Living rooms are for entertaining; bedrooms for winding down. But when it comes to foot traffic, wet kitchens and bathrooms are perhaps the most visited (and well-worn) areas at home! While tiles are the go-to choice for its easy-clean, waterproof qualities, which types are better than others at keeping up with daily demands? In this quick guide, tile expert Hafary reveals what are the best tile types to lay out for a lasting, yet low-maintenance look:
For Kitchen Flooring:
Interior Designer: The Roomakers
Whipping up a storm? Preparing ingredients en masse for dinner? Whether it’s food particles, grease, or liquids, the wet kitchen is always exposed to a whole host of substances. Thus, do get a floor tile that’s hardy enough to withstand heavy footfall and resistant to grease or moisture. To reduce housework, consider getting types that are able to mask dirt or imperfections built up over time.
- Marca Corona Sta. Ivory | 2. Ceramica Fondovalle Toka Tar Ret | 3. Ceramica Fioranese Chevron Chic Burnt | 4. Ceramica Tres Estilos Cuadrado Crillo Patch
1. Porcelain: Porcelain tiles are very dense, scratch and stain resistant, plus extremely durable. Like most tiles, porcelain versions are easy to wipe down as they don’t absorb much moisture, making them the perfect hard-wearing tile for floors.
2. Mid-Sized Tile Pieces: Small tile pieces mean more grout lines, which can be a pain to clean. However, opting for large tile pieces have their drawbacks too. Grout lines help to increase traction when walking on oily surfaces. Big tiles also make it hard to create a slight gradient to drain water away from. This will be an important point to note if you tend to ‘flood’ your wet kitchen to clean your floors. Your best bet? Get something mid-sized, such as 30 x 60cm tile pieces.
Interior Designer: Urban Habitat Design
3. Dark Colours: Want something that still looks pristine (even though you haven’t cleaned up much)? Get floor tiles in darker colors to help mask any stains or dirt.
4. Patterned Tiles: Similarly, tiles in Peranakan, Arabesque or Classic patterns with their visual motifs can help to ‘distract’ the eye from any imperfections.
Interior Designer: Fuse Concept
For Kitchen Backsplashes:
Interior Designer: Colourbox Interior
Thanks to its wide variety of styles, tiles have overtaken glass panes as the popular option for kitchen backsplashes. Remember though, it’s not just about aesthetics. A backsplash is put up to protect your porous walls from spills and splashes. So, it might be wise to choose a tile type that’s easy to wipe down and resistant to grease.
1. (Avoid) Tiny Tiles: Yes, penny tiles are trending and look absolutely beautiful, but they don’t make the most practical backsplash. Note that BCA recommends a minimum grout width of 2mm – which means laying them out can lead to a lot of grout gaps. Proceed if you don’t mind the upkeep; otherwise, go for a darker grout colour that can conceal dirt marks or mould.
Interior Designer: KDOT Associates
2. Smooth Surfaces: Be it in ceramic or porcelain, a smooth, seamless finish is easier to wipe than porous or textured surfaces like bricks which may trap dirt.
3. Busy Patterned Tiles: As mentioned, patterned tiles bring a graphic punch whilst masking any pesky stains or dirty specks.
Interior Designer: Anhans Interior Design
For Bathroom Flooring:
Interior Designer: Dan's Workshop
Unlike the kitchen where it’s more about grease and food particles, moisture and humidity is a main concern in bathrooms. And as you know, walking on wet, glossy tiles can feel like you’re walking on ice! To keep things on the safe side, use tiles that aren’t slippery underfoot, and are moisture-resistant so as to avoid gunk or mould from growing.
Slightly Grooved Tiles: Again, smaller bathroom tiles with more grout lines help to increase traction. Tilers will also recommend a slightly smaller piece as this will help create an efficient gradient for water to flow away. To increase grip in this highly-slippery area, choose textured, non-glossy tiles with a slight groove to introduce friction.
Interior Designer: M3 Studio
Neutral-Coloured or Dark Tiles: Be it accumulated gunk, mould from humidity or even unsightly hair clumps, tiles in darker, neutral colours like griege, grey or brown are timeless-looking – and help to conceal these eyesores.
For Bathroom Walls:
Interior Designer: erstudio
Likewise, your bathroom walls should be resistant to moisture and splashes, especially in wet areas like the shower curb. But while bathroom floor tiles are about promoting traction and drainage, you can play with a little more variety with walls. Just remember to opt for designs that are easy to wipe down, or have less gaps where grime can accumulate in.
1. Glass Mosaic Tiles: Glass is a wonderful material for bathrooms; it’s resistant to moisture, humidity, fungus, mould, and it’s an absolute breeze to wipe.
Interior Designer: Briey Interior
2. Large Tile Pieces: Unlike bathroom floors which require smaller tiles, large-scale tiles can be used on your walls to create a sleek, seamless look. Best part? These big pieces require less grout lines, which means less gaps to trap dirt from.
Interior Designer: Letz Interior
3. Fancy Shapes or Layering (in Select Areas): Like the look of fancy herringbone-laid tiles, or unique, hexagonal-shaped ones? You can still incorporate them in your bathroom – in the right places. Instead of layering them throughout the bathroom, place these fancy tiles in select areas further from water sources (like showerheads) to reduce chances of mould growth (and your cleaning time).
Your tile shopping, solved.
With over 3,000 products from all over the world, Hafary is the leading building materials supplier serving homeowners, interior designers, architects, contractors and developers for more than 35 years. Offering cutting edge designs, quality service and favourable pricing, Hafary provides its clients high quality tiles (and more) - at affordable prices. See and feel its wide range of material offerings and find your perfect match in any of Hafary's three showrooms, located island wide.
For more information and tile inspiration, visit www.hafary.com.sg.