How to Choose the Right Tile for Your Home
Tiles are tricky. There is such a wide variety of shapes, colors, textures, and finishes that it’s hard to know where to begin. Tiles can be used on walls and floors, in bathrooms and kitchens, and in any room looking to balance function with aesthetics. Here is a roundup of the tiles we often use in our projects and how to use them.
Reflect Light with Gloss Tiles
Highly polished and reflective tiles bring light and luxury to most rooms, such as sleek entryway floors or bathroom walls, even if using a darker color. These tiles are easy to maintain with just a quick wipe down. If using them as flooring, be sure to ask about slip resistance before installation. When thinking about durability in tiles, porcelain is a better choice over ceramic. For a high-gloss design in bright white, we love the Tap Field Tile from Ann Sacks. It’s simple, sleek, and timeless.
Highlight Small Spaces with Metallics
Metallic accents add a touch of glamour to most spaces. Look for small focal points where these tiles can add shine and elegance, such as a fireplace surround, a bar backsplash, or a powder room accent wall. For metallic tiles, we love the Ellington Collection from Walker Zanger. The combination of metallics and geometric shapes has us dreaming!
Subway tiles are one of the most versatile tiles to use in a design. They come in every color and finish imaginable, and their simple shape makes them easy to integrate into any room. Place them in their classic brick formation or switch it up and run the tile vertically for a different look. Fireclay Tile never ceases to amaze us with their rich and vibrant hues, reminding us how subway tiles can bring a pop of color to a laundry room backsplash or a shower or wall niche.
Keep it Classic
If a bold color or a metallic finish isn’t your style, but you still want to create a little visual interest in your space, opt for a classic pattern such as herringbone. A herringbone pattern is subtle so it can be used in both small and larger spaces. We recently installed a herringbone tile backsplash behind a kitchen range, but it would also work perfectly in a powder room or bathroom as either a floor or wall finish. The tile shown is by Ann Sacks and is their Athens Silver Cream, but if you’re going in a white and gray direction, then the Keystone Herringbone by Waterworks is at the top of our list.
Add Encaustic Character
Encaustic tiles are ceramic or cement with a pattern that is created using different colors of clay or cement throughout the entire tile (instead of a glaze over the top of the tile). One of the benefits of encaustic tiles is that the design remains as the tile is worn down, since the colors penetrate through the thickness of the tile. The vivid designs of these tiles become the centerpiece and allow you to keep the surrounding finishes simple. Encaustic tiles in a powder room floor would be an unexpected pop of pattern, while a tiled wall in a kitchen would add some unique character. We are using a graphic black and white Cle Tile in a bathroom floor in an upcoming project, and we are also in love with the depth of pattern and color variety offered by Fireclay Tiles. While their Classic Cuerda Seca collection is glazed, the patterns will give the same encaustic feel and image.
If you want a smooth surface without the high polish, go for a honed finish. The smooth surface allows the natural pattern of the stone to come through. Plus, it’ll add a subtle natural sheen without creating a slippery surface. Waterworks Signet Field Tile is this type of refined, chic simplicity that we love including in our projects.