Choosing tile for your home is a little bit science, a little bit art, a touch of designer’s eye, and a dash of magic. Not how you expect a serious blog about choosing tile for your home to begin, I know. But finding the right tile – floor and/or wall – is simple, but not easy when you take into account the space, form, and function of the room.
Tile, more than any other floor covering, can transform a room. To make that transformation your first need to know the size of the room, and you need to understand how to manipulate the size of the room with tile to create the feeling that you desire.
Residential tiles come in an assortment of sizes and shapes, from one inch square accent tiles to 24-inch x 24-inch squares. There are also hexagons, coins, rectangles, and planks.
Accent porcelain and ceramic tiles can be squares, coins, and bars. There are also natural accents like pebbles, stone, glass, wood and marble. Marble can be cut into beautiful reliefs that look like something you’d find on the frieze of a Greek or Roman temple. Or these natural elements can be used in their original form, like pebbles.
To choose the tile you need to maximize the form and function of your space, you will need to pull out your magic wand, because tile can create illusion of height and form. It can make a small room look larger, or a large room look more inviting. Tile can create a focal point. Tile can distract from a room’s weakness.
If you have a small bathroom, use larger tiles to give the room an elegant look. While 12-inch x 12-inch tiles used to be the workhorse, it is fast becoming the 18-inch by 18-inch tile. According to Robin, one of the designers at City Tile, 12-inch x 24-inch floor tiles are the best to use in a small room, especially on the wall. Stacked vertically, they give a sense of height.
Planks on the floor can be used to make a room look wider when used length-wise from the door to the far wall.
Monochromatic coloring can also make a room look larger, just as it works to make a petite person look taller. To create this monochromatic look, use the larger 12 x 24 tiles and a matching grout.
Lighter colored tiles are going to make a room look larger than a dark tile. That is why so much white subway tile is used in bathrooms, but instead of a standard subway, choose a large format white tile. Another choice is a creamy colored faux stone tiles.
Large rooms can often seem cold and uninviting, sometimes even intimidating. Tile can make a large room look more accessible. Less imposing. However, using small tiles to bring down the size of a room doesn’t work. Small tiles in a larger room are just overwhelmed. A larger bathroom needs some weight, like an 18 x 18 on the floor.
Smaller tiles can be used on the wall, but not too small. A 12-inch by 24-inch is good, especially when it is broken up with accent tiles.
While all white and cream bathrooms are still the colors of choice, designers have been introducing black, blues, and green tiles into bathrooms and backsplashes. Color can make a large room feel more relaxed and natural – especially tiles of glass or iridescent glazes. You can even get sparkly glazes to match.
In a kitchen, bold use of color can create an emphasis, a focal point. Or turn the room into a work of art with sculptural tiles.
Even with these tips, choosing tile can seem daunting. That is why City Tile offers the services of designers at no additional charge. For more information about what their designers can do for you, read What Our Design Consultants Can Do For You. They’d love to help you find the perfect sized tile for your design to make give your home a sprinkling of magic.
If you have any unanswered questions about tile, leave us a comment below!