Choosing tile for your home once meant picking from among a handful of neutral-toned ceramic squares from a rack of options in a somewhat overwhelming and impersonal warehouse. The experience alone could be daunting and somewhat stressful for even the experienced home improvement consumer, as the choices are endless. Nowadays, not only are showrooms becoming more boutique-like and intimate, the most successful ones also offer design services to narrow down your wish list and pinpoint a style and look that is timeless.
So where to begin? Amid all the possibilities out there, the biggest challenge might be choosing something you’ll continue to love for a decade or more.
Porcelain tile is now made to look realistically like everything from aged wood and rough fieldstones to sleek Italian marble. Tiles made of glass, cork, mirror and even leather are taking the place of traditional ceramics. In all shapes and sizes, they are being used not just in kitchens and baths, but also gracing entryways, mudrooms and more.
Trends are shifting toward using tile all the way up to the ceiling, rather than the more old-fashioned approach of doing partial-tile walls with a snub-nosed edge. Full-tile walls make the whole room more cohesive, and can also give the illusion the room is larger than it is. Also consider getting creative with grout. Simple white subway tiles are a classic choice that can either be installed with thin, barely visible lines or thick lines in bold and darker “shades of grey” that can bring excitement to even the simplest kitchen design. No three-part book series required!
Once you have decided on a look and feel that suits the existing style of your home, and is also one that you find brings you happiness every time you walk into the room, the next step is finding a qualified professional to help pull it all together. Although it is possible to do the removal and installation on your own, the dangers of demolition and tile cutting can be an issue, and even the highest quality tile will look unattractive if it’s been installed incorrectly. At the end of the day, there are ways to save on materials, fixtures and the like, but one place to splurge is to hire a reputable and responsible installation team. This ensures a beautiful and safe result for years to come.