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Floor and wall tiles do more than protect and cover surfaces. They can be focal points for the home, adding valuable contrast and offering ample opportunity to express your sense of style. Unless you happen to love the tranquility of pristine white, enjoy the freedom of thinking outside the box. When choosing tiles, be inspired by surroundings you love: think English country house, Manhattan penthouse or Moroccan riad.

What benefits do bathroom and kitchen tiles have?

Tiles are durable and easy to wipe clean, making them a hygienic surface for floors and walls. Kitchen and bathroom floor tiles can retain heat to be warmer underfoot, and also provide traction; as long as you choose textured stone tiles such as travertine instead of polished surfaces such as porcelain or ceramic floor tiles. Tiled flooring can provide better grip than other, more slippery surfaces, which is particularly important in bathrooms where the floor can easily get wet.

What are the key things to remember when choosing wall tiles?

It’s important to think about where the tile is going to go – large tiles may look disproportionate in a small shower room, while tiny mosaic tiles in a large kitchen might be disorienting. Ease of cleaning and maintenance is also an essential consideration; for example, if it’s a kitchen splashback you’re after, you might want to think twice about choosing a light colour as it will soon be covered by splattered sauces and other liquids. Durability is also a factor: a natural material such as travertine will give your kitchen or bathroom a rustic feel but the pitted surface may retain moisture too easily and cause damp problems down the line. Consider hard-wearing and easy to clean alternatives such as porcelain, metal and ceramic, or even slate if your budget can stretch that far.

What size should my tiles be?

Conventional wisdom states that small rooms should stick to small tiles in light hues, while bigger rooms can explore a wider spectrum of colours and larger-sized tiles. On the whole, small wall tiles with a shiny surface reflect light and can make a bathroom feel more expansive, and small floor tiles offer the benefit off added grip underfoot. Another way to make a bathroom appear bigger is to install mirrored tiles which can be used to bounce light around the room and will look great in both modern and vintage-inspired bathrooms.

How do I choose tile colours and materials?

Tiles are a great way of accenting a room, adding a pop of colour or decorative flourish using geometric patterns. For a classic option, white metro tiles are among the most popular choice for a fresh and spacious looking bathroom. However, if you feel that white can appear too stark or clinical, have fun with the different textures and finishes on offer. Gloss finishes such as porcelain floor tiles can lift a space by reflecting light while the matte honed variety such as limestone can look fabulously minimalistic. For a real wow factor, black tiles can look amazing whether you’re going for a dramatic, art deco or masculine decor. Have an idea of the style that you wish to recreate, and then carefully consider your lifestyle and where practicality trumps decor to make your final decision.
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