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Think out of the (tile) Box

Feather BacksplashIn my opinion, there is no interior design material more flexible and customizable than tile. This is where virtually every DESIGN ELEMENT can be pushed and pulled to ensure a dynamic and cohesive design. Simple geometry applied to tile shapes bring the design of a space to another level. Dimensional tile can be used to cover the walls of an entire room without weighing upon the visual experience.

From the floors you walk on, to shower ceilings and kitchen and bathroom accents, tile can simultaneously provide the backdrop and the accent for virtually every area of the home or office. We have even seen it in furniture, lighting fixtures and other decorative accessories. And now, with an increase in availability and variety in 3 dimensional tile, you can create your own geometry. Let’s look at just a few traditional uses for tile and let your imagination run:
     • Kitchen backsplashes
     • Fireplace surrounds
     • Shower walls
Now think about a home that is in need of updating one of these areas. Imagine that shower, kitchen or fireplace enhanced by one of the dimensional tile options shown in these photos. Imagine that there are also hundreds of other tile shapes and textures that are available for this project. Now think about whether you might use this tile as a field tile or as an accent. How would you then enhance the design so that it is truly customized to your project and to your client’s aesthetic. Also, lets consider budget. This is where you can push and pull your design and be creative to achieve an overall look by integrating less expensive options in with a decorative item without blowing the budget.

ennis tile(1)If you think about less conventional uses for tile, there are wonderful opportunities to let your imagination run free. For example, do away with wallpaper and make a real impact with dimensional tile to create a focal wall. Have you seen large format tile used to accentuate the head of a bed? It adds drama and yet retains a light and simple feel. Frank Lloyd Wright created a distinctive 3-D tile to cover both the interior and exterior surfaces of the Ennis house. While this tile has much detail, it manages to create a peaceful backdrop.

Take these new textures and add in the vast options in color to add depth and intrigue to any project. Try different glaze combinations to balance the color and texture to suit your project. Think of it as creating your own textile. Texture and color combinations are yours to create your own design experience.

Tile is a versatile choice for many projects, especially in our desert climate. Generally, it is durable, easy to clean, doesn’t fade from the sun and transitions from the indoors and out seamlessly. Dimensional tile is available in all of the materials that field tile is presented:

GLASS is ideal for walls, backsplashes, and flourishes or trims. While it has a medium durability. You can achieve a unique look with colored glass and iridescent finishes. Glass tile costs fall in the medium to high range.

PORCELAIN is highly durable and easy to clean and maintain. It is usually white, gray, or left unglazed, and is available in a variety of shapes and sizes. It lends itself especially well to larger format tile and narrower grout lines, providing a more seamless clean aesthetic.

CERAMIC is a relatively low maintenance tile that is easy to clean and install. It can be used in oddly-shaped areas that require special cuts and is low in cost. Because of its high moisture content, it may be more delicate than other options. Ceramic glazes are as much art as the tile designs themselves. The next time you visit a tile showroom, notice how the glazes vary in the peaks and valleys of the tile.

NATURAL STONE will give your project an earthy and authentic look with great versatility. Its porous surface requires a little more maintenance than other tile types, and it should be sealed regularly. Advances in water-jet stone cutting have broadened the offerings of an already vast product offering.

With endless options, looks, and materials to choose from, using dimensional tile in your design is a cost-effective way to add unusual touches to your space. Whether you’re planning your dream patio or designing a backsplash for your wet bar, tile can provide a unique look that’s sure to catch the eye of everyone who passes by. To learn more about or get more inspiration and ideas for your home redesign, contact a design consultant at one of the many great tile showrooms here in the valley.

Special thanks to Gil Olchea at Ceramica for providing installation photographs.


IMG_1655Contact Robin Phillips of illustra & company via text/cell: (602) 214-9931 or email: robin.illustraco@outlook.com for more information.

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