The choice of tiles as the main material for finishing the kitchen is gaining popularity. In this article, we aim to show you why you should choose tiles for finishing your kitchen, as well as providing guidance on the types of tiles that best fit different styles of kitchen aprons, in both indoor and outdoor kitchens. We have also provided you with photos for illustration.

Using Tiles For Kitchen Finishings: Pros and Cons

Of late, increasingly more homeowners choose to finish the tiles, at least when it comes to the design of the floor and apron. The use of tiles in the bathroom has proven the practicality of the material, and in the finishing of the kitchen, practicality is the most important quality!

Choosing tiles for the kitchen is a wise and economic decision. Being durable and resistant to moisture and heat, tiles are able to preserve their strength and original appearance much longer than other finishing materials.

Weigh all the pros and cons carefully. Having made your choice of tiles, it is essential to realize that after a few years, the design of the kitchen is likely to bore you, but because of the durability of tiles, changing the design of the kitchen through ways like installing wallpaper or finishing panels can be challenging.

The kitchen is a special place in every home, bringing guests and family members together for meals. However, maintaining the cleanliness and overall condition of the kitchen can be challenging as all the surfaces are prone to damage due to exposure to heat, moisture, detergents and other products, some of which contain acids. In addition, during cooking, a lot of dirt is formed – fruit and vegetable juices, sauces and broths, oil and grease and so on. As a result, the walls and work surfaces must be made of materials that are easy to clean, and tiles perfectly fit this profile!

Ceramic tile

Ceramic tiles are the most budget-friendly version of tiles, which, despite their low prices, can amaze you with a wealth of colors and patterns.

By the mode of production ceramic tiles can be identified as:

  • Pressed ceramic tiles, i.e., tiles pressed from sand and clay;
  • Extruded ceramic tiles, i.e., made from a dough-like mass containing 15-20% of water, and then passed through an extruder.

Additionally, it is characteristic to distinguish ceramic tiles as:

  • Glazed tiles: Have a thin top coating of glass;
  • Unglazed tiles: Ceramic tiles devoid of top spraying.

Tip: When choosing glazed tile, examine the surface for chips and cracks. When handled carelessly, glazed tiles are easily damaged.

Glazed tiles are usually used in wall finishing, while unglazed tiles with a slightly rough surface are preferable for laying the floor.

On a typical box containing ceramic tiles, you can find a number of icons, designed by the manufacturer to give a detailed description of the tiles contained in the box.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with the variety of options available for using ceramic tiles in the kitchen in our photo catalog:

Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles contain ceramic granite, which is not much different from the materials used to create ceramic tiles, including sand, clay and various minerals. However, the mode production of porcelain tiles differs significantly from that of ceramic tiles.

The most notable difference is the coloration process. Ceramic tiles have only a color coating, while the stain of ceramic granite occurs with the help of natural color pigments, which make it possible to achieve uniform color throughout the entire thickness of the tile.

The result of firing is a tile with a low porosity, which directly and most pleasantly affects the hygroscopicity parameters, reducing them to a scanty 0.05% compared to the 10% characteristic of the tile.

Thus, a brief description of the porcelain stoneware includes the following characteristics:

  • Uniformity of color throughout the thickness;
  • High strength;
  • Practically zero water absorption;
  • Frost resistance;
  • Wear resistance;
  • Durability;
  • Environmental friendliness of the material.

Stone tiles

Stone tiles are an incredibly stylish material that can completely transform your kitchen space.

Tip: Designers recommend that you do not completely decorate the kitchen with stone tiles, mainly because the natural texture and unevenness of the volume of these tiles, can lead to the finish visually “eating” the space. Besides, it is easy to go too far with such a finish, but extremely difficult to redesign

The ideal result is one that offers continuity between the table top and kitchen apron, having executed them from materials of similar colors and textures.

An interesting option, which, as a bonus, uniquely makes the kitchen cozier, is the decoration of the working area near the stove by a fireplace .

Glass tiles

The popularity of glass tiles as a finishing material has been on the upsurge in recent years. In modern, minimalist and high-tech interiors, modern, high-tech, glass tile finishing fits the design effortlessly.

Mosaic tiles

The use of mosaic tiles in the design of the kitchen is one of the most stylist and fashionable trends right now. Mosaic was once insanely popular, and now, the material is undergoing resurgence.

Mosaic tiles are of two distinct types:

  • Glass;
  • Ceramic.

The creation of a ceramic mosaic tile involves a technology that is almost identical to that used in the creation of full-value ceramic tiles. The composition of glass mosaic includes slices of smalt – opaque glass, often regarded as extremely practical and durable.

The dimensions of mosaic tiles, as well as their shape – are not restricted. Pieces can be square, round, rectangular or diamond-shaped, small or large, creating a single wholesome pattern or chaotic pattern.

Mosaic tiles in the interior look very appealing and the variability of the patterns created is unlimited!

