colours should I choose?

Emphasis should be made on ‘personal choice’ for this answer. However, always consider the colour of your kitchen units and surroundings when choosing the colour/design for your tiles. Depending on the look you are after, warm looking colours such as creams and terracotta can contribute to creating an impression of warmth. However, don’t disregard other colours, which can offer some very stylish and modern finishes.    

Will tiles make the floor cold?

In general, tiles actually retain heat so they shouldn't feel cold on your feet, however it can often depend on the surface underneath the tiles. For example, tiling onto wood (which can ‘breath’) will create a warmer feel than tiles that are placed on top of concrete. Undertile heating is a modern solution to warming floors and entire rooms. There are many benefits to undertile heating such as giving you more wall space (no need for radiators), low running costs, and a more efficient way of heating a room (compared to a radiator).