Very handsome effects can be produced by imaginative use of plain tiles, either on their own or combined with more decorative styles. Ordinary whites and neutrals are generally less expensive than vivid hues, but if you are tempted by anything particularly vibrant make quite sure you won’t tire of the result after a while.
Tiles can be prohibitively expensive. lf you want to keep costs down, consider budget – priced plain tiles for most of the area with the addition of more extravagant special effects such as borders or decorative inserts of single tiles, panels or even a tiled mural. Remember, though, if you use tiles from different ranges make sure they are of equal thickness. With clever positioning, plain tiles on their own are subtly pleasing. Square and rectangular tiles can be laid stepped, in bricklaying fashion, while square tiles laid diagonally look handsome – they often create a more spacious effect than those laid in the conventional, straight method.
For good looks at low cost, consider using coloured grouting with budget – priced plain tiles which give a very effective fine grid of colour. Grouting can be bought in a range of colours, or you can buy pigment if you want to colour it yourself.
Overall tiling in deep colours can produce a dramatic impact, but to avoid too dense a result introduce variations on your theme. Here different tones of vibrant blue tiles are laid diagonally on walls but conventionally straight on other surfaces to add interest.
As an alternative to the overall scheme of rich blue tiles pictured above, a more neutral background can be used to give a lighter result, with the addition of distinctive panels and borders. The panels, large or small, can be designed to suit the size and shape of your room.