However, remember that a kitchen completely decorated with mosaic loses its charm, and therefore, mosaic must be used in combination with other materials – whether ceramic tile or  kitchen wallpaper.

Imitation of brick masonry

Imitation of finishing materials, such as concrete or brick in the interior, is incredibly popular now, especially in styles such as loft .

Laying tiles patterned “under the brick” is a great opportunity to refresh your kitchen and turn it into a fashionable and extraordinary space.

Brick masonry, unlike mosaic, does not limit you in its application: You can trim an apron in the same way on the work surface or on one of the walls, using a fashionable “accent wall”. Alternatively, you can lay out “brick” tiles on all the walls. Your choice!

Among other advantages, brickwork gives you the opportunity to play with a visual perception of space, because you are not obligated to create an interior with clear horizontal stripes. Place the tiles vertically – and the geometry of the space around you will change awesomely! This option is perfect for kitchens with low ceilings.

Well, the choice of colors, as always, is a matter of taste and personal preference. You can stick to monophonic variants, of which white is the most popular. You can also choose interesting color combinations that adequately represent your preferences.

Parquet laying

An excellent alternative to brick-laying can be laying tiles in the form of parquet, which is also called “herringbone” or “pigtail” styling. This method entails laying bricks in the placement of rectangular tiles that are perpendicular to each other at a right angle.

Laying tiles in parquet style in the interior looks very fresh and unusual!

Tiles in this design are better off in monophonic colors, and preferably, neutral tones, since the main emphasis should be placed not on the tile itself, but on the interesting manner of its placement. Nevertheless, for this purpose, use of colored tiles or combining several shades of tiles is still permissible. The main idea is to select and place them tastefully!

The downside of this method of laying is the need to cut tiles. As a solution, you can initially pick up square tiles of the same tones and textures, and cut them diagonally, avoiding excessive spending.

Diagonal masonry

If you prefer a more traditional square tile for your kitchen, an interesting variant of tile laying you are bound to love is diagonal laying.

This simple method is based on placing square tiles on walls or on the floor with rhombuses, which will certainly look more attractive than the usual “stitching in the seam” masonry.

By the way, such an option, when used on the floor, visually expands the kitchen space, while its use in the decoration of walls can have the opposite effect, i.e. visually reducing the space.

Design of an apron

To begin with, we clarify that the kitchen apron is not only an artificially sewn piece of cloth protecting your clothes from contamination during cooking, but also a surface located directly above the working area and assuming the entire impact during cooking.

As a work area it is worth highlighting that the apron contains:

  • A plate;
  • Cutting table;
  • Sink for washing dishes.

Since the tile, as we found out above, is practically the ideal finishing material for the kitchen, its use in the design of the apron is highly desirable!

Tip: When decorating the kitchen apron, keep in mind that its dimensions should extend beyond the working area by 10-20 cm. This is necessary for maximum protection of the walls.

Since the kitchen apron is the zone most exposed to heat, moisture and dirt, it is critical to decorate it with a material with minimal porosity.

The decoration of the apron with stone and ceramic tiles is not the best option. Rather, porcelain or glass tiles are more efficient.

As for the apron color, there are two main options:

  • An apron in the tone of the kitchen – performed in a common color palette that complements and enriches the kitchen space;
  • Contrast apron – creates an interesting accent that makes the cuisine appear fresher and more modern.

The mosaic design of the apron is perhaps the most interesting, since it offers a fantastic and unique way to decorate the kitchen.

Combination and zoning

Decorating the entirety of the kitchen with tiles is unprofitable and impractical. In addition, such a design may lead to a formal or official look, yet in the home kitchen, the vibe should possess a sense of coziness. Therefore, the ideal design of the kitchen is the combination of different materials in the finish.

Tile is definitely necessary when decorating the apron, but when decorating the dining area, you can use wallpaper, glass walls, use decorative putty or simply paint the walls.

There are three major factors to consider in the combination of materials for finishing the kitchen;

  1. Identity.Tiles and other materials are selected clearly tone in tone, and the textures with this option should be the same.
  2. Similarity.A softer option that allows you to choose not necessarily identical, but similar shades and textures, which adhere to the chosen color scheme.
  3. Contrast.The option of combining different textures and contrasting hues requires a thoughtful selection of colors and textures and unique and well-planned implementation.

The combination of finishing materials can fulfill another important function – space zoning. Different materials allow the establishment of visible boundaries between the working and dining areas, which is otherwise tough to achieve using just tiles.

Floor tiles

Most of this article has focused on choosing a wall tile, but the floor tile is also essential. The choice of floor tiles depends on a number of significant factors.

First, floor tiles should be strong, since the floor will support large scales such as a refrigerator, table and kitchen set.

Secondly, an indicator of chemical resistance is important, because the floor in the kitchen is more often exposed to chemicals in the washing process than other rooms.

Thirdly, the wear resistance and durability of color pigments, if used in the production of tiles, are also important.

Fourth, the floor tile should have a slightly rough surface, since the roughness creates friction that prevents slippery accidents from occurring.