Country Living (UK) - - Contents -

Bring colour and pat­tern to your rooms with stylish stone, el­e­gant en­caus­tic and chic ceramic tiles


When us­ing pat­terned tiles, keep the room fur­nish­ings as sim­ple as pos­si­ble

A tra­di­tional choice of floor­ing, tiles cut from nat­u­ral stone, or made from glazed and unglazed ceramic or porce­lain, have a time­less ap­peal. As well as be­ing dec­o­ra­tive, in­tro­duc­ing colour and de­sign into an in­te­rior, they are hard­wear­ing and wa­ter­proof, mak­ing them a prac­ti­cal op­tion in hall­ways, bath­rooms and kitchens. If you would like a strongly pat­terned floor – such as a patch­work or che­quer­board ef­fect – try to keep the rest of the fur­nish­ings in the room as plain as pos­si­ble. Se­lect­ing tonal colours or a lim­ited palette is the best way to do this. A good gen­eral rule is to keep the size of the tiles in pro­por­tion with the room size – so, the big­ger the room, the larger the tile. Also, con­sider how you are go­ing to lay them, par­tic­u­larly if they are a solid colour. They could be placed in the same di­rec­tion to vis­ually ex­pand the length or width of a room, or per­haps ar­ranged in a her­ring­bone style. Many of the lat­est porce­lain and ceramic de­signs mimic nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as stone and wood, and can be less ex­pen­sive, more durable and sur­pris­ingly hard to dis­tin­guish from the real thing. Suited to kitchens and bath­rooms, vinyl tiles are softer and warmer, much eas­ier to lay and come in plain colours and prints, such as flo­rals or geometrics.


When you need ar­eas to be wa­ter re­sis­tant and easy to clean, tiles are the per­fect choice – ar­ranged from floor to ceil­ing can work par­tic­u­larly well if you have an open-plan shower or wet room. Plain styles are of­ten the pre­ferred choice, but an in­ter­est­ing shape – such as a hexagon, ogee or rec­tan­gu­lar brick – will add more char­ac­ter. Al­ter­na­tively, try a bor­der or dec­o­ra­tive mould­ing to break up plain ex­panses. Don’t re­strict them to kitchens and bath­rooms, how­ever, as they can be ex­tremely use­ful in hall­ways up to the height of a dado rail to pro­tect walls from scrapes. Glazed or pat­terned tiles have a sim­i­lar ef­fect to wall­pa­per but can also be com­bined with plain tiles for a more sub­tle fin­ish.

Whether you opt for en­caus­tic tiles (op­po­site), plain ceramic (top left) or glazed porce­lain de­signs (above), cov­er­ing a whole floor is an op­por­tu­nity to be ad­ven­tur­ous with a bold mo­tif. Even with the most elab­o­rate mix-and-match floor­ing, a sim­ple...

THIS PAGE AND OP­PO­SITE Block colours, such as sim­ple white (above) or glazed bot­tle green (be­low cen­tre), cre­ate a clas­sic look. Add ex­tra in­ter­est by play­ing with the shape and size of the tiles. Al­ter­na­tively, use pat­terns for a state­ment wall –...

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