collage of three images showing finished tile installation in commercial spaces

Why Commercial Spaces Should Use Tiles in 2024 & Beyond

How your commercial space looks can have a significant impact on your overall brand image, but it goes beyond that. Choosing the right options can bring advantages in maintenance as well, and this is why decorative decisions can be more important than many think.

Of all the finishes that can be applied to commercial spaces, tiling is without doubt one of the most popular, and for good reason. The advantages that tiling provides for any business when used in commercial spaces cover many areas, but above all, the choice of tiles, the design options and more make them stand out anywhere.

Tiles will look great at your restaurant or small medical clinic

In any commercial space, making sure everything looks clean, tidy and professional is essential. It gives clients and customers a good first impression, which not only aids sales in the moment, but helps build brand image over time too. That benefits the business long term, and can even cross over to online sales, as a trusted brand is a real advantage in the digital world.

In that way, having the right environment for any commercial space can boost income for years to come. Tiles are especially good here, as there is so much variety in colour and design that tiles can adapt to any scenario. Options such as herringbone pattern and 1/3rd tile pattern are very popular in malls, hospitals and commercial retail environments, providing interesting visuals.

herringbone pattern in commercial tile with yello, dark green and yellow colour
Herringbone pattern installation by Vladi Enterprises Ltd

We associate tiling with quality and cleanliness too, and well cared for tiles look smart for many years, and that maintenance is simpler, and less costly, with tiles than other choices.

Spend less time in maintaining floors and backsplash in commercial buildings

Cleaning commercial spaces is an expensive but necessary part of operating such property. In fact, since the pandemic, consumers are more focused on the cleanliness of the environments they visit than ever before, and here tiles bring another advantage.

The smooth texture and simple lines make cleaning easier, taking less time than other surface options. This makes this essential maintenance cheaper, and the larger the space, the more savings can be made.

If we look at schools, malls and swimming pools, it will come at no surprise to see tiles as the most common surface because they can be kept clean on a much smaller budget than would otherwise be possible. But tile maintenance is not the only area where tiles can be better for your bottom line. Their cost effectiveness deserves a mention too.

Tiles are cost efficient

Tiles may look great and give a perception of being more upmarket decorative choices, but they are actually one of the most cost-effective options for any commercial space. A typical 5000 sq ft commercial space in Calgary, such as a restaurant, could be tiled for between $15,000 CAD and $35,000 CAD, depending on the type and design of tiles chosen, which could be significantly less than other options.

Those savings also come with the impressive advantages already mentioned, lower maintenance costs and impressive looks too. Not to mention factors such as durability, where tiles are more resistant to spills and other problems.

Tiles make a good investment due to their low overall maintenance costs, but also offer savings against some alternatives in the initial installation too. But even aside from maintenance, tiling is very durable and designed to withstand the harsh environments we sometimes find in commercial spaces.

Tiles VS Carpets for commercial spaces.

Whether it is restaurant kitchens or shared spaces in a hotel, sometimes commercial environments are harsh, and subject to all kinds of challenges. From liquid spills to high levels of traffic, the wrong choice of surface covering here can have a major impact on maintenance costs and more.

Carpet doesn’t respond well to water damage, and can quickly begin to look worn in high traffic areas, but tile will cope with both scenarios much better. Its not just liquid itself that can be a problem for many options, a wine spill can cause staining in so many materials, leading to the cost of specialized cleaning. But the right tile will be impervious, a wipe down and its back to its best.

Several researches have shown that carpets are common placeholders of dust and allergens which can cause allergies. Something that tiles are free from.

Commercial tile installation in progress for Burger King in Calgary.

Tiles wear much slower than many choices too, for instance in a mall environment, where foot traffic is exceptionally high, you can expect tiles to last for around 20 years before needing major maintenance projects, much longer than with carpet or other alternatives. Of course, that means lower costs over the lifetime of the installation too. Tiles are also great for new builds too, and not just in lower costs.

Building code friendly (tiles are fire resistant)

Tiling is also a great choice because it will make life easier for your contractors too. Unlike carpet or wood, tiles are fire resistant, so require less prep work to make the space code compliant. This is not only a key to faster installs, but can have a significant impact on a refurb project too.

Tiling is relatively fast to install as well, but with so much choice when it comes to tiles, colours and patterns, they can also look completely different in each installation. Even in the same commercial space, tiling can provide different appearances in different areas too, and that flexibility is incredibly useful for cohesive designs. However, despite an almost endless choice of tiles, some stand out more than others, with several patterns proving really popular in specific settings.

The most popular tiles for commercial applications

One of the benefits of tiling for commercial applications is that there is an almost endless combination of tile, colour and patterns to create something completely unique. However, when a product proves its suitability for a specific location or use, it shouldn’t be a surprise that others follow along.

This is no different with tiling, and you will see a number of tile types used repeatedly in some settings. For instance, in restaurants 6 x 48 or 12 x 24 subway is the most popular tiling, while in offices 1×2, 2×2 and 1×1 are the most common options. Last but not least, in bathrooms around Alberta and even Canada, 1×2 tiles sizes will be the most common.

The common backsplash tiling pattern for bathrooms: 1×2 tile setup for commercial showers

Even so, color choice, both overall and any pattern tiles, means that no two installations look the same unless you want them to. That ability to create something completely different, as well as all the benefits highlighted such as cost, maintenance and durability, make tiles some of the best options for commercial spaces.

Vladimir Ceci

My name is Vladimir Ceci, and I am a tile setter with over 15 years of experience honing my craft. Coming from Europe, I learned the art of tile installation from European craftsmen before immigrating to Canada. Today, I am the proud founder and president of Vladi Enterprises Ltd., a premier tile contracting company based in Calgary, Alberta. Under my leadership, we have completed intricate tile work for countless residential and commercial projects across Alberta and BC.