Historically, ceramic tiles have been popular choices for kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and other areas with high traffic and moisture. This is because few other flooring materials are as durable, low maintenance or as easy to clean. Due to recent advances in manufacturing and design, ceramic and porcelain tile planks are now available in realistic woodgrain patterns and hues, mimicking many timeless styles of hardwood flooring. With real hardwood becoming more and more difficult to source responsibly, tile floors made from abundant natural materials like clay and sand, and even some recycled materials, are a very smart choice over both solid and engineered hardwood.
People often talk about warmth when designing with natural wood, compared to the sterile look and feel of traditional square tile floors. Today, tile is the ideal material for floors equipped with radiant heating systems, making tile floors that provide the rich, warm look of natural wood, or, if you prefer, the cool subtle tones of natural stone, actually feel warm!
While ceramic and porcelain tile can cost more than other flooring materials upfront, they have proven to outlast essentially all other flooring materials, and over several decades will provide substantial savings over floors that require replacement. Because of the long life of tile floors, many homeowners opt for very neutral tones, subtle textures and the absence of patterns that may become tiresome or outdated. If you choose a neutral beige or grey tone for your tile floor, professionals recommend using the same tones, perhaps a few shades lighter, on the walls and in other aspects of the design. Complementary colors should be worked in liberally in other design elements to provide visual interest. This strategy ensures an interesting and inviting space that doesn’t draw attention to the neutral, hard tile flooring.
Bolder designers and homeowners have begun to use tile combined with other flooring materials as a primary design element. Large rectangular tiles in lengths from two to four feet can be laid in an endless variety of patterns to create extraordinary visual interest without overpowering a design, thanks to the consistency of the tiles and the ability to match grout perfectly. Natural wood or stone in focal points can give the appearance of a sophisticated inlaid floor. Tile in high wear areas with wood or stone borders can help to ensure that the floor will last a very long time.
Another innovative and modern strategy for decorating with ceramic tile involves extending the tile from the floor upwards, onto focal walls. This technique integrates the tiles themselves into the room design in a way that cannot be achieved on the floor alone. Though almost any floor tile can be mounted on walls using ordinary techniques, homeowners may want to reserve this design option for high end materials that inspire a sense of pride in ownership. At home in our own spaces, we tend to notice the walls more than the floors.
For professional advice on flooring, window treatments or decorating in a way that complements your home’s decor, contact the experts at herberts workroom 101. We proudly serve Denver, Greenwood Village, Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Centennial, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Englewood, Aurora and surrounding cities. Stop by our showroom in Centennial, CO or contact us for an in-home shopping appointment.