Exposed wood in the home is once again fashionable, favoured by many for its mellow, natural tones and textures. The “wood look” is now also emulated in other materials, including ceramics and plastics, extending its applications throughout the house into lighting, blinds and tiles.
The new, wood styled ceramic floor tiles look so realistic, they are easily mistaken for real wood; additionally, they are moisture and stain resistant and will not scuff or mark, despite heavy footfall and are ideal for underfloor heating.
In recent years, there have been major developments in printing ceramic tiles, and new technology has meant that a design such as a wood-grain can be replicated with all the random nuances of the original, natural material. Memories and Wood-Ker are two of the best examples in the marketplace: Memories resembles reclaimed timber floorboards, whilst Wood-Ker replicates the detailed shading of a sawn, natural timber plank, both available in a choice of hues and made from porcelain.
It is therefore possible to mix and match real wood with wood-look tiles within a home – choosing the practicality of tiles in rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens, utilities, conservatories and halls. Select the right range and you can also extend your wood-effect tiles out onto your patio, using a range such as Wood-Ker: the external tile has a slip resistant rating of R11 and provides a frost and fade resistant option.
Traditionally, mosaics were found in their millions lining swimming pools. However, today there is a fabulous choice of colours, materials, shapes and sizes, making mosaic tiles the perfect way to add eye-catching decorative detail to the home, on both walls and floors.
Our range includes hundreds of different mosaics and new designs are constantly being added. From the iridescent Murano Glass and Bronzelux ranges to exotic mother of pearl finish and the industrial-look Metalux range – mosaics make a fashionable stylish addition to bathrooms and kitchens.
A recent design trend is to create a unique, feature wall, providing contrast with surrounding plain field tiles. Likewise, their small size means mosaics are a practical solution for tiling tight or irregular shaped spaces, such as splashbacks or behind cookers.
They are also invaluable as a decorative detail within a plain tiled floor or defining a zone within a room, such as a wet room area within a bathroom. Many ranges are suitable for both the floor and the walls, creating a co-ordinated effect. However, if you plan to do this, do make sure you choose a range which is suitable for both – not all are. The textured surface of mosaics, created by the regular grout line, is also a useful anti-slip feature in wet areas such as showers and bathrooms.
And of course, mosaics are still used in and around swimming pools, but they need no longer be simply blue.
If you are looking to stamp your own style on your new bathroom or add an original decorative touch to your kitchen, then a feature tile wall will appeal. They make an attractive focal point to a room and need not be costly. Here are a few ideas, which you may like to adapt:
Contrast colours within a range
Create a pattern using a variety of colours from the same range and using the same sized tile. These Weekend Struttura wall tiles have an intresting, interwoven texture and come in a wide choice of colours, to create a contemporary feel.
Picture tile panels
Inserting a tiled picture panel into a blank canvas of plain, white field tiles has classical elegance and is simple to do. This Nuvole Lotus Flower design is achieved with a panel of three tiles.
The featured Heron Luxglass mosaics, in the central panel behind the basin, are supplied ready-made with the intriguing diagonal design and come as 300 x 300mm netted sheets – a quick way to introduce a designer feature.
Be brave with colour
A touch of colour strategically placed can add an exciting decorative element to a room, without being over-powering. Here, the vibrant red of Prisma is shown off to good effect by the contrasting white, enamel basin and reflected in the coloured towel. But overdo it!