Laying the Foundations Right: What to Consider When Building Your Home

Across the Philippines, a growing trend is catching the eye of homeowners and business owners alike – Italian tiles. These aren’t just any tiles; they stand out for their quality, durability, and the elegance they bring to any space they grace. They come in various textures, colors, and designs, making them a popular choice for those looking to add a unique flair to their homes or commercial spaces.

What makes Italian tiles even more appealing in the Philippine setting is their ability to withstand the humid and tropical climate. They resist water well and are easy to clean, making them a practical choice for everyday use. But before you enjoy the beauty and benefits of Italian tiles, quite a bit of groundwork is needed.

Installing Italian tiles is more complex than picking a design and sticking it to the floor or wall. It requires careful planning and a good understanding of construction basics. From choosing high-quality materials that will last to preparing the subfloor properly and hiring skilled installers – every step counts towards achieving that perfect finish.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the essential steps and considerations you need to think about before installing Italian tiles. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to renovate or a professional architect working on a new project, knowing the ropes of proper tile installation will help ensure the result is beautiful and built to last.

As we move along, we’ll explore some technical and creative aspects of working with Italian tiles. From different laying patterns to maintenance tips, we’ll cover what you need to know to make the most of this stylish material in your space, particularly considering the local context of the Philippines. So, let’s get started on this journey of transforming spaces with a touch of Italian elegance.


Factors to Consider During Construction

Material Quality and Suitability

Choosing suitable materials is the cornerstone of any construction or renovation project. When installing Italian tiles, the quality and suitability of materials are even more critical as they directly impact the tiled surface’s aesthetics, functionality, and longevity.

Weather-resilience and consideration of the Philippines’ tropical climate.

The Philippines is known for its tropical climate, which includes high temperatures, humidity, and a fair amount of rainfall. These weather conditions can be harsh on building materials, hence the need for weather-resilient materials.

Italian tiles are a good choice because they are known for their resistance to water and heat. However, not all Italian tiles are created equal. Selecting tiles with a low water absorption rate is essential to ensure they remain intact and retain their beauty despite the humid environment. Opt for tiles that can withstand intense sunlight without fading over time.

When consulting with tile suppliers or installers, you should inquire about the weather-resistance properties of the tiles you are considering. They should be able to provide information on the tiles’ resistance to water, heat, and other environmental factors common in the Philippines.


Choosing high-quality materials that endure over time 

Durability is another crucial factor to consider. Italian tiles are generally durable, but the level of durability can vary based on the manufacturer and specific product line. High-quality tiles will withstand wear and tear, maintaining their appearance and structural integrity.

When considering durability, look into the hardness rating of the tiles. This rating indicates the tile’s ability to resist scratching and wear in areas with high foot traffic, such as hallways and commercial spaces.

Additionally, it’s beneficial to consider the warranty offered by the tile manufacturer or supplier. A warranty is not just a safety net in case of unforeseen issues but also an indication of the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability.

Moreover, investing in high-quality adhesive materials and grout is equally important to ensure the tiles remain securely in place and maintain their aesthetic appeal over the years.


Proper Subfloor Preparation

The subfloor preparation is a critical step that significantly affects the outcome of your tile installation plate, adheres appropriately, and lasts longer. 


Ensuring a Level and Clean Subfloor for Tile Installation


A level subfloor is paramount for a smooth tile installation. Uneven surfaces can lead to cracking tiles and loss of grout over time. If the subfloor is uneven, it may need to be leveled using a self-leveling compound or grinding and patching.


It’s vital to have a clean subfloor free from dust, debris, or other substances that might interfere with the adhesive. A clean surface allows for better adhesion, ensuring the tiles stay securely in place.

Testing for Flatness

Besides leveling, checking for flatness is crucial. A long straightedge or a laser level can help identify high and low spots, which can be corrected as necessary.


Addressing Potential Moisture Issues

Moisture Testing

Moisture can be a tile installation’s worst enemy. Conduct a moisture test to assess the moisture levels in the subfloor. This can be done using a moisture meter or through a professional assessment.


A waterproofing membrane may be necessary if moisture levels are high or the area is prone to moisture (like bathrooms). This membrane is applied to the subfloor to create a barrier preventing moisture from seeping through the tiles.


Ensure the area has good ventilation to help control moisture levels. This is especially crucial in damp areas like basements or bathrooms.


In outdoor installations, ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation, which can damage the tiles and grout over time.

Subfloor preparation may not be the most glamorous part of the tile installation process, but it’s undoubtedly vital. A well-prepared subfloor is the foundation for a successful, durable, and aesthetically pleasing tile installation. Taking the time to address these issues thoroughly can save you from costly repairs and headaches. Plus, with a proper base, those Italian tiles will have the smooth and sturdy surface they need to shine in all their elegance.


Mastering Tile Installation: A Focus on Italian Tiles

Selecting the Right Tile

The beauty and longevity of a tile installation project largely depend on selecting the right tiles. Mainly in Italian tiles, their myriad designs and premium quality offer a distinguished appeal. However, understanding the characteristics and suitability of these tiles for different spaces in a Philippine home is crucial to making an informed decision.


Characteristics of Italian Tiles

High-Quality Craftsmanship

Italian tiles are renowned for their excellent craftsmanship. They are manufactured with precision, ensuring a refined finish and uniform dimensions.

Variety of Designs and Textures

They offer a vast array of designs, colors, and textures, allowing homeowners to choose tiles that match their aesthetic preferences and the architectural style of their homes. From realistic stone looks to modern geometric designs, the possibilities are endless.


Known for their durability, Italian tiles can withstand heavy foot traffic, making them ideal for residential and commercial spaces.

