Updated: May 20, 2019
As you know, tile continues to be "all the rage!" It's come so far in the way it's made, price points and the variety of materials offered.
We recently visited our local tile joint, Kenny&Co, in Nashville to pick out a backsplash for a project and we felt so inspired by the showroom we just simply had to share.
By way of color, texture and pattern, tile is a statement maker in your home. It adds an extra layer, or skin if you will, to the design that can really make a room feel extraordinary. We are so used to all the soft finishes in a home, ie: bedding, sofas, rugs, and window treatments. But tile adds a unique hard surface, giving a room more substance and dimension.
In the showroom there is a selection of hardware and accessories, lighting, plumbing fixtures and tile. You can look at everything from wall sconces to towel bars to outlet covers and even bathtubs! We love that Kenny&Co offers this all under one roof, but our favorite of them all, of course, is the tile!
For those who like to test their plumbing fixtures, look no further. Kenny& Co offers a fully encapsulated, functioning display wall of different types of plumbing fixtures. Rainheads, hand-held body sprays, etc..
Before committing to a tile purchase, it's important to know the ‘big four’ types of tile and where to use them.
1st - Ceramic
Ceramic tile is made of a concoction of natural clay, sand and water that is molded and baked in a kiln.
Ceramic has a hard protective top layer that is water and stain resistant, and is great in high humidity climates.
This makes ceramic tile a front runner to be used in bathrooms, kitchens, mud rooms, and laundry rooms. It is important to know if your tile is glazed because unglazed tiles will need to be sealed. Above is an example of a client's project with a ceramic tile backsplash.
2nd - Porcelain
Porcelain, like ceramic, is made of clay and baked in a kiln, but it is made of a denser clay. The result is a tile that is less porous and more resistant to water, stains, and scratches that is excellent for bathrooms and kitchens. It is also great for fireplace surrounds, as shown in our project below, and radiant floor heating because it won't burn under normal conditions.
Porcelain generally has a long life span and can be repaired if damaged, just make sure to seal it!
3rd - Cement
Cement tiles can provide vibrant colors and bold patterns to elevate a design. They're made of a cement mixture through a high intensity pressure process, making them thicker than the standard tile. For this reason, make sure to consult a designer or contractor to ensure that it will be installed flush to the surrounding floors.
Although the surface is porous and must be sealed to prevent staining, the tile is non slippery even when wet! It is also easy to clean, making it ideal for a mudroom or foyer. Do keep in mind that even sealed cement tiles will patina over time.
But don't let this scare you! There are many cement look-a-like tiles available that still pack a hefty design punch, like the tile used for our client's bathroom floor and kitchen backsplash below.
We could not get enough of these stunning concrete tiles below from Arto.
4th - Clay
These terracotta tiles below, from Tabarka, also deserve a mention.
Almost all clay tile will be handmade with long lead times and are a true labor of love! With the exception of specialized marble tiles, handmade clay tile will be amongst the priciest options out there.
We left Kenny&Co feeling relaxed, inspired, and with the perfect backsplash in tow. It can be overwhelming when sourcing tile, because as you can see in this blog post, there are thousands of choices.
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