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  • Writer's pictureLily Dittschlag & Dennis Dittschlag


Passive House Toronto

As you may recall from our last blog, floor tiles are a great option in kitchens, bathrooms, and foyers because they are water-resistant. But when it comes to choosing the exact tiles to install in your house, the number of options (i.e. size, color, pattern, texture, finish) can be overwhelming. To help you make a decision, it is always best to visit a showroom to see the tiles and feel the samples because what you see online may differ in person. In this blog, we go over some of the things to consider when choosing your tiles for the kitchen, powder room, bathroom, and foyer and our top tile picks that we are contemplating for our Passive House.


Passive House Toronto

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It's where the family comes together. It's where dinner is made, kids learn to cook, and lunches are prepared. So of course, you can expect a few spills here and there every so often. This makes tiles a great choice for easy cleanup in the kitchen. But when it comes to choosing your tiles, there are a few things to consider that are unique to the kitchen.

Things to Consider for Kitchen Tiles:

  • In an open concept layout, the transition from hardwood to tile needs to be natural.

  • If wide plank hardwood is used throughout the open living and dining areas, large rectangular tiles are better suited over square tiles for a more consistent look.

  • A matte rather than polished finish is ideal to mask water stains.

  • A slightly textured finish rather than a smooth finish creates more slip resistance and is comfortable to stand on for long periods while cooking.

Our selection for the kitchen tiles, as shown below, was a fairly easy decision. We knew we wanted a textured concrete look that compliments the wood tones of the hardwood floors.

Our Favorite:


Size: Large rectangular,12" x 24" Color: Light grey Pattern/Style: Concrete

Finish: Matte Texture: Slightly textured for non-slip

Powder Room

Passive House Toronto

The powder room is a small space where you can make a bolder design statement with darker color tones and a moodier ambiance that you find in fancy hotels. As we described in our design inspiration blog for the powder room, we envision something bold, elegant, and modern. This means that carefully choosing the right tiles can make a big impact. Here are some of the things we considered for the powder room tiles to bring this inspiration to life.

Things to Consider for Powder Room Tiles:

  • Since the powder room does not have a bath or shower, there is significantly less moisture, so smaller tiles with more grout would not be a problem to clean.

  • An accent wall made up of small tiles in a herringbone pattern can create a dramatic effect.

  • Glass wall tiles combined with a backlit LED mirror reflect more light that can brighten a windowless and dark room.

  • Busy floor tile patterns can detract from the accent wall, so best to choose something minimalistic.

Since we already envision what our powder room will look like, finding the right tiles for both the floor and accent wall is not too difficult. To keep it consistent, our floor tile selection for the powder room is the same as the kitchen, as shown below.

Our Favorite:


Size: Large rectangular,12" x 24" Color: Light grey Pattern/Style: Concrete

Finish: Matte Texture: Slightly textured for non-slip

MIRROR WALL TILES Size: Small rectangular, 2" x 12" Color: Teal blue Pattern/Style: Herringbone Finish: Matte Texture: Smooth glass


Passive House Toronto

For those of you who like to relax with a long, hot bath, your bathroom can be a place of Zen. So the tiles you choose in the bathroom can help create a sense of tranquility. However, the design you prefer may not always be practical in this high moisture area. When selecting your bathroom tiles, the following are some things to consider.

Things to Consider for Bathroom Tiles:

  • Bathrooms with a full bath or shower have levels of high moisture and humidity.

  • The porous nature of grout makes it particularly susceptible to mold growth.

  • Smaller tiles require more gout and potentially more mold.

  • Large tiles require less grout but may be slipperier when used as floor tiles.

  • Floor tiles with a smooth surface might be too slippery when wet.

  • Highly textured floor tiles might be too rough and uncomfortable when barefoot.

  • Accent wall tiles, such as a wavy texture give a sense of flowing water, ideal for a bathroom.

  • Accent wall tiles, such as those with veins might not be continuous with the adjacent tile when installed, giving it a disjointed appearance.

  • White tiles for the shower walls enlarge the appearance of the overall bathroom.

At a glance, the floor tiles we favor for our bathroom look very similar to those for the kitchen and powder room. But given the slipperiness of a wet floor after a shower, we prefer tiles with a rougher texture. After feeling the difference between the two tiles in the showroom, the rougher texture tile is definitely the safer choice. We also like a larger square rather than a rectangular format for fewer grout lines.

Our Favorite:


Size: Large square, 24" x 24" Color: Light grey Pattern/Style: Concrete Finish: Matte Texture: Rough for higher slip resistance Model: Alpine Light Grey


Size: Large rectangular, 12" x 24" Color: White Pattern/Style: Subtle wavy lines Finish: Polished Texture: rough Model: Timeless White


Size: Large rectangular, 10" x 29.5" Color: White Pattern/Style: Embossed wavy lines Finish: Matte Texture: Smooth with embossed texture Model: Stilo Blanco White


Passive House Toronto

We often don't think much of a foyer because it's such a small space. But given that it's the first place guests see as they enter your house and take off their shoes, choosing unique tiles can make a memorable impression. Here are some things to consider when choosing your foyer tiles.

Things to Consider for Foyer Tiles:

  • Small space that can make a great first impression for guests.

  • Tiles are not likely to be highly visible if covered with a welcome matt, but interesting designs may still be memorable when visible from the edges.

  • Should be durable against high foot traffic with harsh outdoor footwear.

Choosing an accent tile for the foyer is actually our hardest pick. We know we liked geometric fractals with high contrasting colors. But given the limited styles available, none of them really stand out for us. We are tentatively favoring the foyer tile shown below, but we are still contemplating back and forth with other patterns, such as terrazzo.

Our Favorite:


Size: Medium square, 8" x 8" Color: Light grey & black Pattern/Style: Geometric shapes Finish: Matte Texture: Smooth Model: Marrakesh Gray Decor Mix 1

What you choose is based on your personal taste...

There is really no wrong answer to whatever tiles you choose because ultimately, it boils down to your personal preference. We hope some of the things we considered for ourselves are helpful to you in your tile selection. Or perhaps, you may have other considerations that we didn't think of. Regardless, as long as you are happy with your tile selections, that is what matters most.


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