Tile Talk: Tiles for Living, Tiles for Loving
Gone are the days of 6-inch square wall tiles, with a ceramic floor if you were lucky and enter (excuse the pun!) versatile tiles! Advances in technology mean that the hot product for tiling right now is without a shadow of a doubt, porcelain. Porcelain is durable, low maintenance, bleachable and can be steam cleaned making it the ideal contender for the modern family home. No more banishing of the muddy football boots to the garden, putting socks on the dogs and following behind the other half with a dust pan and brush… let the tribe run free!
With the trend for open plan living ever increasing, and architects and home owners favouring double height spaces and with underfloor heating in new homes becoming the norm, tiles are a great partner for underfloor heating as the product is a great conductor and retainer of heat. Pair tiles with central heating or electric underfloor heating for a warm to the touch finish. Toasty! You don’t have to build a new house to incorporate under tile heating into your home though, bathroom, en-suite or kitchen renovations can also benefit from this feature. Electric under tile heating on a matting system can be fitted by any certified electrician, and with sizes starting at 1 sq metre, even cloakrooms can take advantage of this product. We recommend Warm Up for both loose wire and matting electric under tile heating.
Our favourite tile trend of the moment is Geometric styling. Think contrasting grout for an industrial vibe used in conjunction with exposed brick… and if the thought of exposing brick sends fear to your very core and you’re already having chills thinking about the dust, roll up Urban Brick by The Baked Tile Company. Create the look of exposed brick without the hassle. Using a grey grout on a faux brick wall will further add to the character of the wall and reinforce that original exposed brick look. Copper looks fantastic with muted tiling schemes and the warmth of a red brick will contrast perfectly with a tin tub.
Top Tip: Don’t limit tiles to indoors only.
All porcelain is naturally frost resistant, and a lot of ranges are now available in anti slip finishes, making them perfect for use on floors outdoors as well as in. If you are installing bi-fold doors and have tiled finishes indoors, then extend your scheme outdoors with the use of matching tiles in outdoor finishes. You can even get wooden effect tiles in outdoor finishes, playing on the look of decking but again without ever having to strip, treat and paint it.
If you are now as in love with tiles as we are and are ready to try something new and adventurous, then introduce a fade. This ‘London Look’ started in fashion, with the ombre hair styles of London Fashion week trickling down into interiors, so get your fade on and create something truly unique to your home. For a successful fade you will need at least 3 colours of the same tile, start with the darkest at the bottom fading vertically from dark to light. If you have particularly high ceiling heights, try and use a minimum of four colours to achieve the best finish. Monochrome fades always look great, if your fade is for use in a bathroom, the contrast of the white sanitary ware will work wonders in lifting a dark tile selection. Add some fluffy white towels and hey presto, you’ve transformed your otherwise dull sale de bains.
Other up and coming tile trends include chipboard. In the past few years, the industry has seen a move towards using building materials as final finishes. If you are up on your interior design trends, you will no doubt have dabbled with concrete effect finishes in the home and now 2017 will see a revival of chipboard. If you are intrigued but want a less obvious approach, use a grey hue to tone down the effect of the chipboard. If you want to go all in, the stripes range has the appearance of painted stripes or you can subtly introduce colour by opting for the natural and blue mix. Also great for commercial applications, a show stopper such as chipboard will work wonders for coffee shops, restaurants and bars with an urban edge.