THE DESIGNER’S GUIDE TO TILE
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: never underestimate the power of a good tile pattern. Whether you’re using top-of-the-line materials or and working with more affordable options, your tile pattern has the potential to make or break a space by incorporating visual interest in a variety of facets. Here at J Miller Interiors, we consider ourselves experts on the matter, and could probably talk about our favorite patterns all day. We have a million thoughts on making tile work well within a space, but truthfully, it all boils down to a few key ideas.
Today, we’re sharing everything that goes into our tile decision-making process, along with six key takeaways for your next big project.
USE ONE HERO TILE
Choosing the right tile for your project can be a big process. If budget constraints are a concern, we always recommend selecting one “statement” tile moment and scaling back with more affordable materials elsewhere. In one of our favorite bathroom projects, #jmidrewave we decided to splurge on handmade materials from Tess Tile for the floors, but saved on subway tile for the shower. Remember, not every tile in the room has to be show stopping to create an incredible space!
MIX GLOSSY AND MATTE TILES
Contrary to popular belief, mixing and matching your tile finishes is 100% acceptable. In fact, it’s our preferred method of design around here! Our general rule of thumb is to use a matte or honed tile on the floor to prevent slipping, and to use glossy tile for the walls. The final result is a really nice mix of textures that brings tons of balance to the whole space. Plus, we’ve found that going glossy everywhere can feel a bit too overwhelming.
GO FOR MATCHING GROUT
Here’s a hot take: grout selections are kind of a big deal! I know most people have never given grout a second thought, but as designers, it’s all in the details; grout included. We usually opt for grout that matches the tile and fades nicely into the pattern. Contrast grout is also an option, but keep in mind that it should be well considered for the space.
THINK ABOUT YOUR TRIM
Many popular tiles like the ‘zellige’ we used in our #jmiriverroad powder bathroom don’t come with a finished edge. Meaning, we had to figure out an alternative to finishing the tile, which ended up involving a marble pencil trim. Be sure to always look into the trim or finished edge (like bullnose) available when you’re specifying tile options.
PLAY WITH INTERESTING PATTERNS
By now, you probably know we’re not ones to play it safe with tile patterns! Case in point: our #jmidrewave where we spiced things up with a parquet pattern to elevate the everyday subway tile. Playing around with new patterns is such an easy way to make even the most basic tile interesting. Some of our favorite patterns are offset vertical brick, herringbone, and parquet, just to name a few. Fun fact: our Drew Ave. project was even featured in a Domino article about mixing up tile patterns!
KEEP IT FRESH AND CLASSIC
We like to keep tile selections as classic and neutral as can be. Tile is generally a design element that will not be changed, so we always want to ensure it stands the test of time. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly floor tile option, we’re always in favor of a honed marble hexagon for a really classic look. We purchased the tile for the #jmiriverroad main bath update from Amazon! When in doubt, we always recommend sticking to natural materials as much as possible and choosing a tile pattern you can envision in your home years down the line.