Get 10% off tapware when you order tiles and tapware together. Use the code YABBY10 (T&C apply)
Get 10% off tapware when you order tiles and tapware together. Use the code YABBY10 (T&C apply)

The Ultimate Homeowner's Guide to Choosing Tiles

Layla Sawyer

In the building and renovation space, tiles remain a popular flooring choice for so many reasons. As a durable, versatile and endlessly stylish option, what’s not to love? However, with so many styles out there, it can feel overwhelming trying to find the right tiles to suit your home. As well as aesthetics, there are multiple factors you need to deliberate over — the size of the space, your lifestyle and future plans all come into play.

The process of choosing tiles shouldn’t be headache-inducing — in fact, we believe it should be one of the most fun parts of creating your dream home! With a little preparation and research, finding fabulous tiles that suit your space can be easy. Whether you’re a DIY dynamo, a home renovation expert or a total beginner, we’re here to talk you through all the things you should consider when choosing tiles for your home. 

The tile impact: future-proofing your home

When you choose tiles for your home, it goes beyond aesthetics — what you might not realise is that you’re making a conscious choice to future-proof your home. We’ll go into more detail below about some of the challenges that tiles can mitigate, but one main advantage of using tiles for your home renovation or build is clear — value. 

Tiles have a remarkable ability to increase the resale value of your home. When prospective buyers walk into a home with well-maintained tiled surfaces, it’s an instant green flag that speaks to quality and attention to detail. The durability and timeless appeal of tiles often translate to higher resale values compared to homes with less resilient flooring or wall coverings. For example, LJ Hooker estimates potential returns of $4 for every $1 spent when doing a bathroom renovation that involves new tiles, while the experts at BuildHer Collective say that adding new tiles to a kitchen or bathroom is one of the best ways to boost resale value. 

Tiles also offer versatility in design, enabling you to create a wide range of looks from classic to contemporary. This adaptability not only caters to your current preferences but also ensures that your home maintains its appeal to potential buyers in the years to come. When you choose tiles for your home renovation, you're not only enhancing the aesthetic of the home but also securing a lasting investment that adds significant value to your property.

Addressing home challenges through tiling

While tiles have an undeniable aesthetic appeal, it’s their functionality that really makes them a fantastic flooring choice. There are a whole bunch of challenges that can be mitigated by going down the tiled route in your home building or reno journey. Here are just a handful of benefits you can enjoy if you opt for tiles:

They’re moisture and water-resistant

Bathrooms, kitchens and laundries are prime candidates for tiles. Properly sealed tiles and grout provide a waterproof barrier, preventing water damage and mould growth.

They’re extremely durable

Wear and tear, be gone! Tiles are the MVP of handling heavy foot traffic, so spots that see a lot of action (like entryways, hallways and living rooms) can stay looking good.

A low-maintenance vibe

Got kids or pets? Or simply don’t enjoy spending hours cleaning? Tiles are for you — some regular sweeping and mopping are enough to keep them sparkling (and stain-free).

 

 

No more sneezing

Unlike carpet, tiles don’t trap nasty allergens like dust mites or pet dander — so you can breathe easy and less wheezy. 

Ensuring aesthetic perfection with tiling choices

So we’ve covered the practical aspects of tiling — but let’s talk about how much visual impact tiles can have on a space. The first step in your journey to aesthetic delight is choosing tile materials and styles that harmonise with your overall design concept. Whether you're aiming for a modern, minimalist look with sleek, large-format porcelain tiles, or a rustic, cosy ambience with stone-look slabs, your choice of tile sets the tone for the entire room. 

Consider the colour palette, texture and pattern of the tiles, ensuring they complement the room's colour scheme and mood. For example, soft, pastel-coloured tiles can create a serene atmosphere in a bathroom, while bold, patterned tiles can serve as a striking focal point in a kitchen backsplash. By aligning your tile selections with your design vision, you can create a space that not only looks stunning but also feels cohesive and inviting.

Equally important is the layout and installation of your chosen tiles. Thoughtful tile placement can enhance the overall aesthetic impact. You can experiment with different layout patterns like herringbone, basketweave or staggered brick to add visual interest to your surfaces. If you pay meticulous attention to tile alignment and spacing, you’ll create a seamless and symmetrical appearance that demands attention. 

Additionally, grout colour selection can significantly influence the final look of your tiled space. Opt for grout that complements the tiles, whether you want a subtle, monochromatic effect or a contrasting outline that accentuates the individual tiles. To make it even easier, our TileCloud design experts have made personal grout recommendations for every tile on the site.

Small decisions can have a big impact on design — so by considering these nuances in your tile selection and installation, you can create something truly beautiful.

Things you need to know about tile installation

Choosing tiles for your home is just the first part of the puzzle — you also need to have a solid understanding of the installation process. Here are a few key things you need to consider when choosing and installing your tiles:

Surface preparation

A clean, dry and level surface is a must! A well-prepared substrate will set your tiling project up for success.

Tile selection

The material, size and intended use (floors, walls or outdoors) should all factor into your tile choice. It’s also crucial to properly plan how many tiles you will need for your project. 

Layout and planning

When planning your tile layout, start from the centre and work your way out. Do a dry layout before you commit to cementing anything. 

Cutting tiles

As nice as it would be, your tiles won’t all magically fit in your chosen space — which means you’ll have to do some trimming. Use a tile cutter or wet saw for precision and be sure to mark and measure your tiles beforehand (because excess wastage isn’t cool). 

Adhesive application

Make sure you choose the right adhesive for your tile type and surface. A notched trowel will help you apply your adhesive evenly.

Tile installation

Here comes the commitment portion of the tiling process! Press each tile into the adhesive, making sure it's level and aligned with your layout. Have tile spacers on hand to maintain consistent gaps between tiles for your grout.

Grouting

After the adhesive has set (typically 24 hours), it’s time to get your grout on! Make sure to remove excess grout from the tile surface with a damp sponge before it dries.

Sealing

Depending on the type of grout and tile, you may need to seal your grout lines to prevent staining and moisture penetration. We have a great range of sealants and other tile products to help you lock everything down. 

Finishing touches

This is where the magic happens. Caulk along the edges, corners and joints of your tiles to create a watertight seal, especially in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. 

Keep it safe

No matter how experienced you are, protecting yourself while tiling is paramount. Don’t skimp on safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, when working with tiles and tools.

Know when to call the pros

If your project is quite complex or you’re just not sure you can nail it, consider hiring a professional tile installer to ensure a flawless finish.

Your trusted team for all things tiles

Now that you’re armed with all the information you need to embark on your tiling journey, there’s one last key ingredient — the actual tiles. When it comes to selecting the perfect tiles for your space, TileCloud has got you covered. Our expertly curated selection of tiles spans all manner of styles, materials, sizes and colours, so you can easily search for something that suits your space. We also offer tile samples for your convenience, because we understand how important it is to see tiles in situ before you commit to an order. 

Feeling a bit lost? Take our style quiz to get some inspiration for your next project — it’s an easy way to get some free aesthetic advice from the perspective of real designers.  If you need some help pinning down your overall vibe, we also offer design appointments in-store or online. Our friendly team of interior designers will talk to you about your tile dreams and goals, and then point you in the right direction of products that will bring your vision to life.

Your perfect tile match is just a click away!

Layla Sawyer
Layla is a creative at heart, with an Advanced Diploma in Interior Design and being the Senior Marketing and Ecommerce Coordinator here at TileCloud she has a passion for staying up to date with the latest trends within the industry. Known for going down a rabbit hole on Pinterest and being a sucker for a good mood board to kick off any project.