Tile can spice up your design life!

Colors and finishes range from rugged earth tone looks to the spice rainbow to the stunning metallic and glass tiles, so design posibilities are endless! Metals are quite popular right now, from brass, bronze and silver to stainless steel, making them a wonderful match for today’s appliances and bath fixtures.

The differences between ceramic and porcelain tile can be confusing. Simply put, ceramic tile is a mixture of clays and other natural materials mined form the earth, shaped, colored and fired pretty much as they have been for hundreds of years. Porcelain is a relatively new form of ceramic tile, composed of finer clay fired at much higher temperatures, making porcelain more homogenous, stronger and less prone to moisture and stain absorption. This makes porcelain suitable for outside installation and explains why porcelain can be made into stone fashions only tougher, a lot of times tougher than Mother Nature’s version. As a side -natural stone tile is stone quarried from the earth then cut and finished.

Tile size helps determine the feeling of spaciousness. One trend, especially in larger homes, is fewer grout lines for a more solid, less broker-up look. You can find tiles in large formats such as 16 x 16, 18 x 24, 20 x 20 and some at even 22 x 22 and 24 x 24 inches!

Glass tile is popular, coming in many shapes and sizes, but mostly in 2-inch squares and smaller, and in many different colors and qualities, usually mounted on sheets of paper or mesh for easy installation. Glass goes from clear to frosted glass block or bottle and sea glass. Glass tiles are being used on both floors and walls, as accent pieces.

Spice up a room with “decos.” These are specialty decorative tiles which help set a design theme. Design away! Use one alone as artwork. Cluster several like a picture grouping, or mixed with field tiles to create unusual designs either on the wall or on the floor.

Do you have a ’busy” room? Calm it down with neutral soft tones on floors or walls. Use contrasting colors to liven things up. Deep-colored tile adds drama to a very large space or helps showcase light-colored furniture. The beauty of ceramic is in the naturalness of the tile, so be prepared for different shadings. It’s part of the charm.