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Let's Talk Tile

Being designers, it's no secret that we have a strong affinity for tiles! Stepping into a tile showroom feels like a mini vacation for us. However, we understand that this sentiment may not be shared by everyone. Many clients find themselves daunted by the plethora of choices. Whether you're updating a bathroom, kitchen, or any other area of your home, selecting the appropriate tile can have a substantial impact. If you lack a designer's assistance, continue reading for a few tips from us to help you during your next tile shopping excursion.

Our Design Tips

  1. Consider the Room's Function and Choose a Colour Palette

When we specify tile, our first step is always to decide on a colour palette. Gathering inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, or your favourite coffee table books is a great way to begin. With the palette selected, think of the function next. For high-traffic areas like mudrooms, kitchens, and entryways, opt for durable materials like porcelain or natural stone. Always balance safety and style by paying attention to slip resistance. Often rated according to the Coefficient of Friction, slip resistance can be complex. Ask your designer or showroom if you are unsure about this.

2. Play with Patterns and Layouts

Tiles come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, allowing you to create unique patterns and layouts. Herringbone, checkerboard and basketweave are all popular patterns that can add visual interest to a space. Don't be afraid to mix and match different tile shapes and colors to create a one-of-a-kind look.

tile patterns interior design

kitchenette tile backsplash

3. Use Tiles to Define Spaces

Open-concept living spaces can benefit from using tiles to define different areas. For example, use a different tile pattern or colour in the kitchen to distinguish it from the living room. This technique can add depth and dimension to your home and can also be applied to hardwood floors. 

front porch herringbone floor tile

4. Choose Grout Colours Carefully

Grout colour and thickness can dramatically impact the overall look of your tiles. Contrasting grout can make tiles pop while matching grout creates a seamless appearance. Consider using stain-resistant grout for easier maintenance. If you are working with a crisp white tile, we recommend going with an off-white grout colour to help prevent staining.

Current Trends

1. Bold Colors and Patterns

Contemporary styles now favour vibrant colours and detailed patterns. Moroccan and encaustic tiles, known for their lively designs, are experiencing a resurgence, bringing personality and allure to any space. While incorporating trends, it's advisable to use them sparingly, especially in compact areas like a powder room. In our opinion, classic designs always remain the top choice!

colourful shower tile

steam shower colourful tile

stacked tile mosaic

patterned backsplash tile bathroom

2. Large Format Tiles

Large format tiles are gaining popularity due to their capacity to enhance the perception of spaciousness in a room. By reducing the number of grout lines, these tiles achieve a contemporary and streamlined look. They are particularly suitable for guest bathrooms and high-traffic areas. 

modern sleek shower floor and wall tile

3. Natural Stone

Marble, slate, and travertine are still popular choices for natural stone tiles due to their enduring beauty and strength. Every natural stone tile is distinct, offering a custom appearance that can enhance any area.

natural stone backsplash

4. Matte Finishes

Matte-finished tiles are trending for their understated elegance and ability to hide water spots and fingerprints. They offer a sophisticated look and are perfect for contemporary and minimalist designs.

Choosing the Right Tile

1. Determine Your Style

Take into account your general design style when selecting tiles. If you lean towards a traditional appearance, go for subway tiles or natural stone. If you aim for a contemporary vibe, consider large format tiles or striking patterns. Ensure that your tile selection harmonizes with the current décor and architectural features of your home. To experiment a bit and introduce something fresh, your powder room presents an ideal opportunity, as it is a space used briefly and only on occasion.

herringbone wood floor tile in shower with modern tile

2. Think About Maintenance

Various types of tiles have varying maintenance needs. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are simple to clean and upkeep, which makes them perfect for households with a lot of activity. While natural stone tiles may need sealing, with the availability of excellent products in the market, resealing is typically only necessary every five years or so.

3. Set a Budget

Tiles come in a wide range of prices, so it's essential to set a budget before you start shopping. Keep in mind that the cost of installation can also vary depending on the complexity of the design and the type of tile you choose. We always recommend spending more money on your front entry, primary bathroom and kitchen.

4. Get a Sample

Before making a final decision, it is recommended to request samples. Evaluate the samples in the actual room where they will be used and observe how they look at various times of the day and under different lighting conditions. This practice can help avoid costly mistakes. Also, remember that natural stone exhibits a range of patterns, so a single sample may not provide a complete representation. It might be beneficial to ask for multiple samples or even purchase a full box!

5. Need further assistance?

If you're uncertain about which tile to select, think about seeking advice from an interior designer or a tile expert. We greatly enjoy collaborating with clients and partnering with our suppliers to bring your entire vision to fruition.

- Lidia & team


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