In this era when home renovation is chic, the most common types of remodeling projects are bathrooms and kitchens. This is almost certainly due to the fact that each type of project has an estimated return on investment of well over 80%. To give an idea of how popular each type of project is, almost 70% of all job requests included a kitchen remodel, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders.
What’s the Catch?
The reality of renovating kitchens and bathrooms is that it’s more than just replacing cabinets and a sink. In most cases, either a kitchen or a bathroom will include ceramic tile installation. Think about it: Ceramic tile installation might be a kitchen backsplash, a countertop design, a bathroom floor tile pattern, a shower floor tile patter, or even a bathroom floor.
What do I need to Consider?
Before you install tile anywhere, you’ll have to decide on what type. The list is longer than just ceramic, too: There are glass tiles, stone tiles, porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, or peel and stick tiles, among others. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, although the literal strengths and weaknesses of different materials are also a factor.
For example, ceramic and porcelain tiles are rated on something called a PEI scale, which tells the buyer the hardness of each material. This allows you to determine where a ceramic tile installation is safe and where it is not. A tile with a 2 rating is unsuitable for a kitchen floor because it is too brittle whereas a 5 rating means you can stomp on it all day long without concern.
An additional consideration is your design. “Subway tiles” are becoming very popular as far as tile-size goes, and a subway tile technically refers to rectangular tiles that are twice as long as they are wide (four inches by eight inches, for example). Other options besides these rectangles would be square tiles (size of square is up to you), patterned pre-cut tiles (they fit like puzzle-pieces but aren’t a simply shape), or mosaic tiles, which are exactly what they sound like.
In any case, weigh your options with the rest of the room. A black backsplash of subway tiles might be rough with wooden cabinets, but it white tiles might look great. Get samples, take them home, and plan before you do any actual ceramic tile installation. Better safe than sorry!