I have suddenly, albeit slightly unexpectedly, reached the stage where I need to choose my floor tiles for the kitchen/open plan living space. I must stress that this is an unexpected milestone right now, as in my mind this is something I should be finalising at the very end of the build as a finishing touch, not at the beginning.
However, to allow us to proceed with the sliding glass door order (baring in mind the doors have a 12 week production lead time), I need to sign off the glass door drawings ASAP. We can only do this once we have finalised the depth of the ground floor which is subject to a new screed, a new underfloor heating solution and new floor tiles. We know the measurements for the screed and water pipes but not for the tiles, and these can vary quite significantly depending on the material that we choose i.e. 10mm – 20mm.
So, what tiles do I go for…? Marble, travertine, limestone, granite, porcelain, ceramic, slate… which one is best for my kitchen tile design?!?
Some field research was in order so off we set for a day of tile hunting…!
Not only do these materials differ in terms of colour, texture and size, they all have varying cleaning requirements and characteristics. It is quite simply a minefield of options to choose from!
If I was to think about what tiles exude elegance, luxury and style, it would have to be marble, limestone and travertine. These are all natural stones and are calcite-based, thus have similar properties regarding care and cleaning. Typically, not as care-free as man-made tiles. But, they look so good!
Porcelain tiles appear to be a popular alternative to stone and ceramic. It is harder and more durable than ceramic… almost like stone. Porcelain also provides a better imitation of marble, travertine or other stone patterns, colours and textures with plenty of choices to match any design. Like ceramic, porcelain tile is nearly impossible to stain, scratch resistant and easy to maintain. My practical head is saying ‘go for porcelain’….
My heart however, is still with natural…
I am looking for a fairly light coloured floor (yes I may be mad considering I have animals and children!) and have fallen in love with the flooring featured in the Tom Howley showroom. This is a natural stone called Mazzano Tumbled marble. The question is, do I just opt for this one or should I be more practical and go for a porcelain look-a-like?
Today I saw a number of similar products to the Mazzano marble, both natural and porcelain and I’ve got to admit, some of the porcelain tiles were very good imitations.
The issue I have with porcelain is that is it very ‘flat’ in colour and there is no variation between each tile. The feel is also slightly raw and I really want a smooth, soft surface that allows you to glide across it. The practicalities however are fantastic and the price is much much less than natural stone.
Natural stone on the other hand is smooth to touch and has great depth of colour and tile variation – not one tile will look the same.
I am now sat with an array of samples in front of me with further thought and contemplation ahead!
Any recommendations would be gratefully received!
Thanks for reading x