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How to choose the right tiling and finishes

12 May 2021 - 6 min read
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Picking tiles made easy

Building your dream home involves making hundreds of decisions, so it’s easy for things like tiling to take a backseat. However, great tiling can have a strong impact. It’s often the special ingredient that makes your dream kitchen or bathroom really shine. It may be a beautiful white tiled splash back, perhaps a trendy feature tile – something bold or dark – or a stunning chevron patterned floor. There are literally hundreds of potential options. To help you choose the best tiling and finishes for your forever home, we asked Porter Davis Interior Designer Chiara Portesi for her tips.
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Know your style

First and foremost, you need to figure out exactly how you want your dream bathroom or kitchen to look. “It’s best to get an understanding of the type of aesthetic you want for your home before selecting your tiles,” Portesi says. “This will narrow down your search.” Take the time to browse online on builders’ websites and social media, all the while asking yourself: is this the right style for your home? Once you gain a good understanding of your style, Portesi recommends heading to display centres where you can start looking at the different tiles on offer.
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Take home samples

Tiles are highly tactile and having samples that you can touch and feel will help you make your decision confidently. “When looking at tile colours, collect different samples of your preferred look,” Portesi says. “But don’t grab them all or you’ll make your decision even harder and overwhelming. At home, experiment with the choices. See how they look next to different paint colours, tapware and fittings. Test floor tiles with water to see how slip resistant they are and look at each tile under different light. “Lighting makes such a difference to the look and feel of tiles,” Portesi says.
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Tiling should match your lifestyle

Like most things, what looks good may not necessarily work well in a busy home. This means you may need to make tile choices on functionality rather than how they look. “Cleaning and maintenance for tiles is something you need to think about,” Portesi says. As a general rule, porcelain and gloss tiles will be easier to clean. This makes them well suited for kitchens. Portesi also recommends opting for easy clean non-slip tiles near outdoor areas, especially if you spend plenty of time in the garden or have a dog. Natural tiles such as terracotta, stone and marble offer a more rustic, organic charm. However, they will require sealing and ongoing care as they are more porous and susceptible to scratching and stains.
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Get expert help

Before signing off on your tiles, it pays to get a second opinion. “Tiles can always be changed, but it is quite costly particularly in wet areas, so it’s worth chatting to an experienced interior designer for help selecting your tiles,” Portesi says. Designers on hand at Porter Davis display centres can offer some handy tips if you’re already advanced on your tile quest. Alternatively, if you’re struggling to decide, they can walk you through all the tile options, layout patterns and help you pick the best combination for your home.
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Choose tiles that fit your home’s story

Consistency is key when it comes to good tiling, so don’t get caught in the trap of falling in love with tiles that don’t match the tone of your home. Portesi says when approaching a space you should “consider the whole room to ensure it flows”. “Redoing your bathroom? Great, pair up your fixtures and tapware with your new selection,” she says. Also, use similar combinations in all your bathrooms to tie the layout together, and think about pairing tiles around sink areas in the kitchen and the laundry.
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Use technology

Picturing how tiles will look when finished can be difficult, even for the most creative person – so why not take the guesswork out of the process? Porter Davis has introduced a state-of-the-art virtual display option at its World of Style showroom “to make visualising easy”, Portesi says. This allows you to view different tile combinations as well as layout patterns. “You simply select your tile and scan to see the room come to life before your eyes,” Portesi adds. Originally posted on realestate.com.au