Low Maintenance

They are easy to clean and maintain, requiring no special care to keep them looking new.


Many Italian tiles are environmentally friendly, made from natural materials and manufactured to minimize environmental impact.


Suitability for Different Areas in a Philippine Home

Living Areas and Bedrooms

For living areas and bedrooms, you may opt for Italian tiles with a warmer and softer texture to create a cozy ambiance. The vast design options allow creating a unique, personalized space.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

In kitchens and bathrooms, choose Italian tiles with higher resistance to water and stains. Glazed porcelain or ceramic tiles are popular choices for these areas.

Outdoor Spaces

For outdoor areas like patios or driveways, choosing Italian tiles with high slip resistance and durability is essential to withstand weather elements.

High Traffic Areas

In high-traffic areas, use tiles with a higher hardness rating to ensure they withstand wear and tear over time.

Understanding the distinctive characteristics of Italian tiles and evaluating their suitability for different spaces in your home will enhance the aesthetic appeal and ensure a functional, durable surface. By considering the architectural and climatic nuances of the Philippines, homeowners can make well-informed decisions, ensuring that their choice of Italian tiles complements the beauty and functionality of their space perfectly.


Laying Patterns and Aesthetic Appeal

Herringbone Pattern

This pattern comprises V-shaped rows of 45-degree angled tiles, providing a classic yet graphic way to install large or small rectangular tiles, often used on backsplashes1.

Diagonal Grid Pattern

A diagonal grid pattern is created by turning the straight-lay tile pattern 45 degrees, shifting the focus in a small room and making the area appear larger.

Classic Brick Layout

Rectangular tiles are placed in horizontal rows, with each row offset by half a tile width, creating a timeless pattern that can visually widen a room.

Basket Weave Pattern

This pattern uses two tiles laid next to each other to form a square, with the following pair of tiles laid at 90 degrees to the first, giving the impression that the tiles are woven over and under each other.

Straight Lay Pattern

The most straightforward pattern where tiles are laid side by side in a straight line.

Offset or Running Bond Pattern

Tiles are offset by half the width of the tile in the rows above and below, similar to the arrangement of bricks in a wall.

Checkerboard Pattern

Alternating colors in a straight or diagonal grid create this pattern.

Hexagonal Pattern

Hexagonal tiles are laid next to each other, forming a honeycomb pattern.

Windmill Pattern

A square tile is surrounded by four rectangular tiles, resembling a windmill.

Modular Pattern

Uses different sizes of tiles to create a repeating pattern.


Customizing Patterns to Personal and Cultural Aesthetics

Personal Preferences

Homeowners can choose a laying pattern that reflects their style and the ambiance they wish to create. They might opt for a straight lay or diagonal grid for a modern, sleek look. The herringbone or classic brick layout might be more appealing for a more traditional or rustic aesthetic.

Cultural Aesthetics

In the Philippines, there’s a rich tradition of craftsmanship and a history of intricate design. Tile-laying patterns can reflect this heritage. For instance, traditional Filipino homes might prefer patterns that create a sense of openness and expansive space. The choice of colors and textures in the tiles can also reflect the Philippines’ natural beauty and vibrant culture.

Engaging Professionals

Engaging professional tile installers who understand both the technical aspects of tile installation and the aesthetic preferences of the Philippine market can be beneficial. They can advise blending modern Italian tiles with traditional Filipino design elements to create a beautiful and culturally resonant space.



In transforming a space, the choice of materials and the installation method play pivotal roles in ensuring aesthetic appeal and functionality. Our exploration unveiled the importance of meticulous planning from selecting high-quality, weather-resilient materials, ensuring a level and clean subfloor, to mastering the art of tile installation with a focus on exquisite Italian tiles. The myriad laying patterns offer a canvas for personal and cultural expression, allowing the creation of spaces that resonate with the unique architectural tapestry of the Philippines.

The allure of Italian tiles lies not just in their immediate beauty but in their ability to stand the test of time, retaining their charm and elegance through the years. However, this longevity is not merely a trait of the tiles but a result of informed construction and diligent maintenance practices. Investing time in understanding these critical aspects will undoubtedly pay dividends in the form of a beautiful, durable surface that reflects your style and withstands the rigors of daily use.


Galileo Ceramiche Inc.: Italian Tiles Experts

Remember that professional guidance can significantly smooth the path as you contemplate embarking on this rewarding endeavor. We at Galileo Ceramiche Inc. invite you to consult with our Italian tile experts to delve deeper into Italian tiles’ possibilities. 

Our showroom at 13 Sanggumay, Mandaluyong, is a gateway to explore the variety of Italian tile options tailored to your spaces. Whether it’s a modern urban oasis or a traditional Filipino home you envision, the right tile, laid well, can bring your vision to life.

Contact us at (02) 8532 5360 for further inquiries or consultations. Your journey to a timeless, elegant space is just a call away. We also invite you to stay connected and find inspiration through our social media pages, where we regularly share insights and showcase our range of exquisite Italian tiles. Your dream space is within reach, and we are here to guide you every step of the way.


Ready to transform your space with our exquisite Italian tiles?

Contact us now and let's bring your dream project to life

Rest assured, we'll be there every step of the way, ensuring a smooth and satisfactory experience.

Contact UsServices

Know your Italian tiles

Galileo opened our doors for the Philippine market more than 20 years ago with a unique and exclusive high end porcelain tile collections manufactured in Italy. Due to the wide product variety, Galileo became a tile fashion Icon for the Filipino Market doing many projects in Metro Manila, Cebu Islands and other regions. Visit our showroom in Mandaluyong City and experience the diversity of our tiles and their applications.