how to choose the right tiles

for your kitchen

Finding the right tiles for your kitchen means selecting tiles that not only enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen but also withstand the demands of this high-traffic area. From durable flooring options to stylish backsplashes, the right tiles can transform your kitchen into a functional and beautiful space.
In this article, we’ll explore considerations for kitchen tile materials, discuss popular kitchen tile styles, provide guidance on selecting tiles for different kitchen surfaces, offer tips for coordinating colours and patterns, and inspire you with creative kitchen tile ideas.
Whether you're embarking on a kitchen renovation or simply looking to update the look of your culinary space, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and expert advice to make informed decisions and create a kitchen that perfectly suits your style and lifestyle needs.

Kitchen Tile Materials

When it comes to choosing the right tiles for your kitchen, understanding the different materials available is crucial. Consider factors such as the desired style, durability requirements, and maintenance preferences. Take into account the specific application of the tiles, whether it's for the floor, backsplash, or countertop, as different materials have varying levels of resistance to moisture, stains, and scratches.  Each tile material has its own unique properties, so choose the one that best fits your kitchen's needs and aesthetic vision.

Kitchen Tile Materials

Ceramic tiles are a popular choice for kitchen applications due to their versatility, affordability, and wide range of styles. They are made from clay and fired at high temperatures, resulting in a durable and water-resistant tile. Ceramic tiles are available in various colours, patterns, and textures, making them suitable for both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs. They are an excellent option for kitchen walls, backsplashes, and even floors in low-traffic areas.

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are known for their exceptional durability and water resistance, making them a top choice for kitchen floors and high-moisture areas. They are made from fine-grained clay that is kiln-fired at very high temperatures, resulting in a dense and hard-wearing tile. Porcelain tiles come in a wide array of styles, including designs that mimic the look of natural stone or wood. With their low porosity, they are highly resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture, making them ideal for busy kitchen environments.

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone tiles, such as marble, granite, slate, or travertine, can add a touch of elegance and timeless beauty to your kitchen. Each type of stone offers its own unique characteristics, colors, and veining patterns. While natural stone tiles are highly durable, they require regular sealing and maintenance to protect against staining and water absorption. They are best suited for kitchen countertops, backsplashes, or accent walls, adding a luxurious and natural element to your kitchen design.

Glass Tiles

Glass tiles have gained popularity in modern kitchen designs due to their sleek and reflective qualities. They are available in a variety of colours, finishes, and sizes, allowing for endless design possibilities. Glass tiles can be used to create stunning backsplashes, accent walls, or decorative borders. They are non-porous, making them resistant to stains and easy to clean. However, it's important to note that glass tiles can be more susceptible to scratching, so they may be better suited for backsplash areas or decorative elements rather than high-traffic floors.

Selecting Tiles for Kitchen Floors

Selecting the right tiles for your kitchen floor is essential to create a durable and functional surface that can withstand the demands of daily use. A well-selected and professionally installed tile floor will not only withstand the rigours of a busy kitchen but also enhance the overall look and functionality of your space. By considering the durability, slip resistance, size, thickness, maintenance, and aesthetic aspects, you can choose the perfect tiles for your kitchen floor:

Durability and Resistance

Kitchen floors experience high foot traffic, spills, and heavy objects being moved around, so it's important to choose tiles that are highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. Opt for materials like porcelain or ceramic tiles, as they are known for their durability and ability to withstand the demands of a busy kitchen. These tiles are less prone to chipping, scratching, and staining, making them an ideal choice for kitchen floors.

Slip Resistance

Kitchen floors can become slippery, especially when wet. To ensure safety, select tiles with appropriate slip resistance. Look for tiles with textured or matte finishes, as they provide better traction and reduce the risk of slips and falls. Check for the slip resistance rating, and choose tiles with a higher slip resistance, particularly if you have young children or elderly individuals in your household.

Size and Thickness

Consider the size and thickness of the tiles when choosing flooring for your kitchen. Large format tiles can create an illusion of spaciousness and require fewer grout lines, resulting in easier maintenance. Thicker tiles, typically around 8-10mm, offer better durability and stability.

