INTRODUCE SOME TEXTURE
Textured tiles are a great alternative to wallpaper in a dining space. Cement tiles with an embossed pattern and a subtle matte finish add style and colour without overpowering the scheme.
Motif Collection in Hexagonal (price on order), Italcotto.
FAKE THE LOOK OF REAL WOOD
In areas where a wooden floor might be impractical or you need an extremely tough finish – such as an outside entertainment area fake it with wood-effect tiles. These durable, slip-resistant tiles are available in a plank-style format, with woodgrain-effect textured finishes makingthem lookjust like the real thing.
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Barn Wood Grey Anti Slip Matt Glazed Porcelain Tiles (164 x 1000mm), R560 per square metre, Italtile.
TURN THE FLOOR INTO THE FEATURE
Make a durable design statement by using decorative tiles on the floor. Whether you bring in some bold colour or keep it to a monochrome palette, patterned
floor tiles can easily add personality to a space, liven up a neutral scheme, and replace rugs for an easy-care floor option.
MAKE A TILE DISPLAY
Ornate tiles can be pricey if used over a large area, but just one or two tiles displayed on a mantelpiece or a picture shelf can create a stand-alone feature. Choose tiles in similar tones, but with contrasting textures, sizes and patterns. To anchor your display, stand larger items at the back, then prop a couple of tiles in front to create another decorative layer.
BE PRACTICAL WITH PATTERN
Make a small space feel larger by tiling the floor and walls the same. The eye won’t be able to distinguish where each begins, so perceives it as one large area. Choose tiles in a light colour, which reflects light, and so can add to the effect of spaciousness.
Don’t shy away from mixing different tiles in one area, but do minimise a clash of patterns and colours by keeping to a limited colour palette throughout, using no more than two or three key shades and keeping in a similar tone. Simplify your scheme and avoid an overly busy effect by restricting patterned tiles to just one surface with plain tiles elsewhere. Opt for pale grout – a darker one will fight for attention. * Atelier White Matt Ceramic Wall Tile (600 x 300mm), R139,90 per square metre; Futura Atelier Matt Ceramic Feature Wall Tile (600 x 300mm), R159,90 per square metre; both CTM.
While there’s something special about using natural stone tiles in the home, they are porous and need to be sealed regularly. New porcelain stone-effect tiles imitate the natural beauty of the stone without the maintenance (or the hefty price tag), and can be used both indoors and out.
Kilimanjaro Rhino Stone Matt Porcelain Floor Tile (420 x 635mm), R109,90 per square metre, CTM.
UPCYCLE PIECES OF FURNITURE
Okay, so you might not want to do all of your tiling yourself (there’s a reason there are professional tilers), here’s a quick and easy DIY project you can do in an afternoon. Customise a dull shelving unit by covering the back panel with mosaic tiles to create a bespoke kitchen island unit. Buy glass mosaic tiles by the sheet and attach them to the back of the unit using wall-tile adhesive. Grout the area with waterproof grout so that any splashes and spills will be easy to wipe clean.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT GROUT
Just as important as your choice of tiles is the grout. Its role is to lock tiles together, keep water out, and prevent damage to the tile edges, but it has decorative function too.
If you’re going with over-the-top tiles to make a statement, match the grout to the tile colour, so the tiles remain the star of the show.
A contrasting grout colour will highlight the layout of the tiles, rather than the tiles itself.