It happened when I decided to venture in the world of renovation. My first step was to take on the bathroom. I wanted one of those shiny, brand new ones that makes you feel like you could spend most of your time in there. Because it’s so pretty, of course.
Like every amateur designer, I knew the first thing that needed to be changed are tiles. Out with the plain white ones. In with something new and exciting. I started browsing and then it hit me. It seems there’s a difference between wall and floor tiles. If you take a minute to think about it, it sounds logical. But you know… I never really dedicate the art of fine thought to the philosophy of tiles.
So I started to learn
At first I was so confused. This looked like some kind of math. In order to determine which ones go where, you need to know their COF and PEI ratings. Tiles come with a pedigree, you know. Being a total newbie, I naturally had no idea what these were. Asking politely, I found out that COF stands for Coefficient of Friction and PEI for Porcelain Enamel Institute. To put it in simple words: the first one tells you how breakable they can be; the second one gives you five categories of tiles ranging from wall only to best for the floor.
In the end, it wasn’t so bad. Knowing this two things (or even just PEI) can greatly aid you in choosing the tiles. But there are few other simple rules that I picked up along the way.
Wall tiles are the divas in this game
What I want to say is that wall tiles are more specific. If you come across a wall tile and want to use it as a floor tile, don’t. Ever. They are simply not meant to be walked upon. They are generally way softer than floor ones. They are also less durable. Meanwhile, you can always have an agreement with floor tiles. They can go on walls. They don’t mind.
Also, in designing the tiles, there are certain trends. For example, wall tiles are usually smaller. Not only because it’s easier to install them, but because they look better. And less threatening than huge tiles. Also, wall tiles are the ones that give you the chance to play with exotic and unusual designs. Try glass wall tiles, for example. Imagine glass on the floor. Big no. Somebody mentioned leather. Leather tiles? Got to dig some more into this!
Now I feel ready
Finally, I know how to approach this matter from a practical point of view. All that is left is to see all the awesome designs there are. Who knows, maybe I will spend most of my time in my tile galore!