Updating wall and floor tiles can give bathrooms, kitchens and even hallways an inexpensive facelift. Tiles are hardwearing and practical – easy to clean, insulating in winter, and cool underfoot in the warm summer months. They look great, too and whether you choose natural stone or man-made ceramic, there are more colours, textures and finishes available than ever before. This week, Latest Interiors goes out on the tiles…
Ceramic tile style
Ceramic tiles are just as long-lasting and versatile as stone. They can also be more affordable, easier to work with, and offer a greater choice of colour and finish. Unlike natural stone, where colour and texture may vary, ceramics (unless you’re going for a stone lookalike) offer a uniform finish and clean lines, making them perfect for a contemporary look. For a more traditional finish, terracotta, encaustic and mosaic tiles are just right for period halls, bathrooms and conservatories.
Colour and pattern are a huge trend this year. Retro prints, architectural designs with motifs and styles ranging from the ‘40s to the ‘70s, botanical illustrations, folk patterns and even ‘delftware’ (ceramic pale glazed tiles with a traditional blue design) are all bringing colour and light into our homes. Metallics (think aged silver or bronze) are another strong trend. We love the new season’s vibrant glass tiles and mosaics – choose the right colours and they glow like jewels – which have a sleek, almost luminescent finish. Paler shades of blue and aqua glass work very well against wood, steel or granite worktops.
Natural materials – stone, slate, limestone and travertine – are timelessly beautiful and ideal for walls and floors. Beautiful, simple and sustainable, these materials have been used in homes and buildings for centuries. Limestone is a classic finish for period hallways and kitchens. Travertine has a more variegated appearance, and is also available in a rage of forms and tones, including polished, honed and tumbled. For a cool, glossy finish, marble is the top-end option.
Shape & size
Tile texture and size make a real difference to the look and feel of a room. Outsized, rectangular tiles and flagstones on walls and floors are popular – large, pale tiles can enhance the sense of space in small rooms. Mosaics are coming back too – they add texture to walls and floors, and glass, jewel-tone mosaics add light and colour, too. To bring a bathroom or kitchen up to date, choose outsized ceramic or pale stone tiles for floors and walls, and pair them with a different colour grout- try a dark grey or chocolate for contrast.