One of the often asked questions/email queries from the readers of the blog is on tiles. You may wonder why a common topic such as tiles would pique the interest of so many people. Often, the seemingly simple ones are the ones that take up the most time when you are building a home. The questions I get range from the obvious such as how to choose tiles for a bathroom to how much would it cost to redo the flooring of a room.
You may recall my hunt for the perfect aqua blue tiles for my kitchen. It took six months, yes, six months of going around town and calling many dealers across the length and breadth of the country before I found the one I was looking for. No exaggeration there. And, who would have known that they would have to be shipped all the way from Noida to Bangalore.
Tiles, just as any other product in the home improvement market, has undergone a sea change over the past decade. The consumer today is spoilt for choice from the number of brands available to the sizes and prints available. I intentionally did not include color as a choice because the market is dominated with browns, beiges and off whites. And that perhaps explains why finding an off beat color such as turquoise seemed a daunting task. People prefer beiges and brown as it is a safe choice and is more tolerant to the dusty environment.
OASIS Group has become a formidable force in the Indian tiles and sanitary ware sector within a decade. Labeled as one of the fastest 50 growing companies in India, OASIS has stormed into the top 10 CLUB of the ceramic tiles companies in India. Running six manufacturing units including one sanitary ware plant in Morbi (GUJARAT), the ceramic hub of India, Oasis is a leading brand in exporting & manufacturing wall tiles, vitrified tiles & sanitary ware products.
Types of tiles
The products on offer range from digital vitrified tiles to digital ceramic wall tiles. Vitrified tiles has been around for more than decade but the revolutionary changes the market has seen is mind blowing right from the thickness of the top layer to the digital prints. Some of the digitally printed vitrified tiles such as the ones below are difficult to distinguish from the relatively expensive Italian marble.
So, let’s begin by demystifying some of the questions that plague your mind.
What should you keep in mind when laying the tiles:
- It all starts and ends with the person laying the tiles. No matter how good your tiles are, if they are not laid by an experienced person, it will ruin the look. Believe me, the devil is in the details. It’s worth the time personally supervising when they mark the tiles on the floor to how they apply the grout. Often, for handmade tiles, the manufacturer sends special instructions for how the tile should be laid.
- It is ideal to lay tiles as a paper joint, i.e. the joint between two tiles is paper thin. The only disadvantage of this is if there is an air trapped or a tile needs to be replaced in the future for whatever reason, it will be difficult.
Notice that the grout tiles are prominent in the way tiles are laid in the picture below:
How to buy tiles by room
- Larger the tile dimension, the lesser the number of joints. A 1200 mm * 800 mm will have lesser joints and is visually more appealing.
- But, you cannot choose large tiles as these for a smaller room say of 8 ft by 10 ft as it would lead to a lot of wastage.
- Larger tiles are better for larger rooms.
- Many people tend to choose different tiles for every room. My theory is use the same tiles across rooms in a single floor to get the expanse of space. You may choose to have a different matt finish tile for the kitchen if the rest of the house is a glossy one. But, avoid a different tile for every room as it tends to punctuate a space into different parts.
- Wooden tiles bring in warmth and are suited for bedrooms or family room. They are comparatively easier to manage than a wooden floor and more tolerant towards spills.
- Glossy or matt: this is a personal choice. Matt tiles render a rustic look.
- Color: color is immaterial for a large room but for smaller rooms it is better to go with lighter shades.
What are the things you keep in mind when buying tiles?
Image Courtesy: Oasis Tiles India