[Houzz Ideabook] Accent Tile Design Ideas

Contemporary bathroom

Handmade Tile:

It can be expensive – that’s the bad news. Good news is that there are so many ways to use handmade tile as an accent alongside less expensive, machine-made field tile or stone. This is a great way for handmade tile to fit into nearly every budget.

For example, take a look at this gorgeous tile combo pictured to the right by San Francisco interior designerNiche Interiors.  The red handmade ceramic border, installed low on the wall and paired with natural stone & brass details is warm, fun and completely unexpected!

Below is a Houzz Ideabook showing even more examples how  to add color & interest with accent tile.

What do you think of the following design ideas?  Leave a comment with your favorite!


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How Much Tile? Design Tips & Averages

You’re looking at tile and want a quick reference for how many square feet you might need.  What to do?

Consider these common measurements and tile design tips:

Kitchen Backsplash: Usually around 18″ high but lengths vary greatly. An average kitchen splash length is 10-20 lineal feet = 15-30 square feet of space to be tiled.

Tub Surround: For a standard tub, the wall lengths are usually 36″, 60″, 36″ = 11 lineal feet x 6′ or 7′ wall height (approx) = 66-77 square feet of tile needed.

Wainscot: Tile wainscoting is a great look, but what height should it be?  For the best possible result, never cut the wall in half.  This is one of the most important wainscot tips. If the wall is 8′ high, you want the total wainscot height below or above 48″. Consider 36″, 42″or 54″ from the floor to the top of the wainscoting.

Border: If you’re looking for a horizontal border or decorative stripe, take the lineal measurements given above. What about the height to place it at? That’s personal preference. At the top of wainscoting is good (not to exceed the total height listed above) or in a shower, 5′ is a great height. It doesn’t interfere with the plumbing locations yet is near eye level.  For a unique  and more contemporary look, place the border vertically and run the border from floor (or tub) to ceiling.

Fireplace: Designs vary, but you should consider whether you are tiling just the face of the fireplace, between a wood mantle and the firebox, or all the way around a fireplace, including the hearth and sides. Check out this fireplace for example: a total of 14 square feet (in 1×1, 1×2 and 2×4) of laNeva tile #90 Oregano.

Still can’t decide what would look best?  Call or email [email protected] and we’d be thrilled to provide a phone consultation and custom layout options for you, including lots of tips on how to make your tile project a complete showstopper! We’ve been designing dynamic tile environments for… well, forever! (Okay, it’s  been about 13 years.)

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Bondera, You Say?

There is a new tile installation product called Bondera. It is a replacement for the traditional mortar bed upon which tile is installed. It is the “glue” that holds the tile to the wall or floor, or wherever. Bondera is a sheet material that you roll out, cut to size and press the tiles into. In a few hours (rather than 24 hours + with traditional mortar) the tiles are set and you can grout right away.

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It seems like Bondera will have applications for the do-it-yourself market but I am interested in what professional installers will say. It is certainly a great option when time is of the essence, but unless professional installers will warranty their work using Bondera, it may just be a quick shortcut for a weekend project.

Bondera is for vertical surfaces such as backsplashes and shower walls, as well as countertops. Bondera is not intended for floor use.

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