Laying Down Tile Design
Giving your kitchen or bathroom a tile makeover can change the entire style and feel of the space. Whether you’re looking for something completely unique or you prefer to stick to a more neutral palette, there are many options available in style, materials and colors. Whatever your preferences, today’s tiles offer an array of creative options for dazzling designs.
Perhaps the most popular choice right now, glass tile is a very versatile option. “We are seeing a lot of glass,” says Tom Dwyer, CR, of Harbour Towne Construction Inc. “Some are using it just for accents, but we’ve seen it for an entire backsplash and a wall of glass mosaic tile.” Glass also offers great opportunities for interesting textures. “The newest in tiles would be the dimensional ones in glass,” says Judy Mozen, president of Handcrafted Homes Inc. “They are not a flat surface on the wall; they swerve in and out with curves and textures.”
Using natural stone tiles, such as travertine, is still big in Atlanta right now. Some homeowners are mixing natural stone with other materials to create one-of-a-kind looks. “The last two bathrooms that we did had natural stone and marble designed together to create a traditional, but unique, look,” says Matt Hoots, CEO of The Hoots Group Inc. Sticking to the basics with natural stone can also be beneficial. “Many people are preparing for a market turn, so with smaller-scale projects, they are sticking to the neutral color palettes and classic or traditional materials,” says Jennifer Hicks, CKD, of Cruickshank Remodeling.
Porcelain tile, a common choice throughout the years, now opens up some interesting options. “One of the newest trends is using digital ink-jet technology to make porcelain tiles that look like natural stones, such as travertine, slate and marble,” says Alan Dewberry of Tile Factory Outlet Inc. “A porcelain tile made with digital technology can give the appearance of a natural stone tile without the care and maintenance that natural stone tiles require.”
If you’re looking for a stylish, unique accent for your kitchen, metal tiles are a prime pick. “Metal tiles are becoming much more popular, especially in kitchen areas,” Dewberry says. “Stainless steel and copper mosaics seem to be the most popular metals used for kitchen backsplashes.” Metal is almost always used for accents, as opposed to entire rooms.
Neutrals are still the most popular color choices for tile, with many people choosing tiles with beige or brown tones. However, right now, tiles with gray and white undertones are becoming more and more common. If you’re looking for a little more color, cool blues and greens can add some extra personality to a bathroom. “Some clients bring the Caribbean watercolor feel into their Atlanta homes to create a more casual, airy, vacation feel,” says John Beach of Paces Construction Co. Choose any color that suits your style, but remember that neutrals are probably best if you plan to sell your home in the near future.
Sizes and Patterns
Different sizes and patterns are ideal ways to get creative. Small glass tiles are great for creating a mosaic effect in a shower or backsplash, while larger (up to 20-by-20 inch) tiles can bring an elegant feel to your floors. “Always remember that larger areas look better when tiled with large tiles,” says Peter Stasiowski of P&J Tile.
Making Your Choice
With so many options available, choosing tile can be difficult. “Atlanta was historically considered a very traditional market for decorating and design tastes, but with such a huge influx of people from all over the country to the metro area, interests have broadened to include contemporary, modern European and generally more eclectic tastes,” says Gregory Gomard of Tile House Inc. To ensure that you get what you’re looking for, visit a variety of showrooms and take home as many full-size samples as you can to see how they look in your space. Remember, choose something you love, and you’ll enjoy your newly tiled space for years to come.
“If you love bright colors, use them in easy-to-replace accent areas—a backsplash at a vanity or in the kitchen, or a design on a seat in the shower.”
—Judy Mozen, president, Handcrafted Homes Inc.
“Pick tiles that are durable and will last as long as the other components of the room. If you pick a cheap tile and install it improperly, then you will have to redo the tile sooner because it will crack.”
—Matt Hoots, CEO, The Hoots Group Inc.