Where to Install Tile in Your South Carolina Home
If you’re thinking about tile, there are places you may want to consider using it other than bathrooms as has traditionally been done. In fact, tile is one of the most versatile materials you can use in your South Carolina home. With choices ranging from ceramic to glass to stone, tile can be used in just about any area and can accommodate any design aesthetic.
Here are a few more items to consider when deciding the scope of where to install tile in your next home building or remodeling project.
Maintenance - We’re putting this benefit first because we know many South Carolina homeowners want materials that will look great but require very little upkeep. Most types of tile are stain-resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth or broom and dustpan, making tile a great choice for kitchen backsplashes and flooring in high traffic areas, like the kitchen or entryway. Even stone tiles don’t require much maintenance, other than the occasional wash with soap and water.
Unlike hardwood floors, the finish and surface of tile will not be damaged with repeated or prolonged exposure to moisture. This makes tile almost an absolute must in today’s modern home for use in bathrooms. Sea Island Builders recommends tile in your laundry room as well, just in case your washer overflows or a supply hose busts. A tile floor in your laundry room with a shower drain can save you tens of thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.
Installation - Installation is fairly straightforward as long as you take the time to make sure you get all the materials needed beforehand so all the pieces are available prior to starting. One of the most common areas where owners run short when ordering tile is on bullnose pieces. Bullnose tiles are used around the insides of shower and bath niches, and also where your tile shower walls transition to the drywall outside the shower. Bullnose tile is also used on the threshold; any exposed edge that is obvious to the eye should be finished with a bullnose.
When ordering manmade or glass tile, it is important to order bullnose pieces for all the finished edges in and around the shower. This edge is almost impossible to apply in the field to manmade materials such as glass and porcelain tiles. Natural stones are easier to bullnose in the field, although it does require more labor to do so. In wet areas (shower walls), we recommend using a HardieBacker board, taping the seams, and then waterproofing with a quality product such as RedGard. Tile can be easily applied over drywall in applications such as kitchen backsplashes and accent walls where they will not be subjected to excessive water and moisture.
Longevity - Tile should hold up well for years in any indoor space. If one or two tiles do become damaged, it’s easy to just remove them and replace them with new ones. Porcelain tile is a particularly durable option, and if you use a through-body porcelain (which has a consistent color and texture throughout the tile), you won’t have to worry about visible chips or cracks.
To ensure the longevity of your tile, make sure that the substrate to which it is mounted is secure. Sea Island Builders also uses ¾” T&G floor sheathing both screwed and glued for our floors. Hardi backer is then applied to this surface using special screws that are spaced so that there is absolutely no movement in the substrate surface. A bedding compound will then be applied to bed the tile and also to allow for leveling. If done correctly, your tile should last decades without cracking or signs of wear.
Green tile - And that doesn’t just refer to its color (although you’ll have no trouble finding green-colored tiles if that’s what you’re looking for). Tiles made from local recycled and reclaimed materials are relatively easy to find, so you can feel good about updating your home without having a negative environmental impact. If you’re having trouble determining what options for tile in your South Carolina home are eco-friendly, talk to your contractor.
Variety - Tile is available in many different colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes, so there are endless possibilities for decorating. You could create a patterned tile kitchen floor, use bold-colored tiles to define a border in your bathroom, or even use tiles to create an intricate frame for a mirror. You can also use ceramic or porcelain tiles to mimic other materials, like marble or wood. Just about any design or pattern you can imagine can be completed with tile.
For more advice about selecting and installing tile in your home, don’t hesitate to contact Sea Island Builders. Our talented team of custom home builders would be happy to talk to you about our recommendations on where and how to install tile in your South Carolina custom home.