Popular for their durability and easy to maintain properties, tiles are the perfect choice for our hardworking homes. They’re also great at adding texture and colour as well as pattern of which we’ve definitely seen more of in recent years. That said, it can be a bit of a minefield as to how to use them especially with the abundance of choice available. So today, I thought I’d offer some help with some tile inspiration as well as offering you some top tips along the way.
22 Ways To Tile Your Home & Top Tiling Tips
Let’s face it some tiles can be expensive and then there’s the cost of having them laid, so you’ll want to get them right first time. That said, their durability and their ability to stand the test of time, tiles are definitely worth investing in. As with any long-term design element, it’s important to do as much research as possible. I’m hoping you’ll find the following helpful…..
1. Pattern Repeat
I like this idea of chevron pattern repeat here from the floor to the splash back. It ties the two together and if you read my Herringbone post will know that this type of pattern draws the eye outwards so if you have a narrow kitchen, it will help it visually appear larger than it actually is. Pattern is a pretty cool visual tool when it comes to small spaces don’t you think?
2. Create a Rug Effect
Instead of a rug, you might want to consider a more permanent lasting flooring focal point to your kitchen dining table, especially if you have messy kids or adults as is my case. Choose a patterned tile with a complimentary border and you’ll be good to go for years and it’ll be easier to maintain and keep clean.
3. Subtle Colour & Pattern
If you want to introduce pattern into the home without using colour then the chevron tile may be for you. This classic shape is great for creating interest with its intricate pattern that will add detail to a neutral colour scheme. To keep the look clean use a light grout or for a more dramatic finish go for contrasting black.
TILE TIP: Grout can make a huge difference to the appearance of a tiled space. Contrasting grout accentuates and creates a more pronounced look to tiles.
4. Contrasting Texture
Use tiles to add a contrasting texture to your cabinetry. Here gloss tiles of a similar subtle colour to the cupboards add visual interest to the walls.
TILE TIP: Gloss tiles work well in smaller/darker rooms as they add a reflective quality that will help bounce light around the room.
5. Kitchen Islands
Ok, so you might not want to tile your floors or splashbacks if you’re going for an ultra modern clean look to your kitchen. However, you could consider adding some interest with either pattern, colour or both to your islands with tiles. It’s also a cheaper option if your kitchens on the large size! It will also help reinforce this focal point to your kitchen especially with so many surface areas, cupboards etc. These scalloped tiles might not be your cup of tea but they certainly draw the eye to the kitchen island don’t you think? Consider picking out contrasting colours to your kitchens or be brave and bold and introduce pops of unexpected colour to a monochrome kitchen.
Or, if you are using tiles on your floors/walls, think about incorporating them into other design elements such as your island to create a cohesive look.
6. All Hail Grout
Grout can play a huge part in the overall look of a room especially if you’ve chosen to tile your floors and walls with tiles. The above kitchen is a great example of how to get it right when playing with different styled tiles. The subway tiles benefit from darker black grout which compliments the patterned floor tiles as well as the dark grey units. Creating a cohesive look and pulling them together. Using white grout lines to the flooring allows the patterned tiles to stand proud and speak for themselves.
Open Plan Spaces
7. Reinforce Zones
Reinforce and define areas within large open plan spaces with tiles. Here, the kitchen is clearly defined by the patterned tiles to the floor and splashback.
First impressions count don’t they? And as our hallways are seriously put under high amounts of traffic it makes sense to incorporate flooring that can withstand the test of all those comings and goings!
8. Go Bold
Like the downstairs loo (or cloakroom if you prefer), hallways are also a fun place to play with colour and pattern as we don’t dwell in them for too long. (well apart from when you find yourself yelling at the kids to hurry up and get ready every five minutes!) Hallways also offer you the chance to get creative. Although I’d recommend you try and incorporate an element or two from connecting rooms such as a colour, pattern or texture as you’ll help create a feeling of flow and connectivity that our eyes tend to pick up on.
9. The Timeless Subway
You can’t beat the subway tile for its timeless qualities. It’s a fail-safe option when choosing to tile any space and you can always introduce a subtle colour like this Winchester tarragon tile above. I wrote a post all about the wonderful subway tile and you find out how you can use this versatile tile here.
10. Warm Vibes
If you have a large floor area ensure you opt for larger tile for a less busy look especially if you are avoiding pattern.
TILE TIP: Choosing larger floor tiles can create a feeling of space even in smaller rooms. This is because you see fewer grout lines that break the flooring up. Thereby more floor is seen. However, don’t go too big a tile as you’ll end up with a lot of waste with cuts!
