How to choose the right tiles for your kitchen

How to choose the right tiles for your kitchen

They’re a stylish and practical addition to any kitchen, but  you need to make sure that you choose the right tiles to suit your home.

Tiles are used to protect the walls above work areas in the kitchen, known as the backsplash (this is the area between the counter top and the cabinets) and are now also used to complement the decor.  The old fruit patterned tiles are pretty much a thing of the past, since gorgeous patterns and textures became widely available. Even the area for the backsplash has changed, and tiles reaching all the way up to the ceiling are now on trend.

Things to consider

choose the right tilesTiles are a great option for the kitchen as they are durable and long lasting.  Best of all they are easy to clean and protect the walls from stains and spots from cooking and water spills. There are so many options available to get your perfect look, but the choice can be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start.

Smooth tiles are ideal for the kitchen as they are much easier to clean and have a streamlined appearance (textured, matte tiles are a good option for the bathroom as they have more grip so are safer to walk on).

The size of the tiles can have a huge impact on the room, making it seem smaller or crowded if you don’t get the right ones.

When it comes to the type of tile, ceramic is always the most popular choice for the backsplash as it is durable, easy to maintain, budget friendly and comes in so many different sizes and colours.

Glass is more expensive but has a stunning finish and is also long lasting, keeps its colour well and is easy to clean.   The luxury options are stone and marble which are harder to maintain but will give you that sleek, opulent look.

When you have an idea of what you like and what will work in your kitchen, get some samples and put them up for a few days – this gives you a good idea of what it will be like to live with them.

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What is the right size?

As a general rule, when you are tiling a larger area, think about choosing larger tiles.  As there are fewer grout lines, the space flows better and does notchoose the right tiles get an overly busy look.  This also has the advantage of fewer grout lines to maintain.

For medium sized kitchens, consider a medium sized tile.  This doesn’t always translate to smaller tiles for more compact kitchens though.  Be wary of using too small a tile, for example mosaic can create a crowded look – it is best to use them in one area with larger tiles around to create the illusion of space.

The subway tile has been fashionable for a while now and is set to stay that way.  It is a classic and versatile choice (see picture) which looks good in any kitchen.  These rectangular shaped tiles (inspired by the New York subway) are traditionally 3″x 6″ made of glazed ceramic, but are available in a variety of sizes now.  Thin, rectangular lines will make the area from the counter top to the cabinets seem larger.

Again, the best thing to do is to get samples of tiles and see how much you like them when they are actually in your kitchen.

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Colour & pattern

There are tiles available to suit whatever look you want to achieve in your kitchen, from colours to textures to metallic and even mirrored finishes.

If you already have patterned wallpaper or colourful furniture, neutrals are the easiest to incorporate.  They are also great for a clean, sleek look.  If you have neutral coloured paint on the walls, patterned tiles are a great way to bring life and colour into the kitchen.

choose the right tilesTo make the room appear warmer and more welcome, choose bright, vibrant colours. If you want a cosier look. go for a darker shade but be careful not to go too dark as this can make a room appear much smaller.  If you have warm lighter, colours will appear warmer and vice versa for cooler lighting.

For smaller kitchens, lighter shades give the appearance of more room and are always great if you have plenty of natural light.  You can always mix two shades of the same colour to add light and depth, use glossy tiles to reflect light or even try a diagonal tile pattern.

When you are using samples, make sure you notice how they change over the day as the colours and materials will have a different appearance in the morning to the evening.

There is also the colour of the grout to consider; you can create a great pattern with contrasting colours of grout and tiles, or using matching colours for uninterrupted look.

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Herts Decorators provide high quality and professional decorating services to our clients across Hertfordshire, book a free estimate with our team today!

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George Ryland