When most of us think about Tile, the images that pop to mind are

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen Counters and Backsplashes
  • Floors

But as Tile designs and materials become more diverse and high-tech, many of today’s top designer homes are using tile in unconventional ways on walls.  These vertical structural elements appear straight-on to our eyes (as opposed to floors which are always at an angle), so they make great canvases for color variation, repeating patterns, and textures.  Sometimes the Tile application is localized – like a fireplace façade.   But sometimes a bold statement can be made by covering an entire wall.  It can be a lot more exciting than painted or textured drywall, for example.

One of our favorites is Stacked Slate Tile or Split-Faced Slate Tile.   We’ve all seen this look in elegant homes: it feels as though we’re looking sidelong at a very tightly arranged stack of slate flagstones.  But in reality it’s usually a Tile Veneer attached seamlessly to the wall so no seams or pattern cracks are visible.  Because it mimics natural stone, the color palate for Slate Tile runs in earth tones – from grey to grey-green to browns and sandy beiges (though California Gold is a favorite warm choice).  A similar Stacked Marble or Stacked Quartz Tile can run all the way to white or very dark grey (almost black) if that’s the accent you need for your home space.

A similar cool Tile application for walls is Stone Look Tile or Ceramic Field Tile that mimics natural stone blocks or pieces.  Picture a fireplace set in mortared chunks of natural stone – only in this case, the stone is Tile, set as a veneer over the structural element beneath.  Sometimes a single Stone Tile wall in a living space that is otherwise painted or textured can lend a real feel of weight and permanence to a room.  This is a great trick designers know, and now it’s one you can apply yourself!

But stone isn’t the only texture Tile can mimic.  Rustic Wood Tile takes the same approach and combines squares or rectangles of faux wood, whose complimentary colors and contrasting grains can make a great wall facing.  We usually see this in farmhouse-style kitchens and dining rooms.   It seems to go straight to our memories of simpler, warmer times and lends a great cozy glow.  The designs can be simple (all squares or matching rectangles) or complex (different shapes and sizes built into a patterned wood mosaic).  We can show you examples of all these Tiles in our Sedona showroom.  Consultation is free!

If your home is modern, Digital Wall Tile or Optical Wall Tile can lend a surprising wild touch to an otherwise bland vertical space.  Here we see boldly patterned high-contrast tiles arranged in patterns straight out of M.C. Escher to capture attention or create optical illusions of depth and transparency.  And Tile isn’t simple two-dimensional: 3D Tile goes beyond texture to include actual depth of design which can be structured in random or repeating panels to create light-and-shadow interplay.  Some are geometric; some lend an under-the-sea feel with horizontal elements waving across an entire vertical wall.

It boils down to this: if you can imagine it, it’s likely been done in Tile.  You can snap photos of Tile you love in the homes or businesses you visit and bring them in to show us.  Or you can come by our Sedona Headquarters and spend hours perusing all the delicious options.  You can take Tile samples home with you to see how they will play in your own personal space.  And of course, you can take advantage of our skilled design pros: they have great eyes, broad experience, and can probably save you a lot of time if you’re on a schedule.

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