If you’re lucky to own a period property, and you’re restoring it sympathetically, you might want to consider choosing tiles to suit your home’s architecture and/or background. I absolutely adore everything about this Renee Mackintosh inspired bathroom, right down to the details of the sink. It makes me want to own a period house!
TILE TIP: Plain tiles provide you with more interesting and versatile ways to lay them than their patterned counterparts. Add interest with plain tiles through the means of playing with their layout such as the classic Herringbone.
12. Play With Pattern & Texture
Adding three-dimensional tiles to the bathroom walls means that you can play around with the flow of pattern creating visual interest through their raised texture and placement. The floor tiles here also mimic the wall tiles with their hexagonal pattern whilst adding colour into the equation too. It’s a wonderful play on pattern, colour and surface texture don’t you think?
TILE TIP: If your bathroom is on the small side, avoid using patterned tiles to the floor. Instead opt for highlighting one area of wall say the sink or shower if you really want to add patterned tiles.
13. Half and Half
If you want to incorporate a colour scheme to your bathroom but are fearful of it becoming dated, opt for plain white tiles on some of your walls allowing for other walls surfaces to be painted or wallpapered. This way you can switch up the colours as and when you want. Of course, here they’ve introduced a delicately patterned floor that adds to the overall look but if you like to play it safe choose white for your floors too.
14. Tile Your Furniture
Ok so this sink unit looks a million dollars and definitely isn’t upcycled but I’ve included it because it’s a good source of inspiration on attention to detail and if you’re going to add some detail with tiles, you could use a furniture piece and create a feature out of it.
Keeping things simple with a monochromatic bathroom doesn’t mean it has to be boring either. Incorporate some geometric pattern either through patterned tiles or play with the layout of a plain tile. If you’re going for both ensure you balance out heavier geometric pattern with some plain tiles to break it up and to stop yourself from feeling like you’re in a Tetris game!
16. Make A Room Look Larger
You don’t have to opt for different tiles for your floors and walls either. In fact, using the same tile will blur the lines between walls and floors and help create a feeling of space. This can be done with plain or patterned tiles to great effect although I’d probably go for plain tiles in a smaller bathroom area.
This bathroom also shows how different styles from different eras fuse together beautifully. A contemporary modern bathroom setting that has used authentic replicated Victorian encaustic tiles as a decorative backdrop. It’s one that I absolutely love. My advice to you is don’t be put off by tiles that are attributed to a certain style because they may well work with a modern design scheme!
17. The Square
Why not consider using the same size tile but contrasting pattern with colour as well as textures of matt and gloss. Offsetting the floor tiles to the walls will also help define each surface area.
TILE TIP: Opt for matt tiles for flooring as they have better traction than their gloss counterparts.
18. Contrasting Surfaces
Think about breaking up your tiled surfaces with contrasting painted walls. Focusing on tiles to the sink and bath/shower areas where they’re needed and add colour to the rest of your walls. It will stop your bathrooms from feeling like a cold white box and depending on your colour preference, will help warm or liven things up a bit. Oh, and of course you could add some soft subtle patterned tiles to the floor to add interest but be mindful that this may restrict your colour choices later on if, and when, you do decide to update.
TILE TIP: If you like to update often and/or get bored easily, maybe opt for white tiles to necessary areas of your bathroom whilst keeping others free to add wallpaper of paint so you can give your bathrooms a fresh new look whenever you want!
19. Contemporary Vibes
Create a contemporary feel to a traditional fireplace with three-dimensional tiles that highlight what is often the main focal point to a room. This living room above shows just that with its raised texture and subtle pattern.
20. Layered Warmth
You might have avoided using tiles because visually they can appear cold. These mosaic tiles have a coppery metallic skin and a textured, multi-levelled split face surface. They are ideal for creating a focal point or feature wall in a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or lounge. And like any metallic element ensure that they add warmth and depth to a space especially with their multi-levelled surface.
Continue the same floor outdoors to add a feeling of continuity which when the patio doors are drawn back will make the room look larger as the flooring draws your eye beyond the walls.
TILE TIP: Opt for tiles that stand up to the natural elements especially rain when considering for outside use. Matt finish tiles tend to have more traction. Look for tiles that are durable and weatherproof such as porcelain, slate and granite etc., Always check before you buy!
22. Look Up
And why not decorate your ceiling with these lightweight Rhombus Ceiling Tiles. Ok, they might not be your usual tile but they do add interest and colour and pattern to what is considered the fifth wall when it comes to decorating. And if you’re interested I wrote a whole post on why decorating your ceilings is something not to be dismissed. You can read it here. Oostor also ships worldwide if you’re interested.