Photo – Master bath from our recent Meadows of Peteroon completion
So, you’re ready to choose tile for your new master bathroom. Or maybe it’s time to update the kitchen backsplash. No matter what home design project you’re about to take on, if it involves tile, prepared to be surprised at the vast variety you’ll have to choose from.
Of course, if it’s your first time shopping for tile for your home, you might find the process a little daunting. But once you understand which type of tile will work best – from design to your budget – shopping for tile can be a lot of fun.
Not only can tile be one of the most practical and durable solutions in high traffic areas like the kitchen and bathroom, but it can add elegance, character, and even a pop of color to any room. Moroccan tile (zellige), for example, comes in intricate patterns and looks great on floors and walls. Glass tile is an excellent choice for those who prefer the minimalist look, while metal tile (yes, metal), is modern and chic.
Below, we discuss six popular tile varieties to help in your search for tile for your home. We’ve also shared some of our favorite places in Cincinnati to purchase high quality, gorgeous tile.
Ceramic. If you’re looking for tile that’s easy to clean, durable, and comes in several sizes, styles and finishes, ceramic tile should go to the top of your list. It’s also easy to install and is ideal for those on a budget.
While most ceramic tiles are uniform in color and shape, some are more rustic and have more variety in color. The above mentioned zellige tile, for example, is especially known for its color variation between each tile. Glazed ceramic tile is usually easier to clean, while unglazed ceramic tile provides a more rustic, unique finish.
Porcelain. One of the biggest appeals of porcelain tile is that it can look like natural stone, wood, or even brick. It comes in many colors, styles and designs. Porcelain tile even be used outdoors, as it will not crack or freeze.
Porcelain tile is ideal to use in high traffic areas like the kitchen or bathroom. And while it’s very easy to clean, a drawback is that it isn’t always easy to install. Rather than go the DIY route, we recommend using a professional tile installer instead.
Cement. While cement tile has been around for centuries, it’s having a moment – perhaps because it works great in modern interiors or anywhere you want a clean, minimalist look. Over time, the finish reveals a beautiful, earthy, one-of-a-kind patina.
Marble. If you’re looking to add elegance and sophistication to a room, marble tiles will certainly deliver. Every piece of marble tile is unique whether it’s patterned or veined, which makes it truly unique.
Of course, marble tiles tend to be expensive especially when used in a large space. If you’re on a budget but love the look, we recommend using it in smaller areas like the shower surround, around the fireplace and for backsplashes.
Glass. As we mentioned above, glass tile works great in homes with a minimalist esthetic. However, they are a great option for anyone looking for an incredibly stain resistant option. Consider using glass tile on backsplashes, or on countertops. Note that it can be relatively easy to scratch glass tile, so they’re best used in smaller areas and not on, say, bathroom or kitchen floors.
Metal. Like glass, metal works well in areas that call for durability. It’s often used on countertops and backsplashes in kitchens and is available in a wide variety of colors and styles. It will also patina, which adds dimension and uniqueness.
Where to shop for tile in Cincinnati
The Queen City is home to many excellent tile shops and distributors. The three below have been in business for decades, carry a wide variety of tiles. They offer design assistance and installation as well.
Mees Distributors, Inc.
Howard and Stanley Mees started their ceramic tile contracting business in 1937. Howard Mees started Mees Distributors, one of the first independently owned tile distributors in the country, 16 years later. Mees Distributors is located on West Fork Road in Northside and is known for their huge selection of tiles and expert installation.
Just like Graeter’s and the Bengals, Rookwood Pottery is synonymous with Cincinnati. Did you know the company is still making tile? Check out their store in Over-the-Rhine and their website for gorgeous architectural tiles in a variety of glazes and designs.
Located in Sharonville, Hamilton Parker is a regional tile distribution company that specializes in high end residential (and commercial) projects. They offer quite a wide variety of hand painted, mosaic, ceramic and quarry tiles.
Need more design advice or ideas? Take a look at our gallery for inspiration or give our team a call.