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Create a new look with trendy concrete tiles

15 Mar 2017

When using tiles in your home, you're no longer limited to run-of-the-mill factory-produced ceramic, porcelain or vinyl floor tiles. 

Concrete tile can be used just about anywhere, indoors or out, including on floors, walls, fireplace surrounds, pools and patios, shower enclosures, countertops, backsplashes and building façades.

Concrete tiling, though long-established, is the lesser known for interior design. 

Mimi Rupp, founder of Stone etc., shares all there is to know about using concrete tiles in your home. 

According to Mimi, concrete tile can be used just about anywhere, indoors or out, including on floors, walls, fireplace surrounds, pools and patios, shower enclosures, countertops, backsplashes and building façades. 

In many cases, concrete tile sizes, finishes and colours can be customised to suit your design. 

Concrete tiles are more versatile 

You can find concrete tile patterns that fit any room size. You're not limited to standard-sized squares. 

Although you can recreate the tile look by repeating squares, concrete allows more versatility, with cutouts and embeds, imprinted patterns and three-dimensional sculptural designs. 

Concrete tiles offer more colour options 

You're not limited to a predetermined colour palette as is typical with factory-produced tiles. With concrete, you can customise the colour to work with your décor. 

With concrete tiles homeowners can get a multitude of colour options, ranging from soft natural earth tones to vibrant cherry reds.

Homeowners can get a multitude of colour options, ranging from soft natural earth tones to vibrant cherry reds. You can go with a uniform colour or add more character by dreaming up a custom colour blend. 

How do concrete tiles stack up in price compared to traditional tile materials? 

One of the best attributes of concrete is its ability to be tailored to any budget. Certainly, there are types of ceramic or vinyl tiles that may cost less, but you'll generally have to make sacrifices when it comes to quality and design versatility.  

How will concrete hold up in my home? 

Concrete is one of the most durable and long-lasting surfaces around. It is an optimal flooring surface not just for homes, but also for offices and retail environments because it can resist wear and tear, heavy foot traffic, stains and moisture. 

Concrete tiles can also be used in conjunction with standard underfloor heating systems as they are a good heat conductor. 

Understanding concrete tile installation 

Concrete tiles can, for the most part, be installed like other types of tiles. But there are some caveats to be aware of: 

Tiles used on a floor, countertop or on an exterior surface that’s exposed to the elements will require regular cleaning and resealing to keep them looking their best.

1. Concrete tile is a bit heavier than its ceramic counterparts. Due to the weight of concrete, when installing on walls you will need to support each tile to avoid slipping. 

2. To prevent staining, it is advisable to seal concrete tile surfaces with a penetrating sealer before grouting. This will also make it easier to spread the grout and assist with cleanup. 

3. You should always test a coloured grout on a spare piece of concrete tile to ensure that the grout pigment does not stain the tile surface. 

4. After beginning tile installation, remove a piece of tile to inspect the coverage of adhesive you are getting on the back. Ideally, it should be covering 90% to 100% of the surface. 

Maintaining concrete tiles 

The maintenance requirements for concrete tiles will vary depending on the application and whether the tiles are used on an exterior or interior surface. 

For example, concrete tiles used as an interior wall cladding will require little maintenance, while tiles used on a floor, countertop or on an exterior surface that’s exposed to the elements will require regular cleaning and resealing to keep them looking their best.
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