Tiles are a key part of kitchen decorating, not only for practical reasons but they are a great way to add a little personality to your look, too. Whether they’re used on the walls, floor or as a splashback, the right tiles can make a huge difference to your finished scheme. Though, with such a large choice of styles, materials and budgets to choose from, it can be difficult to decide on a design. Start by thinking about how your chosen tiles will look with your units and worktops, room size and colour choices.
See our decorating section for more inspirational ideas and advice
One of the most effective ways to transform your kitchen is to update the tiling. They are also eminently practical and easy to clean and care for, making them suitable for even the busiest household. Choose from on trend neutrals, decorative designs or industrial textures, and use tiles to add an individual and attractive new look to the walls and floors in your kitchen.
A reputable tiler is essential for achieving best results; someone less skilled can prove a mistake if too many breakages occur or the work looks shoddy. Word of mouth is a good start for finding a tiler; review portfolios and check to see that the tiler is NVQ trained to Level 3. Or contact The Tile Association (tiles.org.uk) whose 750-plus members include tiling contractors, fixers, distributors, retailers and manufacturers.
To calculate how many tiles you need, measure each wall length and height, and multiply to get the square metreage. Add all walls together plus ten per cent to allow for cut tiles and breakages. For best results, remove old tiles first as the extra weight of new ones could damage the wall.
Encaustic tiles - with their vibrant colours and striking Moorish designs - are enjoying something of a revival. Working equally well with contemporary and traditional interiors, encaustic tiles are versatile product.
These cement tiles are easy to maintain and durable. The large-scale ones are ideal for urban and contemporary settings; find polished-cement tiles, that are incredibly stylish from Bert & May.
Stylish designs need not break the bank. A row of mismatched decorative tiles is an inexpensive way to create a striking splash back that will lift a simple scheme out of the ordinary.
Statement tiled flooring provides a lively counterpoint to the dark cabinetry with complementary accents of ebony and terracotta introduced by bar stools and accessories.
Hard floor tiles such as ceramic, stone or terracotta will be a long-lasting investment for your new kitchen floor.
Tiles are great for introducing a splash of colour to an all-white space. This geometric motif can be laid in numerous ways to create different designs. Add crockery in complementary tones for an attractive display on open shelves.
If you want to give your kitchen a rustic appearance, then terracotta tiles are the way to go. Each one of these Moroccan tiles is hand glazed meaning each one is completely unique and when laid they create a beautifully reflective surface.
Again, intrinsically hardwearing but will show pleasing signs of wear and tear over the years. Handmade terracotta tiles with their less-perfect appearance are more forgiving to knocks and chips than smoother factory-made tiles.
Breathing new life into the classic coastal look, this scheme features a breezy palette of blues, from soft shades to pale sky through to denim and Breton navy. Making blue part of the scheme rather than the focus of its offers a more contemporary feel. This kitchen splashback, looks every bit like it’s been created using hand-made tiles but is actually a wallpaper.
If you’re looking to totally transform your kitchen and fancy adding a marble touch, then – if time and budget allows – new marble tiles will provide the perfect backdrop to a contemporary or country kitchen.
Coveted for its subtle tone and beautiful veined effect, you can see why marble is such a hit – it looks good wherever it’s put and will continue to look striking year after year.
In the kitchen, one of the best ways to create instant wow factor is with a striking splashback behind the sink or hob. As well as being ultra practical and easy to clean, a tiled feature area brings colour, pattern and even unusual shapes to these hardworking zones.
'These scallop porcelain mosaic tiles will add drama to any design scheme,' says Hamish Smith, Creative Director at Ca’ Pietra.