Selection of tiles with your Interior Designer

To many people, the impression of tiles selection is a very simple and neglectable process.  They did not realised that tiling works actually covered more areas (bedrooms, living room, kitchen and toilets) than any other works in a renovation which make tiling works a major process in renovation.  Tiles installed can directly affect your carpentry works, painting, doors selection, etc.  Therefore, its important to make sure you select the correct tiles.

Below is the tiles selection process which I tagged along my friends and his Interior Designer(ID).

Tile Shop (Hafary)

Hafary is the tiles shop.  They are one of the best and biggest tiles retailer in Singapore with wide variety of tiles for selection.  They have a number of outlets and the one we went is located at Defu Lane.

Hafary Defu Outlet

Hafary Tiles Display 1

Hafary Tiles Display 2

Hafary Tiles Display 3

Hafary Tiles Display 4

Hafary Tiles Display 5

Hafary Tiles Display 6

Hafary Tiles Display 7

Hafary Tiles Display 8

Hafary Tiles Display 9 (this picture is not very clear but I like the tiles so much that I must include it.  These are the tiles that can create the desired atmosphere in your house e.g. balinese style)

You must be really impressed with the wide variety of tiles available.  These pictures only show less than 10% of what is available in the shop!

What will you and your ID normally do at the tile shop?

  • Ask you which colour tiles you like for your living room, etc, then show you the tiles
  • Matching the colours using the sample, e.g. matching the red tile(for wall) with the black tile(for floor) to see if they look good together
  • Tell you the benefits and weakness of each tile type, e.g. homogeneous tiles, or different tile surfaces
  • Tell you which tiles fall under your renovation contract price range and which are the tiles you need to top up the difference
  • After the selections, which can take up to 2 hours, the ID will write down all the details and take some mini size samples of your selections.

Hafary tiles order form

Possible problems face by homeowners during tiles selection and suggested solutions

  • Too many choices: There are simply too many tiles that it becomes overwhelming!  My friends were confused initially!  Without the lead from their ID, they were lost (especially true for first timer).  The colour and size of some tiles look so similar that you can hardly differentiate with your naked eyes!  You can become frustrated (especially if you and your partner have indecisive personality) when you are asked to decide between a selections of different “similar looking” tiles.  My friends were like “What’s the different between this and that??? Chin chai la”.  Suggested solution: Ask your ID to prepare before visiting the tile shop.  Let your ID use his professional knowledge to narrow down the selections for you.  Example from 10 different tiles to 3 best choices with all the pros and cons available to you.  Making a choice between 3 is always easier than 10.  In addition to that, make sure to tell your ID not to include low or no stock tiles in your choices.  You don’t want to make a decision only to know that the tiles you wanted is out of stock.  In case you do not like the suggested choices from your ID, you can alway make the decision on the spot!  If your ID can prepare some 3D designs showing the proposed colour combinations, that will make your tile selection even easier.
  • Choice limited by price of tiles: Many homeowners do not have prior knowledge to how much tiles cost in Singapore.  When they signed the renovation contract with tiles included, they have no idea what are they getting.  Usually a contract will indicate tiles below a certain price (e.g. homogeneous tiles below $3).  When the homeowners are selecting their tiles, they realised that they are pretty much “restricted” in their tiles selection.  Why put yourself in a “restricted” position because of pre agreed prices?  Most common tiles are priced between $2 – $3 psf.  Nicer designer tiles in Hafary tile display pictures 1,3,9 are much more expensive ranging from $8 – $15 psf.  You will need to top up the difference between tile prices.  Suggested solution: Exclude tiles when signing the contract.  Pay for the tiles at the tile shop or pay your ID the tile cost after selection.  In this way, you will not be restricted by the pre agreed price in the contract.  You will also be able to know the exact tile cost on the spot at the tile shop.
  • How will your house look like after selecting tiles?: After the grueling tiles selection process, you might be thinking how will your house look like?  Unfortunately, the current technology restriction doesn’t allow you to see the immediate effects of your selection.  In this case, whether you made good choices depend on your own imagination or your ID’s professional decision.  Suggested solutions:  Your ID can prepare a 3D design showing you your home with the selected tiles (you will most likely get similar tile colours and designs rather than exact).  In current technology, this is the best you can get.  If you do not like the combination of tiles selected, you can alway go back to reselect the tiles.  Its all about whether you and your ID are willing to make the extra efforts.

Hope this post will help you with your tiles selection!


Blog about Interior Design, renovation and home improvement.


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