accent wall tiles

Sometimes plain tiles need a boost to prevent the end result being a large expanse of bland wall or floor tiling. This can be easily achieved by using accent tiles such as small mosaics or pencil tiles in bold colours or contrasting textures.


Plain, neutral ceramic or porcelain tiles create the perfect backdrop to highlight a well-designed kitchen or bathroom in your new home. They work well with furniture and fittings of every style from traditional to ultra-contemporary, but sometimes they are just too plain. And because tiles are a hard material sometimes they need something to soften the look of a large expanse of plain tiled wall or floor but in the rooms that are typically tiled, such as bathrooms and kitchens, it is not usually practical to use soft furnishings to soften the look as might be done in a living room or bedroom.

wall tiles kitchen splashback

So, what is the solution?

Why not use small tiles in a different colour or texture as accent tiles to lift the design of your room and prevent it from looking too bland? This is a great way to create a unique tiling pattern without too much risk of going “over-the-top”. A cost-effective way of introducing the uniqueness of natural stone to your floor or walls, without the disadvantages of maintaining natural stone tiles, is to use natural stone mosaics as a horizontal border, vertical panel or bath surround whilst the rest of the room is tiled in complementary but less expensive ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Although accent tiles can be used in this way to introduce texture and uniqueness they are perhaps more typically used to inject colour into a neutral space. Mosaic tiles, particularly in glass or metal, or pencil tiles are perfect for this. And remember that accent tiles do not have to be used as simple horizontal borders. Pencil tiles can be used to define interesting architectural details and colourful mosaics can be used in larger areas such as the bath surround or kitchen splashback. If you are daring or have the help of someone with a good eye for detail use a vertical panel of mosaic tiles to highlight a particular feature of your bathroom such as a designer basin.

mosaic tiles

Another way of adding an interesting and individual element to your neutral bathroom or kitchen tiling is by using hand-painted ethnic tiles such as Moroccan or Armenian tiles to emphasise the particular style of your room. For example you may not be ready for a full-on hammam-style bathroom but may want to create a Moroccan feel. This can easily be done by selecting some suitable accessories such as a brass coffee pot or even a copper basin then placing a few exotic Moroccan patterned tiles to highlight your special pieces.

Many of these exotic tiles have very bold patterns so actually look better when they are only covering small areas such as the kitchen splashback area, above basins or in alcoves but this also helps to make it a more cost-effective solution because individual patterned tiles can be very expensive. Depending on the size and layout of your room six tiles in two rows of three or nine tiles in three rows of three should be plenty to create an impact without breaking the bank. Remember that, unlike glazed ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles, many decorative tiles will need to be sealed and maintained more carefully than the surrounding tiles.


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