Words Louise Higgins
Few materials can inspire creativity the way tiles do. They are versatile and provide durable surfaces for almost any space, and are available in a wide range of materials, colours, shapes and sizes. Tiles are hygienic, super-tough, scratch-, stain- and water-resistant. They are also a great choice for allergy sufferers as they are easy to keep clean and free of dust. From materials, shapes, patterns and maintenance, the following tile tricks will guide you on choosing the right tiles for your home.
The Type of Tile
It is important to be aware of the various types of tiles available and their suitability for the different areas in the home. With such a vast selection to choose from, many factors should be considered when selecting suitable tiles for particular projects, such as grading, which indicates the thickness and quality, PEI rating, which defines hardness and durability, and the skid resistance scale, which determines the degree of slippage. Then there is the absorbent value, chemical resistance ability, and of course style, colour and pattern. Ceramic tiles are a good choice for bathrooms or other moisture-rich environments as they are waterproof and easy to clean. Porcelain is a good option for flooring where durability and non-slip grip is paramount. Natural stone tiles are durable and appealing to the eye but require more maintenance than a ceramic or porcelain tile. Other varieties include marble, glass, cement and stone. With so much to choose from, it can be difficult not to feel a little overwhelmed!
Large-format tiles require less grouting and can make a room feel more spacious. Square and rectangular tiles are the most popular as they are extremely functional, flatter any living space and are available in a variety of sizes, textures and colours. Consider experimenting with different shapes for a feature wall or splashback such as hexagon, mosaic or elongated tiles. Decorative art deco fan tiles are an exciting new trend. Their rounded shape and curved lines create a softer scheme and are a pleasant change from the more traditional metro tiles.
Tiles can be laid out in so many more patterns than the classic grid that we see time and time again. To create a unique interior scheme, consider alternative ways to lay the tiles so that the pattern chosen will reflect your home’s unique character and your personal sense of style. With a little imagination, you can introduce distinctive but unexpected designs such as non-repeating patterns or adding bold pops of colour.
When we think of tiles, we automatically visualise them being used for floors, kitchens and bathrooms, but it’s a good and novel idea to consider using them in other areas of the home, for example, a feature wall in an unexpected area such as a home offce or behind a bed, a fireplace surround or even a staircase. Using border and décor tiles is another great way to add interest to your tiled surface. If you are artistic, why not try your hand at some mosaic projects using broken tiles on a base like a coffee table, bowl or vase.