Welcome to part 4 of our blog series all about tiles. By this point, you’ve read all about different types of tiles, their influence on design throughout history, and how they’re used both for practical and artistic purposes. If you have half the fascination we do for tiles, you’re probably ready to test them out for yourself. But you might be wondering, “how do I style with tile?” Well, Dr. Seuss, we’ve got all the answers you’re looking for in one simple blog post.
It should go without saying, but of course, the first step is determining where you’re looking to add tile. Different tiles are better suited for different areas of the home. For example, tiles that have thicker grout lines are not generally recommended for kitchens, since higher activity ultimately means higher maintenance. It’s also important to determine if you’re looking for wall tiles or floor tiles. Different materials are better suited for walls versus flooring due to thickness and durability.
After determining the location, you’ll want to figure out what type of tile you need. Some popular sizes for floors include 300×600 mm, 600×600 mm, 610×610 mm, and 800×800 mm, while wall tiles generally come in sizes of 250×350 mm, 300×450 mm, and 300×600 mm. The most common size of tiles is 12” x 12”, but sizes of tiles are continuing to increase. Sizes like 16” x 16”, 12” x 24” and even 24” x 48” are becoming more mainstream. Large-format tiles are a popular choice as they have fewer grout lines to clean and help a room look more spacious. However, it is in your best interest to match tiles to room size. It’s recommended to pick a tile that is the multiple of the size of the room to minimize cutting and wastage.
It’s also important to consider the size of your room when determining color. The color of your floor tile will play a major role in how the space feels overall. If you’re looking to make a large room feel cozier, consider using a warm or dark colored floor tile, like walnut or charcoal. If you want a smaller room to feel more spacious, consider using a light or natural colored floor tile, like light oak or beige. White tile can also make your room look bigger, as well as provide a nice contrast to dark cabinets. More recently, gray has become a trendy color for tile floors due to its ability to blend in with nearly all other tones, as well as providing a cool, comfortable vibe. Otherwise, if you’re looking to add warmth to a room, try using espresso or honey toned tiles.
To add, some colors of tile are best suited in specific rooms. For living areas and bedrooms, the color of floor tiles you choose can vary depending on your overall theme. One type of floor tile that tends to look good with all themes is timber-look tiles. For areas that receive a lot of traffic, like the kitchen, consider mixing and matching grays, whites, and browns. This will create a slightly contrasting color scheme, which can help dirt appear less obvious on your floors. For bathrooms, consider creating an airy and open feeling with neutral colored floor tiles in light shades. You can also use the same color wall tiles to help make your bathroom appear larger. Neutral colored floor tiles also work wonderfully for patios, hallways, and outdoor areas. For these spaces, you’ll want to consider tiles that complement the surrounding areas.
You might think that choosing a single style of tile is all you need, but it’s a good idea to play around with a couple different tiles to add your own personal touch. You can experiment with borders for flooring or create a unique accent wall with 2-3 different tiles. Thanks to the modern technology of digital printing, almost any pattern you have in mind is achievable. If you have an idea for what you like, but aren’t sure what to combine it with, many tile manufacturers sell tile concepts with pre-set tile combinations. If you’re not sure where to begin with size, material, and pattern, consider taking a suggestion from the leading tile trends. Though specific styles tend to lean more towards “trendy”, there’s a tile trend out there that will accommodate your tastes.
For our artistic, quirky renovators, we recommend terrazzo tiles. Terrazzo is great for those looking to mix and match materials to create a unique look. These tiles can have fragments containing stone, like marble and quartz, while also mixing other materials such as glass and metal. The possibilities are endless with this style, which is why it’s becoming more and more popular with interior designers.
If you want your room to be brilliantly vivacious, try tiles with graphic patterns. The best thing about tiles with patterns is that they look great on both floors and walls. It’s because of their versatility that their popularity continues to increase. Encaustic ceramic tiles are a popular choice, but porcelain styles are also trending. One such pattern that’s gaining notoriety is Art Deco fan shapes. Additionally, you can get the vibe of vivaciousness with a more toned-down substitute: textured tiles. These will make your room stand out while also knowing how to blend in with the other elements of the space.
If you want your room to be more mellow and neutral, consider using matte tiles. These make great flooring tiles for the bathroom because water stains do not remain on them. The only catch is that due to the dullness, they don’t reflect light, so you’ll want to make sure the room has plenty of light. If your bathroom needs more brightness, go with white tiles, or otherwise very light, neutral tiles. It’s recommended to add different shades of neutral colors, textures, and shapes to create depth within your space.
If you want more drama in your life, add tiles with a glossy finish to your room. Glossy tiles give an elegant, highly polished appearance and are good for small bathrooms since they reflect a lot of light and make the space feel larger. Do keep in mind that they will require additional maintenance work and can be slippery. Because of this, minimal traffic areas benefit the most from these. For an option with high shine but better traction, a metallic finish is also a good idea. Metallic is shiny and reflective, giving your bathroom a magnificent but extravagant look. If you want the drama without the shine, opt for the ultra-chic black tiles. The moody look of black-on-black tiles with black grout can be very expressive while also opening up a smaller space, surprisingly.
For the elegant and luxurious, marble tile is a must. Differences in veins and subtle color shades create an attractive design for any space. Thanks to nature, technology, and improved transport, marble is much more accessible now than it ever has been in the past. We now have access to a wide range of color and patterns to choose from. However, you don’t have to pay premium prices to get the aesthetic. Manufacturers have developed technology that creates porcelain and quartz tiles that replicate natural marble almost perfectly. These tiles are a great option if you’re on a budget.
Want something that feels more natural? There’s a tile for that, too! Wood tiles are great for someone seeking more earthiness in their home. It’s recommended to find porcelain tiles with a wood finish to provide greater resistance to dirt and moisture while maintaining your desired aesthetic. If you’re looking for something a bit bolder than the neutral tones of wood, consider terracotta tiles. Warmer tones are trending for 2021, and terracotta fits in perfectly with the trend. You can also play with deep greens and moss tones in tiles to reflect greenery in your home and combine tranquility with vibrancy.
If you want something that will be timeless, yet original, subway tiles are a great choice. These tiles are increasing in width and length, with sizes of 8 by 20. To add some pizzazz, combine them with a contrasting grout color. You can even combine different tile colors into vertical or horizontal stripes, or use different patterned tiles to create a intricate mosaic. Another suggestion for something timeless, yet more contemporary, would be hexagon tiles. What’s great about these tiles is that they look great by themselves or you can use them to create large geometric patterns. In small bathrooms, they help to make the space feel larger, and in large bathrooms, they you can create elaborate accent walls. They’re also great for combining with other materials. For example, combining marble hexagon tiles with wood effect tiles can add a modern touch to your floors.
As a final tip, make sure to purchase at least an additional 5-10% more tiles than what you actually need. This way, you’re prepared for any cuts or breakages that may occur. We hope you’re feeling inspired after reading this! What trends will you try in your own home?