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Popular for more than 100 years, porcelain tiles are made from natural clay, which is fired at a high temperature and is virtually non-porous. They're highly versatile and practical, so, if you're looking for a floor tile, it is a material well worth considering.
One reason porcelain tiles are so popular is the huge variety of available sizes, styles and patterns available. Some mimic those of natural materials, such as wood or stone, and advances in technology in recent years mean you cannot tell the difference between a natural material and a porcelain tile.
This guide is designed to give you all the information you need before buying porcelain floor tiles, including the considerations you should make and the various finishes available.
Porcelain floor tiles can work well in any room in a house, with some ranges ideal for outdoor spaces. The fact they are non-porous means that if you spill liquid on them, it will sit on the surface, letting you simply wipe the mess away. This key quality makes them perfect for high-traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and more.
Hallways see a lot of activity, with children in wellingtons, muddy pets and so on. Kitchens are the rooms most likely to see splashes and spills, and bathrooms are often wet. In these areas, tiles, such as moisture-resistant porcelain, are key to creating a room that works. Unlike ceramic tiles, porcelain can be used outdoors as water won't permeate the surface, meaning it will not freeze in cold temperatures and crack. Porcelain tiles come into their own when you have a room, such as an open-plan kitchen, that you want to extend out onto a terrace for a seamless look. This is because porcelain tiles are versatile, and can be used in a variety of settings.
Porcelain is the perfect material for bathroom floors. If you want to make a room look bigger, a seamless flowing wet room effect is a great look to aim for. By using the same tiles across the walls and the floor, the eye is drawn around the room, and – in the case of large format tiles – you have fewer grout joins, meaning you have the effect of a seamless line.
Marble effect tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms as you can have all the beauty of marble but at a great price point and without the need for much maintenance. There are several porcelain marble effect items in the Fired Earth collection. It is important to look for a non-slip tile for a bathroom floor.
Serene bathrooms are also big news right now. The Reykjavik range is a great option if you're looking to create a spa-look bathroom with porcelain tiles.
Our Reykjavik porcelain range offers a unique twist on the terrazzo trend, available in various shades and comes with a glazed anti-bac finish.
A porcelain floor is a great choice for a kitchen. Again, moisture resistance is key. Ingredients are often highly coloured, so you want to make sure you choose tiles that will quickly and easily wipe clean and will not stain.
Styles such as Frammento – a porcelain tile that replicates terrazzo – can be a great choice you're looking for something stylish that will stand the test of time.
The Frammento range provides a terrazzo feel, without the high maintenance. These porcelain tiles are easy to care for, and will cater to your kitchen's every needs. Fired Earth provides both a subtle and a bolder design in our Frammento range.
Using tiles outdoors is a great way to extend your living space, create zoned areas or design a pathway. Ensure the outdoor tiles you choose are durable, slip-resistant and frost-resistant. Not only will your space look great, it will be safe and practical too. A range such as Ceppo is great for that seamless inside-to-outdoor look, and is perfect for both kitchens and gardens.
Porcelain tiles come in many shapes and sizes, so consider what will work best with your space and budget. Larger format tiles are great for covering big areas, offer a seamless, continuous feel and are easy to install as there are fewer grout lines. They can, however, work out more expensive compared to smaller formats.
Other tile shapes include:
A huge benefit of porcelain tiles is that they come in a vast array of colours. Many patterned tiles are made up of several shades, meaning you can pick out a hue to match other items or the wall tiles in a room. Consider your overall interior palette. For example, are you going for neutrals throughout, do you want bold accents, or is there a room where you want to add a dark and dramatic feel?
Patterned tiles are great for adding a splash of colour and adding to the personality of a room. These tiles by Nina Campbell are a great example and are perfect for hallways, laundry rooms, bathrooms and kit hens. They look great against dark, bright or neutral paint, adapting to their surroundings should you change any colours.
Neutral needn’t mean boring. In fact, many neutral tiles have beautiful patterns that replicate those of a natural material, such as stone, pale wood or even terrazzo. Tiles from the Ceppo range are a great case in point, and provide a stone effect for a variety of rooms.
Colourful plain tiles are a good choice for many homes. Different shades can be used together to create interesting patterns, or you can go for a replica of a bolder-coloured natural material, such as terracotta, which is replicated here in these Arcilla Rosa tiles.
It’s always worth seeking expert advice when choosing floor tiles. At Fired Earth, our staff are always on hand to help. Plus, our design service can help you visualise your dream scheme if you need a little extra help. If you are looking for porcelain floor tiles, we can help you choose the right tile to make the most of the space and offer suggestions on how to use our tiles to the best effect with our bespoke design service. Our porcelain wall and floor tiles come in a range of finishes including wood effect and stone effect tiles.
The starting point for choosing the right tiles is to consider which room you’ll be using them in and work out whether you want to lay them in a pattern or not. Choose a reputable tile company, such as Fired Earth, and ensure you buy the correct quantity, adding a little extra for waste.