Tile work is as ancient as Rome, but luckily, there are many new and different ways to use tile than in the past. In fact, there are so many creative ways to use tiles that you probably will be surprised at the flexibility of this rather rigid construction material. Not only is tile perfect for creating a unique aesthetic, but it can also help you solve some of the most robust design dilemmas.
Cover Awkward Architectural Elements
Don’t know what to do with that industrial-looking column in the living room when you hate modern design? What about the massive fireplace that is mostly unused now? Even elements like built-in cabinets and window seats can be a design dilemma if they don’t blend in with your style.
If you have ceiling beams, don’t let them dictate a rustic, Craftsman style, if that’s not your thing. You can cover them over with tiles. Tiles can be used to cover over awkward structural elements to make them a feature and not a faux pas and create a new aesthetic. Take a look at this decorative fireplace that, while not in use, can still add beauty and elegance to space.
Mimic Brick Layouts Using Ceramic or Stone Tiles
Like the look of brick, but inside instead of outside your home? You can mimic the rustic color choices of brick and create new design possibilities with further materials in brick shapes. Here is a stone tile being used on the kitchen floor on the left, which looks like a brick.
Compare that to this beige ceramic tile used in an overlapping brick layout pattern that makes it seem “brick-like” but polished and smooth. Now, imagine using ceramic or stone tile outside with other types of materials, like travertine, and can start to see how this can be used as an upgraded brick aesthetic.
Make a Huge Statement with an Accent Wall
Everyone knows that mosaics make it possible to create the accent wall of your dreams. However, it isn’t just beautiful Asian-inspired motifs that get a lift using tiles, as in this cherry blossom design.
Consider other exotic wall locations (to be even more creative). Areas that might be considered unusual, but add a lot of style to the home, are as follows: above an entryway, as a backdrop for a glass shower stall, going up a staircase and along with the steps, or even on the back wall of your open or glass-faced kitchen cabinets.
Embrace the Art of Camouflage
Tiles can be used as camouflage, depending on your needs. Maybe you want a space rug without the hassle of having fabrics in the bathroom or kitchen where it is quickly ruined. Or maybe, you prefer tile to carpets because they’re easier to keep clean in a high traffic area. The solution is to camouflage tile to make it look like a rug.
You may also want to create wood floors out of stone for precisely the same reasons – ease of maintenance and high durability. Modern aesthetics require modern camouflage that can really give your home a different look. I will highly recommend flower tiles.
Create the Illusion of Space and Light
When you use modern materials like glass or metals in tiles, you can create the illusion of light bouncing around. It makes a space look sparkly and lighter. This can also increase the sense of spaciousness in the room.
If you combine this with design techniques like laying glass tiles vertically on a wall to accentuate the height of a room or stone tiles diagonally on the floor to accentuate the width, you actually change the way space feels.
Line, Long, Boring Spaces with Tile
Not much can be said for a narrow corridor except that it sure needs some color and style. It’s just such small, undefined, living spaces that can be exploited to produce a big impression for the limited space. Suddenly, a blank corridor can become a star with ledger stone tiles set in place like a modern sculpture.
If you don’t want to add tile to your walls, even adding clay to a long corridor on the floor can guide the eye down the path in elegant ways, such that you don’t notice the dull walls.
Celebrate a Past Era
Why not celebrate other eras with tile? That’s part of the fun of using this ancient material. If you want an Italian etched stone look with that classic patina, then the Bordo Antico is the perfect tile choice.
If you prefer a Greek bath in marble, complete with tiled stone columns, you can’t go wrong with the Carrara tiles. Even if your tastes are more modern and you really just like the Art Deco era, there are different ways to use tile to create that effect, from neoclassical scrollwork to a themed mosaic.The Bottom Line
Have a space in your home that is presenting you with a unique design challenge? Think tile. By using this material in creative ways, you can transform a room into whatever you want.
Mask awkward or unwanted architectural elements. Mimic brick or add space and light. Exploit dull spaces and make them features that impress your visitors at the level of detail in your home. If you want to return to the glory of Ancient Rome or just simply feel like a bit of Art Deco in the music room, tile is the answer.