7 Different Ways to Use Tile That Will Create a Unique Aesthetic

Tile work is as ancient as Rome, but luckily, there are many new and different ways to use tile than in the past. In fact, there are so many creative ways to use tile that you probably will be surprised at the flexibility of this rather rigid construction material. Not only is tile perfect for creating a unique aesthetic, but it can also help you solve some of the toughest design dilemmas out there.

#1 Cover Awkward Architectural Elements

Don't know what to do with that industrial-looking column in the living room when you hate modern design? What about the massive fireplace that is mostly unused now? Even elements like built-in cabinets and window seats can be a design dilemma if they don't blend in with your style. If you have ceiling beams don't let them dictate a rustic, Craftsman style, if that's not your thing. You can cover them over with tiles. Tiles can be used to cover over awkward structural elements to make them a feature and not a faux pas and create a new aesthetic in the room. Take a look at this decorative fireplace that while not in use can still add beauty and elegance to the space.

#2 Mimic Brick Layouts Using Ceramic or Stone Tiles

Like the look of brick, but inside instead of outside your home? You can mimic not only the rustic color choices of brick, but also create new design possibilities with new materials in brick shapes. Here is stone tile being used in the kitchen floor on the left that looks a lot like brick.

Compare that to this beige ceramic tile used in a overlapping brick layout pattern that makes it seem "brick-like" but polished and smooth. Now, imagine using ceramic or stone tile outside with other types of materials, like travertine, and can start to see how this can be used as an upgraded brick aesthetic.

#3 Make a Huge Statement with an Accent Wall

Everyone knows that mosaics make it possible to create the accent wall of your dreams. However, it isn't just beautiful Asian-inspired motifs that get a lift using mosaics, as in this cherry blossom design

 You can create modern works of art too, whether contemporary waves above your tub or a Tapeti Sophi Mosaic Medallion in a niche corner.

Consider other interesting wall locations (to be even more creative). Locations that might be considered unusual, but add a lot of style to the home, are as follows: above an entryway, as a backdrop for a glass shower stall, going up a staircase and along the steps, or even on the back wall of your open or glass-faced kitchen cabinets.

#4 Embrace the Art of Camouflage

Tiles can be used as camouflage, depending on your needs. Maybe you want a space rug without the hassle of having fabrics in the bathroom or kitchen where it is easily ruined. Or maybe, you prefer tile to carpets because they're easier to keep clean in a high traffic area. The solution is to camouflage tile to make it look like a rug.

You may also want to create wood floors out of stone for exactly the same reasons - ease of maintenance and high durability. Here is a stone tile floor that looks a lot like wood planks.

#5 Create the Illusion of Space and Light

When you use modern materials like glass or metals in tiles, you can create the illusion of light bouncing around making a space look sparkly and lighter. This can also increase the sense of spaciousness in the room. If you combine this with design techniques like laying glass tiles vertically on a wall to accentuate the height of a room or stone tiles diagonally on the floor to accentuate the width, you actually change the way the space feels to a person.

#6 Line, Long, Boring Spaces with Tile

Not much can be said for a narrow corridor except that it sure needs some color and style. It's just such small, undefined, living spaces that can be exploited to produce a big impression for the limited space. All of a sudden a blank corridor can become a star with ledger stone tile set in place like a modern sculpture. 

If you don't want to add tile to your walls, even adding tile to a a long corridor on the floor can guide the eye down the path in elegant ways, such that you don't notice the boring walls.

#7 Celebrate a Past Era

Why not celebrate other eras with tile? That's part of the fun of using this ancient material. If you want an Italian etched stone look with that classic patina, then the Bordo Antico is the perfect tile choice. 

If you prefer a Greek bath in marble, complete with stone tiled columns, then you can't go wrong with the Carrara tiles here.

Even if your tastes are more modern and you really just like the Art Deco era, there's are different ways to use tile to create that effect, from neoclassical scrollwork to a themed mosaic.

Use Tiles in Creative Ways to Solve Your Toughest Design Challenges

Have a space in your home that is presenting you with a unique design challenge? Think tile. By using this material in creative ways, you can transform a room into whatever you want. Mask awkward or unwanted architectural elements. Mimic brick or add space and light. Exploit boring spaces and make them features that impress your visitors at the level of detail in your home. And, if you want to return to the glory of Ancient Rome or just simply feel like a bit of Art Deco in the music room, tile is the answer.

What idea did you like the best? I really believe there is no home or business design challenge that tile can't make better, if you just think about this material in creative ways. If you like this article, be sure to "Like" it and share it with your friends on social media.

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.