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Decorating With Ceramic Tile

Posted: 01 JUL 2002

Initially, the idea of decorating with ceramic tile might seem like a fun project. But as soon as you begin looking at your choices, it can suddenly become a very confusing maze.

To smooth out the twists and turns, start by breaking your project down into basic steps. First, decide whether you want a formal look or a casual look. If you opt for formal, then focus your search on marbleized or glossy finished tiles. If your preference is casual, then the textured or stone look would be more appropriate.

Be careful about falling victim to popularity trends. Since ceramic tiles are glued down, their installation is relatively permanent. Installing a certain tile, for example, just because it is “in” today, might make it difficult to sell your home later if that look becomes grossly “out.” Anyone who is old enough to remember the knotty pine craze of the 1950s knows what we mean.

The best advice we can give is to be neutral in your selection. Now that doesn’t mean your selection has to be bland, but neither should it be too radical. Classic stone-looks, rustic or elegant, are a good choice, and as long as they are in natural, or earth tones they will work well with most decorating schemes. This advice also applies to grout color.

Your next decision will be the installation pattern of the tiles. Tiles are usually installed side-to-side or point-to-point. The side-to-side method is referred to as a straight installation and the point-to-point is called a diamond, or 45 degree pattern. The choice is a matter of personal preference, but generally speaking, smaller areas are not as attractive in the diamond pattern. It would tend to make the room look “busy” and out of balance. The only exception would be if the pattern were continued into a connecting room.

Finally, you’ll need to decide which size tiles will look best – and there are quite a few options. To learn more about the range of sizes and find out which ones are most popular, see our article titled “Ceramic Tile Sizes, Styles, and Textures.” Of course, as the title suggests, you’ll learn more about styles and textures as well.

The information contained in “Ceramic Tile Sizes, Styles, and Textures” combined with what we have offered here should make navigating the ceramic tile maze a whole lot smoother.