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  • Writer's pictureKristian Probe

Choosing A Tile Design

Updated: Feb 1

Cover photo courtesy of Check out for great design inspiration

Tile installations can transform a house. Stone accents can add life to your home. Tile shower surrounds set the tone for your day as you prepare in your own little oasis. Fireplace hearth tile makes your home a desirable place to cozy up in the long winter months.

But how do you get that design that really sends a tile installation to a level of central interest?

Reality check,

Tile is a hard surface and is labour intensive. A tile shower like the one pictured above is probably around $17,000 - $20,000 with plumbing, fixtures, waterproofing, lighting, skylight and tile. A simple 3x5 shower with enclosure with plumbing, lighting, glass and tile can range from $10,000-$14,000 depending on the options. A niche is usually about $400-$500, although glass/metal/stone shelves are an excellent economic option. If you are pinching your budget, you could go with an acrylic base/curb and save about $1000. Using a curtain instead of glass can save about $2000 and lower the bottom range to $8,000. So if you are like most people who are smart enough to invest in a renovation that will last longer than 5-15yrs, you probably still have a budget, but a good design can help you make the most out of what you are able to invest.

Now, back to design.

The world of tile is vast. If you have simple tastes and would like a subtle upgrade for a particular room, Look up some simple tile ideas and opt for simple designs. Colour palette is just as important as the style of tile. You can find colour palette support online using the colours already in your home or the colours you would like to paint with.

If you want to create "Le piece de resistance", then here are some pointers to get you started on that journey.

Your home has a feel to it, a theme or a style. Try to determine what that style is and how you can build on that theme. Here is a link to help you label your home style. Avoid if you can creating a home that feels like a mishmash of styles in different rooms.

Once you know what your home style is, you will have a more focused idea of what you should do with your tile. traditional styles lend to traditional patterns and colours, modern styles lend towards modern patterns and colours.

Draw inspiration from pictures online of what others have done with your particular home style. Look up some tile manufacturers websites or go to some retailers in town to get a feel for the types of tile to choose from. Another way to draw inspiration is to look at what some top designers have done to world class hotels or other buildings.

Carefully consider edge tile and accent options. Most ceramic tile is not the same colour throughout the tile and the edges need special treatment to finish off. These options are part of the final product and can add certain dynamics to your creation.

tile edge dry set without trim not uniform colour
Most tile are not a uniform colour throughtout and will need to be set with special edging

Metal edging is the easiest option for most tile setters and will typically be what they use to

finish the edges unless you request otherwise. Sometimes its the only viable option as bullnose tile(we'll get to it) is not always readily available for all colours of tile.

Bullnose tile is a manufactured tile that is rounded over to terminate edges and corners on curbs, niches and wall corners.

tile installation contractor souris brandon mb
Bullnose tile courtesy Ceramica Vogue

bullnose tile installer souris brandon mb
Tiled niche with bullnose tile to finish edges. Courtesy

Add an element of intrigue to your tile installation by capping off wainscot or backsplash tile with cornice tile

Cornice tile installation souris brandon mb
Cornice tile image courtesy of Sal DiBlasi.

Another great option, when bullnose or edge trim aren't available or aren't desired, is the mitred edge. A professional installer like JMJ Tileworks has the right tools to cut the tile at 45 degrees on each adjoining edge and create a clean minimalistic transition. This method requires more labour and therefore costs a little more; we are working with porcelain.

Tile installation mitred edges shower
Tile Shower installation with mitred edges by JMJ Tileworks near brandon kemnay mb

We have gone over some basics for tile design, which include your colour palette and tile edging and trim. There are many more options to consider when it comes to tile type, style, framing focal tile, transitioning different wall tile, mosaic tile art, trim and edging combinations and more. If you would like some direction or some design consultation, JMJ Tileworks would be happy to assist you. Just call us at 204-730-0JMJ(0565)

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