Etching is the process whereby a chemical or mechanical means creates a surface cut or abrasive patch on a tile.
Typically, when homeowners think of an etched tile, they might think someone is talking about an accidental acid etching that happens when someone leaves wine or vinegar on top of their stone countertops too long.
This is obviously not something desirable, but the truth is that etched tiles can be very desirable, as long as they were etched on purpose. Stone etched tiles can create interesting patterns and textures that would otherwise be difficult to obtain through the natural stone itself.
Take a look at new ways to transform your home through the use of etched tiles.
#1 A Simple Welcome Tile
One of the most fantastic uses of etched tiles is to convey a written message. That is why you often see customized tiles at the front of a doorway or garden, welcoming visitor's to someone's home.
The message can be as simple as the family name, laying ownership to the space. Sometimes, even non-profit businesses used etched stones in their walkways that include the names of patron donors to their cause.
In the past, this might have been done with a chisel or acid, not this mechanical diamond stylus, such as you can see in this YouTube video.
#2 Go For an Old World Feel
Etched tile hearkens back to a time when tradesmen took pride in their work and machines were still not invented.
This type of tile works beautifully in traditional kitchens because of the way it highlights workmanship over modern aesthetics. It might make people wonder if someone spent months chiseling these fine details, but today most etched stone is done via laser cutting.
Thus, even though its antique look might fool you, it's definitely precisely created via modern technology.
#3 Mix Both Antique and New Looks
It's also the perfect way to balance today's modern aesthetics, which can be somewhat sparse and bland. By mixing both old and new looks, you can come up with a whole new aesthetic. Eclectic modern tastes don't mind mixing the old with the new to come up with new design possibilities.
Take a look at how the clean, almost antiseptic look of this bathroom is softened and made more glamorous with the use of etched tile.
#4 Etch In Modern Abstract Details
Despite the way traditional etching is more of a blast from the past, it doesn't mean that artisans haven't found ways to make it strictly modern too.
Etching octagonal tiles with an abstract design can be just the ticket to make you think of a Jackson Pollock work of art. The etching in this design not only provides visual appeal, but creates interesting differences in color tones. It almost seems like the tiles are dripping in paint.
#5 Choose Black, White, or Gray Tones
Etching a marble stone can usually give you a white on dark design. Below are three examples from the Barroque collection.
The first shows you how an etching can produce feather-like, soft, creations. The second looks like bold brushstrokes from an Impressionist painting and the last one shows how you can mix both light and dark etchings to create an almost visual depth to the texture all in the same tile.
#6 Add Detailing on Borders
Imagine a border of etched tiles for a chair rail or to border your kitchen or bath. It almost begs to be touched and inspected more closely.
It's this type of detailing that can take a ho-hum design into something far more glamorous and inviting. Whether you want an intricate design or something more elegantly simple, yet alluring, it is possible to get that in an etched border tile, like the ones below.
#7 Square Stone Etched Tiles as Accent Tiles
If you want the look of etched tiles, but fear it might make your design look too busy, you can always intermix it with other plain tiles.
Square stone etched tiles can look beautiful set in between plain white or limestone tiles as accent features on a wall or kitchen backsplash. Imagine these two designs set into your walls, like jewels just waiting to be discovered.
Etched Stone Adds Depth to Your Design
The fine detailing of etched stone tiles speak of fine craftsmanship. They were created in the past via acids or chiseling, but today most etched tiles are created using lasers. They are ideal for adding a name branding or any text message you want "tweet" out to visitors to your home.
They are traditional powerhouses of fine taste that work with a number of antique looks. Despite this, craftsmen have found ways to upgrade etched tiles into the modern era through abstract etchings that layers color and tonal variations in stone tiles. These new modern designs stand alone as contemporary designs.
However, if you want something truly unusual, you can go for an eclectic mix of antique and modern looks, in the same tiling project, that can really produce glitz and glamour on a whole new scale.
Etching can produce light or dark patterns and some designs even have both on the same tile. Thus, if one tile is too bold, or the other too soft, you can get a happy medium. They are so versatile, they can be used as borders or as standalone wall accent tiles.
If you haven't taken a look at all the modern possibilities of etched tiles, now is the time to investigate this wonderful design option for the home.