You can enjoy the incredible versatility of tile

Tile is still one of my favorite elements to design. I always enjoy the versatility and creativity that goes along with designing tile.

Tile can cover almost any surface or shape and has the ability to be completely individual in the hands of the tile installer. We can take a single tile and add embellishments to it, change direction or pattern and have dozens of unique designs to work with.

What is new in tile you ask? I’m going to assume you have asked this question so that I have something to write about!

Tile is incredible and versatile and is being produced in a large variety of styles, here is a list of what you can expect to see when shopping for tile:

Large sized tiles – tile is large and in charge, you can commonly find sizes from 16 to 24 inches square as well as a vast selection of rectangular shapes (12 x 24 and 10 x 20).

Large tiles are being used even in small spaces as they visually open up a space. We are seeing increased use of large tile in showers on walls and on tub surrounds. I am delighted when I can use tile on a wall as a feature, in place of paint – it makes such a bold statement when it is part of the décor in an unusual place besides a fireplace or a kitchen backsplash.

Travertine/Marble – natural stone is hot, hot, hot! The natural stone of the new millennium it has taken over where natural slate used to dominate the design world a few years ago. Stone has been given a glam makeover, becoming smooth and polished for ultimate light reflectivity. Whereas slate was dark and earthy; the new marble is light and airy with creams, whites and greys dominating the colour palette.

Glass – who hasn’t heard of it, seen it or drooled over the glittering chicklets of glass as you envision them adorning your walls. Glass is leading the way with every shape, size and colour imaginable. There is no easier way to make an ordinary tile extraordinary than a row or feature of glass tile.

Glass is offered in polished, matte, opalescent and blended with stone and marble. The variety is astounding and the styles (from rustic to high polish) will fit into any type of décor.

Smooth and clean – contemporary is the word of the day – tiles are appearing clean, smooth and lacking the strong patterns we have experienced in recent years. Tile used to be heavily veined and sported a variety of beveled and chiseled edges, now it is smooth and almost solid coloured.

Square edges are dominate and clean contemporary lines are giving tile a never before seen sophistication. The exception to this is patterned tile which when installed together makes beautiful feature walls, almost as a replacement for wallpaper.

If you have a space that leaves you uninspired and you are looking for a new way to feature it, consider the versatility of tile. It is one of the few products adaptable for floors, walls and ceilings and it brings beauty and a unique design element wherever it is installed. Tile is a more expensive application but it has a lifetime of beauty and style to offer in return.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Feel free to contact her at 343-7711 ext 227, email her at or join her facebook group called “Ask a Designer”