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Top tips on making the most of porcelain designs in the home

PUBLISHED: 14:33 15 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:33 15 August 2014

All the natrual wood is outside but porcelain tiles create a stunning look for this bathroom

All the natrual wood is outside but porcelain tiles create a stunning look for this bathroom

Archant

Steve Laws of Reading tiling experts Reed Harris looks at the latest trends and creative ways to make the most of new porcelain designs

Huge strides in the technology behind tiles have changed so much in recent years that just about anything is possible.

There’s no doubt that the biggest interest has been in ‘porcelain wood’ – those tiles which need to be touched to perhaps spot that they are not real wood, and great limestone looking porcelain.

The latest wave of designs is seeing a lot of the Italian factories coming up with exciting new ranges of porcelain wood. Now you might think… why replicate wood when the real thing is available? Well, wood porcelain tiles have many advantages over their natural counterparts, in most cases they will last longer and are harder wearing, will be easier to maintain, are waterproof and create a uniformed finish. They are also more adaptable with colour and can be very convincing, the new technology allows for a very realistic wood effect onto the tiles and a range of sizes up to 170cm long.

These can be used for all sorts of applications from bathroom walls and floors, to living rooms, through kitchens and even external use. The only limit is your imagination, we currently have a lot of these on display in the showroom to touch and feel.

Floor tiling, traditionally used for just kitchens here in the UK, is now spreading out across homes with a larger number of people wanting to take the tiles into the living space as well. Again, the ‘less is more’ approach works great on floors, and with rectified tiles you can get very small grout joints adding to the image of a seamless floor. Tiles can now be used for all areas, and with technology in underfloor heating improving and becoming more popular, tiles are a great choice. The larger the better, with many ranges now available in sizes close to a metre in length and available to go outside, too.

Kitchen floor tiles are great when matched to worktop colour tones creating a nice visual effect.

Bigger tiles are also being used in bathrooms. Having no borders provides an uncluttered and spacious feel to a bathroom. The grey theme remains the new favourite, in a range of tones from ‘greige’ (a beige and grey blend) right through to deep charcoals.

Feature walls are still apparent, but more discreet. Use a large format tile (600 x 300mm) or larger for main walls and do a feature wall using the same tile in mixed sizes, creating a simple visual to the room.

Grey tones create a lot more scope for adding bold colours to accent any room. Any colour can be added to a bathroom through towels, blinds, accessories and paint to change the theme of the room in moments.

Another option over the feature wall is to tile the room with the tiles landscape, but instead of a traditional ‘brick bond’ tiling effect, the tiles are laid with a 75/25% stagger creating an unusual, yet interesting design.

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