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Wall coverings

4 min read

Choosing Tiles as a Wall Covering

Wall coverings

4 min read

Choosing Tiles as a Wall Covering

Wall coveringsChoosing Tiles as a Wall Covering

Thinking about laying tiles as a wall covering? Learn more about the different characteristics of this material that’s both durable and customizable, as well as maintenance tips, and the average cost of tiles. 

What are tiles exactly? 

wall tile

Source: Canva

When it comes to tiles, it’s basically a ceramic issued from high-temperature, hard-wearing minerals. This vast group of materials includes porcelain and other tiles, however, they’re most often classed apart. As a matter of fact, when it comes to wall coverings, clay- and porcelain-issued materials are called ceramics. 

Other types of tiles, issued from glass and earth, are also available. The tile surface is typically glazed, meaning smooth and glossy. Numerous colours, sizes, and patterns are available, some even mimicking wood. One can also paint tiles if you’re looking to adapt them according to your interior décor. Tiling is virtually infinite, ranging from simple alignments to complex mosaic patterns.

Advantages of Wall Tile Coverings

Typically, wall tiles are either installed in the kitchen, bathroom, or basement. However, such covering can be adapted to any room. Tiles have many advantages. First of all, they’re both durable and resistant. If you clean them on a weekly basis with a bit of soapy water, they’ll last a lifetime. For a quick wash, you may want to use a vacuum cleaner or a broom.

Furthermore, tiles are waterproof, which means they’re well-suited to surfaces that are often exposed to water or steam (bathroom, kitchen backsplash, etc.) They’re also quite easy to install: each tile is laid on the wall using grout, glue, or a self-adhesive product applied directly on the back of the tile.

Downsides of Wall Tiles

Porcelain and other types of tiles also have a few drawbacks. First of all, tiles tend to amplify sound and are quite bad at retaining heat. Therefore, given Canada’s weather conditions, this type of wall covering isn’t recommended in bedrooms and living rooms.

Furthermore, if you use grout to lay the tiles, they risk accumulating dirt rather quickly; dust and other types of grim tend to get embedded in between the joints. Be sure to clean the grout joints using an especially designed tool or a soapy water solution in a spray bottle. A toothbrush can also get the job done just fine.

Cost of Wall Tiles

In terms of cost, on average, tiles are between $1 to $7 per square foot. The cost will increase if you hire professionals to carry out the installation. According to Yanick Dupré, of Dupré Carrelage Inc., an expert in the field we consulted on the matter, hiring a contractor to lay wall tiles costs between $10 and $16 per square foot

Don’t forget to account for the number of tiles you need according to the installation surface. Always get extra tiles in case some of them break or are damaged in the process. 

To learn more about the current trends when it comes to tiles, here’s a short collaboration video with Tuilerie (2015):


Wall Tile Covering Maintenance Tips

wall tile

Source: Canva

Regular tile maintenance plays a huge factor when it comes to service life and appearance in general. And that’s why it’s especially important to carry out regular maintenance work, even an occasional deep clean, to ensure the tiles and grout joints are looking good and in good condition.

In terms of weekly cleaning, note that choosing the right products to clean with prevents damaging the tiles’ surfaces. Indeed, certain products can be effective on the spot but harmful in the long run. For example, it’s best to avoid using alkaline and acidic products too often, which help remove harsh stains but are rather harmful if used on a weekly basis. Instead, it’s best to choose neutral detergents that can be purchased in hardware stores and most cleaning supply stores.

You can find more detailed tile maintenance tips in this article (in French only), which is floor-specific, but also applies to wall coverings.

Want to learn more about the various types of wall coverings? Check out our Paint and Wall Covering Renovation Guide

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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