So many tiles to choose from

Home decor


Urban homes today have a special place for tiles, the newest fashion statement for homes. During the course of time, custom design and people’s tastes have evolved in a big way. Tiles have become an essential decorating element. They are not restricted to only bathrooms and kitchens any more. With a variety of glamorous and magnificent tiles available in the market today, they can be used not only for the living and dining areas, but for bedrooms as well.

Exciting interior designs

In fact, tiles can also be used for cladding furniture too. With the right tiles you can make an exciting interior design style.

Tiles can beat marble as they come in many colours and design, with various shapes and patterns, giving a new designer look. Marble has been losing its edge to changing demands in the real estate industry. It also weighs more and lacks tonal varieties when compared to the new range of fashion tiles in the market.

Range of options

The latest trends in the tile segment in India swing between two extremes. Tiles with metallic textures and patterns embossed in gold and silver are hot in the high-end luxury home segment where an opulent look is apt.

Tiles with natural finish of marble and wood are sought after in apartment blocks and utility homes.

Gold embossed embroidered tiles can be used as either wallpapers or panel highlights on the wall. These exclusive tiles can make an artform by themselves for designer homes.

You can choose from shades of rich brown, beige and earth tones to brightly coloured tiles in red, green, orange, purple and so on.

From floors, walls and ceilings to the front portion of your homes, there are tiles available to suit every taste.

You can choose from terracotta and porcelain to metallic and glass to marble and leather.

When it comes to beautiful floors, it is hard to beat tiles. Tile floors are beautiful, durable and natural. They are virtually impervious to food spills and water, rendering them highly practical not only for kitchens, bathrooms and entry ways, but for the entire home too.

Stone floors can be accented with an inlay or a border in contrasting stone or they can be simply topped with an area rug. Tile floors can run from country casual to formal and luxurious and some of them come with a high price.  Floor tiles are thicker and more durable than those for walls or countertops.

Tile floors do have certain drawbacks. If you drop heavy items on the tile, you could crack, or break the tile (you should have some spare tiles to reset it later).

Tiles on the floors

You can make your floor extraordinary, by adding a decorative tile floor that can add elegance and beauty to your home. You can create a visual illusion or draw attention to a section of your room with tile floor patterns. Using tiles of the same or different size, as well as matching and coordinating colours gives you the opportunity to be creative in designing a pattern with your tile flooring that flows, but looks great. Map out your ideas.

There are many options of patterns you can choose from, such as checkerboard motif, crosswise design, diagonal or vertical layouts or stepping stone or brick weaving patterns. View tile choices, consider different sizes, as well as the material of the tile, and select one style to make a floor pattern, or go for a more dramatic look through coordinating tiles of different or similar colour palettes.

Ceramic wall and floor tiles have attributes of classic beauty, durability and ease of maintenance. You can select from the trendiest stone look as well as an extensive assortment of porcelain and ceramic tile options. Natural slate is a very durable hard wearing material and is more elegant than artificial ceramics, but costs less than average marble granite, making slate tile an ideal material for flooring and wall covering. Slate floors and slate walls have their natural accents for their “rough” feeling and appearance. 

They come in a variety of shades including rustic yellow, golden yellow, green, grey and black. There are beautiful natural stone tiles available which include marble, limestone, terracotta and granite.

Glass tiles are available in countless varieties of shades and textures which can bring a different finish to your room altogether.

Metal tiles are often used to replicate other metals like bronze, brass or plain steel. They can give a unique textured look when embedded on the floor or the walls.

Terracotta tiles can adorn the floor or walls with an incomparable handmade appeal.

They can be artistically combined with other types of tiles to create subtlety and contrast in the final look. Each terracotta tile is different from the other and can make your space look unique.

What to look for

Factors that you need to keep in mind while choosing files include:
*Aesthetic appearance
*Shape and size
*Scratch resistance
*Water absorption rate
*Cleaning ease
*Cracking resistance
*Bonding strength
          
Unless you have a super-sized bathroom, keep the tiles size small, larger tiles are difficult to fit around the many obstacles in a bathroom (toilet, pipes, bathtub, shower, cabinets etc)

Think twice before installing tiled counter tops. It can become difficult to keep the grout lines clean. Do not choose a tile colour to match your furnishings as all these things are temporary, whereas tiles are permanent. Be careful with the use of multiple colours, as they can become tiresome. Instead, consider using a generally neutral background colour and install a few splashes of colour here and there as accents.  Grout is an amazing design tool which homeowners do not even consider while designing a tile. Grout can become as important as the tile itself from a design perspective. You can change the colour of grout, space the tiles wider or narrower to emphasise or de-emphasise the grout. Do not ignore the design possibilities of grout.

Tile floors have become a very modern, elegant style for homeowners looking for chic but practical flooring options. There are numerous options for tiling, ranging from beautiful and rare tiles, to the durable and practical, from rustic and natural, to polished and professional. Tiles can accentuate the overall space of your living space. These tiles can enhance the beauty and appeal of your place. These tiles can do wonders in the living, dining and bedrooms too, apart from kitchen and bathroom areas. Not only can they be used for the flooring but can be cladded on the walls of the living room, behind the dinner wagon in the dining room or can also be the focal point on the headrest wall of the bedrooms.

(The author is an interior designer and decorator, Modccon Interior. She may be contacted at modcconinterior@rediffmail.com)

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