Buying tiles for your home renovation is not an easy feat, especially if you’re a first-time homeowner.
How many tiles should you buy, what type of tiles should you get, which tile suppliers should you look out for and how much renovation budget should you plan for them?
These might seem overwhelming at first, but fret not, in this article we’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to buy tiles in Malaysia.
Here’s what you’ll find in this article:
- how to choose different tiles for different locations in your home
- which tile suppliers to buy from in Malaysia
- common mistakes homeowners make when buying tiles & how you can avoid them
- cost of buying tiles and how much you should budget for
Let’s get into it.
Types of tiles in Malaysia
There are many types of tiles you can choose from when purchasing for your home renovation.
Check out this table below for a comprehensive overview on the different types of tiles and their respective applications.
Having said that, here are common tiles that most Malaysian homeowners buy:
- Subway tiles
- Ceramic tiles
- Porcelain tiles
- Terracotta tiles
- Moroccan tiles
Now that you have a better idea of the different types of tiles you can buy, the next question homeowners usually ask is the differences between floor tile and wall tile.
What are the differences between floor tile & wall tile?
In general, there are no fixed rule when it comes to the differences between floor tile and wall tile.
Different tile types (as shared above) can be used across different areas depending on your preference and home design. For instance, porcelain tile is generally the recommended tile to be used as floor covering because of its strength and durability.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t buy ceramic tiles for your floor covering as well. It all goes down to preference and your budget constraints.
Here are HOMA2u’s expert opinions when it comes to buying tiles for your floor and wall areas:
Floor areas are typically areas with high foot traffic. So, always stick with tiles that have a higher strength and durability. This way, they are more cost-efficient and less maintenance work will be required in the future.
On the other hand, for wall areas, you can go with tiles that are used more for aesthetic purposes such as subway tiles or Moroccan tiles. However do note that such tiles will cost more and will definitely eat into your renovation budget.
To know more – we previously shared a guide on choosing the correct tiles for your home. You can read more about the differences between different tile types and some common tile facts that you as a buyer should know.
Before you start buying tiles…
Now, before you get too excited to buy tiles or start looking for tile suppliers in your area, there are a few things you need to prepare beforehand.
1- Knowing your home size & layout
This sounds like a no-brainer but definitely a crucial step.
It will be good for you to be familiar with the home sizing. Or better yet, get a feel of the space itself and understand the structure of your soon-to-be-renovated home.
This will go a long way in helping you to plan the quantity of tiles you need to buy or the furniture size you can consider.
2- Your wow factor
After knowing the size and structure of your home, next is getting down your must-have elements.
Or at HOMA2u, we call it the wow factor you imagined for your home design.
So, what is the wow factor you want for your home? Every homeowner has it. It could be that futuristic-looking wardrobe design you saw from a movie, a kitchen design that is fully plastered with black subway tiles or as simple as a featured wall designed with ventilation blocks.
What’s most important is you should start locking down these elements as early as possible and from there, you can start planning your designs around these wow factors.
So, prepare a list and write down the designs you want. Need inspiration?
Simply flip through a home design magazine or if you’re social media savvy, join any home improvements Facebook groups in Malaysia and start making connections and friends.
You might even find some design inspirations there as well.
3- Consult a contractor or an interior designer
Now that you have your ideas ready, time to consult a professional.
Unless you work in construction or are a designer yourself, we always recommend homeowners to work with a designer on their home renovation planning.
The benefits of working with an interior designer outweighs the potential downsides of DIY-ing.
An interior designer can assist you with end-to-end planning, from pre-planning activities to designs to execution to liaising with contractors and securing the best deals for you.
For you – you just need to choose the right interior designers to work with and the value you get is definitely worth the money you’re paying for.
How many tiles do I need to buy?
Obviously, if you’re working with an interior designer, he/she will help you work out the details.
But if you’re very hands-on and want to do your research beforehand, then follow the steps below to calculate the estimated amount of tiles you need for your home renovation.
Let’s take your master room as an example:
- Calculate the area of the master room (length X width), that is the length of one side of the room and the length of the other side of the room. Then multiply the two measurements.
- For the wall area, you can measure the length of the wall running from left to right.
- Calculate the tile amount you need. Divide the total area of your room by the area of a tile you’re planning to buy.
For example, a typical master bedroom has a dimension of 3.5m X 4m (which translates to 14 square meters).
Let’s say if you want to buy some Guocera tiles (1.44 square meter per box) for the master bedroom’s floor covering. Simply divide the master room area by the Guocera tiles area (14m2 divided by 1.44m2) and you’ll need 9 boxes of the tiles.
The calculation is not a perfect number and to round it off, you can buy 10 boxes of the Guocera tiles.
Protip: bear in mind you need to account for wastage and broken tiles (which happens usually during installations). In this case we recommend getting at least 11 boxes.
4 common mistakes to avoid when buying tiles
Before you jump straight into buying tiles, there are a few things you need to be aware of – that is common mistakes Malaysian homeowners make (which can be very costly).
Let’s look into them.
1- Not buying/ordering enough tiles
As shared earlier, it is always safer to buy extra tiles when working on your home renovation. You need to take into account wastage that will bound to happen during installation of the tiles or cutting of tiles (especially when you’re installing hexagon-shaped tiles or any other shaped tiles or even applying a herringbone pattern).
Apart from those, you also need to consider the future maintenance work of your tiles. What if 5 years down the road, the coating of the tiles have already faded or there are cracks in your tiles?
It will definitely be cumbersome to reorder the tiles at that point of time. The pricing may vary greatly or even worse, the tile pattern you bought 5 years ago has been discontinued.
2- Picking the wrong size tiles
We shared earlier a simple guide on how to calculate the amount of tiles you need for your home (by basing on the room area and the tile size).
But one thing to note is that different tiles come with different sizes and not all tile suppliers will have the pattern you want.
And what if the shape of your room isn’t exactly a square or rectangle? What will the calculation look like and will you require more extra tiles in such instances? This will definitely require more complex calculations and that’s why we always ask homeowners to ask for help!
Your interior designer or contractors are here to help. Remember, picking the wrong size tiles will cost you more in the long run.
3- Not picking the right tile for the area
Buying subway tiles for the floor covering? Applying ventilation blocks as the kitchen backsplash? Using car porch tiles in the bathroom area?
Believe it or not – we see this more often than not: Homeowners buying the wrong tiles for the wrong tile applications.
Always do your own research and ask the tile suppliers. Where is the tile best used in? Wall or floor covering? Do they have anti-slip properties? Are they suitable to be used in your accent feature?
4- Not factoring in delivery in the renovation budget
The biggest mistake homeowners make – not factoring in the delivery cost of tiles from the supplier site.
Always remember to include the delivery cost when calculating for your home renovation budget, especially if you’re ordering a large amount of tiles.
HOMA2u – your best tile supplier in Malaysia
And there you go – a step-by-step guide to buying tiles in Malaysia.
After knowing all these, the last step you need to do is finding the right tile supplier that suits all your renovation needs and is able to deliver the tiles to your home on time!
HOMA2u is a tile supplier that supplies home improvement goods in the most affordable way for homeowners all over Malaysia.
Shop at our online store now and discover the best deal for all your renovation needs.