August 26, 2021

Home ideas

Decorative tiles for customised décor

With the right approach to decoration, the home presents a canvas for creating a personalised décor.

Decorative tiles are among the most important resources available for customising our dream home. The sheer variety of uses and applications throughout the home and garden can ensure a coordinated bespoke result. However, the number of options available for floor and wall finishes can make the task of choosing decorative tiles daunting. This article aims to provide practical and proven tips for making the right choice of decorative tiles for your home.


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Why use decorative tiles?

There are several reasons why decorative surfaces, as opposed to plain surfaces, have been an integral part of home design over the years.

Broadly speaking, they can be summarised as follows:

  • Pattern, colour and motif represent artistic expression and add visual interest to walls, ceilings and flooring. All surfaces in the home represent an opportunity for decoration. The living room, the kitchen and the garden are perhaps the most important places to spend money and get right. These are the areas that best represent our homes, where we get the most enjoyment.
  • The use of decoration for finishes isn’t simply an aesthetic consideration. Pattern and motif can also help establish an appropriate scale for home décor, one that responds to the human body and the dimensions of the space. Decorative tiles help make the perception of larger rooms more intimate and smaller spaces more generous.
  • With decorative tiles, it is possible to evoke different styles and cultures through home décor: Mediterranean warmth and wholesomeness, Nordic coolness and timeless design, the geometric sophistication of Moorish motifs. The look and feel of these tiles will result in very different spaces.

Decorative ceramic tiles

The reason we have decorative tiles in the home, in the first place, is down to ceramic tiles. These were the first to be mass manufactured and used extensively in home décor. From the encaustic floor tile to patterned wall tiles (glazed to unglazed), the extended use of decorative tiles changed home interiors. Today, these monochrome patterns or highly coloured decorative tiles are more affordable and widely available than ever.

Decorative wall tiles

If we think about the areas of the house that we use the most, that is where decorative tiles work best. Because they are not only the areas that get the most wear and tear but also the ones we spend the most time in, they are pivotal in terms of design.

  • The sink is where anyone working in the kitchen spends the most time. So combining practical considerations with a decorative finish for the backsplash makes sense. The aim, in the end, should be to create a pleasant and attractive vista while cooking, adding to the overall appearance of the kitchen.
  • Decorative floor tiles in a dining room, for instance, can bring the dining area into the limelight. Mimicking a rug in a visual sense, but with no dust-gathering material and much less maintenance. Tip: Frame the decorative tiles with plain tiles in a complementary colour palette to achieve the full effect.
  • With decorative tiles, a bland and unloved zone of a living room can take on new life. Consider creating a feature wall that highlights a focal point such as a chimney breast or a reading niche, using decorative motif tiles.
  • The area behind the wash hand basin in the bathroom, where the cabinet and lighting are located, and the walls of the shower or bathtub area are great places to add decorative tiles. Place them up to the ceiling to visually enlarge the space.
  • The entrance and hall are where first impressions are made. But also where we are welcomed home and the transition between outside and inside (or vice versa). Decorative tiles fulfil two functions, they look good and are easy to maintain. Floor tiles at the entrance are also a good idea because of their greater resistance to heavy traffic.

Outdoor decorative tiles

The garden (or conservatory), can be used all year round, just like any other room of the home. The patio or terrace area adjacent to the home should feature finishes like those used indoors to reach its full potential as an outdoor room. These finishes require special attention however, they must be weatherproofed.

The use of decorative tiles should be an integral part of any approach to terrace décor. Decorative tiles are ideal for terrace flooring or wall cladding, helping create an area where we enjoy spending time. Tip: Concentrate the decorative floor tile within an area surrounded by grass for the best results. Similarly, use in combination with plain tiles to create a vaster impact.

Decorative tiles; colour, textures and mosaics

Decorative tiles do not have to be brash or ‘over the top’ to make an impact. With very subtle colour variations, motifs and textures, the effect is just as powerful. If not even more so.

Textures and mosaic relief wall tiles within a controlled colour palette in a kitchen or bathroom can create a strong character. In contrast with the smooth finish of cabinetry doors or sanitaryware, the aesthetic effect is heightened. Along the same vein, a patterned mosaic floor tile used around a kitchen island or dining table helps zone the space.




Wall & Floor Tiles

Browse our collection of decorative & patterned tiles perfect for an added design touch to your home. Shop our decorative tiles now!



FAQs regarding decorative tiles

Decorative tiles need to be installed more carefully because of their aesthetic character. It is, therefore, highly recommended to use a qualified and experienced tiler. Floor and wall tiling is, nevertheless, within the scope of the average DIY enthusiast. Follow these instructions for optimum results.

1.    Ensure the surface to be tiled is adequate for the chosen tile. It will depend on the load factor, the location and the substrate or backing.

2.    Follow manufacturer's instructions regarding adhesive and grout. If in any doubt, consult the salesperson or online under the section "You will need". 

3.    Check that all surfaces are clean, dry and, most importantly, flat before commencing any tiling job. Use a spirit level for doing that.

4.    The use of tile spacers with self-levelling adjusters is also highly recommended. Joints should be 2mm for inside and 5mm for outside, minimum. 

5.    A notched trowel is required for the even spread of adhesive for floor and wall tiles. Large-format tiles, anything measuring over 1,000 sq. cm, will need a double application, i.e. both the right and the reverse side of the tile.

6.    Only undertake a small area of tiling at a time. It is less daunting and results in a better finish.

7.    Press the tiles into place with a to-and-fro movement while the adhesive is in contact with the tile. Use tile spacers to ensure an even and level distribution.

8.    Let the adhesive set for 24 hours before filling the joints between the tiles with grout.

9.    Grouting should be applied with the rubber float. Important: Avoid using any tools that might damage the tile finish.

10.    Clean the excess off with a wet sponge once the grout begins to dry, but before it completely dries (that can take 2-4 hours).

The internet is a great starting point for sourcing tiles: wall tiles, floor tiles, patterned tiles, mosaics etc. Before committing however to any decorative tile it is fundamental to see it in reality. No photograph or video will ever capture the true colour and texture of a decorative tile. The showroom then is an obligatory port of call before choosing your decorative tile. Make an appointment online with your nearest showroom.

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