Specialty tiles are perfect for making the bathroom an interesting and inspiring space within your home.
With specialty tiles, you can transform your bathroom into a land of your ancestors, a favorite vacation destination or any place that stirs your imagination.
It is the perfect opportunity to be a bit … unusual.
Dare to be bold, with any of these specialty tiles for your next bathroom remodel or installation.
Defined as being 2 inches or less in size, mosaic tiles can be made of standard ceramic, stone or glass. Mosaics come in an amazing range of colors, designs and materials. Some are made up of uniform tiles all of the same color, whereas others contain tiles of many colors and shapes that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to create a pattern or picture.
Such complex mosaics can add a nice visual focus to an otherwise plain installation. A great example is that of a floor medallion in the middle of an entry way or hall. Patterned mosaic borders (preassembled on a backing) are also a great way to add accents to tiled backsplashes and shower walls.
A decorative tile can be any sort of tile with a figurative or decorative pattern or design. Also known as “decos,” some of these tiles have designs rendered as incised or raised surface relief. Other decos are adorned with colorful graphics, hand-painted images, pictures, or a combination of elements, including other materials.
Small square or star-shaped decors, known as “tacos,” are made to add color to surfaces laid with octagonal tiles. You can even commission personalized deco tiles with painted or photo-realistic images.
Some metal tiles are made entirely of metal, but most are cast from a bisque or other ceramic material that is then covered with a veneer of bronze, brass, copper, nickel, or other metal. Some tiles have designs rendered in surface relief, while others have etched patterns or embedded glass or ceramic elements.
Rarely used to cover an entire surface, metal tile is usually placed in combination with other kinds of tile to add decorative accent that lends a striking or sophisticated look to a tile job.
They look particularly good when used with limestone.
Like glass, metal tile is a bad choice on a floor or other heavy-use areas; most metal tiles are plated or coated, and these types of coatings wear off.
Manufactured from porcelain and other materials, faux tiles (also called “ersatz” tiles) are made to look like other types of tile, including stone, brick, metal, and even wood. Some single large tiles are made to look like several smaller tiles or stones laid in a pattern, complete with faux grout joints between them.
Faux tile can be a great choice when you want the look of one type of tile but the great wear-resistant characteristic of another. For example, it’s better to lay porcelain faux marble tiles on a floor that’s highly trafficked than to use natural stone that’s going to get scratched and stained.
Not only are faux tiles practical but they can also be an economical alternative to laying complex tile patterns or using far more expensive materials.
It’s not surprising that some types of tile suit a particular home’s decor better than others. Using specialty tile in your bathroom that runs against the grain of your home’s decor can add an unexpected fashion-forward look to an otherwise plain and predictable interior.
Just make sure you won’t regret your boldness after living with the tile for a year or two or when the time comes to sell your home.