Maintenance and Cleanability

Kitchen floors are prone to spills, stains, and food debris, so it's crucial to choose tiles that are easy to clean and maintain. Opt for tiles with a smooth and non-porous surface, as they are less likely to absorb stains and can be cleaned with ease. Consider tiles with stain-resistant properties, as they can prevent discolouration from common kitchen spills.

Kitchen Floor Tiles Styles

While functionality is important, don't overlook the aesthetic aspect when selecting tiles for your kitchen floor. Choose tiles that complement the overall design of your kitchen and create a cohesive look, ensuring they harmonise with the cabinets, countertops, and backsplash. Patterned and hexagonal tiles have become popular in recent years, but browse our range to find the perfect fit for your kitchen design, or check out our article on the latest tiling trends for 2023 for more tips!

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Selecting Tiles for Kitchen Backsplashes

The kitchen backsplash serves as a functional and decorative element, protecting your walls from splatters and adding visual interest to your space. Consider the overall style and colour scheme of your kitchen. Look for tiles that complement the cabinets, countertops, and other elements in the space. Experiment with different materials, patterns, and textures to create a backsplash that reflects your personal style and becomes a focal point in your kitchen design.

Metro Tiles

Metro tiles (also known as subway tiles) are a classic and versatile choice for kitchen backsplashes. These rectangular tiles, often measuring 3×6 inches, create a clean and timeless look. They can be arranged in a traditional brick pattern or creatively installed in herringbone or vertical stack layouts. Metro tiles are available in various materials, including ceramic, porcelain, and glass, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your style and kitchen design.

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic tiles are a popular option for adding intricate patterns and visual interest to your kitchen backsplash. These small tiles, typically measuring 1×1 inch or smaller, are available in a wide range of materials, including glass, ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone. Mosaic tiles can be arranged in various patterns, from simple to complex, allowing you to create a unique and personalized backsplash design.

Patterned Tiles

Patterned tiles have gained popularity in kitchen backsplash designs, offering a chance to add character and personality to your space. These tiles feature intricate patterns, geometric motifs, or bold designs that make a statement. Patterned tiles come in a variety of colours and styles, including Moroccan-inspired, Mediterranean, or contemporary designs. Incorporating patterned tiles into your backsplash can create a focal point and add visual interest to your kitchen.

Glass Tiles

For a sleek and modern look, consider glass tiles for your kitchen backsplash. Glass tiles are available in a wide range of colours, finishes, and sizes, allowing for endless design possibilities. They can create a reflective and luminous effect, making your kitchen appear brighter and more spacious. Glass tiles are also easy to clean and maintain, making them a practical choice for the backsplash area.

Natural Stone Tiles

For a more rustic or organic feel, natural stone tiles can be a great choice for your kitchen backsplash. Options such as marble, travertine, or slate can add natural beauty and texture to your kitchen. Each stone has its own unique characteristics, colours, and veining patterns, adding depth and visual interest to your backsplash design.

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Coordinating Colours and Patterns

Coordinating colours and patterns in your kitchen tiles is crucial for creating a cohesive and visually appealing look. When properly executed, it can elevate the overall design of your kitchen. Here are some tips for ensuring a harmonious and balanced aesthetic:

Choose a Dominant Colour

Start by selecting a dominant colour that will anchor your kitchen design. This can be the colour of your countertop, cabinets, or a prominent element in the space. Consider the overall style and mood you want to achieve. Opt for neutral tones like whites, grays, or beiges for a timeless and versatile look. Alternatively, bold and vibrant colours can add personality and make a statement.

Create Contrast

Contrast can add visual interest and depth to your kitchen design. Pair light-coloured tiles with darker elements or vice versa to create a striking contrast. For example, if you have light-coloured cabinets, consider using dark-coloured tiles for the backsplash or flooring. Conversely, if you have dark cabinets, opt for lighter tiles to create balance. Contrast can be achieved through colour, texture, or pattern.

Utilise Patterns and Textures

Patterns and textures can enhance the visual appeal of your kitchen. If you have solid-coloured cabinets and countertops, consider incorporating patterned tiles in the backsplash or flooring. Conversely, if your cabinets or countertops have intricate patterns, opt for simpler and more subtle tile designs to avoid overwhelming the space. Striking a balance between patterns and textures in different elements of your kitchen is key.

