Get creative with tiles in your home

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03 Jul 2013

Tiles are no longer restricted to bathroom and kitchen applications - using tiles on floors and walls throughout the home is becoming a hot trend the world over.

Feature walls comprise a single wall in a room that offers a unique and eye-catching effect, making it the focal point of the room in question.

Jasmin Kraneveldt from Bathroom Bizarre says they can be used to great effect as tiles are not only a practical and stylish flooring alternative, but when used on walls or as feature accents, can add a sophisticated touch to any room.

With a wide variety of tiles to choose from – ranging from faux wood and natural stone, to floral or geometric designs, or plain coloured tiles with interesting textures – tiles can be used to complement the existing style of your home or to create a glamorous new mood in your living spaces. “When thinking about using tiles in your home, it is a good idea to think creatively. Also, be sure to select tiles that not only complement your décor scheme, but that also reflect your personal style,” Kraneveld says.

Tiled feature walls

Feature walls comprise a single wall in a room that offers a unique and eye-catching effect, making it the focal point of the room in question. A feature wall is usually created by painting it a different colour, or covering it with some interesting wallpaper – but you can also choose to tile the wall to create a dramatic and attractive end result.

Tiled feature walls can add an interesting dimension to a space. "Since many tiles are slightly textured, a tiled feature wall will have more of an impact then say a painted feature wall for example," she says. She adds that a tiled feature wall is a perfect way of altering the atmosphere of a space, especially in smaller rooms where tiling a wall will add an element of style without cluttering the space. Feature walls add interest to a room and draw attention to pre-existing architectural elements in your home as well.

Tiles in your study

Tiles in a study are a practical and interesting addition. A tiled wall behind a desk will add an attention-grabbing feature to what is commonly a rather dull room. Tiles are also easy to clean – ideal for removing hand prints and scuff marks off your walls.

A tiled wall behind a desk will add an attention-grabbing feature to what can commonly be a rather dull room.

Lighter coloured tiles are the ideal choice for darker studies, which can be used on the upper walls and complemented by darker tiles on the lower walls for practical reasons regarding dirt and scuff marks. For a seamless finish, the two layers can be separated with an interesting listello for some added visual appeal.

Tiles for your floors

Tiled floors can be a practical and tasteful addition to any room in the home. Tiles are easier to clean, they are more durable than other types of floor coverings, and tiles in lighter hues can go a long way to brightening up an otherwise dark room, and making it seem larger and airier than it acutally is.  

“Tiles are also a great choice for the warm summer months, as they are naturally cooler underfoot, and when paired with underfloor heating, they are ideal for winter too," Kraneveld notes. She says tiles are arguably the best choice of floor covering for those homeowners who suffer from allergies – as they are easy to keep clean and unlike carpeting, they don’t trap any dust or dirt particles.

Tiles and fireplaces

Tiling is an easy way to turn your fireplace surrounds into a design feature in itself. With the use of fire cement, tiling is an easy way to keep the wall around your fireplace looking new and burn-free. Extending the tiles onto the floor in front of your fireplace is also an innovative way of preventing embers and cinders from damaging your floor.

Kraneveld says home owners often opt for wooden flooring throughout their homes, but fail to take into account that wooden floors in front of a fireplace will undoubtedly end up blackened, burned and damaged from embers that jump out of the fire.

"Also – any wall immediatley around the fireplace will also eventually end up blackened by the soot emanating from the fire." For these two reasons, tiled fireplace surrounds are a must as tiles can withstand the embers and the soot can be easily cleaned from surrounding wall tiles. She encourages homeowners to choose smooth glazed tiles for the freplace surrounds, as porous tiles, such a natural stone cladding for example, will absorb the soot and she says it is near to impossible to clean the soot from a porous surface such as this.

Tiles in your bedroom

Although tiles in the bedroom are an unusual concept, when used correctly, a tiled surface can add a refreshing touch to the boudoir. Tiling a single wall in a bedroom can serve to create an interesting backdrop to the space. The use of dark floral tiles for example, can add a subtle, yet modern and romantic accent to the overall décor composition. Faux wood tiles in deep, rich wooden tones on the other hand, can be used to add a warm and luxurious feel to the bedroom.

Using tiles as a built-in headboard is another innovative and modern idea, and Kraneveld explains that by choosing tiles that complement and accentuate the furniture and lighting of the room, a permanent tiled headboard could add an interesting element of design to any bedroom.

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