Stone, porcelain or timber: how to choose tiles that will suit your home

Stone, porcelain or timber: how to choose tiles that will suit your home
Photo: Bilanola, Bigstock

Choosing tiles to suit your home can make or break its overall look and feel. The options are endless; from stone, porcelain or timber look, there really is a tile for every aesthetic. While choosing one may seem overwhelming, the final decision really depends on the aesthetic you want and what material best serves your home.

Natural stone tiles

A timeless addition to any indoor space, natural stones are a versatile and elegant inclusion to feature in your home. Every piece of stone floor, be it marble tiles, limestone or granite tiles, provides a hard wearing, easy to maintain and durable floor covering. The nature of the tile makes it a stain and scratch resistant, easy to clean, hygienic surface that won’t store dust or hairs. These tiles often create a sense of space and when used to transition from an indoor area to an outdoor setting, can open up the home entirely.

Lime stone
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Natural stone tiles, particularly limestone, are fantastic for keeping your home cool. Not only will this keep your home cool in the harsh Australian summer, but it can also mean you save a few dollars on your electricity bill.

Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles are made from dense clay and other natural materials that have been blended together and fired in a furnace. The fact that the tile is made from high-quality components, makes it look and feel luxurious. As the material is highly diverse and can be made to look like marble or slate, they can be installed in any room of the house.

Porcelain
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Highly resistant to wear, it is known to last for years with few incidents of breaking, meaning there won’t be replacement costs down the track. Porcelain tiles are easy to clean and don’t require any special sealing to resist water damage. The sheer heaviness of porcelain makes it less likely to crack from exposure to moisture, making it a perfect fit for a bathroom area or even an outdoor entertaining area that is exposed to the elements.

If you’re looking to cover an outdoor area in porcelain tiles to create a seamless transition from inside to outside, consider either a semi-polished, gloss or textured finish to offer slip resistance.

Timber look tiles

An emerging trend in flooring, wall and ceiling covering is timber look tiles. While natural wood flooring conveys warmth and beauty, it requires a lot of maintenance. Timber look tiles eliminate all the drawbacks of natural wood while still offering an authentic look.

Timber floors
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Timber look tiles allow for use both inside and outside without fear of weather or wear and tear damaging the tiling. Being able to replicate wood as a tile has vastly increased the options for location. From bathroom settings to create spa-like oases or living room floors to allow other features to shine, the possibilities are endless.

Installing these tiles into your home also comes with a range of benefits. The actual tiles are stronger than wood and are far less likely to scratch or mark. The tiles also don’t need to be sealed so they are the perfect option for large indoor and outdoor areas. Particularly with outdoor areas, timber look tiles are more convenient won’t fade due to sun damage, meaning they don’t require as much maintenance as their timber counterparts.

Choosing a material based on your aesthetic

With so many materials to choose from, it may seem hard to decide the right style for your own home. When styling your home, it really comes down to your own personality and tastes to create a place you are proud of and comfortable in.

When decorating, try to avoid sticking to a theme. Decorating an entire house in one style can feel overwhelming and is also subject to becoming outdated. Instead, try mixing different styles to show off your personality.

You should also decorate for your own lifestyle. Don’t keep things hidden in cupboards because they aren’t new or trendy. If you love them and use them, place them in a location that is easily accessible so that you show personality and functionality in your own home.

If you’re an extrovert who loves entertaining, consider natural stone tiles that give the impression of an open home with seamless transitions from inside the house to the outdoor area. A person who loves sophisticated styling may opt for porcelain tiles to provide the feeling of elegance. While an introvert who loves to stay home may choose timber look tiles to create the feeling of warmth and cosiness in their house.

At the end of the day, despite the array of materials on offer, choosing the right ones comes down to intuitive home design – what works best for the individual, what highlights their taste and what best serves the functionality of the home, as well as what’s easiest to take care of.