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Splash of Tile Brightens Your Whole House

Colorful floor tiles brighten kitchens and baths. But you don’t have to limit your tile creativity to those areas.

Splashes of color-rich tile will give every room a lift. Here are some ideas for uncommon ways and places to use tile.

Kitchen Backsplashes

OK, you might expect to see tile lining along kitchen walls, which can be expensive. But you don’t have to go whole hog and tile entire areas. To save money and create some visual punch, install small sections of accent tiles in prep and desk areas.

And if you must put tile in expected places, don’t stop tile backsplashes at the bottom of cabinets, which is so everybody’s-doing-it. Let your tile climb the wall behind your range at least up to your exhaust hood. Not only will climbing tile provide a wow factor, it will extend the eye and make low ceilings seem higher.

Accent Walls

Go a little crazy and tile just one wall in your foyer, living room or bedroom. Be sure to draw attention to your daring by installing spotlights, too.

Tile Art

The frugal homeowner hates to waste, especially something as substantial as tile. Mix and match some — never all — leftovers into an interesting shape or pattern on a wall above a sofa or server. Cut some wood trim and frame your creation.

You can give old tables a new look by smashing tiles into small, irregular pieces and creating a mosaic on tabletops. (Tip: This is a great afterlife for broken dishes, too.)

Tile Rugs

Set tile into hardwood floors and create a tile rug. This is a great look for hallways and dining rooms.

Uncommon Sizes and Shapes

Everyone expects to see 4 by 4-inch tiles in your bathroom. So surprise the eye by using very small or very large tiles in places you wouldn’t expect them.

Subway tiles — rectangles usually arranged in a brick pattern — create a great retro look. And different sizes of limestone tile can be laid in a varied pattern that resembles old European kitchens.

Unusual Textures

Tile manufacturers are boldly designing tiles that don’t look like tile.

You can find tile that imitates leather, wood or satin, which can glam up walls in dens and bedrooms.

Mesh sheets of river rock look and feel great in bathrooms.

When you’re finished brightening your home with tile, make sure you hold onto extras. Tile lots are hard to match, so always order a box or two more than you think you’ll need.

By Katie Bernard

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