Move over subway tiles, these other popular tile designs ranging from playful to traditional are far from basic and promise to amp up your home’s style factor.
17 March 2023
Top image: Ergon Abacus zellige tiles from RICE
Text by Disa Tan
A handcrafted clay tile originating from Morocco, Zellige tiles are prized for their variations in tone, shine, flatness and depth of the glazing. With glazes applied by hand, no two tiles look alike. This traditional tile is enjoying resurgence with designers applying it as a modern single-tone treatment to set off a shimmering watercolour effect with dynamic textures.
Curves are in, and the ice cream tile has that oblong shape that fits right into that fun and flowing design aesthetic. No surprises that it comes in colourful pastel hues for you to play up the visual interest by lining the tiles up in gradient hues, or choosing a contrasting grout colour. These creative applications draw out visually dramatic and striking backsplashes and accent walls.
With its iconic fan shape, the mermaid tile is reminiscent of the gently rolling ocean; making this a popular choice in shower stalls and bathrooms. These Moroccan-inspired designs look just as stunning in the kitchen or dining space, especially with their versatility in application. It can be installed in all directions to render a different statement look.
Earning its name for the resemblance to the long and thin chocolate bars, kit kat tiles are the craze now and for good reason. It is highly versatile and can be arranged either horizontally or vertically to enhance height or width in kitchens or bathrooms. Its stylish profile of stick-thin lines looks good pretty much anywhere and matches most materials. And like adjoined Kit Kat bars, these come attached to a mesh sheet for easy installation.
A chic equivalent to subway tiles, modern square tiles serve up refreshingly simple shapes. Using a high-contrast grouting colour highlights the appeal of these easy-on-the eye motifs and when used in small spaces, it delivers a major splash of style.
When it comes to the exuberance of the Art Deco style, tiles in bold geometrical patterns are the way to go. Combine with strong colours and a glam touch of gold or brassy finishes to really bring on the opulence.
Favoured for its reddish fired-clay appearance, terracotta channels a warm and comforting quality due to its mix with earthy hues like brown and burnt orange. However, this porous material does not fare well in wet areas like bathrooms. Choosing low-maintenance tiles with a terracotta-inspired finish makes a more sensible option to enjoy the look without the tedious upkeep.
Still hung up on subway tiles? Try a refreshed tilework style by going up! Arrange the tiles vertically in a staggered format for a modern style that visually upsizes the scale of a space. Add a two-tone treatment for visual interest.
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