5 Questions to Ask When Selecting Tile for Your Home

Are you mad for tile and ready to make decisions about what to buy? Here are our top questions to ask when selecting tile for your home. They come from Classique Floors + Tile’s extensive experience helping customers like you find the perfect tile for your home and our intense love of tile.

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Top 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Tile

At Classique, we love adding tile to a room. It adds style and visual interest, and works beautifully with other floor and wall surfaces in your home. Plus, it’s an eco-friendly solution.

>> See What Makes Tile a Perfect Eco-Friendly Flooring Solution?

The questions below will help you evaluate your tile options and select what’s right for your and your home.

1. What is the best way to determine whether a tile is suitable for floors or walls?

As with any product decision for your home, it’s important to select the right tile for the use you have in mind. Although you can easily use a floor tile on the walls, not all wall tiles are suitable for floors and able to withstand the impact of foot traffic, high heel shoes and other floor-intense action.

The PEI Rating, though, will help you evaluate your ceramic and porcelain tile choices.  This system was developed by the Porcelain Enamel Institute and indicates a tile’s resistance to abrasion and likelihood to wear under use. It is the most effective way to determine how suitable a particular ceramic or porcelain tile is for its intended use.

  • PEI I – tile has lowest wear resistance and is suitable for wall use only
  • PEI II – tile has low wear resistance and is suitable for wall use and for floor areas with light traffic such as residential bathrooms
  • PEI III – tile has moderate wear resistance and is suitable for all residential uses and in commercial areas where light to moderate foot traffic is anticipated
  • PEI IV – tile has high wear resistance and is suitable for all residential uses and all medium commercial and light industrial uses
  • PEI V – tile has highest wear resistance and is suitable for all residential, commercial and industrial uses

Selecting the right tile color for your home

2. What rules are there for selecting tile color?

Selecting tile color is ultimately a personal choice. However, here are some guidelines:

  • Light tile colors can make spaces – especially small ones – look bigger and more airy.
  • Dark tile colors can make spaces look smaller and warmer. They also hide dirt.
  • Warm colors such as ones with yellows, oranges and even reds can add a feeling of warmth to a space.
  • Cool colors such as blues and greens can make a space feel cool.
  • Neutral colors can create a backdrop for bold accessories that you change or update regularly.

Generally, using the same color and style of floor tile on the walls also contributes to a sense of spaciousness which you can enhance using a similarly colored grout.

When considering tile color, you’ll want to think about shade variation and how much you are comfortable with.

Both natural stone and manmade tiles are subject to manufacturing and quarrying variations. In other words, color and shade may vary from production lot to production lot and even in the same run. The actual design style of the tile may also include considerable variation. For that reason, the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association developed the tile shade variation rating system as follows:

  • V1 = UNIFORM APPEARANCE – Differences among pieces from the same production run are minimal.
  • V2 = SLIGHT VARIATION – Clearly distinguishable differences in texture and/or pattern with similar colors.
  • V3 = MODERATE VARIATION – While the colors present on a single piece of tile will be indicative of the colors to be expected on the other tiles, the amount of colors on each piece will vary significantly.
  • V4 = SUBSTANTIAL VARIATION – Random color differences from tile to tile, so that one tile may have totally different colors from that on other tiles. Thus, the final installation will be unique.

As you evaluate your tile selections, you’ll want to evaluate multiple pieces to get a better feel for that product’s shade variation.

Selecting the right tile style and design for your home

3. What about selecting tile size?

As with tile color, the tile size you choose is ultimately your personal preference. However, here are some guidelines:

  • Smaller tile makes a space look smaller and busier.
  • With small tiles, you’ll have more grout lines.
  • Larger tiles make a space look bigger.
  • With large tiles, you’ll have fewer grout lines.

As you evaluate the space you are tiling, consider whether the floor or wall will require much cutting to accommodate fixtures. Smaller tiles can be more flexible from that perspective. However, the larger format tiles can be cut to smaller sizes.

A large floor space allows you to work with patterns and different formats of a same tile.

Selecting the tile size that's right for you

4. What are the latest tile design trends?

This is an exciting time for tile designs as you can see from the wide range of tile styles displayed in the Classique Floors + Tile showroom! Some of the current design trends you will find when you visit include:

  • Larger formats, especially rectangles
  • Wood and stone looks
  • Glass mosaics
  • Brick-look tile
  • And more

Be sure to explore these tile design trend articles:

>> An Interview with John Zoubek, American Olean and Marazzi Tile

>> Make Statements with Tile: an Interview with Jessica Milano

>> Designing with Large Size Tile: an Interview with Amy Bright, sTile

>> Discover Endless Tile Design Possibilities: an Interview with Pratt & Larson’s Holly Menashe

Exciting tile design trends

5. What general tips for selecting tile for your home can you share?

Here are some general tips to consider as you select your tile:

  • Think of your tile purchase as an investment in your home rather than as a cost. Quality matters.
  • A neutral tile can become more interesting if you break the design up with a border or decorative tile inserts.
  • Always purchase an additional 5-10% more tile than you actually need. This ensures you have the same shade should you need to make a repair later on.
  • If you select natural stone tile such as Travertine or marble, be sure to ask about how to seal and maintain the tile to avoid staining.

We also like the advice shared in 5 Tips for Choosing Bathroom Tile:

  1. Pick your must-have dream tile first and use that as the starting point for your other tile choices.
  2. Try to select no more than three different tiles – a floor tile, a wall tile and an accent tile to use as a focal point.
  3. Stick to one “Show Stopper” tile to make your bathroom design look timeless.

Pick your must-have dream tile first and use that as the starting point for your other tile choices.

Ready to shop Classique Floors + Tile and pick the perfect tile?

We invite you to visit our Portland, Oregon showroom to explore the many tile options we carry. We think you’ll find the perfect solution for the floors and walls of your home.

>> Here are 8 Reasons to Buy Tile from Classique Floors + Tile

And schedule an in-home, customized project assessment. Your Classique project consultant will guide you through everything from initial estimate to product selection to final installation, answering all your questions.

You’ll be delighted. We promise.

Thanks for reading,


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