Tile Design Principles & Ideas: Color, Patterns & Texture

Man and Woman at the Kitchen Table

The word "tile" brings to mind a variety of materials and installations -- from the hard, durable finish of ceramic tile found in kitchens and bathrooms to the soft, versatile surfaces of carpet and cork tile used on living room and playroom floors. The word, in fact, has a long history, originating from an old European word for 'covering,' and perhaps first applied to hard-bodied, fired clay products -- ceramics. As new materials have been developed, people constantly find new applications for the word, using it most often to describe any material manufactured for covering surfaces, made and applied in individual, modular units.

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For many homeowners 'tile' also means a material that requires installation by a professional, someone with years of practice and on-the-job experience. Although that may have been true in the past, new materials and techniques make tile installation well within the reach of any homeowner with moderate skills. Installing any kind of tile does take patience, but armed with the right information, most homeowners can install a professional-looking project they will be proud of.

That's where this site comes in. It contains all the information you'll need for virtually any kind of tile project: ceramic, parquet, resilient, or even cork and carpet tile. You'll find tips for designing your project, as well as inspirational examples you can use in your own home. You'll learn about the different kinds of materials and what each is best suited for. You'll discover methods for making specific plans. Perhaps most important, you'll find everything you need to know about installing and maintaining the material of your choice so your project yields years of service.

You may think of tile primarily as a covering for kitchen floors and baths, but you can use almost any kind of tile in any room of the house. It functions just as well in family rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and home offices. Installing tile is cost-efficient; its initial expense is paid back in the form of reduced maintenance and replacement costs. Large floor installations can add to the resale value of a home.


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