When it comes to giving your home a luxurious makeover, it can be difficult to know where to start. But sometimes, it’s the simplest ideas that can make the biggest impact, and the more versatile, the better.
Porcelain tiles might not sound like anything ground-breaking, but this simple, hard-wearing material can be used in just about any room you can think of – including kitchens, bathrooms and even outside in your garden. Not only that, but they look beautiful and can quickly change up the aesthetic, adding a lavish appeal with minimal effort.
So, what exactly are porcelain tiles – and how can you use them to transform your home this year? We asked the experts at Ferreiras to guide us through the need-to-knows.
What exactly are porcelain tiles?
Porcelain is a type of ceramic, but is particularly durable and long-lasting thanks to the materials it’s made from and the extreme heat at which it’s fired. Typically comprising around half Feldspar, white clay, kaolin and quartz, it makes strong and resistant tiles that can withstand everything from abrasion and stains to outdoor frost, making them a highly versatile choice that works perfectly in just about every setting.
But it’s not just about the practicality, and with a range of beautiful and intricate porcelain tile designs to choose from, the right selection can quickly elevate your aesthetic. From minimalistic monochrome to bright colours and patterns, you can achieve just about any effect – which is just another reason they have become such a popular choice amongst homeowners looking to transform their homes.
Where can you use them in your home?
Porcelain tiles work in all sorts of living spaces, but are most typically applied in kitchens and bathrooms. Virtually impervious to water, they are a great choice for damp and humid environments such as these, and can be easily wiped clean and dried with a cloth to keep them looking their shiny best. As they are also resistant to frost, they also work well outdoors and can be used for pathways, swimming pool surrounds and even swimming pools themselves to add a durable, yet decorative, appeal.
Thanks to their hard-wearing qualities, they also lend themselves to areas with high footfall, such as hallways and corridors, and can help to create a dramatic and aesthetically pleasing entrance for visitors that can be easily cleaned and polished again afterwards to keep it looking its best.
In the garden
Porcelain tiles are becoming an increasingly popular choice for outdoor spaces as we see a growing trend towards people looking to make more of their gardens. After a year of spending more time than ever at home, it seems we have a newfound appreciation for our patios, yards and other outdoor areas, so if you’re looking to upgrade yours this summer then this is an easy way to change things up.
Patio slabs might have long been the obvious choice for creating seating and barbecue areas, but ornately patterned porcelain tiles can make for a welcome change. Opting for intricate Spanish designs or pretty Portuguese-style azulejos can add a distinctive European feel, setting the perfect tone for sophisticated summer soirees and dinner parties in the garden and lasting the distance, too.
In the bathroom
Let’s face it; there’s nothing worse than having a carpet in a bathroom or W.C. – not only do they soak up moisture, but they can often give off an unpleasant odour as a result of exposure to the damp, making them a no-no for most homeowners looking to create a luxurious – and hygienic – feel.
Minimalistic porcelain tiles in white, black or grey make for a great flooring choice if you’re looking to create a simple and spacious feel, and can be continued onto the walls in wet rooms to give the impression of a seamless space. If, on the other hand, you’d like to add a little more character, then opt for a set of matching patterned tiles to add colour, then keep the walls neutral. If you’re feeling really creative, then mismatched designs and colours can add an individualistic appeal that allows you to put your personal stamp on your bathroom.
In the kitchen
Porcelain tiles offer a similar versatility in the kitchen, lending themselves to both walls and the floors. They make for an excellent choice around cookers and hobs, as the surfaces can be simply wiped clean from any splashes and stains – unlike painted or wallpapered walls, which can be more difficult to clean.
A statement floor paired with monochromatic walls can help to create a spacious feel with added character, and is sure to win you compliments from your guests.
In the dining room
The dining room might not be the first room you think of when it comes to using porcelain tiles in your home, but from entertaining guests to sitting down for a family meal, they can help you to create a modern and fashionable look that stands out from the crowd.
They can work particularly well in dining rooms that are part of an open-plan kitchen space, allowing you to create a cohesive theme throughout the two and ease of flow from one to the other.
The bottom line
If there’s a room in your home you’re looking to revamp, then porcelain tiles lend themselves to just about all of them, and are the perfect choice for creating a modern, sophisticated and utterly luxurious feel. Don’t be afraid to experiment in living and dining spaces in a way that you might not have done previously, as you might be surprised at how effective they can be in creating the desired look. And, thanks to their durability, you’ll have little trouble keeping them looking their very best – no matter what life happens to throw at them.