Interior designer Julia from DIY SOS gives her top tips for tiles
What would you say are the current trends with tiles?
There are several strong trends in tiles, my favourite is the new dark and dramatic look using glossy blacks and metallics to create a ‘rock and roll’ look with real punch! The industrial trend incorporating patinated metal finishes, natural timber and pared-back finishes has been around for a while but is still very popular and this year has seen a ‘softening’ of the look with the addition of luxurious finishes and velvety textures. The surface material of choice at the top end of the market has been marble for the past few years and the latest HD printing techniques have produced ceramic tile equivalents that you’d be hard-pushed to tell from the real thing at a fraction of the cost and with less maintenance issues.
What style of tiles work best for kitchens?
I’m a great believer in using whatever excites you as most materials will work successfully if considered carefully. Generally speaking smaller format tiles are easier to install though I recommend dark grout to avoid staining of white/ light grout in cooking areas. Metro/subway tiles always provide a crisp, modern look and metallics will up the ‘luxe’ stakes.
What works best in bathrooms?
Bathrooms generally benefit from larger format tiles for easy maintenance. Choose glossy tiles if you’re trying to increase light levels in the room and matt finish for a ‘softer’, less clinical appearance. Don’t be afraid to use dark tiles for a fabulous cocooning and dramatic look.
What's the best way to incorporate colour and pattern with tiles?
There’s a strong move towards patterned tiled floors to finally bring a neglected surface onto the scene! Insert blocks of patterned tiles within a plain surround to create a ‘rug’ effect if an entire patterned floor seems overpowering. When introducing colour, remember that your eye will be drawn to the most saturated colours within a room so be careful to add colour to areas you wish to highlight, avoiding strong colour in those ‘less appealing’ areas.
What are the benefits of using tiles over other materials when it comes to walls and flooring?
As well as their hardwearing attributes, tiles have a superior depth of colour and finish compared to any other material. Tiles become part of the fabric of the building which in turn makes an architectural statement that wallpaper and carpet finishes can never achieve.
Lead image: Ted Versatile
Below: Hex & Industrial Black, both British Ceramic Tile
Article by: EKBB