Innovations in tile design have led to some exciting textured tile designs.
It can transform an ordinary wall into a work of abstract art. The textural relief of tiles can provide a visual impact that intrigues the senses and give the room a one-of-a-kind style statement.
What is really nice about textural tiles is that you don't have to imagine a design yourself, you let the tile do the design work for you. Once put on a wall in a mass formation, it takes on its own artistic character, which can range from rustic, like rough brickwork, to shiny modern, with mixed media tiles that include anything from glass to mirror mosaics.
Also, it's important to note that not all textured designs rely solely on the material surface of the tile itself. You can get even grander effects using by incorporating innovative tile layouts, differences in tones, and mixed materials.
If you haven't taken a look at the myriad of possibilities you have with textured tile, take a look at these seven examples to help inspire you to bring a new dimension to your next tiling project.
#1 Cut and Layered Dimensional Tile
The water jet has made it possible to cut stone in curves, but also in layers. The precise cuts made with this modern instrument, can then be layered to create a 3-dimensional effect on each individual tile. Here is an example from the Dimensione collection.
Here is the same look in black with sharp layered cuts:
Other examples of dimensional cut tiles, with softer curves, that sort of pop out of the wall in the background can be viewed in this Youtube video which shows a collection of dimensional tile designs.
#2 Lustrous Glass Tiles
There are certain glass collections that are more than just smooth subway tiles. The Glow collection allows you to create natural or artistic scenes with a dimpled surface that creates multiple reflections when exposed to the light. Here is a river scene captured in glass as a backdrop for the stove.
Another way to create a textured tile relief with subway glass tiles is to glaze some of them to produce a rougher, matte, surface and then mix and match them with the shiny glass subway tiles.
#3 Raised Dimensional Tile
Raised effects on a tile, whether ceramic or stone, can create unusual textural reliefs that draw the eye towards them. They can be used to accentuate the gridlines and borders of a tile project, like in this example:
#4 Etched Stone
Etching with precise laser cutting produces a surface that is more interesting than just flat stone, however not as deeply cut as the dimensional tiles cut with a water jet. The etching can also produce different color variations in the tile which heighten the dramatic effect of etching. In the Barroque collection, this etching process is exploited to the maximum to produce intricate designs and dramatic color contrasts that are striking to look at and appreciate.
This process is also excellent to produce "antique" effects that lend itself well to vintage and traditional kitchens.
#5 That Brick Look and Feel
Hand laid bricks had a textural effect on a wall because they often weren't exactly flat against each other. Much like a cobblestone street, manually laid down, would not be perfectly even and thus more charming, a brick wall that is somewhat raised in spots and also contrasting with the colors of the adjoining bricks which creates a dimensional look that is not strictly limited by the tile chosen. Thus, the texture is more a function of the layout and tile tones than the brick itself. Although, most people do choose a soft stone or ceramic surface to get that textural feel in the brick tiles themselves. Here is in example of limestone bricks on a wall that have some "popping out" visually for color tone variations in an enchanting manner.
#6 Stacked Stone
Similarly, when tiles are stacked vertically instead of flat against the wall, in uneven lines, this creates another dimensional effect. You can often see this type of rustic visual layering in areas around a pool or in hallways or sitting area. Add to dimensional layering effect, the variations in tone in the tile material, like you have naturally with ledger, and the resulting wall can truly be a work of art.
#7 Mixed Media
Another way to get a dimensional textured effect is to mix smooth with shiny using mixed media. It's the same idea of mixing subway glass subway tiles that are shiny with glazed glass subway tiles that have a rougher appearance, which is a trend that is growing now. In the Glitz collection, stonemasons have a mixture of mirrored pieces and stone that produce a textured effect.
Similarly, you can mix any materials, like mother-of-pearl, together with difference surface textures and refraction capabilities and get a textured effect.
Think In Terms of Contrast to Understand Texture
Textured tile designs aren't all produced with rough surfaced tiles to create a textural relief. Sometimes, they are created with with interesting layouts, mixed materials, and contrasting color tones even as they make use of interesting surface textures of tiles.
It is typically the contrast between adjoining tiles or surface effects in a single tile that produce the textured tile look. Thus, you have many choices to create 3-dimensional surface effects even when the tile itself is not cut or layered. However, with the advent of the waterjet technologies, you do have the capability to create crisp sculpted tiles that can take the form of geometric, sharply-cut, designs or even wave forms.
The choices to create a textured tile design for a wall or ceiling or so varied today that it can be an exciting time to be thinking about your next tiling project.