Those building and renovating know selecting tiles can be overwhelming to say the least. Not only are we spoilt for choice with the myriad of shapes, sizes, materials, textures, colours and patterns and new twists on traditional favourites, it’s imperative a new bathroom or kitchen is just as functional and durable as it is beautiful.

With the main considerations being style, budget, maintenance, whether or not the property is a forever home or one to flip and sell and whether there are pets and kids in the house, it can be difficult to know where to start.

 “Tile choice is very important because its generally a main floor - which is one of the largest areas of the home - and a permanent fixture,” says Donna Land, Three Balls Red’s tile expert and interior decorator. “We take into consideration the style of home and what the client wants to achieve. Feature tiles can also add amazing colours to these spaces.”

Below are the things you need to know about tile selections for a seamless build or renovation journey.

TILE 101

The good news, according to Donna, is there are no rules when it comes to tile selections. However, using the same tile floor and walls will create an illusion of a larger space for small bathrooms. “For larger bathrooms, you can use more tiles to create many different looks with your tiles,” says Donna. “In general, if you use a dark tile on the floor and lighter tiles on the walls, it can make a bathroom look smaller.” Donna suggests starting with the floor tile selections and building up from there. “Sometimes, a client will find a wall or feature tile they want to use and, in that case, you’ll find a floor tile to match or vice versa,” she says.


If clients plan on using large tiles in a smaller space, it is important to ensure they use a good, qualified tiler to make this work, especially for the fall in the bathrooms. Putting a small tile in a large open space can also make the area appear smaller due to too many grout lines, according to Donna. “For main floor and external areas, using the same tile with internal and external finishes to give a flow through feeling to the home,” she says. “This gives the illusion of a larger environment.”


Do consider water management and safety for wet areas, no matter how pretty the tile looks in the showroom. “Ensure you get the right slip rating for all wet areas and external areas, especially around swimming pools and commercial projects,” says Donna. Tile choice in bathrooms is also very important and you must always take into consideration the people using the space. “If elderly, we try to ensure safety and recommend a non-slip tile, otherwise most tiles are suitable and appropriate,” she says.

Don’t know your travertine from your mosaic or where they are best used?
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A mixture of clays and other natural materials, ceramic tiles are best used for kitchens and bathroom surfaces. Easy to fit, maintain and clean, ceramic tiles are generally used for walls and can range from handmade, glazed, glossy or matt and are available in many beautiful colours


Made from a refined clay, porcelain tiles can have different finishes such as glazed, polished, matt, smooth grip, tech grip or dry glaze and can be used for floors or walls. Smooth grip, tech grip or dry glaze are relatively new finishes and feel like a matt tile but when wet and with weight, the tile takes on the resistance of an external finish tile which covers most slip ratings and means they are naturally grippy.



Marble tiles are a timeless, heavier, high-quality luxury product used mainly for main floor and bathroom floor and walls. Although beautiful, marble tiles are not always suitable for bench tops. Being a natural stone, this product requires a penetrating sealer to protect the stone from staining - think wine, and sauces. You can also use a penetrating sealer with an enhancer, which brings out more colour in some stone surfaces.


Mosaics are small tiles – typically less than 100mm square – and are hugely popular for splashbacks. Made from different materials such as naturel stone, glass and ceramics, they also look great on curved walls. Specific mosaic tiles are produced for swimming pool water lines or entire pool areas to deliver that ‘wow’ factor.



Timeless and enduring Terrazzo tiles were created in Italy when marble workers found ways to reuse marble remnants for terraces around their homes. Today, Terrazzo tiles, which boast beautiful rich tones and patterns, are very popular for bathroom floors and sometimes main floors. As this is a natural stone product, it requires a penetrating sealer to protect the tiles from staining.



Travertine is a type of limestone that is formed by mineral deposits from natural streams. You may sometimes find fossils and other interesting particles in travertine, adding to its character. There are different types of travertine such as vein cut or cross cut and travertine finishes consist of honed, tumbled or brushed depending on your personal style. This stunning product requires a penetrating sealer to protect its natural beauty.



Offering a warm and alluring appeal, these tiles are very popular as feature tiles, especially in custom builds. The body is made from clay and produced with a glaze finish on top in an array of beautiful colours, which cannot be achieved by a factory-produced tile for truly individual and authentic appeal.

To learn more about tiles from our interiors experts or to view our range, visit the Three Balls red showroom at Bundle or call our HQ.