What sort of tiles should my living room be?
Understanding floor tiles
When you’re planning a living room it’s one of the most important steps in your process. Choosing your floor tiles can be intimidating and a lot of people opt for pale easy choices like very basic porcelain white tiles. However, you can achieve a lot more if you plan this well ahead. The contrast you can achieve from a well-selected floor tile is beyond imagination.
To plan your floor tiles well, you need to first know your options, what kind of floor tiles are available for you. What different materials, what different styles are there. What suits a living room better and whatnot. All of these questions should be asked when you start your planning process. And in this article, we will go over them making all the factors clear for you. The choice, in the end, will be systematic.
Types of floor tiles
Porcelain is one of the most popular forms of tiles. Its popularity comes from its strength and from its aesthetics. In contrast to ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles leave minimum space between tiles which in the end will be apparent in its final form.
Porcelain is made from natural clay which is treated with heat to increase density and improve its general properties. It’s known to have versatile colors, textures, and sizes.
Ceramics are cousins to porcelain. They’re made from a process of heating and cooling natural minerals and clay. They also have versatile shapes, sizes, and styles.
Ceramic floor tiles are generally strong and easy to clean. their downside is having to leave a few millimeters between each tile and the other to account for shrinking and expansion of the tiles.
Marble is a natural stone that comes in almost every color. Its rich color selection is due to the various minerals available. Marble is extremely durable yet very strong. It can be used as floor tiles, kitchen countertops, and even wall cladding.
Granite is another natural stone that comes in a number of colors. Different stones have different properties although most of them are known for strength and their ability to withstand huge pressure (That’s why they’re common in kitchens).
5. Wood and HDF
Wood is natural, HDF (High density fiber) is synthetic. Both of them come with a selection of different textures, colors, and styles to fit your needs. They’re known for being a known beautiful decorating element in many interior designer’s inventories.
Choosing the suitable floor tiles
There are multiple factors to take into consideration when you’re deciding. Let’s take them one by one.
This is a living room. You’ll have your TV here, your office may be, kids’ toys as well, a small center table that will occasionally be used for food or snacks. This room has a lot of traffic and needs to stay clean.
Choosing the right tile will save you a lot of effort here. Some materials are easier to clean compared to others. After all, it boils down to your usage and you know best. But there are materials that have properties that make them easier to clean.
Ceramic and Porcelain are probably the easiest to clean. With a mop and some water, you’ll have them looking bright and clean like the day you installed them.
On the other side, wood and HDF require special treatment given that they despise water and you need to handle them with care and with special materials. That’s why -in my opinion- ceramic and porcelain win for this category.
2. Heating/Cooling factors
Depending on where you live, you might want your room to be colder in summer or warmer in winter. If you live in northern Europe or Scandinavia you’re probably better off going with wooden floor tiles. That’s because they have a heating factor. That means that they preserve heat inside, making your room warmer than the surrounding.
On the contrary, if you live down south or in a hot and dry area, your best bet would be to go for Ceramic/Porcelain or even Marble, as these materials have a cooling factor. They will make your room slightly cooler than the surrounding. Which will be quite convenient in hot summer days.
You’re looking for tiles that can withstand pressure and survive for years without having to change/repair/maintain them every few months. If that’s your case then you need to look for floor tiles that are hard. Wood and HDF generally are not that strong. They can withstand pressure but they can be scratched quite easily. They can break from shocks also or heat shocks like a lamp falling on them.
In your pursuit of the right tile, you’ll have one factor that is mostly controlling. This factor is the style that you want to adhere to. While some tiles are suitable for one style, others are more suitable for another. For example, wooden and HDF floor tiles are quite common in modern and contemporary interior design. While Ceramic, Porcelain, and Marble are suitable for some modern and classic interior design.
So it all boils down to your choice of style and how you want your room to adhere to your process. Follow our Pinterest collection of living room floor tiles.
If this has given you an idea of what factors you should look for, then make sure you write down every point in your notebook and start scoring different floor tiles according to the questions that you ask yourself. Those will yield the answer and the most suitable choice for you.