A lot of the features we tend to find in kitchen design appeal to both aesthetic and practical concerns. When building that ideal kitchen space, you want design points that help create the look you’re going for without detracting from the functionality of the kitchen itself. Where kitchen wall décor is concerned, there is no better all-rounder than the humble yet extremely versatile kitchen tile.
Why do kitchen tiles work so well? Well, from a practical standpoint, the benefits are substantial. They’re highly durable, hard wearing and very easy to clean via a quick wipe down. Their design appeal shouldn’t be dismissed, however, with today’s kitchen wall tile market jam packed with eye-catching style, material, size and colour options fit to suit the full spectrum of kitchen set-ups.
Of course, if it’s your first time looking at tile-based wall designs, it might be tough to narrow down what works for you. That’s where our handy guide to all things kitchen tile ideas comes in.
While we’re here to talk up the benefits of tiles, your kitchen design probably shouldn’t feature wall to wall tiling – indeed, you’ll rarely see such a set up anywhere outside of professional environments. Too much tiling can be overbearing to look at, financially demanding to install and limit your wider design prospects in the space. With that in mind, it’s important to think about where to tile in a kitchen, starting with some more practical areas.
Typically, tiling in kitchens is found where protection of the walls is needed most. This means your splashback areas, such as behind the hobs and preparation surfaces, which will help guard against wall damage from spills, splashes and steam. It needn’t be limited to just practical areas, however, as there’s huge potential to create feature walls using a tiled aesthetic.
With an extensive range of options out there, it can be tough figuring out how to choose kitchen wall tiles made from the right material for you. Speaking from a practical perspective with splashback areas in mind, a porcelain or ceramic option is usually best due to the resilient and economical strengths of both materials. Porcelain provides a harder surface than ceramic, however this is of limited concern with wall tiles as either will offer excellent longevity.
While a porcelain or ceramic option is comfortably the most popular out there, you certainly aren’t limited to those two materials. The likes of glass, cement and marble wall tiles are all feasible (and incredibly intriguing) alternatives but opting for less durable materials like these would see you choosing a little more style over a little less practical substance.
Your approach to tile sizing plays a huge part in dictating the overall look and feel of the kitchen space. Larger tiles can make a space feel less cluttered, while smaller tiles and the increased frequency of grouting can create a busier and more visually enticing wall aesthetic when implemented carefully.
One particularly useful way to land on an appropriate tile size layout is to consider the size of your kitchen itself. Contrary to what you might immediately think, a small kitchen doesn’t mean you should use small tiles – quite the opposite in fact. Using larger tiles in a smaller space will help to expand what you have and is a very popular method for making a smaller kitchen look bigger.
The increased layout and design prospects provided by smaller tiles makes them best used when you wish to make more of a design fuss over them, like when your kitchen tile idea is to headline a feature wall or focal point. Be careful in a smaller space, however, where busy grout patterns can make you feel even more cramped in.
Naturally, your tile colours will be largely dictated by the rest of your kitchen design. Often the best way to go is to choose a colourway that complements your cabinetry and worktops. As with sizing, your choice of colour can aid the sense of space in your kitchen, with light and glossy tile options in particular helping to bounce light around and visually “enhance” the size of the room.
Light colours are also best for the summer months, absorbing less heat than darker alternatives. Darker colours shouldn’t be ruled out entirely, though, as the striking nature of shadowy splashback areas may appeal as a design element to some.
Because kitchen tile ideas come in all different, shapes, sizes, colours and materials, the layout options are similarly vast. Bricked (horizontally or vertically), stacked and mosaic layouts are some of the most popular you’ll find, each providing a unique visual background that will be better suited to some wider kitchen designs than others.
Your layout plans, coupled with sizing and colour choices, can be as busy or subtle as you want them to be. For those looking for a simple yet entirely stylish throwback, the likes of brick, stack and basket weave designs will take precedence. If it’s a more standout aesthetic you’re aiming for, eye-catching options like mosaic and herringbone layouts will create a real talking point.
If you’re not stripping your kitchen down and starting afresh and would prefer to work with what you already have, there a number of ways to enliven any kitchen wall tiles that are already in place:
When it comes to choosing the right kitchen tile ideas for your personal space, it can be a bit of a tough ask to wade through such a huge amount of design options and concepts. As kitchen design experts who are committed to helping our customers create their own unique setting, we can show you how to make the most of your kitchen using the right sort of tiling.