Design Lesson

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Get the inside scoop on pattern tiles from design editor Stacy Begg. Author: Walker Zanger

Design Lesson

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Design editor Stacy Begg explains why patterned tile is worth your while.


Patterned tiles are all the rage. We’ve seen them at historic sites and commercial establishments for quite some time (check out @ihavethisthingwithfloors on Instagram for proof), but they’re making their way into residential spaces at lightning speed. You can attain either an old- or new-world look at home with two types of tile available in the marketplace: cement and porcelain.

Cement tiles are handmade by pouring pigmented mixtures and cement layers into a mould and compressing them, while mass-produced porcelain tiles are made by glazing and firing clay at high temperatures for long periods of time.

Porcelain
Pros: Durable and long lasting; stain and scratch resistant; easy to clean; generally less expensive; ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens and entryways.
Cons: Can lack character from being machine made; more difficult to cut during installation.

Cement
Pros: Eco-friendly; handmade for lots of character and charm; perfect for bathroom floors and backsplashes in kitchens.
Cons: Need to be sealed periodically; slight imperfections from being made by hand; weight means shipping can be expensive.

 

Photo Gallery

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Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Keep focus on the tiles

Tip: Keep the rest of the elements in the room “quiet”, like your kitchen accessories, so the focus stays on the patterned tile, as shown in this kitchen featuring Walker Zanger ceramic tile.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Walker Zanger Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Try monochromatic

I prefer patterned tiles that are monochromatic, like these graphic black and white ones from the Cement Tile Shop. The more colours there are in the tile, the more difficult it’s going to be to work other elements into the room.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Like colour?

Try this geometric option in shades of blue with a touch of yellow. It makes a statement but is subtle enough to share space with other bold elements. Cement Tangier tile in Black, Atmosphere, Velvet Sky, Malibu Blue & Maple Sugar, 8" x 8", Creekside Tile, $34 per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Walking on sunshine

A hint of citrus yellow offers colour in a subdued way. Promenade cement flag tiles in Citrus, Salt & Light Cool Grey, 8" x 8", Waterworks, $47 per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Calming hues

Let these tiles do the talking. With a circular pattern and grey tones you won't need many more statements in this space. Eastern Promise cement Mamounia tiles in Palazzo, 8" x 8", Ann Sacks, $32 per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Create your own pattern

Rotate these tiles to create several different patterns. Pacific Collection cement diagonal tiles in grey & white, 8" x 8", Cement Tile Shop, $16 US per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Visual bliss

A monochromatic pattern means you can easily add pops of colour with other decor elements. Porcelain Provence tiles, 8" x 8", Saltillo Imports, $9 per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Make a statement

Subtle yet striking these tiles will amp up any space. Stick to a monochromatic palette throughout the room to keep these tiles the focus of any space. Pacific Collection cement Star tiles in Black, White & Light Grey, 8" x 8", Cement Tile Shop, $16 US per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Basic palette

Black, white and grey is bold and dramatic, perfect for a contemporary space. 1900 porcelain Llagostera tiles, 8" x 8", Mettro Source, $12 per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Subtle pattern

The intricate detail of these tiles pairs perfectly with white accessories. Cement Gypsy tiles in Putty & Pebble, 8" x 8", Creekside Tile, $27 per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles

Bolder in black

Make a bold statement with black and white. Porcelain Faenza tile in Gris, scored with 9 assorted pat- terns, 13" x 13", Mettro Source, $12 per sq. ft.

By: Stacy Begg Source: Ryan Brook Credits: Style at Home
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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Playing with patterned tiles