Of all the readily available coverings for floors, ceramic and quarry tiles are the longest lived and hardest of materials. Laid properly, a hard tile floor should add substantially to the value of your home and the huge range of styles available leaves plenty of scope for expressing your own personal taste in design.
Before going ahead however it is as well to consider the limitations of using ceramic and quarry tiles. Most hard tiles raise the level of your floor quite substantially, which could involve removing skirtings, trims around doors, and fitting wooden ramps with adjoining floor surfaces.
Hard tiles are as good as permanent so you should think twice before laying them around built-in structures such as kitchen units and islands as the chances are the units will be the first to go, leaving holes that you may not be able to match.
Solid floors are better suited to hard tiling than suspended wooden ones. It is possible to tile a wooden floor but only if it is absolutely free of structural movement and properly lined with plywood. It is also very important to remember that after laying a tiled floor, you will no longer have access to the services which run under once the tiles are firmly fixed in place.
When sourcing your tiles you may find that DIY shops, builder’s merchants and superstores stock limited runs of the more popular ranges of ceramic floor tiles, but their choice of quarry tiles is often quite limited. For the widest selection of all types of tiles, visit a specialist tiles supplier as most have panels showing the finished effect which may not be as you might have imagined.
Wherever you buy your tiles, the same supplier should be able to supply the adhesive, grout and specialist tools required to carry out the job.
In terms of your design there are other important things that should be considered. If the tiling project is for a bathroom or an entrance hall, the tiles are likely to get wet. The tiles for these areas should have a non-slip surface to avoid injury. Tiles also come in a gloss or matte finish which gives you extra options. And do you have a basic preference for flat or broken color? Flat colours produce a nice clean, streamlined effect but you might well find it is too clinical if used over a large area. And if the room you are tiling is long and narrow, arranging your tiles in a diagonal pattern will give the impression of greater width.