Big News in the World of Tile

Tile is the dominant type of flooring for bathrooms and kitchens and with good reason. Available in a multitude of sizes, colors, textures and price points, and offering durability and moisture resistance surpassing its flooring alternatives, tile floors are the pinnacle of beauty and longevity.

In terms of floor tile, mosaics have been trending for years, so it’s about time they step aside and make room for bigger news in the world of tile – literally. Recently, we’re seeing a design shift toward large format tiles which break free from the tried-and-true 12” x 12” format and embrace squares and rectangles up to 48” in length. The result is a tile floor with minimal breaks, appearing as a single surface.

So how and when did this become popular? First off, advancements in technology such as extra large kilns and thin porcelains have allowed tile manufacturers to expand their products in size. To put it simply, in the past, tiles this large were impossible to create. And as more and more homeowners gravitate toward the modern and minimalistic style aesthetic, large format tiles have become the go-to flooring option, offering simple style, durability and ease of maintenance.

In addition, large format tiles can make a small room appear much larger due to fewer grout lines. This reduces clutter and allows the eye to travel seamlessly from one side of the room to the other and is great for flooring in smaller spaces such as condos, lofts and apartments in the city. Plus, fewer grout lines means less time fighting and cleaning dirt and debris out of the cracks in between small tile floors.

However, there are a few pieces of caution in regards to these bigger than life tiles. You’ll need to have a 100% flat surface to ensure the tiles are laid straight. It is best to consult with a professional flooring installer to ensure the job is completed to perfection. A professional installer will know how to handle the extra-large (and heavy) tiles, making sure your floors have extra-thin grout lines for the smooth-effect you’re trying to achieve.

Another consideration to keep in mind is the age of your home and its location. Some older homes “settle” with time and those with unstable foundations, which should be looked into already, cause the subsurface to move resulting in cracks along the large tiles. Because of their size, cracked large format tiles can be bothersome and difficult to replace without disrupting the appearance of the entire floor.

So what do you think about large format tile floors? Can’t make up your mind? Head down to the Unique Flooring showroom in San Diego and check out our tile samples or contact one of our flooring specialists today at 760-945-0010 for a complimentary estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!