Could you imagine a perfect kitchen or an impeccably clean, stylish bathroom without tiles? Definitely not!
Versatile, durable and so beautiful, tiles are one of our favourite interior design materials. They’re so much fun that the scope of applications is now starting to expand beyond the hallway, kitchen or bathroom.
Tiles can be used traditionally (as wall and floor covers) or they could be introduced in more innovative, artistic ways. If you’re about to execute an home interior design project and you’re looking for some inspiration, here are the essentials to keep in mind.
Hundreds of Reasons to Love Tiles
Why are tiles so popular in interior design? Chances are that you can name many reasons for their mass appeal. Speaking as professionals, here are just a few of the tile benefits that we really enjoy (and so do our clients).
First of all, tiles are so versatile. There are small tiles, big tiles, glazed tiles, coloured, textured and patterned tiles. Some are created to mimic other materials like wood and bamboo. Some even have a metallic sheen, which results in sophisticated and somewhat unusual solutions.
Tiles are also cost-effective. Depending on their uniqueness, the material they’re made of and size, you can find some really budget-friendly solutions (or some luxurious executions if that’s your thing). Interior design professionals can easily recommend at least a few tile varieties that fall within a price range the client feels comfortable with.
Ease of maintenance is another serious perk. Tiles are very durable. When installed correctly, they’ll remain in a stellar condition for decades to come. They are also waterproof and stain-resistant. A simple wipe with a mop or some soapy solution will be sufficient to treat staining or spillage.
When thinking about interior design materials to introduce in your home, you should also pay attention to some of the drawbacks.
In terms of tiles, there aren’t too many disadvantages. If you choose the wrong variety and you’re simply interested in aesthetics, there’ll be some risk of getting slippery tiles. The material is also fairly cold and hard – two characteristics that make it different from other popular options like wood.
Some Popular Tiles to Consider
The term tile is quite generic and it refers to a whole range of different products. Usually, tiles are differentiated on the basis of the material that they’re made of.
Ceramic tiles are most common. They’ve been around since ancient times and they’re still popular today. These tiles are crafted from a special type of baked clay with colourful glazing on top. The material is durable, easy to clean and affordable. While there are some misconceptions that ceramic tiles can’t be used on floors, this isn’t the case.
Natural stone tiles represent another very popular segment. They add cool, elegant sophistication to the interior design but natural materials like marble, granite and other types of stone are more expensive.
There’s one more important thing you have to understand if you want to go for natural stone tiles. These materials are porous, which means they can harbour dirt and dust. When installed, stone tiles have to be sealed professionally for an optimal outcome.
Porcelain tiles are a good in-between option. They’re crafted from a finer clay than ceramic tiles and they’re almost 100 per cent waterproof. In addition, porcelain tiles are baked at a higher temperature, which gives them extra hardness. Porcelain tiles can be glazed or unglazed, a characteristic that contributes to their versatility.
A few other popular types of tiles on the market today include mosaic tiles, cement tiles (so great for that industrial look!), glass, metal, resin and terracotta tiles.
All of this variety is amazing but you’ll probably find it difficult to choose the right tiles for your project. Singapore interior design professionals like the Home Guide team can help. Here are a few examples of tiles we used in our projects and the outcomes we delivered.
Traditional Tile Uses and Beyond
At Home Guide, we like classics and we also like breaking interior design boundaries. The style we chose is heavily dependent on the homeowner’s preferences and the outcome they desire.
While tiles are common in the kitchen and the bathroom, we also believe they’re a perfect choice for living rooms and entertainment spaces, as well. In this open layout flat, the use of larger tiles in the dining room and the living room creates continuity and consistency.
Larger tiles can accomplish one very important thing – they create the optical illusion of vaster space. In Singapore, you can find tiles as big as 120×120 centimetres per tile. This is a much larger dimension than some of the more common choices like 30×30, 30×60 and 60×60 centimetres.
For this project, we tried to recreate the feel of an oriental bath through the use of Moroccan-inspired tiles.
Patterned tiles can give a bathroom or another space lots of character, especially if the rest of the décor is kept simple and monochromatic. Usually, patterns are introduced in smaller spaces like bathrooms or tine kitchens. When used in a larger space, patterned tiles can create too much busyness and take away from the impressiveness of other design elements.
If patterns aren’t your thing and you’d like to keep tiles simple, unorthodox shaping could become your next best friend.
Check out this Yio Chu Kang Rd. flat bathroom that we worked on. The team combined large, stone-inspired floor tiles with the more visually intriguing hexagonal tiles on the walls. Monochromatic and pretty neutral, they add some interest to the bathroom design through the shape alone.
In other words, don’t take square or rectangular tiles for granted. If you want something a bit more distinctive, chances are that you’ll discover a fun and fresh shape to play with.
Speaking of fun and fresh, here’s another cool thing you can do with tiles. In this instance, the tile is a chameleon posing as wood. And it does so quite successfully!
Parquet and hardwood floors are not an optimal choice for the kitchen, no matter how beautiful they look. Hardwood is soft and it can easily get damaged if a knife or a utensil falls. In addition, it can absorb humidity. Tiles posing as natural wood offer the perfect solution, giving you the warmth of wood and the practical solidity of the tile.
In the kitchen, tiles can be utilised in a couple of additional ways.
A tile backsplash is very practical because it’s waterproof and very easy to wipe clean. In this Bedok Court Condo kitchen, we used fairly small white tiles that mimic the arrangement of bricks. The small size has been chosen specifically to add a bit of texture and dynamic lines to the otherwise clean and minimalist design.
Sometimes, different types of tiles can be used alongside each other. The hexagonal tile bathroom is one example of such a project and here’s another one:
In this case, different colours are used to create spatial segregation while keeping within the same theme (natural stone).
Finally, tiles can be taken in exterior spaces. There, their waterproof and practical nature will add to the ease of space maintenance.
Go Beyond Classic Tile Uses, Contact Us Today!
Tiles are going to stick around for hundreds of years to come. Even if new materials are being explored, traditional tiles will still be utilised for the creation of practical, almost entirely maintenance-free spaces.
Are you thinking about using tiles in a fun way for the renovation of your home? Do you have a vague vision that you’re finding difficult to bring to reality?
Home Guide’s team can take your décor project to the next level. Contact us now to discuss the specifics with us. We’ll put together a visualisation that unleashes the full potential of your interior design vision.