Kitchen walls & floors – tile ideas to transform your space
Often tiles are left to the last minute, or become an afterthought, but they can form a really important part of the scheme and help to shape the overall look. Tiles can be used on walls and floors so it's important to select tiles that complement each other, as well as considering any practical implications of certain materials. Here is our handy guide to help you select the right tiles for your space.
If you're a keen cook with a busy kitchen this should come high on your list of considerations. You'll want a surface that is easy to clean, durable and will last for many years. In terms of splashbacks, glass is an excellent choice as it can simply be wiped clean. Opt for large format tiles or a pre-made splashback panel to make cleaning easier still - fewer grout lines means fewer places for grime to hide.
For your floor, take into account slip resistance and durability. Natural stone (already millions of years old) can't be beaten for this, though you'll need to select a tile without holes (otherwise known as 'filled') for easy cleaning. It will also need to be properly sealed and some can stain easier than others so messes will need to be wiped up quickly. Your local tile retailer will be able to advise you further.
In terms of aesthetics, natural stone will keep on giving and is the only material that improves with age as its natural patina will change through the years.
This is worth bearing in mind - if you're having super glossy black cabinets, traditional style hand painted tiles might not be the best match! Make sure the tiles suit, and add to, the overall feel of the space and they will help to elevate the whole scheme.
Contemporary kitchens would suit contemporary glass splashbacks or tilesin vibrant shades like Colorado, shown top. Or try larger format porcelains which will leave fewer grout lines. This helps to ensure a fuss-free finish.
Traditional style kitchens lend themselves to tiles with a more rustic or handmade feel. The Winchester Tile Company has a beautiful selection of tiles in brick shapes and square. Each has a slightly rustic, uneven edge with helps to create a relaxed and inviting space. For true country style, hand painted or relief tiles will do the trick.
Wood effect porcelain tiles are also a practical, and beautiful, choice. Replicas are now super realistic and can be hard to distinguish from the real thing. A range of different colours means there's a choice for contemporary spaces, such as industrial style painted wood, as well as traditional. These are often more durable than real wood and are suitable for use with underfloor heating.