How to choose the perfect tile for a living room or kitchen feature

When renovating your home choosing the right tiles can transform your whole space. From indoor with subways and penny rounds, to outdoor pavers, there are many tile styles to choose from and a lot of factors that come into play, such as room layout, tile size and budget. We caught up with Ex Block stars Michael and Carlene from Cedar and Suede on their fundamental tips you need to know.

What makes a tile a feature tile?

A tiles feature is a design statement piece that is to act as the hero of the space. Its generally in contrast to the other materials used. This might be a patterned floor tile of mosaic splashback, for instance.

How do you work with the rest of the design and dimensions of the living/kitchen area?

We always work up a layout first and then make our hard surface and colour selections, fixtures and fixings. Coming up with the most effective floorplan means troubleshooting and working out what it is you need in the space before playing around with a few options. When it comes to the look and feel, I seek out a lot of inspiration to gauge what it is I’m drawn to and to help narrow down my choices.

What’s hot in current tile trends?

  • Colour
  • Mosaics
  • Subway tiles
  • Small square tiles
  • Moroccan tiles
  • Natural stone

What accessories and colour schemes would work best against these choices?

I love working to a tonal colour scheme which means using different shades of the one colour. Greens and blues are my go-to’s. Timber (in the form of cabinetry for instance) works with any colour and is a good way to add warmth to a space.

What ways can you make tiles pop?

You can make tiles pop via colour or if using a small tile or mosaic, by contrasting the grout to the tile and thereby highlighting the pattern.

How does the size of a tile affect aesthetics?

We utilise small tiles to add pattern and interest to a bathroom. Whereas, larger tiles create a clean and seamless look.

Should you play it safe or make a bold statement?

I dont think playing it safe is very fulfilling but making a statement should be an educated execution. Making a statement is really about creating a functional, considered and well-executed bathroom that will stand the test of time.

What do you need to consider in terms of colour, grout, texture and pattern, natural light etc?

Your tile should always be sampled in the space before making a final decision, as tile colours look different in different lights etc. A contrasting grout colour should only be used with small tiles like subways or mosaics where your intention is to highlight a pattern, otherwise you should match your grout to your tile.

What kind of tile looks wont date?

Natural stones such as marble, terrazzo and travertine are timeless and good quality tiles always stand the test of time. A classic brick laid subway tile is timelessly used on the wall in any context. I also think patterned Moroccan tiles laid on the floor will show longevity, whereas they may grow tiresome when applied to the wall.

Can you add anything else about tiles for this area that you think people should know?

When it comes to your floor surfaces you don’t need to limit yourself to one material. For example, you may want to define your kitchen space with a statement floor tile but use timber flooring throughout the rest of your house. There are some excellent examples of this, done well.