Kitchens are the hub of the home, and the tiles you put in it can make that hub divine or dire. To guide you on the journey of choosing the right kitchen tiles, I’ve called in the expert – and we’re looking at 5 popular options on the market, too.
Dara Shashoua is the Melbourne Creative behind Byzantine Design; a stone supply company founded in 2006 and supplying kitchen tiles and other varieties to customers across the country. When it comes to the tile selection process, Dara explains that it’s crucial you get it right – because splashback tiles can make or break a kitchen.
“They can lift a budget conscious renovation into looking high end, so really take some time and look around at what your options are,” she advises. “Also, buy what you like! We spend so much time in our kitchens and the splashback can really individualise it for you”.
I’ve asked Dara to discuss five of the most popular kitchen tiles on the market right now, highlighting what makes them amazing as well as some things to look out for.
Kitchen Tiles: 5 Trending Splashback Options
“Hexagons are definitely having a moment,” Dara says. “They are a classic geometric shape”.
Dara explains that there are so many hexagon options on the market at the moment that it can be overwhelming. But it’s important to keep in mind that the classic hexagonal tile sizes (23mm and 48mm) will never go out of style. So if you’re stuck on what size to choose, veer toward those ones.
“Like with any trend, I think that you will be able to pinpoint the time when the renovation was done, especially if the hexagons are a printed pattern or a larger size,” Dara admits.
She also identifies marble tiles as a key trend at the moment (they’re a personal fave of mine) and I think this finish feels pretty timeless, too.
> Create the look above by using Hexagon Black Glass Porcelain Mosaic Tiles.
As the name suggests, Subway tiles were originally used in NYC train stations in the early 1900s. Flash forward just a few years and so many homes are using them to great effect.
Dara tells me that while they tiles themselves won’t date, some of the finishes can, so stick to the classic variety and you’ll be fine.
“We are using a lot of marble or mirror subways at the moment as well,” Dara says. “If you are worried about grout staining, then use a dark grout, or you can seal the grout as well. We now have coloured and glitter grout which can add a fun element to your subways as well”.
Also consider veering away from a traditional horizontal formation if you want something that feels a little unusual.
“At the moment I’m digging laying them vertically with a 1/3 offset,” Dara says.
> Create the look you see above using Calcatta Honed Subway Tiles.
Herringbone is all the rage right now in kitchens. It has been used to great effect on flooring for many years, and is making its way onto the wall to do great things for small kitchens.
“Eyes will naturally follow a straight line, herringbone messes with this and as a result can make an area look larger,” Dara explains.
Dara tips Herringbone tiles as a great idea for a splashback. But as the pattern is so strong, she’d not recommend doing an entire large-scale wall in them, as they’ll quickly become visually overwhelming.
“I prefer using a tile that has a 4:1 ratio, like a 300x75mm. Alternatively you could use a 2:1 ratio like 200×100. The 4:1 looks better to me though”.
> Create the look you see above by using a Calcatta Honed Herringbone tile.
Dara admits that matt tiles for the kitchen are sold less often, with customers opting for glossier options and getting great benefit from them.
“We would specify more gloss than matt tiles, especially for splashbacks,” she explains. “A lot of the subways are a gloss, same with porcelain mosaics. They are a great surface as they clean really well and rarely show fingerprints like matt finishes can”.
If your area doesn’t have a lot of natural light, Dara recommends you go with a gloss splashback. Matt finishes absorb the light and can not really enhance an area.
> Create the look you see above using Tavella Aqua Crackle Gloss Subway Tiles.
These types of tiles are by far my fave for the kitchen, bringing such a graphic moment to the space. Dara explains that they’re great for adding interest through pattern.
“They are a concrete tile, so won’t necessarily stay the way they look in the showroom. They are designed to age and patina,” she advises.
When it comes to things to be wary of, Dara says that you need to make sure that they fit the space exactly.
“You don’t want to have to cut the pattern, especially on a splashback,” she says. “They are thicker than normal tiles (16mm), so make sure that this is accounted for in the building of the cabinetry.
Ideally they need to be pre-sealed before laying and then sealed again once laid. If it is done properly at time of laying then you shouldn’t have any problems with them staining”.
> Create the look you see above using Encaustics Minnie in Black and White.
What is your fave splashback tile? And do you have any additional ideas or tips to share? Drop a comment below and let me and other TLC readers know about it. I’d love to hear from you!