The choice is good, except when it paralyzes you with indecision as you browse the myriad of finishing options available for your dream kitchen or bathroom remodel. Take tile, for example: should you embrace trends in terracotta or terrazzo? Dare to use Art Deco lines or dark shades? Or is a simple subway tile always the best?
Sometimes it’s best to ask these questions to a pro, who has seen it all – not just in showrooms and Instagram feeds, but in action on the floors and walls of real homes – and has the right data. on what looks good and works. good for the long haul. Plus, an expert can answer styling questions (grout color? Layout pattern?) That you might otherwise forget to ask until the day of installation.
Here in Denver, one of those pros is interior designer Laura Medicus, whose portfolio of fresh but timeless designs reveals her stance on decorative tiles: classic styles will turn heads every time. “I love natural stone floors paired with a simple ceramic wall tile,” says Medicus. Although that doesn’t stop him from making bold moves. “If you’re looking to get what you pay for, go with your diamond,” she says. “For a shower, don’t just make an accent tile at the back of your soap niche – place that accent tile all over the wall and tuck your soap niche to the side so it doesn’t clutter up the big one.” moment of conception. For kitchens, add space to breathe on the walls and mount your tiles all the way.
Before Medicus selects a single tile, however, she asks a few key questions: “I’m thinking about what I need the tile to do for me in space,” she says. “Do I need a colored punch? Do i need a template? Or do I just need some texture? Decide on it and it will help you narrow your search.
We asked Medicus to narrow things down even further by sharing which tiles she chooses over and over again, as well as how to style them. Here, she breaks down her top six, shown in gorgeous spaces she’s designed around town:
Victoria II Tile by Surface Art
What: My affordable, handmade metro style tile, which comes in a few different sizes and has a pencil on it. I love the uneven surface of this tile and I love that it is shiny. the [dimension and sheen] add interest to a room without adding a pattern. It’s also a great price, so you can use more than with a more expensive tile.
Or: This tile catches the light in such a beautiful way. I like to see big with this one and go up an entire wall; it looks particularly nice in front of or next to the windows.
Style advice: White is a classic and timeless tile. Pairing it with a softer grout color amplifies the handmade look. Depending on the tones of your countertop and the rest of your kitchen, I like Custom Building Products # 545 Bleached Wood Grout for a soft warm look and # 115 Platinum for a soft cool look.
Find it: Visit surfaceartinc.com to locate Denver area retailers
Handmade porcelain tiles by Cosa Marble Company
What: Cosa makes my favorite handmade crackle porcelain tiles, which come in a few great colors, standard subway size, gorgeous mosaics, and great finishing pieces. It is a good choice when you are looking for a traditional or even just luxurious look at a good price.
Or: I love these tiles when trying to add a little texture to a bathroom or kitchen. They add a little dimension without yelling at it. They look great in vintage spaces when trying to amp up this look, or they can add a touch of handmade charm to a contemporary space. I like to see big with the patterns on a large shower wall.
Style advice: Splurge on covering a large, clean wall in your shower with a patterned or patterned tile, and try not to put your soap niche or anything on that wall.
Find it: The Floor Club, 741 S. Huron Street, 303-777-6277
Sabine Hill Cement Tile
What: My favorite cement tile! There are so many beautiful patterns, colors and layouts. They have a rainbow of solid cement tiles to choose from and I can get lost in their catalog.
Or: I love cement tile, but you need to seal it before you install it, then seal it again before grouting, then seal it again! If you’re worried about it getting stained, consider using it around a fireplace or as an accent wall in a shower.
Style advice: You can customize Sabine Hill cement tiles – they have a lot of gorgeous colors to play with and you can experiment with the pattern online, rotating it for different layout ideas. A client of mine recently had a lot of fun playing with this tool!
Find it: Online at sabinehill.com
Herringbone mosaic mod by Jeffrey Court Tile
What: One of my favorite accent tiles, this one from the Cubist line by Jeffrey Court, which includes other great shapes. It is natural stone and comes in three magnificent varieties: Thassos, Bardiglio and Nero Marquina.
Or: This tile is ideal for specialty backsplashes and fireplace surrounds. If you can afford it, going bigger with it is always better. One of my clients uses the color gray in a small bar and I think it will be really special. The tile is very reflective and looks “fancy” in front of the large windows in the space.
Style advice: I always turn the sheet so that the lines crossing it are vertical.
Find it: Visit jeffreycourt.com to locate Denver area dealers
Black slate floor tile
What: Black slate is a classic. I use MSI’s Montauk Black Slate all the time as a floor tile. I like that it’s an affordable natural stone with a classic, non-trendy vibe. It’s uneven, however, so be aware that it’s not a flat surface on top.
Or: This tile looks great on a floor. I have used it on the floors of entryways, kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. In my house, I put 18 x 36 inch black slate tiles on the floor in a glazed hallway.
Style advice: I typically use dark slate in a simple rectangular format, but I have also used PetraSlate’s 6 inch Ebony Hexagon tile in a bathroom (pictured above) with gorgeous results. Or try slate in a 4 x 12 inch rafter with a light grout for a stunning floor!
Find it: Visit msisurfaces.com and petraslate.com to locate Denver area retailers and resellers
Large Scale Picket Tile
What: A few different companies sell great stakes, but my favorite is the Queen of Bedrosians. This is a good price for a shaped tile, it comes in a few colors and there is generally good availability.
Or: I like a large scale stake for kitchen backsplashes and shower surrounds. It’s just a little different from your standard rectangular tile and it’s a classic shape although it’s trendy right now.
Style advice: In general, I prefer tiles laid horizontally in kitchens and vertically in showers. Because it has angled ends, I think it looks cute next to the hex floor tiles.
Find it: Bedroisans Tile & Stone, 14155 E. 42nd Ave., Suite 70, 303-722-2200
Laura Medicus Interiors, gildedinterior.com