Tile: Myths & the Truth

The internet is filled with all kinds of crazy “facts” about anything you can imagine.  Many customers come into the showroom and have all kinds of preconceived notions about tile.  This post goes into my top 4 myths that customers always have.

  1. “That looks like bathroom tile”.

Okay.  This drives me crazy.  As an interior designer I have learned that you can do whatever you want.  It may not look great to other people, but your house is YOUR house.  Do what you like.  With that being said, there’s no such thing as “bathroom tile”. Some people may use high gloss tile in their bathroom, while others go for a more rustic look and use wood-look tile.  There’s no right or wrong answer.  It all depends on what look you are going for. The biggest complaint about this that I get is about using glossy subway for kitchen backsplashes.  In reality, the simple subway look ends up looking best with most counter tops.  Simple and elegant is always in style, no matter the space.

2.   “I don’t want tile because it’s cold”.

This is partially myth and partially truth.  Yes, tile can be cold.  However, there are many systems that can be used to install heat under the tile.  Schluter makes a product called Ditra Heat that is amazing.  Heat coils are installed right onto the underlayment and give radiant heat to the entire floor.  You can also pick and choose where you prefer the heat and only put it in those areas.  With a heating system you can have all the benefits of tile flooring without the complaint of coldness.


3. “There are tiles that aren’t slippery”.

Again, this is partially myth and partially truth.  There are tiles that are glossed that will send flying if you hit them right when they are wet.  There are also tiles that have more of a texture to them, that will allow for a little bit more traction.  With that being said, any tile that you move fast enough across while it is wet will send you flying.  Because of this, it is best to use a glossy tile on the wall and a matte tile on the floor.  If you’re using a smaller tile, like a mosaic, you can use a glossy tile because of the grout lines.  The grout gives you traction, similar to a tile with texture.

4. “Natural stone is best for showers”.

MYTH.  There is a misconception that natural stone is the best material for showers.  Even though this may look beautiful when it is installed, it has a lot of upkeep.  Unlike porcelain or ceramic, natural stone is porous and can absorb water and any other substances that can be found in your shower.  Any hard water can leave rust stains as shown in the picture below.  To try and prevent staining, natural stone needs to be sealed often.  If the shower is used multiple times a day, it would need to be sealed even more often.  There are many stone-look porcelain tiles that require a lot less maintenance, less worry and less hassle.



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