What properties are essential for a kitchen flooring? The kitchen is usually the center of a contemporary dwelling, its most frequently visited area. It’s unlikely to be empty all day long if you have quite a few home-mates. That’s why the kitchen flooring should be resistant to wearing and moisture, and soundproofed (which is especially relevant when you live in a multi-apartment building). Among all other kitchen floor ideas, the tile option is a shrewd choice of clever US homeowners.
Advantages and disadvantages of tile flooring.
- + High durability and wear-resistance. A tile flooring can serve well for decades, retaining its attractive appearance.
- + A great variety of colors, patterns and textures, including matte and glazed variations, and even imitations of wood, stone or metal.
- + The moisture barrier property of tiles is beyond praise. Fear no floods.
- + A tile flooring is highly resistant to stains, dirt and household chemicals. No special cleaning products are required; wet mopping is usually enough to keep the kitchen floor spotless.
- – Coldness. Only an underfloor heating system is able to compensate for this disadvantage. A more budget-friendly option is a pair of warm slippers.
- – High cost (in comparison to flooring such as linoleum). High-quality tiles produced by well-known brands may cost you a bomb, as well as designer products.
- – The process of laying tiles is difficult and laborious – therefore, quite pricey, too.
- – Tile joints may require special care – and special products for eliminating mustiness and dirt accumulations.
- – Injury risk. A wet tile flooring is extremely slippery, unless the tiles have a relief coating.
Buying the tiles: 5 typical mistakes.
Choosing the tiling material for the kitchen floor is a matter of importance. If you cease to like your choice in a couple months or open eyes to a certain drawback, re-laying the tile flooring will be a more sophisticated task than, say, changing the wallpaper or repainting the walls. Look carefully into the advice of USA experts against typical mistakes of tiles buyers.
Mistake 1. The tile flooring stands out disparagingly against the rest of the interior.
Solution: Choose the tiles only after you’re determined about your kitchen’s design, interior style, color and material of the furniture.
Designer’s advice: When drawing up your kitchen design project, be sure to create a collage by combining photos of all elements of your future interior. Once they all come together on one sheet, you’ll see whether they form a harmonious picture.
Mistake 2. You buy exactly the amount of tile you need, with nothing for reserve or future use.
Solution: Experts in home renovation recommend that you should purchase at least 10 percent more than the estimated amount, even if you’re on a budget.
Mistake 3. You rely on sales advisors’ calculations of the amount of tile you need. Many home improvement stores and online shops offer such an estimation as a bonus.
Solution: Do your best to check and recheck the figures. A mistake may cost you a pretty penny. If the sales associate makes a miscalculation and you end up with a couple unused boxes of tile, the store is unlike to accept them back and give you a refund. All the figures they provide are just a recommendation, with no formalization in writing.
Designer’s advice: Elaborate several tile laying variants. This will enable you to discover new interesting tile flooring design ideas and make a more precise calculation of the amount of tile needed to cover your kitchen’s floor.
Mistake 4. You buy more than you need expecting to return the excessive stock of tile and get a refund.
Solution: It’s a delicate issue, as stores do have the formal right to refuse refunding you for any purchase of finishing material, except for decorative tiles sold apiece. Many sellers make concessions for buyers and are ready for exchanges or refunds. If you’re not 100 percent sure that the tiles will suit your needs, discuss the possibility of refund in advance. However, bear in mind: no store will take back the unused surplus of tiles left after your renovation.
Mistake 5. You choose the tiles by design, texture and color, neglecting the material’s characteristics.
Solution: The verdict is obvious: don’t be shy to ask the sales person any questions about the properties of the product.
Ideas for unleashing decorative potential of kitchen tile flooring.
- The texture of tiles contributes to the beholder’s impression from your kitchen. A smooth surface makes the space airier and lighter, while lusterless tiles add up coziness.
- Tiles of unusual shape (hexagonal, with rounded corner, etc.) are suitable for creative design ideas.
- Select the color of the tiles wisely, as a proper choice allows for visually expanding or narrowing the room, for placing the accent upon furniture or an exclusive floor-standing decoration.
- Keep in mind that different lighting sources act differently upon colors. Sunlight makes the colors more saturated, while halogen lights cool them up. Under ordinary light bulbs, the tiles will appear a bit yellowish (for instance, blue tiles are likely to seem green).
- A dark, lusterless, grainy tile flooring disguises stains and blots well.
- Glazed, non-patterned, dark tiles will show off even the tiniest scratches and cracks.
- The pattern on tiles can either serve as the background for the kitchen furniture, or draw attention to the flooring. A non-recurring pattern can separate out functional areas; sophisticated patterns on the tile flooring make the room visually smaller.