Pass the classic patterns
Subway and mosaic patterns are classic options when tiling a kitchen or bathroom, but other patterns open a whole world of possibilities.
“Laying tile down in not-so-traditional patterns is an easy way to add visual interest and texture to your home,” says DeeDee Gundberg, product development and portfolio manager at Ann Sack, a high-end tile and stone company. “And if you use plain field tile, it’s affordable. Just mix together different sizes and colors to create a unique design – the options are endless.”
Experimenting with patterns is a relatively new trend in tile. “It used to be that the biggest risk people would take with tile is laying it on the diagonal instead of square [to the walls and ceiling],” says Lee Nicholson, owner of Filmore Clark, an artisan tile store in Los Angeles.
“But now they are more comfortable buying rectangular tiles and laying them in herringbone, basket weave, chevron and ikat patterns,” Nicholson says. “It adds personality to a room without requiring bold colors and makes lower-priced tile appear much more high-end.”
For those customers with a slightly larger budget, the newer waterjet technology has made it possible to create tiles in any sort of shape and with rounded edges, not just straight lines.
“Tiles are looking more free-flowing and organic with the new technology, meaning all sorts of interesting patterns are possible, like damasks and florals,” says Nancy Epstein, CEO of Artistic Tile, based in Secaucus, N.J. “It’s still pricier than saw-cut tile – maybe $110 a square foot instead of $30 a square foot – but it isn’t as prohibitively expensive as hand-cut tile.”
While these newer tile patterns fit in with modern homes, they also work with classic décor. “A lot of these patterns – herringbone, for example – are very traditional,” Nicholson says. “We’re used to seeing those patterns with wood floors, so giving your wall tiles a similar treatment won’t look out of place.”
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