One of the most common kitchen complaints is a lack of natural light. As such, plenty of people renovating their kitchens make decisions based around bringing more light into the room. If you're one of those people, you really need to think about how you're going to tile the floor. After all, the flooring covers more space than the backsplash, cabinets, and benchtops, so the tiles you use and how you use them makes a huge difference to the amount of natural light you'll enjoy.
With that in mind, here are four tips you should learn.
1. Gloss Beats Matte
Firstly, look for gloss tiles instead of matte. There's no difference in their quality — the difference is in terms of their glaze. For gloss tiles, the glaze is polished to a mirror sheen, while the surface of a matte tile is left a little rougher. When light hits the smooth surface of a gloss tile, it bounces off cleanly. When light hits the rougher surface of a matte tile, it bounces off in all directions. This makes the gloss tile far better at reflecting natural light around your kitchen.
2. Larger Beats Smaller
Most kitchens that suffer from a lack of natural light tend to be on the small side, which makes using larger tiles smarter since they make rooms look larger. Opting for larger tiles will also make your kitchen seem brighter. Using larger tiles means requiring fewer grouting lines, which are non-reflective and tend to absorb light.
3. Lighter Beats Darker
Some people think that darker colours are more reflective than lighter ones, and this can lead them to use dark tiles in their kitchen in hopes of lighting things up. Unfortunately, the brightness of dark tiles is an illusion. If you turn on lights in a room decorated with darker colours, those colours absorb more light, tricking your brain into think the room as a whole is brighter. When you use lighter materials, the effect of turning on a light or opening up a window isn't as dramatic, but the room itself will actually be lighter.
4. Glass and Engineered Stone Beats Natural Stone
Finally, you might want to steer clear of natural stone if you're looking for a more reflective surface to increase the amount of natural light in your kitchen. This is because natural stone will have lots of natural micro-channels and crevices — you can't see them with your naked eye, but they reflect light less effectively than smooth surfaces. As such, it's often better to go for glass or an engineered stone. If you're set on a natural stone, make sure you look for a very highly polished variety.
Contact a tiling contractor in your area for additional advice.