Availability of extra money evokes aspirations. Having more money to spend at their hands, people look for newer, exceptional and costlier materials to add to their houses. Taking a cue from this trend, vitrified tile manufacturers are unveiling new sizes of floor tiles in the market every other day. Bigger the size of a tile, costlier it is on per square feet basis. However, there is no pause in their sale. As a range of sizes of floor tiles is now available, it is important to make a judicious choice of tiles instead of blindly going for bigger sizes. Here are some hints to narrow down your choices:
Available Sizes: Floor tiles are now available in sizes as big as 200 cm x 100 cm and as small as 30 cm x 30 cm. Other sizes available are 120 cm x 180 cm, 80 cm x 160 cm, 120 cm x 120 cm, 80 cm x 80 c, 60 cm x 60 cm, 30 cm x 180 cm, 20 cm x 180 cm and 30 cm x 30 cm. These are popular sizes and more sizes with some variations are available. Such big sizes have now arrived that appropriate word for bigger size tiles is ‘slabs’, not tiles. While 60 cm x 60 cm sizes are packed in lots of 4 per box, biggest sizes are packed as just one tile per box. Though metric system is prevalent in India, you get a better idea of tile sizes when these are mentioned in feet and inches. Thus popular floor tile dimensions are as large as 6.5 feet and as small as 1.0 foot.
Advantages of tiles: Most of the old timers preferred use of marble over tiles in floors as tiled areas looked ‘commercial’ to them. New generations prefer tiles over marble because of their easy availability, uniform appearance, range of sizes and above all, a much shorter time required for providing ready-to-use floors when tiles are used. While marble flooring demands repeated grinding and polishing cycles, tiled flooring has no such requirement and is ready for use within few hours of fixing the tiles. Moreover problems of pitting and loss of shine is often faced in marble flooring while tiles continue to glitter for years together. As a result, the tile segment is cropping over marble and granite sectors day by day.
Judicious choice of sizes: These days, ‘the costlier the better’ axiom is much believed by the consumers while making purchases and as a result, bigger sized tiles are being preferred over other sizes. A cost comparison of different sized tiles will show that most often, the cost of one square foot of big sized tiles is more than that of small sized tiles. However, tile sizes should be decided based on the size and use of different rooms in the house.
Big sizes demand skill: It should always be kept in mind that bigger the size of a tile, more skill is required in fixing it properly in flooring. No doubt, lesser number of joints in flooring is welcomed by all but big sized tiles demand a perfectly prepared, compacted and levelled base for resting them over it without creating any air gap between the base and the tile. Thus the masons need to be highly skilled for bigger sized tiles. Further, the thickness of big sized tiles should be more in comparison to normal tile thickness range of 8 mm to 10 mm.
Drawing room & lobby: Mind boggling range of finishes in tiles is now available in the market, so much so that sometimes you can’t differentiate whether tiles have been used in flooring or freshly polished marble or granite have been used. Bigger sized tiles create this illusion more than smaller sized tiles as use of large sized marble and granite slabs in buildings since ages is ingrained in our minds. As the drawing room and lobby area mostly measures more than 400 square feet, big size tiles of 6.5 feet x 3.25 feet, 6 feet x 4 feet or so can be selected for this area. Care should be taken that tile width is not less than half of its length. Depending upon the dimensions of the area, border planks, matching or in contrast can be used to avoid wastage of tiles due to their cutting in case tile width doesn’t fully cover the width of lobby and drawing room.
Kitchen: These days, kitchen area flooring is mostly an extension of lobby flooring and same flooring tiles as are used in the lobby can be extended to kitchen flooring also. For a separate kitchen, smaller sized tiles can be used but care should be taken to provide light coloured tiles in kitchen flooring to give it a bigger and brighter look.
Bedrooms: Unless planned for a large, palatial bungalow, bedrooms mostly have an area ranging between 180 square feet to 250 square feet. For bedrooms therefore, 80 cm x 80 cm size tiles look beautiful. Wooden flooring still remains a choice for some or all bedrooms of the houses. However, in case a house builder wants to provide tiles having wooden finish, a big range of such tiles, produced to perfection level, is available. It is only when you walk over the floor, you realize that you are walking over tiles not wood.
Outdoors: For outdoor areas, not the size of tiles but their durability is more important as these area are subjected to much more wear and tear than indoors. Care should therefore be taken to use tiles having not less than 16 mm thickness for outdoors, whatever be the size of these tiles.