Harmonise with Countertop Material

Consider the material and colour of your countertop when selecting kitchen tiles. If you have a busy or patterned countertop, choose tiles with a more subdued design to avoid visual clutter. For a cohesive look, select tiles that have undertones or complementary colours to your countertop material. Harmonising the colours and textures of your tiles and countertops will create a unified and polished appearance.

Create Focal Points

Introduce focal points in your kitchen by incorporating bold patterns or unique tile designs. Use these focal points strategically to draw attention and add personality to your space. For example, create a focal point by using patterned tiles behind the stove or in a small area of the backsplash. Keep the surrounding tiles more subdued to allow the focal point to stand out.

Sample and Test

Before committing to a specific tile design, it's important to sample and test different combinations. Take advantage of our free tile samples and bring them into your kitchen space to see how they interact with the existing elements. Consider how the natural and artificial lighting in your kitchen impacts the colours and patterns of the tiles. Take your time to assess and compare different options to ensure a cohesive and pleasing result.

Creative Kitchen Tile Ideas

When it comes to kitchen tile design, there are countless creative possibilities to explore. Beyond traditional layouts, unique patterns, borders, and tile combinations can add personality and flair to your kitchen. Here are some creative kitchen tile ideas that will inspire you to think outside the box and create visually striking designs in your own space:

Herringbone Pattern

The herringbone pattern is a classic yet visually captivating option that adds a sense of elegance and sophistication to your kitchen. Install rectangular tiles in a staggered zigzag pattern to create this timeless design. Whether used for the backsplash or the floor, the herringbone pattern adds visual interest and a touch of luxury to your kitchen.

Diagonal Layout

Rather than opting for the traditional horizontal or vertical tile layout, consider installing tiles diagonally. This layout can visually expand the space and create a dynamic and eye-catching effect. It works well with both square and rectangular tiles, adding a unique touch to your kitchen floor or backsplash.

Mosaic Accents

Incorporating mosaic accents can create focal points and add a burst of colour and texture to your kitchen. Choose a specific area, such as the backsplash behind the stove or a niche, and create a mosaic design using small tiles or glass pieces. Mosaics allow you to be creative, mixing different colours, shapes, and materials to express your personal style.

Border Tiles

Adding border tiles is an excellent way to create definition and visual interest in your kitchen. Use border tiles to separate different sections or highlight specific areas, such as the backsplash or countertop. Opt for tiles with contrasting colours or patterns to make the border stand out and add a touch of personality to your kitchen design.

Mix and Match

Embrace the trend of mixing and matching different tile shapes, sizes, and colours to create a unique and eclectic look. Combine subway tiles with geometric patterns, or pair larger format tiles with smaller mosaic tiles. The key is to find a harmonious balance and create a cohesive design that showcases your personal style and creativity.

Vertical Stacks

Instead of the traditional brick pattern for metro tiles, consider installing them in a vertical stack layout. This arrangement adds a modern twist and creates a visually elongating effect. Vertical stacks work well in both backsplash and flooring applications, giving your kitchen a fresh and contemporary feel.

Tile Rug

Create a "rug" effect with tiles by using a different tile pattern or colour in the center of the kitchen floor. Frame it with larger tiles in a contrasting colour or pattern to mimic the look of an area rug. This creative approach adds visual interest and can be customised to match your desired style and colour scheme.

Maintaining and Cleaning Kitchen Tiles

Following proper installation practices, adhering to manufacturer guidelines, and implementing regular maintenance are all essential measures to ensure the longevity and beauty of your kitchen tiles. Professional installation will provide a solid foundation, while proper cleaning and sealing will protect and maintain the tiles' appearance. By taking preventive measures, you can enjoy a beautiful and functional kitchen for years to come.
Check out our guide on everything you need to know about maintaining your tiles.

Find Tiles for Your Kitchen

Choosing the right tiles for your kitchen is essential for creating a functional and visually appealing space. With the knowledge gained from this comprehensive guide, you'll be equipped to make informed decisions and create the kitchen of your dreams.
Here at Target Tiles, we are passionate about helping our customers create and maintain a beautiful kitchen. Browse our extensive range to find the perfect tiles for your kitchen floor or backsplash, or contact us today to chat with one of our experts and learn more.

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