6 Examples of Rustic Tile Designs to Give Any Surface a Classic Look

Sleek surfaces and modern lines are clean and impressive, but sometimes you want a warmer, more welcoming look for areas of your home. Adding rustic-chic touches to your rooms will achieve that type of ambiance.

With rustic tile designs, you can keep your decor upscale while still incorporating comfortable, welcoming elements. Ahead, discover six ways to use tiles to create a rustic look in your kitchen, bathroom or living areas.

#1 Bring Nature Inside with a Pebble Floor

Rustic interior decorating relies on natural shapes and elements drawn straight from nature. What could reflect this ideal better than a floor crafted from real pebbles?

The beauty of a pebble surface lies in its small imperfections. The stones are not all the exact same size or shape. Although they are expertly laid, there may be slight variations in their heights. In other words, this design is meant to be cohesive without being perfectly uniform.

The color scheme of this floor also contributes to its rustic feel. Although the stones don't match each other perfectly, each shade works together. The natural mix of grays and browns are earthy and soothing--just right for creating a relaxing bathroom environment with a rustic vibe.

#2 Simulate the Idea of an Outdoor Pathway

If you like the idea of a pebble floor, you'll really love this alternative option. In the bathroom below, the bathtub sits on a floor paved with river rock. The area in front of the tub is laid with a cobblestone design. It is reminiscent of a pathway that winds through a quaint, quiet park.

The historical roots of these tiling styles run deep, and using them will help you feel a connection to the past. Rectangular blocks laid out in what we today consider a cobblestone pattern have been in use since at least the 1800s. And far, far back--even before the days of the Roman Empire--rounded stones were used for paving surfaces.

In the above example, notice the barn-style shutters. They work in tandem with the flooring to create an overall rustic feel for the room.

#3 Incorporate Natural Elements into Your Designs

Floral throw blankets and upholstery will add a rustic feel to your living spaces, but that's not an idea that usually transfers well to the kitchen. Instead, use mosaic tiles to create a rustic floral pattern right on the wall, as was done in the kitchen below.

For a relaxed, rustic vibe, the floral pattern is not perfectly symmetrical. Just like real flowers, the curved lines bend this way and that.

Further contributing to the rustic feel is the mosaic's color scheme. Warm shades of brown and cream have their roots in nature. The darkest brown in this design even has a brick-red undertone, which is great choice to use for a deep shade in your rustic decor.

Find more inspiration for color schemes to use with your rustic tile designs in the video Paint Colors for Rustic Decorating.

#4 Add the Look of Brick to Your Home

People have been building with bricks for thousands of years. In pre-industrial times, bricks were an essential building material in places where wood and stone were in short supply.

Continue this long-held practice by incorporating brick tiles into your home design. In the image below, the water jet backsplash is the center of attention, but don't miss the brick pattern along the wall. It lends a sense of strength and stability to the room.

Although you could take the rustic look up a notch by using terracotta brick tiles, the gray in the above kitchen is an excellent choice. Gray is one of the best colors to use in a modern rustic home. It's a thoroughly neutral color that can bridge a whole range of tones. Notice how the gray backsplash brings together the white cabinetry and the dark countertops.

#5 Make a Plank Floor with Wide Pieces of Stone

Rough-hewn wood is one of the most classic elements of a rustic design scheme. This is a look that you'll see in cabins and old buildings, which means that it fits in perfectly in modern rooms with a rustic vibe. In addition to its rugged roots, designers appreciate this material for the texture and warmth that it adds to a room.

For a look that is rustic but also upscale, you can use travertine tiles to create the look of wood planks, as in the kitchen above. Like marble, travertine is a type of limestone tile. You can learn more about this material in the video Types of Travertine Tile.

The warm colors that are natural to travertine work well to simulate the look of wood planks. Additionally, cut travertine often displays a banded pattern that is similar to the grain seen in natural wood planks.

#6 Add Texture with a Ledger-stone Wall

By its very nature, ledger stone has a rough, rugged appearance. The term refers to stacked stones that are used to design a vertical surface, such as a wall or a fireplace. In the video Loose Wall Stone Ledger Stone Panels, you can see examples of the types of stones that could be used for a project like this.

In this particular home, ledger stone lines one side of the hallway. An occasional golden-brown stone adds warmth to the dark gray expanse. Furthermore, the cream and white throughout the rest of the space keep the hallway from feeling closed in. Instead, the ledger wall is a powerful accent piece that lends depth and texture to an otherwise simple space.

To which room of your house would you most prefer to add rustic tile designs? Stone tiles are an ideal medium for rustic decor because of their earthy tones and natural feel. Rustic tiles can help you feel connected to the traditions of days gone without compromising the elegant feel of your modern home.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.

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