Think about the space: Consider the amount of wear and tear the tile will endure. Is it in a major traffic flow area? Are people going to be wearing shoes or socks? Will the tiles get wet? Also, what surfaces are going to be covered – floors, countertops, and/or walls?

Different tiles are made to withstand varying levels of impact. Although tiles for the wall may look similar to floor tiles, they are not as thick or durable.

Estimate how much you need: To determine the amount of tile you will need, multiply the width times the length and add about 5 percent. You may also want to buy a few extra tiles to keep on hand incase some are damaged in installation or down the road.

Do some window shopping: Tiles are available in many shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Visit a few tile stores as the same tile from different batches can look very different.

When you settle on a tile, make sure the lot number and shade number are the same to ensure all the tiles are from the same batch. Remember that tile prices vary and are not always representative of the tile’s durability.

Select the material: There are many different materials that tiles are made of. Material affects the appearance, durability, and maintenance requirements of the tiles. Finish and texture are important, as well. Your tile should be comfortable to walk on for years to come.

Don’t forget grout: Select a grout color and width that will blend in your tile. Stay away from stark white as it will be noticeable and show dirt more easily – unless that is the effect you’re going for.

Maintenance: Consider the amount of maintenance that will be required when purchasing the tile. Keep in mind that some porous tiles will need annual sealing. Also, textured tiles and light colored grout will require more scrubbing to clean.

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