Most of us have probably spent so much time picking out tiles for a new build. So much so that we arrive at a point where we just develop a pattern of analysis paralysis. Having said this, we thought it would be fun to share a little bit of our thought process when it comes to deciding on a tile design for your home.

Racing Green Fireplace from https://www.ziatile.com/

Start with an Inspiration

Entering a tile store can be so overwhelming even for the most experienced designer. Considering the number of beautiful patterns available in the marketplace, it is important to have an inspiration or an idea as to what your ideal tile will look like beforehand. 

For instance, if you prefer an aesthetically pleasing yet highly versatile tile, then you can research and go for a classic Moroccan. In particular, common zellige tiles can be used in almost every part of the home, from walls to backsplashes, to flooring. Once you have decided on a specific type, you can then work your way and design the house around it. Basically, you can treat it as a jump-off point of your project.

Think About Other Things That Go Well with It

From article How to Make Your Bathroom Look Expensive, photo by Sherwin-Williams

After you choose a specific tile design, you can then consider other things that would kind of go well with it. For example, if you choose safer, more popular patterns, you give yourself the opportunity to be more flexible in terms of the appliances, decorations, etc. that go around it. One clear advantage of using something like subway tiles is that the design possibilities are rather endless. With this, it will be fairly easy for you to envision what a certain room would look like and/or the type of materials that would complement it.

Group the Items Together

When picking flooring tiles, we suggest having the other materials in place so you can kind of see everything together. Also note that most designs look different in different lights, so—if possible—you can or should bring a panel by the window and see how it looks altogether. Furthermore, you can also bring a piece of hardware (a handle or any piece that reflects the shade of your intended furniture or fixture) to properly build your interior’s color palette.

The right tile-fixture combinations can set the mood for any room

Stick to the Same Tone

In contrast to decorating furniture, if you are or have chosen a particular tone for your tiles, we highly advise that you stick to the same ones all throughout. Regardless of if you picked a cooler tone or a warmer tone for your hard finishing, the crucial part is that it remains consistent with your idea.

Choose an Expensive Tile and Use it in One Section of the House

If an expensive tile catches your attention, and you have doubts as to whether or not to fully commit to it, know that you can simply buy one (or a couple) and use it to your advantage—say as a backsplash in the kitchen. You really do not need to do the whole thing, as you could just do this under the top of the stove and make it the focal point of the room.

Place Patterns Behind a Vanity Mirror To See If It Fits Your Taste

Consider Placing Patterns Behind a Vanity Mirror

Another interesting tip when choosing the right tile for your home is to consider what goes well with your bathroom’s vanity mirror. You do not need, however, to do with the whole wall, you could just do it with the actual size of the vanity. Again, if it is a pricier tile, you can use it sparingly, but still, get the same effect.

Keep Everything Else Simple If You Are Using a Bold Pattern

If you are going with a tile that has a bolder pattern, make sure to surround and supplement it with simpler designs. Perhaps you can use subway tiles, or others that have similar neutral patterns. The aforementioned tip of using an expensive tile in a single section of the house also applies to this. You will have a show-stopping aesthetic without going overboard on the budget.

Make Your Tile Pattern Set the Tone

When it comes to setting a home interior’s overall feel, a lot of people start with a type of fabric, or a rug, or a wallpaper, or some other things for inspiration. Although it is not the most popular choice, know that you can start your design plans with your tile. Whether it is a renovation or a new build, your choice of hard finishing can really set the tone for everything else.

Square subway tile in The Designer Is In- An Optimist at Home in Notting Hill. Photograph by Chris Tubbs.

Maximize Subway Tiles

Earlier we have briefly mentioned using subway tiles, as it is cheap yet cheerful, simple yet elegant. In short, it is a definite classic. And we have this famous notion that classics go everywhere. There are a few things to point out, though.

You can get subway tiles glossy, or you can get them matte. The big thing is the grout because that totally changes the look. So, you could do like a dark grout, or you could do a white grout. The pattern, on the flipside, can range from a basic stack or brick, to something that is more complex and modern or those that have different lengths and order.

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