When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, you need to choose the right tiles that will complement the style and colour of your new units.
The colour and design are up to you, but it’s a good idea to think about the material the tiles themselves are made of. There are two kinds of tile that are commonly used for walls and floors – ceramic and porcelain.
Similarities and differences
Both tiles are made from clay, but the clay that porcelain tiles are made of is finer and denser, making it both waterproof and frost proof. Because of this density, porcelain tiles are more robust and durable, making them suitable for outdoors and heavy use. Their density also makes it more difficult to stain or mark the tiles, so if you want them to last a long time, it’s worth paying a bit extra now in order to lessen the likelihood of having to replace any further down the line. This isn’t to say that ceramic tiles can’t last – the Roman mosaics that still survive today are a testament to that!
When it comes to colour, there are big differences between the two. The colour for ceramic tiles is placed on top of the clay before being finished with a kind of glass glaze. If the tile chips, the dark clay beneath the glaze will become obvious. On the other hand, porcelain tiles have the same colour all the way through, so if they get chipped, the damage is much less noticeable.
You can use either ceramic or porcelain for floor tiles, although porcelain’s strength makes it a far sturdier material. If you are installing underfloor heating, you can still use any type of tile – the main thing is to use the right adhesive for the job as heat causes the tiles to move.
Maintenance of your tiles
As long as they are laid correctly, your tiles will need very little maintenance. Keep them clean by washing them with warm water and detergent, or a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar – the vinegar acts as a degreaser and the baking soda is a gentle scourer.
Properly looked after, your tiles will help keep your kitchen looking great for many years to come.