H2H design + build, LLC | Accent Tiles Done Right!
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Accent Tiles Done Right!

Accent Tiles Done Right!

Growing up with a contractor for a father taught me a lot. He always loved to play designer, but once I went to school for it I quickly learned that anyone can be a designer but not everyone can design. This article is about the Do’s and Don’ts of accent tiles. With some helpful rules to follow when designing the tile layout of your next kitchen or bathroom.

Disclosure: I am the proud owner of a bachelor’s degree in interior design, so I know a thing or two about what I am saying. Also, I am overly sarcastic. That being said, ENJOY!

bathroom floor BLOG

Rule #1: Accent tiles DO NOT have to be stripes on the wall or floor. Accent tiles are any tile that you want to accentuate.  Like the picture above; the flooring is the accent tile, and not one other material within the bathroom speaks louder than it does. Achieving a beautiful, clean, and FUN bathroom tile design.

bath accent wall BLOG

Rule #2: Your main tile should NEVER speak louder than your accent tile (should you chose to use an accent tile in your design) You’re spending your hard earned money on a special tile, so let it tell the story you want it to! This is the same concept as the photo above. This rule goes for any accent tile applied to any wall, floor, or ceiling.

kitchen BAD TILE

This is a perfect DO NOT example! Here’s why: They broke rules #1, #2, #3… This kitchen breaks all the rules. It hurts my brain! How dare them!
Rule #3: If you want a random tile layout done right, hire a designer. Random patterns are the HARDEST thing to do and make it look effortless. Your eye immediately tries to find patterns in everything so achieving an organic random pattern takes practice and training. Random patterns are gorgeous when done correctly. This picture is just a perfect example of what NOT to do. Among many other things. Please don’t replicate this monstrosity. Thank you!

BathB&W Accent wall BLOG

Rule#4: Please DO NOT put a busy accent tile when you do not have the wall real estate to do so. If this bathroom design just did the white subway tile all the way around, it would have been easier on the eyes and felt bigger and brighter. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this tile just not in this application. If there was a less visually cluttered vanity, less things hanging on the wall, and no competing wall color this application might have worked. Kudo’s for them trying something new. They failed horribly, but kudo’s.

Shower Example BLOG

Now this is a fun design! Its simplicity is what makes it special.
Rule#5: Accent tiles in a horizontal stripe on the shower surround need to match scale and proportion of a room. Yes, there is more room in this bathroom to do a bigger stripe. But this designer knows a thing or two about scale and proportion so it was applied correctly. Also, accent tiles do not need to be crazy unique or overly ornate. They can simply be a similar tile in a contrasting color than the main tile/material used.

Rule #6: For the love of God, DO NOT use a different tile for every surface… unless you do it right like this designer did. They tied everything together using light neutral colors. The only tile that has a pattern is organic Carrera marble on the floor and bench. Food for thought, you can either tie things together by one of the following: color, shape, or texture. Mixing is never an easy task, nor does it ever come out right.

Final Accent wall Pic Bath BLOG

Now this bathroom looks REALLY nice at first glance right?… WRONG! There is one major flaw in this bathroom and it is breaking a crucial law! Can you guess which one? That’s right, rule #5! Scale and proportion was lost in this design with the accent tile on the walls. There are a few things that would have made this bathroom better in a snap!

First, they could have eliminated the two stripes on the wall completely and it would have looked immediately better.
Second, make the stripes at least double the height that they are.
Third, combine the two and move to the top edge of the tub. (I hope that makes sense). These are all options that could have easily made this design better.

Now keeping in mind that most the pictures I referenced were bathrooms, all of the rules laid out apply to kitchens as well! Hope you all learned a thing or two and liked what you read. And always keep in mind, when in doubt: Hire a designer or better yet, hire H2H design + build! You won’t regret it! ☺

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