Decorating the Interior of Your Home with Tile

Tile can be an incredibly versatile building block because it comes in so many different styles, shapes, patterns, and materials. You can incorporate it in any area of your home, from the walls to the floor, as long as you choose a material that’s going to hold up to the demands you place on it.

Let’s look at several different tile material choices and some of the best places in your home to decorate with each one.

Glass tiles, which are formed by melting together sand and other minerals at a very high temperature, are an excellent choice if you want to add a touch of drama to a room. It’s best to avoid using glass tiles for your flooring as they can be dangerous to step on if they break, but they’re a good choice for walls, flourishes, and backsplashes because their color won’t fade and the tiles will stay moisture-proof.

Good uses for glass tiles include:
• Mixing and matching glass tiles with other materials, such as wood, to create contrast in a bathroom wall.
• Using reflective glass tiles for a modern backsplash.
• Adding a colorful glass frame to a mirror or window.

Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile is a beautiful material made from clay, sand, and water. However, its high moisture content makes it somewhat fragile, so it’s best to avoid using it in areas where there will be extreme temperature changes. The nice thing about the high moisture content is that it makes ceramic tiles easy to cut into custom shapes, making it a smart choice when you want to work with something other than a square-shaped tile.

Creative ideas for ceramic tiles include:
• Designing a backsplash with narrow diamond-shaped tiles.
• Replicating the look of marble for a kitchen counter.
• Using colorful, square-shaped ceramic tiles as wall art.

The dense clay of porcelain makes this type of tile highly durable and appropriate for use in just about any area of your house. If you don’t want to stick with the traditional white, unglazed porcelain look, you can screen-print colors or patterns onto the tiles. You’ll want to use through-body porcelain, which has color throughout the tile, if you’re installing this type of tile anywhere that you think it might chip.

Consider using porcelain tiles to:
• Create a consistent pattern for your bathroom’s floor and walls.
• Add interest to a large, open floor space by using porcelain tile patterns to create what looks like a built-in rug.
• Replicate the look of wood for a cozy kitchen or living room.

Natural Stone
It’s hard to beat natural stone when you want an earthy, authentic look in your home. If you decide to decorate with natural stone, you’ll also have plenty of material choices, including slate, quartz, and marble. Natural stone requires more maintenance than most other types of tiles, but many homeowners feel it’s worth it for the gorgeous look and texture.

Popular interior uses of natural stone include:
• Marble countertops in the kitchen.
• Baseboards made from reclaimed river rocks.
• Slate flooring and walls in the kitchen or bathroom.

Exotic Tiles
“Exotic” is a wide-reaching term that can refer to just about any custom type of tile, ranging from sea shells to reflective metal to natural semi-precious stones. Exotic tiles are a good choice when you want to design a modern room or make a statement with a unique accent.

Ideas include:
• An accent wall with metallic glass tiles.
• A mirror or door frame with a semi-precious stone tile like agate.
• A whimsical shower wall with sea shell tiles.

The tile interior decorating ideas above are just the tip of the iceberg; your options truly are endless when you decide to use tiles in your home. To get more ideas of how to incorporate tiles and reflect your personal style, check out this tile design style guide from Drury Design.

featured image: Skåne home styled by Lotta Agaton and photographed by Pia Ulin for Residence Magazine