3 Fun Designer Tiling Tips to Inspire Your Creativity

Kim Lewis
by Kim Lewis

Today, I want to talk to you about some fun tiling tips when redesigning your bathroom or kitchen and laying down new tiles. Tiling can transform a room, especially when you add your own creative touches to your design. Go bold with color or use a pattern, but be sure to add style to your tile!

RISE UP written in tiles

1. Adding a message with tiles

One of my favorite things is personalizing a bathroom floor or backsplash. In our house, we did the bathroom floor using a hexagon mosaic. You can personalize it by adding a message, which is so easy.

Placing tile

Just get your sheets; they usually come in a 12x12 sheet, and have your tile setter lay it on the floor.

You can do this before your tile installer gets to your home because many builders will say this will cost a little bit more in labor, but you can facilitate it. You can do this if you know how to assemble a puzzle.

Spelling out the word

You lay the 12x12 tiles out and pick your phrase; I suggest picking something short and simple so that it doesn't get too long, and then lay it out using just a pencil or a dry-erase marker and start marking the tiles.

Regarding a scale for height, I suggest using something around eight tiles up to start your first letter, and then just write it on out.

Cutting away the tiles with an X-ACTO knife

Once you do that, you'll take an X-Acto knife and just literally take out those mosaic pieces and fill them in with a different color.

How to write a message in tiles

In this case, we did a white backdrop with a black tile over the top.

I have a fun story about why our bathroom floor says Rise Up. On my husband's and my third date, we talked about our favorite music, and the Eddie Vedder Into the Wild album came up with the song Rise. That is the reason why we have Rise Up on the floor.

We thought it was cute, funny, and appropriate that it came from our third date. It's a story in our house; at the end of the day, your house is all about telling your story and personalizing and making it as unique as you are. Having a personalized message is fun.

I've even done it for a client at Tellers Coffee in Chicago.

MUG SHOT spelled out in tiles

At this coffee shop, while standing in line, customers can look down and see that it says Mug Shot.

It's kind of a fun little Instagramable moment. So whether you're designing your own space or for a residential or commercial client, you can use personalized messages on the tile floor for something unique and fun.

Colorful grout examples

2. Add colorful grout

My latest obsession is colorful grout. There is a company that can match any paint color that you give them. We've seen subway tiles for so long. We're so over them. The white tile, white grout, I mean, back in the day, this is the grout selection you would get from your builder or your local hardware store.

Pink grout with white tiles

3. Try doing something new and different

Take a little bit of a risk. This can kind of add this different look. You can still use your white subway tile. If you don't want to do subway tile, which I do recommend, maybe go with a four-by-four square tile shape. Square tiles are coming back. These will be the same as a subway tile in terms of price point. They are inexpensive, super durable, and easy to maintain. A matte finish or a semi-gloss is an excellent way to go. I'm super obsessed with this and can't wait to do it in my projects.

When you're tiling a space, I want you to consider it like a fashion. I'm short, so I'm not going to wear horizontal stripes. I'm going to wear vertical stripes. We're seeing upper cabinets in kitchens. That trend is still going very strong, so I want to suggest a way to take that to the next level if you open upper cabinets or have upper shelves in your kitchen.

Taking backsplash up to the ceiling

Take that tile backsplash up to the ceiling and then match it with a paint color or do some kind of pattern on the ceiling.

That basically will elongate the space. So in this case, with a mid-century tiny house, I took a vertical matte subway tile, ran it up, and then ran that same black paint color on the ceiling. It makes that space look much longer and taller. So you're using the tile color pattern as a way to elongate, creating a visual optical illusion to make the space stretch in the direction that you want it to stretch.

Tiling tips

I hope these tiling tips inspire you to get creative with your project. Which idea is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

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