6 August 2020
Much of what we take for granted regarding the modern kitchen, its hygiene practices and food preparation are a relatively recent phenomenon.
Running water, indoor plumbing, a varied diet and the modern kitchen layout all originated in the Victorian era. Back then, much like today the kitchen walls were usually finished with tiles, at that time glazed wall tiles were ubiquitous, normally located above worktops because of their hygienic properties. The upper walls of these high ceiling spaces would have been whitewashed, to augment the light and reflect the idea of cleanliness. Tiles remain the most popular way to finish the walls of kitchens, for good reasons which we will examine below.
BEIGE NATURE 154×328
Just like everything else interior décor related the range of contemporary options for modern kitchen wall tiles is much more varied today.
There is an appropriate kitchen wall tile for all tastes and all styles of decorating. The most successful wall tile selection considers the kitchen in its entirety as an integrated space. Kitchen wall tiles should be compatible with the kitchen worktop, base and wall cabinets and of course the kitchen floor finishes. Here below we look at five examples of ceramic and porcelain kitchen wall tiles.
Stone as a material is associated with longevity, with time and the formation of the earth’s crust. An organic material whose patina improves with age, acquiring greater character over the years with use and time.
When featured in the home especially within the kitchen it helps create a classic ambience which is tempered with modern appliances. The illustrated kitchen features an off white mosaic tile laid in a rectangular tesserae style complementing the colour and texture of the beige grey classic kitchen worktop.
By keeping the different materials within the same family of colours a coordinated and coherent decorative effect is achieved. This stylish and elegant approach is immune to changing trends and will never look dated.
CASPIAN GREY CLASSICO BPT 40X80X1.5
LAMPIONE 1L LIGHT 19.2X200X1.5
LINES CAMBRIC PERSIAN WHITE CLA26.5
The hydraulic style tile was beloved of the Victorians, reflecting the improvements in technological manufacturing processes that came about during the 19th Century. An economical way of combining colour patterns within the same tile became popular in public and private buildings.
The optimum way of using patterned wall tiles is to be sparse, choose an area within the kitchen that will become a feature wall.
Usually the backsplash or a kitchen island gable which can be made more special by using neutral or block colours elsewhere within the kitchen. Like this crafted flower tile with blue beige and grey tones shown in this example of a contemporary style kitchen with traditional wall tiles.
LS 1L ATLANTA 24.3X220X0.8
CRAFT FLOWER 14.7X14.7X0.8
RAFT IVORY 14.7X14.7X0.8
To draw attention to the contrasting smooth and rough textures within the contemporary kitchen 3-D textured tiles are an innovative and original option. A textured mosaic wall tile with a subtle relief inspired by the look of natural stone draws the eye.
When combined with the honed finish of a worktop or stainless steel appliances the tile helps anchor the kitchen work space. The play of light and shadow provides a foil to the machined surfaces typical of the modern kitchen.
If expressed in neutral colour tones the textured wall tile will have a long life span, easily combined with other finishes within the space.
MOSAICO PRADA ACERO 45X120
The subtle textures of natural materials such as marble combined with man made effect finishes like concrete produce a surprisingly intriguing decorative result.
The illustrated kitchen wall tiles in this example provide a frame that draws attention to the large format veined Carrara effect marble porcelain tile backsplash and worktop. Contrasting the rough texture of the concrete with the timeless quality of Carrara effect marble produces a classic and neutral decorative effect.
CARRARA WHITE 150×300
BOTTEGA ACERO 150X300
To really push the boat out and achieve an exquisite designer flourish there is simply nothing like glass mosaic tile for the kitchen backsplash. This intricate geometric tile in a cream colour tone provides a luxurious and decorative finish.
The geometric motif is defined by the parallelogram, a slanted rectangle shape, the finishes combine matt and gloss effects with further geometric pixelations and patterns. The overall result is further enhanced by the reflectance of the light, whether it be natural or artificial.
In this example the tile is used vertically with open shelves together with a neutral dark teal cabinetry. The contrasting colours and effects of the glass produce a highly modern but decorative kitchen featuring mosaic art for the backsplash.
RHOMBOID CREAM 29.8X29.8X0.8
The backsplash is the most common area featuring kitchen wall ties, that area between the underside of the overhead cabinets and the kitchen worktop. When tiling this area choose a tile that does not involve an awkward cut tile. Mosaics work well for smaller areas of backsplash. A feature wall is also a common way of cladding a kitchen wall.
Investing in a good quality and reputable wall tiles is particularly important in the kitchen and will pay dividends over its life span. The durability and easily cleaned surface provided by wall tiles ensures good looks and practical performance. Select the area to be tiled sparingly, the backsplash is an obvious area but so too is any wall surface adjacent to kitchen cabinets.
Depending on the type of wall tile simple soap and water is hard to beat. Remove dust and grime with a damp sponge. Warm water with vinegar gets rid of superficial dirt while for more stubborn dirt baking soda is a very effective cleaning agent.