Nowadays it’s easy to transform even the blandest of areas into a real show stopper given the amazing array of tiles to choose from. However, tiling mistakes can be a costly, and sometimes hard to fix, mistake if you choose the wrong tiles or have trouble when it comes to installation.
Expert renovators Michael and Carlene Duffy certainly have learnt a lesson or two when it comes to tiles, having made their mark on the record-rating season of Channel Nine’s, The Block and the inaugural season of Reno Rumble.
The pair, who now run their own home renovation and design consultancy Cedar & Suede, are currently working with Amber Tiles sharing their savvy DIY and tiling design tips for their Love My Amber campaign.
“We just love the look and feel of tiles however we’ve had our fair share of tiling mis-steps!” Carlene admits. “For instance, I now realise you don’t need to tile an entire bathroom floor to ceiling. Often playing around with the areas and creating contrast with painted walls and other features can lead to a more interesting design effect.”
“As there are so many choices out there, I’d recommend going onto a large site like Amber during the planning stage and playing around with their tile visualiser function before you commit to anything. It can give you great ideas about different tiles and how can work in certain spaces.”
Avoid getting out the hammer and chisel and make sure you get it right the first time advises carlene by avoiding these 5 mistakes:
1 - Not keeping tile choices in line with overall decor
It goes without saying that if your house is predominantly a beach-inspired vision in white and blue, then a funky, bohemian vibe in your bathroom may look out of keeping. Tiles should always be chosen in relation to an overall decor scheme. Also make sure other elements of the bathroom itself such as fixtures and fittings work well with the tiles. Take in to consideration colours of bench-tops, cupboards and painted surfaces and choose one hero feature such as a tiled feature wall.
2 - Forgetting to buy enough tiles
Running out of tiles and then scrambling around trying to find more can be an absolute nightmare! It can also drag out labour costs, so make sure you calculate accurately before you start. If you’re not entirely sure, it’s a good idea to buy more tiles than you think you need. If not, the tile colours can vary from batch to batch or even become discontinued if you have to hunt more down. A good rule of thumb is to buy around 15 per cent more than you think you’ll use. This ensures against breakages, miscalculations, and difficulties in cutting to size. You can also keep spare tiles in reserve in case any tiles become cracked in the future.
3 - Getting a little too eclectic
Whilst using the same types of tiles in every room can be a little boring, too many varieties in the one space can cause visual chaos! I’d advise to limit yourself to no more than three variations per room. For bathroom walls, larger tiles are a good choice as they use less grout, making them easier to clean. Smaller tiles such as hexagon, mosaic and subway tiles also work well for feature walls and niches.
4 - Underestimating tile sizes
Make life easy and choose a tile size and layout pattern that suits the dimensions of the various areas. Large tiles are currently on trend, but just remember that sometimes if it’s way too large it can make it difficult for the tiler to achieve adequate fall in the shower. Elsewhere in the home, choosing tiles that aren’t a good fit for the area can also result in odd sized cut tiles and slivers around edges and corners which can look messy. On the other hand in hard working areas such as the bathroom, you don’t want too small a tile, otherwise all the grout cleaning may drive you mad.
5 - Neglecting maintenance considerations
Whilst many varieties of tiles are easy to clean, some natural stone options such as marble and bluestone require sealing and should be treated with care, which is an important consideration before purchasing. Tiling alongside other durable materials including glass, glass block, terrazzo, concrete, stainless steel, and tough hardwoods will also cut down on the amount of room maintenance in later years.