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Tips for choosing tiles

Selecting the right flooring or wall tiles for your new home can be a challenging exercise for the uninitiated. What are the best tiles for each room or for outdoor living spaces? Do you intend to tile the floor, walls or both?  Here are some key guidelines to make the process easier. 

Tile Size

The simplest way to choose the right size tile is to choose a tile relative to the size of your space. A large area like an open planned dining and kitchen area will suit a larger format tile. While a medium space like the family bathroom will work with a medium sized tile and small, mosaic tiles will be great in a small area like splashbacks, bathrooms, laundries, and toilets. 

Room Size

A larger tile will make a room feel more spacious. Using  the same floor tiles on the walls will make the space look more cohesive, however you cannot put a wall tile on the floor. A floor tile has a harder glaze and is made to endure higher foot traffic and general day to day activity. A floor tile may also be slip resistant. In a small room, light coloured tiles will make the space feel larger. 

Fowler Homes Southland Show Home Interior


Consider your mood board and general theme of your home. Unless your tile is a feature of the room, like your splashback, generally tiles are not the focus but instead complement the other design features and aesthetics of the space.


A really important step with your tile selections – do you want your tiles to pop or have a subtle effect? A contrasting grout will emphasise the layout and tile design, while a grout in a complementary colour will give the tile a more understated effect.

Ensure your grout areas are sealed to prevent any staining on the grout.

Glaze or Matt

The texture and finish of the tile is a personal choice. A glazed tile is easier to wipe clean, while a natural terracotta tile has no glaze and will need to be sealed to prevent any staining.

Glossier tiles reflect more light and are well suited to a darker room, as with a lighter coloured tile.


Tile Types

Porcelain tiles

The density of a porcelain tile makes them more durable and stronger than a ceramic tile. They are ideal in high traffic areas like a kitchen, living rooms and hallways as they don’t absorb moisture. 

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are perfect for walls and areas with a lower foot traffic. Suitable for bathrooms and kitchen splashbacks. 

Glass mosaic tiles

Handcrafted glass mosaic tiles come in a range of colours, sizes and finishes and are often used as a feature.

Natural Stone

Natural stone has a timeless beauty hard to match. The most popular types of natural stone are: 

  • Basalt – a volcanic stone featuring exceptional hardness and durability
  • Granite – a stone with durability, colourfast, stain & scratch resistant
  • Limestone – a sedimentary rock composed large of calcite’s (shells of marine animals)
  • Marble – a  metamorphic rock formed from limestone, popular for the distinctive veins 
  • Sandstone – a sedimentary rock formed by water, ice and wind elements composed of compacted sand with minerals, which determine the colour
  • Travertine – a form of limestone deposits precipitated from spring water or hot springs, features a distinctive grained effect and punctuated surface unless filled.

Staff have the expert knowledge

Talking to the team is invaluable when buying your tiles, they will enable you with the right information, ensuring you have considered the right product for the job. 

 We recommend talking to the staff at The Tile Depot and Tile Max

Chevron splashback tiles kitchen by Fowler Homes Manawatu