Last Updated on May 19, 2021
With all of the nontraditional tile surfaces storming the tile world right now, I've become inspired to do a few remodel projects around my house starting with some new tile ideas. So far we've only tackled the backsplash above our stove, but boy do I have plans. My husband doesn't know about them yet, but he will soon be a busy man. 🙂
I got so excited in my hunt for tile ideas for my own home, I decided to put together a list of some of my favorites. There are not only a ton of unique materials to use that you would have probably never even considered, but there are also a great deal of innovative ways to install tile that will certainly set your home apart from the rest.
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1. Glitter Grout
Because who doesn't want glitter in their grout!? The more it sparkles, the better…. right? I'm not sure how easy glitter grout is to install (I've heard that most contractors hate it), but I'm certain it's worth the effort for the extra dazzle, especially if you plan on using it in a small space such as a back splash in a home bar or accent trim in a bathroom.
I did find quite a few options on Amazon. You can either purchase the grout already mixed with glitter, or buy a glitter additive in silver, black or gold to mix in with the grout of your choice. Amazing! I'll bet this would be fun for mosaic projects, too.
2. Iridescent Tile
The nice thing about iridescent glass tile is that it always looks different with a variance of colors just depending on the time of day and lighting. In fact, if you check out Larry's shower photo below on flickr (at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas), you will see that the other photos of the same shower don't look nearly as colorful, but rather a more neutral tone. It's like a piece of art work!
You can find a large variety of iridescent tile colors and samples at most home improvement and specialty tile stores. I would definitely bring a large sample home before considering it to see how it would look in the space you had in mind because this particular tile would probably look very different in the store lighting than it would in your own home. In fact, we recently redid the back splash in our kitchen, and I brought home about a dozen samples, taped them all up over the existing back splash, and left them up for a few days so that I could stand back and really get a good vision of the final outcome. This was the only way I was able to be confident in my choice!
3. Metallic Tile
Metallic tile can be dressed up to be masculine or feminine, just depending on the application and choice of decorations and trimmings. This tile, for instance, somehow manages to look quite soft and charming in the photo below– A vanity made for a princess! I also think it looks gorgeous in a kitchen that gets lots of natural light.
4. Fish Scale Tile
Fish scale tile (also known as mermaid tile) is a beautiful way to add character to just about any bathroom or even kitchen! It definitely has a beachy feel to it, but with choices in just about every color, I've also seen this tile used as a stunning kitchen back splash (kitchen example here). I'll bet this tile would also look amazing in a swimming pool or hot tub! Visit your local tile stores to see all of the different colors and sizes available.
5. Mix It Up
Make the floor (or even a wall) the focal point by mixing up your tile choices with a unique transition. You can even include hardwood into the equation! And because tile is more durable to moisture and scratches, it makes sense to use it by a door entrance or tub surround.
6. Staggered Tile
Instead of finishing it with a trim or going all the way up to the ceiling, consider adding a little contrast by staggering your tile in a unique finish. The hexagon tiles make it easy to create an impressive transition, but even your standard square and rectangle tiles can give you an exclusive look with a little bit of creativity.
7. Pearl is SO pretty!
I'm a huge fan of pearl tile because it gives you a natural, from-the-earth appearance, but yet, is still shimmery and gorgeous! Even in a rustic setting you can get away with a pearl backsplash or trim. In my experience, I've found that most of these tiles are really thin and not meant for high traffic areas like counter tops or floors, but even just a small accent or back splash can make any room look exquisite. Most tile stores have a fairly large selection to choose from– even Amazon has quite a few with good reviews and customer photos.
8. Backsplash Grout Lines
Give your floors an interesting design by laying thin strips of small tiles in the grout lines of larger tiles. You're basically replacing a lot of the grout, so instead of having those soon-to-be dirty lines, they always sparkle! I think this would also look nice in a shower.
9. Mirror Tiles
A mirror is probably the last thing I'd think of when it comes to a kitchen back splash, but just look at how pretty this is! It would also make a small space seem much larger. But, because you would probably be able to see water spots and splatters on these tiles fairly easily, I would stick to only dry areas such as a home bar.
I'm certain that you could find mirrored tiles at most custom tile stores, but I also found these beveled, subway style tiles on Amazon. Yippee!
10. Tiled “Area Rug”
Give the illusion of an area rug with the creative placement of tile! This is ideal for “zoning” different areas such as under a dining room table, an entryway, or even just a large room with expansive floor space that needs visual interest.
11. Faux Wood on The Walls
It's almost upsetting to see “wood” in a shower stall, until you realize it's just tile! I love just about anything with a rustic design, especially the combination of wood and stone. Whenever I think of the faux wood tile, I imagine it on the floor, but it's simply striking on a wall or shower! I'll bet it would even look cool as a kitchen backsplash paired with white cabinetry and clean, simple countertops.