Decorative ceramic tile

If you are looking for a way to give your home a facelift without spending a fortune, consider using decorative ceramic tiles and mosaic. Quality tiles are considered an investment for any home and you can use tiles to create patterns on the floor, walls, in the kitchen and bathroom, and even around a fireplace.


As a surface covering, tiles have many useful attributes; apart from being durable and versatile, tiles are also easy to clean and come in a variety of colours, textures and finishes to suit all budgets.

How to restyle your floors

When shopping around for tiles for a home, look at the various options available and how you can combine these for best effect.

Think outside the box for ways that you can use tiles on their own, or combine them with other materials like this kitchen floor [ left ] that incorporates tiles and oak strips.

Some colours work better in particular areas, for example a white polished porcelain tile is great for a sophisticated lounge or dining room, but not practical in a family kitchen where darker shades are advisable to make spills less visible.

  • Use different tiles to distinguish between the wet and dry areas of the bathroom. Mosaics can be used to great effect in the shower, either on the floor to create a textured non-slip surface, or as a border against the wall. Pebble mosaics are also a great choice if you’re after a textured surface that echoes nature.

  • Use tiles in different colours and shapes to create a pattern on the floor. Patterns work well in the entrance area, kitchen and bathroom. A black and white checkerboard floor is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms with a vintage flair, as it is classic and won’t date.

  • Create borders either on the floor or on the wall with the use of mosaics or tiles cut into different shapes.

A decorative feature for your walls

  • Create a focal wall in your shower by using bold colours, interesting borders, unique textures and patterns. Simply select which section of the wall you would like to draw attention to and then choose a tile to add dramatic effect.

  • Consider using two or three different shades of tiles to create a tonal patchwork or a mosaic effect.

  • Install rectangular tiles vertically in order to emphasize the geometry of the space and give the illusion of height.
  • Use horizontal or vertical borders with colourful mosaics, beautiful listello or tiles cut into narrow strips. Square tiles can be cut in half or thirds to fashion brick-like patterns or vertical lines to create the illusion of height. These narrow tiles are also great for tiling curved surfaces.

  • To create an accent wall use ceramic or porcelain tiles and lay them in an interesting pattern such as a 45 degree angle or cut them into different sizes to create interest. Another option is to add colourful mosaics or natural stone cladding to an entire wall. Glass mosaics add colour and shimmer while sandstone cladding provides texture and warmth to a wall.

Add interest to your kitchen

As the heart of the home, a kitchen is the place where family members socialise and catch up on the day’s activities while preparing meals. Don’t be afraid to use colour. Introduce it in a unique way through a splashback and mosaic effect.

  • In the kitchen, tiles can be used to create a splashback behind work surfaces. Decorative mosaic tiles are suitable for kitchen walls as well as stove and sink splashbacks. They also allow for a unique style and creativity. Bring warm colours into the kitchen by using, for example, red glass mosaics as a splash back behind a stove.

  • Ceramic tiles can also be used to tile your kitchen countertops. They create a durable and easy to clean surface. Be sure to consider tiled countertops because you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of colours, textures and designs.

  • Don’t forget to seal your grouting with grout sealer if you opt to tile kitchen counters and splashbacks.

Feature wall or fireplace

Tiles can also be used to turn a fireplace into an attention-grabbing design feature in the living room.

  • Use multi-coloured glass mosaics or mixed-material mosaics as a surround for your fireplace.

  • For an opulent fireplace, opt for shiny glass mosaics. These will glisten in the light and add luxury to your living room.

  • Rectangular tiles that mimic dark wooden planks also work well as cladding around a fireplace. They create a natural look and provide a sense of warmth.

  • For a touch of comfort, use warm-coloured tones such as suede, auburn and burgundy around your fireplace.

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