TILED TO PERFECTION
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 –...