The choices in tile today are simply astounding. You can find tile that looks like wood for bathrooms, cork tile, translucent glass tile, colored cement tile, tile that looks like tin, tile that looks like rock slabs, and tile that looks like…old, distressed tile.

With all of these choices, how can one ever decide what tile look is right for their particular application? How do you know whether to choose a generic looking tile that will please just about everyone, or a tile that shows your unique personal style? Kitchens and baths are where you’ll find most tile used, and these are the two big ones – the rooms that will make or break the sale. So it really pays to do some research into the tile installations you’re considering, and find that happy medium between timeless and trendy.

If you’re looking to sell your home, you’ll probably want to consider more classic tile looks. But classic need not equal boring! You can stick with classic colors (white, anyone?) but in new shapes or arrangements. Black and white is always a popular color choice, as are neutrals. Make sure the tile matches the design and coloring of the room it’s installed in.

1. Penny tiles

A unique look that doesn’t look too modern is accomplished using penny tiles. They’re very popular currently, and come in so many colors and textures, it’s almost overwhelming. You can find these types of tile sheets in glass, ceramic, mother-of-pearl, metals, and stone. Small or large hexagons are another updated look that can be used in older homes that still keeps with the history of the home.

2. Unique and classic arrangements

Tile arrangements are another way to get creative while sticking with basic tiles. For instance, chevron and herringbone patterns are timeless and can be found in homes as old as 200 years. Using these patterns stacked or offset will create a timeless look and feel while still lending visual interest, even in plain white.

3. Translucent glass tiles

Many tiles now offer a more three-dimensional look. A great example of this is translucent glass tile. Since you can see through it, as well as the border shape, it is interesting to look at and creates a very unique backsplash or wall. This type of dimensionalism is new to tile, and for this reason, translucent glass is quickly becoming a very popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms.

4. Wood tiles (or are they?)

You no longer have to be afraid of using wood in a damp bathroom or a messy kitchen backsplash, because it’s not wood, it’s porcelain tile that looks like wood. These tiles come in long planks, the same as wood flooring would. So you can now add the look of a wood floor to a bathroom without having to worry about it absorbing water from little feet. Or add a tub surround of wood tiles for a unique luxe look that’ll get double-takes.

5. Large-scale tiles

Tiles that are larger than your average create a different, more expansive look while minimizing grout lines. They help keep emphasis on fixtures and decor by simplifying a backsplash, floor, or wall. Common sizes for these large format tiles are 12″ x 24″, and 16″ x 32″.

6. Geometric tiles

Tile shapes are going geometric with hexagon, octagon, and even triangular shapes. Directly opposite large-scale tiles, these interestingly-shaped tiles will add a visual focal point to any room, and can be played up with a bold color scheme, or played down with neutral colors and possibly a matte finish.

7. Metallics

Metallic tiles pack a lot of designer punch in a small area. Silver, copper, bronze, or gold tiles add sparkle and shine anywhere they’re used. Brushed stainless steel tiles add reflective light and a modern touch to a modern kitchen.

8. Industrial brick

The look of brick without the brick! Now you can have the industrial style of brick without having to pay a bricklayer to come and remodel your walls. Whether you’re going for a red or natural brick look, you’ll find it in tiles that are bathroom and kitchen worthy.

9. Metal

Reproduction tin ceiling tiles can now be found in smaller sizes to be used in other areas of the home. Classic looks like the fleur de lis and mini diamond tin tiles can be used as your kitchen backsplash, or as an interesting reflective tile for your shower surround.

10. Fabric-look tile

To lend your room a comforting, easy feel, go for a linen- or silk-look porcelain tile. This tile perfectly mimics the look of the fabric, and comes in myriad colors and sizes, perfect for a bathroom floor or walls. For a more rustic look, try twill or even denim porcelain tiles!

11. Bold patterns

Hand-painted tiles with bold patterns can and should be used as a room’s focal point. Moroccan or Mediterranean tiles are perfect here! A kitchen backsplash created with such tile will be a conversation piece for many years to come.

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