Discover Your Tile Style

Open floor plan Kitchen with tile-wrapped column

When you think of tile, what comes to mind may be the checkerboard pattern that was in your childhood home; but today’s tile has evolved into something much more interesting than a predictable pattern. It’s economical and fashionable and is a popular choice for two of the most used spaces in the home: kitchens and baths. From eye-catching placements to bold and beautiful color choices, tile offers many creative uses for both spaces. Whether a complete redo or just a little refresh, here are four ways to use it as a showstopper in your space.

Use it In Any Color

Open floor plan Kitchen with tile-wrapped column

Column & wall tile: Porcelonosa, Touch Navy 3×12

Research shows that when our eyes connect with a color, our brains release different chemicals that impact us emotionally and physically. As much as we love a traditional white subway tile, using blue tile in the kitchen might be the key to calm cooking. In the bathroom, cool hues are a great way to create serenity while you unwind.

“Our client wanted to define the [kitchen] space even though it’s an open floor plan and so the blue tile now defines where the kitchen starts and ends,” said Heather Schuster of Alair Homes, on the tile-wrapped column and kitchen wall tile.

But, how do you commit to a color? “I recommend going into a showroom to see and touch the tile, and from there decide on the element that you want to start building from,” said Becky Sue Becker of BSB Designs.

“People are taking chances with bright colored tile and bringing these unique decorative spaces into their homes,” said Schuster. “There’s not a single color [on trend]–I’ve seen pink, blue, purple and multi-colored.”

Make it The Main Feature

Shower with Hexagon Porcelain Mosaic wall tile

Shower wall tile: For a similar look, check out MAXIMO’s Vita Bella Hexagon Porcelain Mosaic. Shower floor tile: For a similar look, check out ADESSI’S Aquamarine Polished Ceramic Tile. Bathroom floor tile: For a similar look, check out VALLEY RIDGE’S Austel Brown Wood Plank Porcelain Tile

An accent tile wall can make an eye-catching statement before you even step foot in the shower. From a mosaic panel or strip against one side of your shower, to an entire wall tiled in a different color or pattern, shower feature walls come in all shapes and sizes. Wall tiles are both waterproof and washable, making them perfect for the walls of walk-in showers and on the floors of wet rooms, too. They are perfect for framing your bath or shower space and zoning the entire bathroom.

“Matching your floor tiles to your shower walls creates a seamless and cohesive look while making a bold statement,” said Becker. “I guide my clients to choose the shower walls first because that’s at eye level, so it’s the focal point. If the tile on the wall is ‘loud,’ the floor tile has to be ‘quiet’ because it’s the ‘stage.’ You can’t have everything competing with each other.”

Go Big with A Backsplash

Kitchen with Empire Nero Black and Gold backsplash
Backsplash: Empire Nero Black & Gold 24 x 24

Backsplash isn’t just for the sink, anymore. With unexpected colors or patterns, tile offers a variety of design possibilities on any wall that needs protecting, from metro and square tiles to large-format and mosaics. Create something visually unique by staggering the height and format or mix-and-match tile and grout colors.

“Grout is a big part of the overall design of your tile installation,” said Schuster. “There are different widths of grout and that makes a big difference in the final visual presentation. More often we’re seeing thinner lines of grout and that’s because we’re seeing more color of tile.”

Use It Somewhere New

Curbless shower with free standing tub

Double vanity

Floor and wall tile: For a similar look check out Argent Silver Porcelain Wall and Floor Tile. Tub wrap & vanity backsplash: Mother of Pearl Mosaic

Add a bit of creativity to your bathroom and kitchen by combining a mix of tile types or weaving the same tile, but in unexpected places. Don’t be afraid to mix and match and get creative with colors and layouts to find what looks best for your home.

“We wanted a tile cover that was impervious in a wet environment but still had to curve around the tub so we chose a Mother of Pearl mosaic,” said Becker of this bathroom’s wrapped tub and matching vanity. “The vanity is on the opposite wall so it’s a nice balance. The design function is more like a treatment of wallpaper and adding the same tile to the bathroom backsplash added a splash of spice to the room.”

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