Out on the tiles
I recently posted this picture on my Instagram, it was a picture I took in New York a year ago, when visiting my brother. For those of you that know me, I have a thing about displaying numbers and letters, so you will understand why I take this type of image! I love the subway tiles that feature in the stations, and have always wanted to use them in my flat. I wish I had waited as I have been reading about Fired Earth and their new range of tiles which is result of a collaboration between them and Transport for London, as it is the 150th year of the London underground. I have put a couple of images below fo my favourites:
I love the colour and design selection but most of all I want to use the logo tiles. I am a nostalgic person, as I always reference the past for inspiration in my work and style, so I think this is why I am excited about this collaboration. I digress! The reason for this post was to look at using tiles, other than the conventional places – kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles are common in warmer climates and are used in all sorts of public areas. Why is this not more of a consideration here? People will protest it is too cold and sterile to use say in a lounge or hallway but with the use of under floor heating that would not be an issue. The choice of tiles on the market is quite overwhelming, there are various formats, patterns, textures and colours so really we are spoilt for choice and I think it is a material that is not used enough in a domestic setting.
What about using tiles on a ceiling, hallway with high traffic, cloakroom, vestibule? They are all areas that would look great with tiles. Look at the images below, they are not your obvious places to use tiles but I think they look great. Especially if you mix formats and colours, in the case of the last image, the tile pattern on the floor looks like a rug. Tiles are hard wearing and also add an interesting texture and pattern. I like the reflective quality of the tiles on the ceiling below, very simple but really effective. You do need to select specific tiles depending on the surface they are going on, such as the floor or on the wall. If putting on the floor, highly polished can end up being a bit like an ice rink, if wet. Instead, use a matt tile, or check with the supplier what the slip rating is (regulations for non slip flooring does not apply to domestic homes, but it really comes down to common sense). You have fewer restrictions when it comes to picking a tile for the wall, especially as you can use a floor tile on the wall, but not the other way round.
If you are going to the effort of doing something different, it is wise to do a bit of research on the suitability of the tile before making the investment. Also get samples, all tile suppliers will offer samples. You usually have to pay for them, but ask if you can get a refund (if getting from a website they generally won’t refund) if do plan to return the sample. Once you have selected a tile, think about the way it will be laid, that is the direction. The colour of the grout also can alter the final effect.