Getting Started with Tile

Choosing tile is simple…right? You pick out the color you like that matches your room and you’re done.

Wrong! There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the perfect tile for your space. It’s important to know that the size of the tile, the color of the grout and the pattern that the tile is laid can drastically change the look of an installation.

Here are some helpful tips to think about when making your selections:

Bigger is Often Better

Contrary to what people often think, choosing bigger tiles often makes a smaller room feel bigger! It’s surprising to many, but small tiles actually make rooms feel smaller and choppier. The smaller the tile you will notice more grout lines and often that gives off a restrictive feeling. Also, from a maintenance stand point fewer grout lines means less cleaning!

Chateau 18×18 Porcelain Tile in Beige

Grout is Not an Afterthought

Grout always seems to be the most commonly overlooked design element for a tile job. But we think it deserves your careful consideration since the color you choose for it will affect the overall look of the space. For a look that feels seamless and uniform, you will want to pick a grout color that matches your tile as closely as possible. If you want the tile work to be accentuated you will need to use a contrasting grout color that will make the tiles pop out, creating definition around the tiles.

Something else to consider when selecting a grout color is maintenance. If you are someone who will be easily annoyed by grout that doesn’t stay looking pristine, you may want to consider a darker color choice which tends to be more forgiving.

Also, consider how thick you want the grout lines to be. For example, when putting down porcelain tile that mimics wood planks you want to put the tiles as close together with very minimal grout so that it really looks like hardwood. A good installer will know to use a 1/8 grout joint, as well as a few other tricks to get the right effect!

Chateau 12×24 Porcelain Tile in Titanio

Plan How to Lay Your Tile

While tile can be laid many ways, it really looks best if planned out so that your flooring flows seamlessly from room to room. The general rule is to have the long side of a plank to follow the longer side of the room. This way the tile goes with the flow of the room rather than forcing smaller planks, making it feel smaller. Always remember to ask your installer to “dry lay” the floor before you cement it in to ensure you like the way it runs!

Buckingham Palace 2″ Hexagon Mosaic Tile in Buckingham Palace

Tile Color Rules

Obviously, only you can decide what color is right for your space and your style – but here are a few common color “rules” for choosing tile:

Lighter Colors tend to make spaces appear larger
Darker Colors can add warmth
Neutral Colors allow you to change the look and feel of a room with accessories
Vibrant Colors add character and are often seen as cheerful

Buckingham Palace tile in the color Buckingham Palace


Gemini 24×48 in Fume
Gemini 12×24 in Bronze
CostaHex 6″ Hexagon Tile Bettina Blue

In the end we can’t stress enough that you take the time you need when choosing tile and really explore your preferences beforehand so you’ll get the finished project you want. 

At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.