So Many Tiles, So Little Time

Unexpected colors and patterns steal the show.

Create an accent wall, backsplash or fireplace surround with 3-D tiles from Walker Zanger.
Create an accent wall, backsplash or fireplace surround with 3-D tiles from Walker Zanger.
Photo courtesy of Walker Zanger

Looking to update your kitchen or bathroom? Prepare to be amazed at the dizzying array of new styles that can transform any space from dull to dreamy. Ceramic, porcelain, cement and stone tiles are all available in solid colors as well as floral and geometric patterns.

Now more than ever, interior designers and contractors are driving demand for gutsy, graphic looks. Case in point: When subway tiles first hit the market, they were available in limited styles. But today, they’re flying off the shelves in every color in traditional, mirrored and textured finishes.

The Design With Tile showroom in Morristown is packed from floor to ceiling with inspiring samples from designer brands like Artistic Tile, Country Floors, Stone Impressions and Walker Zanger.

Design With Tile helps homeowners select family-friendly surfaces, advises which types of tiles are suited for walls rather than floors, and explains how to avoid white-grout regret. “You can give a floor or wall a very different feel by grouting with a darker color rather than defaulting to basic white grout that’s difficult to clean. Today’s grouts also have built-in sealers for easy care,” says store owner and lead designer Sandra Vasquez.

Another hot trend is sprucing up a fireplace with decorative tile. Since most fireplace surrounds require only a couple of boxes of tile, it’s a smart way to get a lot of bang for the buck.

In a wine cellar, consider Old World faux-brick tiles that seem as if they’ve been around forever. For a glamorous look in a bar area, try mirrored tiles. Their reflective nature makes any room appear larger.

Worried about selecting a style that’s too trendy? “We always advise clients to choose something they will still love 5 or 10 years from now,” says Vasquez, who has spent most of her life in the contracting and design business.

Design With Tile opened in 2012, the same week Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey, so the grand-opening celebration went by the wayside. “Instead, we spent hours listening to customers’ stories and helping them put their homes back together,” says Charilee Neilson, Vasquez’s daughter, who manages social media. House calls are available and images are posted at their Facebook page.

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