How to Incorporate Dramatic Metallic Tiles in Your Room Without Going Overboard
We just love this bold look.
Metallic tiles have been around for years, most commonly in stainless steel finishes. As a designer, I’ve tended to shy away from stainless steel tiles because I felt they could be a bit cold and industrial. But the latest trend in metallic tiles offers warmer tones, such as gold, bronze, copper and soft silver, that can be used to bring a dash of glamour to any setting. So if you’re looking to add drama, sophistication and even warmth to your space, here are a few ways to incorporate metallic tiles in a range of rooms.
Small Interiors Design original photo on Houzz
Beyond Stainless Steel
For years stainless steel was the most common metallic backsplash used in kitchens. These days, bronze, pewter, brass, copper, iron and tin have become striking alternatives. Like most metals, they are durable and resistant to high temperatures, moisture and food stains, making them ideal to use as a kitchen backsplash.
In addition to backsplashes, metallic tiles are suitable for walls, bathrooms and even ceilings. Available in numerous finishes, textures, sizes and patterns, the cost of metallic tiles ranges from $10 to $50 per square foot.
Things to Consider
Metal tiles, though durable, can still be dented and scratched. Extra caution should be taken during installation to protect the metal finish. Use nonsanded grout because sanded grout may scratch the finish.
Additionally, keep in mind that metallic tiles can be cold to the touch, making them a chilly flooring choice. One option is to lay the metal tile over a radiant heating system. Another is to add them as accents to a ceramic or hardwood floor, rather than making them the main floor material. Remember, too, that metal conducts electricity. Therefore, extra caution should be taken when installing metallic tiles around power outlets to make certain they do not come in contact with any exposed electrical wire.
Most metallic tiles come with a protective sealant to make them resistant to scratches and stains. To clean, just wipe them down with a little soap mixed with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
Copper Develops a Patina
Real copper is a living metal that gains a patina as it ages. The patina is a thin coating that protects the copper underneath from corrosion and gradually darkens and becomes richer and more distinct over time. This natural process occurs through oxidation, which is the interaction of the copper with oxygen. When weather and water are added to the mix, the patina can turn green, a la the Statue of Liberty. Some people consider copper’s patina part of its natural beauty, while others prefer to have it clear coated to slow down the process of oxidation.
Metallic tiles reflect their surroundings, making them easy to blend with a myriad of paint colors and decor styles. Let’s look at some examples of ways to use metallic tiles in a room.
UK Bathrooms, original photo on Houzz
1. All that Glitters
Metallic tiles in warm, shimmery hues create a sense of luxury. Here, they transform an otherwise spare bathroom scene into a luxurious spa.
2. Cool Warm Ceiling
This is one way to add some industrial chic to your home. One side benefit of placing metallic tiles on your ceiling instead of your floors is sidestepping the radiant heat issue mentioned previously. Since you won’t be touching them, you don’t need to worry so much about their temperature, as you would with floors.
3. Sleek Silver
Not ready to commit to a wall of metallic tile? Consider using it as an accent.
Aristea Rizakos, original photo on Houzz
4. Luxe Look
Metallic tiles can add a touch of glamour and opulence to any setting. The golden tones of the metallic tiled fireplace are highlighted by its black surround in this sleek and modern living room. Gold accessories complement and complete this look.
5. The Illusion of Space
The reflective nature of metallic tiles can brighten and enlarge a space. This added bonus is especially welcome in smaller spaces lacking natural light.
Jason Ball Interiors, LLC, original photo on Houzz
6. Mix it Up
Peppering metallic accents into a mixture of stone and ceramic tiles juxtaposes the soft silver sheen of metal with the organic texture of stone. The element of shine adds a contemporary flavor to a kitchen backsplash. In addition to stone and ceramic, metallic accents also look great blended with glass tiles.
Steffes Construction, Inc., original photo on Houzz
7. Glam Bath
This photo shows another example of mixing metallic tile with stone. The sophisticated elegance of this marble shower is elevated with a touch of bling via gold metallic accents.
Related: 10 Bathroom Tile Ideas
WINN Design+Build, original photo on Houzz
8. Beyond Modern
Once seemingly relegated to modern applications, metallic tiles can be successfully incorporated into traditional designs as well. In this photo, the copper tiles behind the range add shine and shimmer, creating an exciting focal point in the kitchen.