Tile Style - Flooring with Attitude!

Monday June 02, 2008
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Tile floors are one of the world’s great flooring classics and a true design chameleon. Name your style, and tile flooring can go there, playing as big or small a role as you choose. Will you want the floor to be casual or formal, quiet or dramatic, rustic or urban? Whatever the look, tile flooring can provide it. You’ll realize that the moment you set foot in a tile flooring showroom. There, you’ll see floor tile in an unbelievable range of colors, sizes, shapes, textures and finishes, plus there are borders and grout colors to up the ante.

With so much fashion available, selecting can be difficult, but interior designers have their ways to whittle down the choices. Here are some of their strategies.

  • Choose conservative tile flooring for large spaces. Down-to-earth hues – such as terracotta, sand, cream and gray – are virtually foolproof.
  • Large floor tiles make a space look larger.
  • Since tile flooring is so easy to care for, this is one way to get that light-colored floor you’ve always wanted.
  • Yes, tile flooring belongs in formal rooms. Consider a glazed tile in a deep jewel color, such as topaz or emerald, to complement English antiques. Or a neutral color with a rich border if Louis-Whoever is more your style.
  • Area rugs – from Orientals and Navahos to Ryas and Flokatis – look wonderful on top of tile floors. For a seasonal change, think of a sisal rug.
  • Eclectic rooms – the ones that mix many styles – are highly personal, and hugely popular. Because tile is such a classic, it’s a great unifier. It’ll even put an overly mixed room on the right track.
  • If country is your style, think of using tile flooring with uneven edges and texture underfoot. Brick shapes in classic terracotta or sand colors are excellent for rooms that reflect Provence or earliest Americana.
  • Stone textures are very fashion-forward and probably the most versatile in the world of tile flooring. They can cross borders and span eras with ease. For example, a large, slate-textured tile in a dark color is perfect if Koolhaas-cool or urban chic is your style, but the same look would be equally at home in a craftsman cottage or New England farmhouse.
  • Ceramic mosaics – small, square, round or hexagonal floor tiles – are terrific for Victorian and craftsman interiors. They can be all one color, which creates a quietly traditional floor, or mix colors for drama. Hexagonal shapes with a "dot" in a different color are typically Victorian. Mosaics also lend themselves beautifully to decorative borders.
  • For Mediterranean, South-of-the-border and the newly trendy Moroccan styles, you can’t do better than unglazed terracotta tile floors. Moorish shapes are traditional, squares more modern and versatile.
  • Keep in mind that there are many ways to lay tile flooring. Rectangular tile can be set brick-style, for instance, or in blocks of twos, or herringbone-fashion. Each creates a style all its own. The brick pattern is casual, block style is more versatile and can even go formal, and the herringbone look tends to dominate, so it’s best in uncluttered spaces. Setting tile flooring diagonally enlarges a floor visually, and designers often surround a diagonal field with a border of the same tile set in a straight pattern.
  • Grout (the stuff that goes between the tile) can be a design tool. It comes in many colors, so you can choose to play up tile’s geometry, or play it down for a nicely understated look.
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Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 2 comments

Colored grout changes the entire look of your tile
I put in terracotta tile in my very Mediterranean themed home (Lots of iron in my kitchen, rustic cabinets and bronze/reds/cremes on my walls)It adds a very rustic look to my home. I've always thought of terracotta to be a little tacky but instead of using white grout I used brown grout instead. Its amazing how the colors from my tile and my grout flow together so well. my tiles don't stick out like a sore thumb with the brown grout. Anyone looking to use terracotta I highly recommend trying out different grout colors. it makes a world of difference in the richness you can bring to your home.
April 3 2009
Great ideas
Lots of great tile ideas. Great article!
August 27 2008
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