The tile you choose for your custom home in Dallas shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Unlike other elements such as light fixtures or paint, tile is incredibly difficult and costly to change down the road. It requires an extensive remodel with plenty of debris in the mix. So, to avoid that hassle in the future, it’s best to take time to select a tile that you know you’ll love long term.
To make that decision easier, we’ve created a guide of the main considerations to keep in mind. Tile may seem straightforward as far as materials go, but it’s actually quite complex. So, read on to find out everything you need to know to select your tiles correctly from the start.
First and foremost, you’ll want to determine the type of tile you need for each space. Are you in search of a kitchen backsplash? Mudroom flooring? Shower surround or powder room floor? No matter the area, knowing precisely what you need will help you narrow down your search. And while virtually any tile can be used in any room, there are some tiles that are more conducive to certain environments.
Bathrooms, to start, are typically much more prone to water spills and high humidity. Slipping can be a hazard with the wrong type of tile. Because of this, we recommend staying away from high-gloss marble tiles that will be less forgiving should water splash on occasion. The same goes for entryways and mudrooms, which tend to be spaces where water and mud are frequently tracked inside. Avoid too-smooth tiles that may make it difficult to grip the floor.
On the other hand, backsplashes and showers tend to be areas that need frequent cleaning. Everything from cooking messes to soap scum can build up quickly, so having a tile that is a breeze to wipe down is a must. Avoid ultra-matte tiles or tiles with rougher textured surfaces. These are generally more difficult to keep clean since getting into each groove can be a painstaking and time-consuming process. In these cases, stick with smoother tiles.
An extremely important, but often overlooked, consideration is the installation process. Most people look only at the sticker price of tiles on the shelves, but they don’t necessarily stop to consider the cost of installation until it’s too late and they’ve already committed to a specific material. The bottom line is that certain tiles are more difficult to install than others, which can greatly impact how expensive the end cost will be.
Encaustic and cement tiles, while beautiful, can be tricky to get right. They are heavy and made via a process that is more natural, which means each tile may not be an exact match. There will be imperfections, and while this will undoubtedly look beautiful and organic, it can make for a costly installation. Similarly, certain tiles that are more intricate and detailed like custom mosaic patterns or penny tiles will be more difficult to install than larger and more uniform tile types. With these, there is less room for error and each piece must be placed exactly. The end result is absolutely beautiful, but keeping the installation top of mind is important during your planning process.
Style & Pattern
Perhaps the most enjoyable element of choosing your home’s tile is narrowing down your style and pattern. As long as you’re aware of the difficulties and cost of installation, and you have an idea of the type of tile you need for each space, this step is completely subjective and personal. It’s all about your individual style and personality.
For those who love a healthy dose of color in their homes, and who aren’t afraid to take bold design risks, opting for a whimsical tile pattern or an ultra-saturated and colorful tile can make for a beautiful design overall. However, as we mentioned previously, tile is difficult to change out over time. So, if you like to refresh your home’s style and furnishings over time, you may want to consider a more subtle and neutral base as your tile choice. Whites, creams, greys, and blacks are timeless, and there are endless patterns and sizes to choose from, so you can still get creative with your style if you’re looking for something a bit more unique. Try installing a hexagon tile pattern for a modern design, or consider something like a fish scale tile for an infusion of a playful aesthetic.
Finally, when choosing your custom home’s tiles, you absolutely need to prioritize grout. It’s far less “sexy” than the tile itself, but it is extremely important to get it right since it will impact how your tile fares over time.
When it comes to grout, you’ll want to weigh two key factors: the style of your tile and grout pairing, and the ease of cleaning. First is your tile style. While any color of grout can work with any tile, the color of grout you choose will change the aesthetic of your space. Opting for a softer grout color that blends with your tile or has just a hint of contrast will make your tile feel more expansive and can open up the room visually. On the contrary, choosing a heavily-contrasted grout color will emphasize the detail and design of your tile. Each individual tile will stand out more clearly, and the overall look may feel more busy. It all depends on the style you’re going for.
Of course, cleaning ease must be considered as well. This second consideration is purely functional, and also incredibly straightforward. Lighter grout will get dirty and require cleaning more frequently, while darker grout is more forgiving for dirt and grime. For these reasons, the placement of your tiles will help you make the right decision. Avoid white or very light grout in heavy traffic areas like a mudroom or on bathroom floors, but feel free to use it on walls or backsplashes that will see less dirt overall.
Tile offers endless possibilities for creativity and personality in your custom home, so it’s incredibly important to choose a style that is right for you both aesthetically and functionally. With our foolproof guide, you can safely eliminate the overwhelm of the decision process and find a tile that works for exactly what you need. And when it’s all done and you have the perfect tile in place, we guarantee you’ll love it through and through.