So you’ve finally decided on your kitchen layout, picked the perfect cabinet designs and countertop material, and even finalised the appliances and accessories that will go in them. Now there’s just one decision left, and that’s one that will impact the look and functionality of your kitchen in a big way! What are the types of tiles that you should consider for your kitchen, and what are the pros and cons of each? With a mind-boggling array of possibilities to choose from, we don’t blame you for not knowing where to start. Read on to know how to make an informed choice!
First of all, why do we need tiles in the kitchen at all?
As we all know, traditional Indian cooking uses rich spices, aromatic herbs and flavoursome seasoning, and all of these are blended together in sumptuous gravies using cooking traditions that have been passed down through generations. All this, while undoubtedly delicious, takes its toll on the cleanliness of your kitchen! The counters and walls get splashed and splattered, and spices and oil fumes collect in all the corners and crevices. The tiles on your backsplash—that is, the space between the counter and the upper cabinets— should be durable and stain-resistant, so that they are easy to wipe and keep clean.
Besides this functional aspect, the tiles you choose also add to the look of your kitchen. They add colour, pattern and style and should be chosen to keep your décor theme in mind. These are the various types of tiles that you can pick from.
Vitrified tiles are manufactured by compressing silica, quartz and clay with additives, and they are hard, non-porous and very durable. They are available in a wide variety of colours, designs, finishes and sizes. Vitrified tiles work beautifully well for your kitchen and can be easily wiped clean with just water and soap solution. They do not fade or chip and will retain their look for years to come.
Glass tiles offer a stunningly beautiful alternative to conventional tiles and are available in bright solid colours that can be mixed and matched to suit your interior. These tiles are available as small individual units or can be prefixed on a larger base to make them easier to affix on the wall. They are easy to clean and very durable, however, due to the small size of the tiles there will be many joints, and the grouting material could accumulate dirt.
Terrazzo, also called mosaic, is a composite material that uses small chips of marble, quartz, glass or mirrors in a poured cement or epoxy base. As it uses up bits of scrap materials, it is considered to be sustainable and is also cost-effective. It is durable, non-porous and very easy to maintain and can be used for the backsplash as well as the countertop itself for a unified look and feel.
Natural Stone Tiles
Granite, cuddapah, travertine or quartz are popular natural stones that can be used both on the countertop as well as the backsplash. They lend a lovely natural appeal to the aesthetics of your kitchen. While marble is also often used, it is a bit hard to maintain as it is porous and stains easily with turmeric, lime juice and many other acidic cooking ingredients.
Moroccan porcelain tiles are made using dense clay and have a glazed finish, with intricate hand-drawn patterns that are usually symmetrical around a central axis. They are finished using vibrant bold colours, usually on a base of white, and add elegant decorative style to your kitchen. They are easy to maintain and are stain-resistant due to the glazed surface.
Ceramic tiles are made of clay that is fired in a hot kiln, coated with colour stains to create patterns and then finished with a matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. They are available in a wide variety of colours and designs. They are less expensive than vitrified tiles, as a rule, but also chip more easily and do not last as long.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when you narrow down your kitchen wall tile ideas:
- Pick the tile colours and finishes based on your décor theme. Generally, light coloured tiles will make your room appear more spacious, but will also show up splashes and stains very easily. Darker tiles will not need to be cleaned as often.
- Try to minimize the joints, as all crevices tend to accumulate dirt. Larger tiles with paper joints are always a good choice for the kitchen.
- By choosing the same tile for the countertop and backsplash, you can get a seamless and unified look.
- Whatever may be the material you choose, always wipe up spills or splashes at once as they will set if left to harden, and can then be difficult to clean.
- Border tiles can be used at the top, bottom and sides of your backsplash to add a decorative effect.
- The tiles and countertop should be wiped down before and after every cooking session. Use warm water and soap solution, or a half and half mixture of water and white vinegar. Note that vinegar is not recommended for use on marble surfaces as it is mildly acidic.
We hope you have been able to get a fair idea of the types of tiles you can use in your kitchen! For custom designs and more innovative ideas, do give the HomeLane team a buzz.