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A Guide To Choosing The Right Floor Tiles

When it comes to floor tile choice, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. From style and finish to practicality and durability, it’s important to think about all the different elements to ensure you’re making the right choice for you and your home.

If you’re in the market for some floor tiles, read on to for all our top tips and advice!

First things to consider

As with any renovation project, the first stage will be gathering your inspiration. Style will play an important part in deciding on your final floor tile choice, so it’s important to think about what style, colour and finish you’d like to go for. Are you thinking a more textured, rustic natural stone tile? Or a more modern, sleek matt finish? 

The size of your room or space that you are tiling will also need to be considered. The bigger the room, the more tiles you will require and therefore the more money will need to be spent! So, think about your overall square meterage as it will most definitely help you make your tile choice. 

If you are working with a big open space, large format tiles might be the most cost-effective option. Whereas a small bathroom wouldn’t be able to fit a large format tile, but with less space to tile you would be able to easily buy more tiles for the area required. It’s all about balance!

Large Format and Wood Effect Tiles

Choose your floor tile material

Once you’re set on your budget and what type of look and style you’d like to go for, you will then need to think about the material. Budget may still play a role in your material choice (the cost of real marble vs imitation marble for example will be quite different!), but usually the key deciding factor in material choice will be its practical considerations. 

Pattern and Natural Stone Floor Tiles

Let’s take a look at some different pros and cons for different floor tile materials: 

Natural stone floor tiles 

The beauty of opting for a natural stone is just that, that it’s natural. It will often have a unique appearance and finish and can offer you a raw and organic touch (and will often have a price tag to match!). 

Generally speaking, natural stone will require more maintenance than porcelain, for example, it will require re-sealing every 6 months to a year depending on the sealant. So long term maintenance and upkeep needs to be factored in if you’re choosing natural stone.
Natural stone can also be more susceptible to chipping and a lot easier to damage. Some might argue that due to it being natural, it can be limited in design and patterns as you are working with what nature gives you, but it is also true that a beautifully bookmatched piece of marble will look stunning and beat any imitation stone. 

Marble itself is porous, so shouldn’t be placed anywhere where it will come into contact with lots of water. It is however one of the most beautiful and varied natural stones and comes in a lot of different colours and patterns – it can look beautiful as a bathroom feature wall for example. 
Limestone comes in both textured and polished finishes. It offers a very raw and organic feel, but it can stain and scratch so shouldn’t be chosen for high traffic areas. Slate offers a similar natural texture but is more durable than limestone. 

Travertine is soft and porous and needs to be resealed regularly. It would be fine as a bathroom tile but isn’t the best choice for high traffic / heavy footfall areas. 

Possibly one of the most common natural stones along with marble, granite is a hard material and does come in a lot of different finishes and colours. If sealed correctly it can be resistant to scratching, but it can also be very fragile and if used on a busy floor area there is a possibility of it cracking. 

Natural Stone Floor Tiles

Porcelain floor tiles 

Porcelain tiles do not necessarily require sealing which is an advantage. As a material, it is a lot stronger than natural stone and can withstand a lot more pressures, whether it be used on the floors of high footfall or high use areas. 

The key benefit to porcelain is that it is less likely to chip and crack and it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. As the finishes and colourways are man-made, they will not fade over time, and it is naturally resistant to staining. 

Porcelain is more cost-effective, especially if you really want a marble look but without the negatives that come with having a marble surface. Thanks to its man-made nature, there are so many different designs, shapes, and sizes available in several different imitation finishes from marble-effect to wood-effect and everything in between! The sky really is the limit when it comes to porcelain floor tiles!

Another major benefit to porcelain floor tiles is that a lot of them come with an anti-slip finish. Which means that even in high footfall areas, you can opt for a floor tile that would otherwise not be suitable. This is also really useful if you are tiling a mobility wetroom for example, which requires the floor tiles to be anti-slip.

Glazed porcelain tiles

Final things to consider

Different floor tiles will be suited to different rooms. It’s important to take into account things like the light that’s available in the room – artificial light and natural light will change the appearance of a tile so make sure you get plenty of samples as we guarantee they won’t look the same in your space as they do in a showroom! 

If your room has less natural light, a brighter tile can be chosen to uplift the room, knowing that the overall colour will be darkened slightly due to the lack of natural light and so will balance out well. If on the other hand the room has a lot of natural light, you can opt for a darker tile to counteract the brightness of the space. 

We hope our guide helps you on your journey to finding the perfect floor tile for your home. Our range is vast and varied, in terms of size, material and designs, so either check it out online or head into a showroom and we’re sure we’ll be able to help!

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