Inspiration

Picking The Perfect Tiles: 4 Questions To Ask Yourself

While the stunning array of tiles are endless, there are a few things to know before choosing what goes where for your kitchen and bathroom.
Picking The Perfect Tiles: 4 Questions To Ask Yourself

One of the best parts of renovating the bathroom, and kitchen? Choosing the tiles. I said what I said and let’s talk about why. Tiles come in an array of shapes, sizes, colours, and are multifunctional depending on what type you buy. The variety of what type of tiles you can buy makes its a case of being spoilt for choice, and in some cases making it difficult to choose. Been there, layered the tile.

Choosing your tiles has a similar design process to choosing patterned wallpaper. There are a good few factors to consider when deciding the design of the tiles, and pattern if that’s the look that you’re going for. Before making any purchases, there are four key questions that will help to give direction on what type of tile will work best for the space they’ll be going into.

  • What space will you be tiling? i.e. Kitchen or bathroom? Wall or floor? A splashback or entire wall?
  • What impact do you want them to make? i.e. Decorative or practical? Or both?
  • What’s the colour scheme? i.e. Will the tiles make up the primary colour? Statement feature? Or will they be contrasting?
  • Do you want tiles that are plain or have a layered pattern to them?

It’s always a good idea to have a plan; an understanding of what you’re looking for and the space in which the feature will be going in to. And for all of that to be done before you get stuck into the fun part of choosing your tiles.

this is a kitchen with green tiles by Rebecca Gibbs

Minimal aesthetic, maximum style

The magic of tiles lie in their optical illusions; the different shapes can make smaller spaces appear darker or darker areas seem lighter. They make taking a plain canvas and bringing it to life with funky colours and patterns fun and to some extent easier than having to find and pair different materials and fabrics, to add character to a space.

No matter your style, there’s a tile for it. Drawn to Scandinavian interiors, and capturing those hygge moments? A Nordic Pale wood effect tile creates the foundation for the minimal aesthetic we love to see in Scandinavian design. In love with the traditional features of Farmhouse interiors? These Italian tiles, Winchester Beige adds a lavish effect of natural limestone that would work perfectly as flooring or on the kitchen walls.

this is a bathroom with white tiles

Cultural fusion of colours, patterns, and shapes

Traditionally, tiles come in the form of a rectangle or square. Now we’re seeing more designs take many more shapes that require a bit more thinking, but the rewards are endless. For a home that is influenced by mid-century modern design, a geometric design offers an artisan charm that you may have thought would have had to come as either a throw or a rug.

Palm Springs Pink or Moroccan Mix Hex, both inspired by traditional Moroccan tiles, makes adding pattern and colour on the walls in a dynamic way one less decision to have to think about. Because of course, they’re going to look good whether they feature all over the bathroom walls, or by your fireplace. Their dynamic design makes them amazingly versatile when it comes to where you use them.

this is a project by nina jizhar with minimal and patterned tiles

Travelling up North from Morocco, you’ll discover the rich tiling history of Portuguese culture. Often referred to as Azulejo tiles, Portuguese tiles are known for their blue and whites designs along with yellows and greens. Inspired by Porto and Lisbon, Porto Blue ticks all the boxes when it comes to stylish, versatile, and vibrant tiles that will work in just about any room you put them in. They’d make a gorgeous addition to a kitchen, and they may even inspire a Portuguese zest in your cooking.

Make your way further up, okay up then East, and you’ll reach the Scandinavian region Known for their simple yet often playful designs. Tivoli Mix is a nod to the infamous amusement park in Copenhagen where playfulness and uplighting nature is front and centre. Their random collection of patterns as flooring or as a feature wall for a bathroom with grey or light shades, will make getting ready in the morning that little bit easier. Cheerful and stylish, what better can you ask for?

this is a kitchen with portugese tiles by nickey kehoe

Back to the glam ol’ days

There are a handful of tile designs that can achieve that luxe boutique and contemporary look successfully, without being overpowering in a space that is neither a hotel lounge nor a bar. It is possible to find a similar design that can be brought into the home? Absolutely. Onice Beige Mosaic or Fitz (a personal favourite) are nothing less than glamorous. Onice’s golden edges would transform a simple splashback wall in the kitchen to a feature wall that sets the tone for the room. Whereas the unique Art Deco style of Fitz would land perfectly in the bathroom, above the vanity table or by the shower accompanied with white walls.

If it’s less about the pattern, and instead you’re focusing on the shape of the tile, Drops White is an update on the classic Moroccan fan tile. Its modest tones are the ideal backdrop for all over the kitchen where the cabinets would offer a contrast in colour, or in a bathroom that may otherwise be plain white.

this is an art deco inspired kitchen with gold and silver tiles

Trending Now: Terrazzo

Terrazzo, the trend that’s having its moment in the world of interiors. I imagine it won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Originated in 16th-century Italy, Terrazzo is a composite material made up of marble, granite, quartz, or glass chippings set into cement.

It’s for this reason that makes Terrazzo one to lust over. Every tile is different and incredibly hard-wearing. That said, bespoke Terrazzo can be painfully expensive making it less viable an option when decorating a home. And then, came porcelain tiles. It’s possible to bring the look of Terrazzo into your home, without needing to stretch the budget. Arlo is the perfect alternative that can be used to style the floor of a bathroom with a splash of artisan or in the kitchen married with white cabinets.

this is a bathroom with terrazzo tiles by we are scout

Start with the bathroom or kitchen

When you’re spoilt for choice, choosing the style to go for is the more difficult decision. Once you’ve narrowed down your options and decided on the look and feel you’re going for, things get much easier.

Here, we’ve talked mostly about the kitchen and bathroom for reasons that will hopefully help on focusing on one room at a time. When it comes to tiling the options on where to put them are endless, but as a way of giving a dash of inspiration and guidance, the bathroom and kitchen are two good places to start.

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Photo credits: 1. Rebecca Gibbs 2. The Design Files 3. Nina Jizhar 4. Nickey Kehoe 5. Elle Decoration 6. We Are Scout

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