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Kitchen Tile in the Remodeling Process: Tips to Create Appeal and Function

The right kitchen tile plays an integral part of successfully remodeling your space. Some materials, such as porcelain, ceramic, and natural stone, are worth investing in because they create a fabulous visual from all angles, offer years of durability, and are easy to clean.

If you're reworking the entire room, you'll want to find ways to ensure that all elements—from the floor and countertop to the backsplash and appliances—make sense together. But even if you're only doing a small update, it pays to consider every detail, including how the new colors and updated style play into the old surroundings.

Here you'll find remodeling tips and ideas to help you design a kitchen space that's just as functional as it is stylish, regardless of the size of your project.

Get the Necessary Permits

It won't matter how attractive, modern, or efficient your remodeled kitchen is if it doesn't meet your city's requirements for safety. Such an update can involve structural changes, or plumbing and electrical updates, so start with a detailed plan that includes obtaining all the necessary permits before you begin any of the work. Your city's planning department and the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) offer safety standards and useful guidelines to follow.

Make the Floor Plan

A smart and common layout for small spaces is to create a triangle, and have your sink, stove, and fridge form the configuration's three points. Big kitchens, on the other hand, benefit from work stations that are each positioned around a major appliance. Regardless of the room's size, you'll need to have room to open appliance doors and enough space to move around comfortably. The NKBA suggests 42 to 48 inches of aisle width, depending on how many people will be working in the kitchen at the same time, your appliance's clearance needs, and how big your space is. A big kitchen will benefit from wide aisles for proportion and openness.

Continental Slate

Opt for Right Tile Flooring

When replacing your kitchen flooring, you should consider going with tile. Your tile material should be durable and easy to clean, but even more importantly, it should speak to the style you're after. For example, if you're going for a classic look, a country feel, or a space that nods to cultural design, ideal flooring options include natural stone tile, wood-look porcelain tile, or ceramic tile in a checkerboard pattern. Alternatively, you could go with a pale, textured linear glazed porcelain tile, or one that looks like concrete for a contemporary or industrial look. If you want flooring that camouflages drips or splatters until cleaning day, choose a mottled, dark, or midtone tile to anchor a room and highlight light-colored cabinets.

If your inner designer prefers a whimsical, eclectic look, try going with an unexpected kitchen tile shape. A large-format hexagon shape sparks visual interest when used on the floor, and a tile from the Bee Hive ColorBody porcelain collection won't disappoint. Develop a minimalist all-white layout with the six-sided tiles, or go bold by randomly mixing two or three neutral colors into a mostly white tile floor. Flooring covers a vast area, and tile offers seemingly limitless trendy and traditional options. By choosing the color and style of your kitchen tile first, you'll then be able to build a standout design around it.

Design the Perfect Countertops and Backsplash

When you're planning a kitchen remodel, you probably consider counter space a top priority, but how much is enough? As a guideline, the NKBA suggests having about two feet of space on either side of the kitchen sink and at least a foot of space on each side of the stove. After you design the layout of your counters, you'll need to choose the right countertop material. And to stand up to daily use, spills, and splatter, you must choose something that's reliable. A natural stone slab, like granite or One Quartz, should be at the top of your list.

If you're only replacing the counters, opt for a neutral hue, such as an almost-black slab with a micro fleck or a mottled gray, sand, or white material. Be sure to borrow color inspiration from the existing cabinets and flooring for visual connection. A kitchen space that's finished in a mostly neutral palette improves the home's marketability, and it provides an ideal backdrop for colorful accessories.

After choosing your new countertops, think about the backsplash, which can be made of a number of materials and colors. Go for contrast, such as a white backsplash alongside a complementary black counter. Or try using the color of the countertops, cabinetry, and other major features within the backsplash. Feel free to get creative and mix different materials, such as plain field tile and metallic accents, or arrange assorted tile colors to create a mural effect. The right backsplash will not only protect your wall, but is an attractive, timeless focal point that will pull together your room's color palette and design.

Ion Metal

No Deserted Islands Here

If you have enough space, a kitchen island is a great way to gain seating for guests, make more room for meal prep, and gather as a family. It will, however, have to be the appropriate size and must be in the right place. For example, running a standalone unit lengthwise between either the living room or dining room and the kitchen can create visual separation and definition in an open-concept home.

But what if you plan to add an island—or update an existing one—and leave the surrounding cabinetry as is? It's very hard to match new cabinets and counters to old ones because of differences in natural coloration or dye lots, so think about your options. Contrast, for one, is a good idea. For example, consider going with a light-colored kitchen tile for the island if your main countertops are a darker shade. The island doesn't have to match the kitchen cabinets, but it does have to work with them. You can also opt for matching pulls as a visual link.

As for its size, the island should agree with the other components by scale. It shouldn't hog valuable floor or aisle space, but it also shouldn't look minuscule within its setting. If you don't have room for a detached island, a small peninsula that protrudes from a wall can be a viable alternative. A peninsula can upgrade an L-shaped kitchen to a U-shaped one, offering more seating and storage. And don't let lighting for your island be an afterthought. Sufficient light fixtures and the right bulbs help ensure that the space is practical and easy to work in.

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