Thursday, April 2, 2020
How to CHOSE TILES for your project.
Picture shows a piece of ceramic flooring found on rocky shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
Chapter 1 - Change my VIEW: Tiles are the most EXCITING part of any project.
I think tiles are the most exciting part of any project and I will tell you why. There is only very few tiles that will satisfy the requirements of your particular project. I know that showrooms are full of - what seems to many - endless opportunities to cover your floor or wall or whatever with pretty ceramics in various shapes and sizes and that is the precisely the challenge.
One of my mentors, a Chinese shop floorman at commercial millwork place I worked at, told me to always start my design process with my most limiting element. In my opinion, the most limiting aspect on any project are the ceramic options. That's right, ceramic options.
I think people who just chose tiles for colour or tone are missing out on a great part of their design experience - you can do a LOT, even with large format. I also consider the colour and tone of my tiles, but another category that I ALWAYS consider is rhythm.
Think of it like this - everyone has a different taste in music and all songs have a beat. Sometimes that beat is fast and sometimes that beat is slow. Sometimes songs are energetic and sometimes they are mellow. Now imagine playing a song - or maybe even better yet! a playlist! - and that music bounces off the hard tiled surface and hits yours ears back. Sometimes you want the space to have a busy, useful vibe and sometimes you want calm serenity spa thing going. Theoretically both spaces could use a 'green tile' - but that 'green tile' would be dramatically opposite of each other. An energetic, useful green would have more rhythm to it - like telling your special other to 'hurry up with the dinner because the kids are hungry and you might even step in to help with it'. A spa green would be more like sage and silver and the tile would have to be longer that wider - the psychology of design is quite fun to do!
Always make sure you have enough room to 'develop the pattern'. This is especially true for backsplash tiles! I've seen some really spectacular [but still tasteful!] little mosaics that just completely capture you - at a $$$$. BUT if you don't have the space - meaning the pattern should be able to repeat itself at least 2, better 3 times - then there is no point purchasing it. Exactly as I just said - you have to be able to repeat 'the pattern' at least 2-3 times for it to look good. ALSO, consider adjacent surfaces - mitering and matching small mosaics will a dramatically LOOOOONG way for it to look spectacular. My 2cents.
Have fun with your tiles.