How to Shop For Tile

How to Shop For Tile

There it is! The excitement of the decision that there is going to be a new construction or a renovation. 

That means: There will be tile. 

And, as a relatively permanent option, tile selections need to be made very carefully. So, let’s walk through this and together look at the best way to shop for tile

There are two sides shopping for tile: the creative and the practical. 

The Creative Process
The creative part of shopping for tile it is all about how you want the room to make you feel. So, how you want it to look is largely an emotional decision. You may want to brighten up peoples’ moods by brightening up the bathroom. Or have your foyer make a statement that makes visitors feel welcome. You may want your kitchen to spark energetic social interactions. 

Here is the fun of exploring all the visual possibilities. You can start to look at pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, and flip through interior design magazines. Ideas start flowing. You can wander around the tile section of large home improvement stores, flooring businesses, or, your best option: a business like Melcer Tile that specializes in tile. 

You can use the SCT method: Style - Color - Texture. This applies not only to tile but also grout. 

The Practical Process
The practical aspect of shopping for tile involves a detailed examination of the intended use of the tile, the physical properties of the tile in question, and the care and maintenance of the tile selected.


Tile shopping starts with a fundamental evaluation where and how the tile will be used. Indoor or outdoor? Room type: playroom, kitchen, patio, living room, or another room? Tile location: floor or wall? Tile use: floor, backsplash, counter, fireplace or another use?When you know where the tile will be placed, it will help you evaluate the kinds of tile best suited for that location. The tile for a bathroom floor will meet very different needs than those on a kitchen countertop.

There are five categories for rating tile:

    • Durability or Hardness
    • Wear - The wear relates specifically to ceramic and porcelain tiles.
    • Porosity or Water Absorption
    • Slip Resistance
    • Frost & Tone - The adaptation of the tile in a freeze/thaw cycle, & the intentional variation to mimic

                    Tile used in commercial settings must adhere to guidelines set forth in the
                     American Disabilities Act (ADA).

A final practical process in tile selection involves how you interact with the tile once it has been installed. Cleaning and maintenance are very important to maintaining the pristine condition of your tile and grout. 

Every tile shopper is different. Some start with the creative. Some start with the practical. Some do a little bit of both.

Regardless of where you start when looking at tile, your secret weapon is someone who knows the tile industry inside and out and can guide you to the perfect tile selection.