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July 17, 2023 – Published in Design & Decor Spring-Summer 2023 issue

The advantages of using the larger formats of porcelain tiles in interior design

Words: Stephanie Falzon

It is always an amazing experience to attend ceramics fairs overseas! One of the largest European international ceramic fairs will be held towards the end of September 2023 in Bologna, Italy, while another such fair was held in Valencia, Spain between February and March 2023. So, in reality, there is one happening in Europe approximately every six months. 

From these fairs, you immediately learn in which direction the fashion is leaning towards. In the last few fairs, the trends were moving very solidly to natural-looking designs, whether marble, granite, or wood. With the latest technology developing machinery that manufactures porcelain tiles that look very authentic, this style very quickly took off. This allowed designers to create spaces that looked luxurious and modern but, at the same time, were free of the problems encountered with all natural products when placed on the floors. Because they are heavier and less porous, porcelain tiles are an ideal option for those seeking durability as well as design.

Another strong development that occurred within the tile industry has been the manufacture of larger tile formats. We are now finding extremely large sizes everywhere – sizes that we never dreamed of seeing on the market. But, although these large designs look absolutely amazing, they need to be laid in areas that can accommodate them.

A size of tile which seems to look good in most areas and is preferred by everyone worldwide is the 120 x 60 format. This seems to be a size that fits most spaces, and the rectangular shape allows it to be laid in more varied options than its square 60 x 60 cousin.

Today, I would like to discuss the 120 x 60 marble effect porcelain tile. This tile is truly versatile, and it manages to look good in all rooms. And, although the marble effect comes in a tile with veins and strata of colour, these do not clash with the interior design of the rest of the room. On the contrary, these appear to enhance the décor of the room and give the whole ambient a lavish finish. 

Let us discuss room by room how well-suited these tiles can be.  

Starting off with floorings, we can see that trends for floor tiling have really changed over the years. I still remember my grandparents’ homes with a different tile in every room. These were usually colourful tiles with different patterns and colour schemes for each room. And whilst these tiles were truly a work of art, they would tie you down for colour schemes, especially with drapes and carpets. Nowadays, we all seem to prefer having the same tile everywhere throughout our homes. This gives an awareness of unity as well as conformity and allows us to be freer with our ideas of design for the rooms. We can choose dark colours as comfortably as when we choose light colours for our furniture, and using the same tile throughout gives us the freedom to be bold with our options for the interiors.

When we need to choose whether to go for a light or dark colour for our floors, the safest option is always to go for light colours. Most of us live in comfortable, standard-sized homes, and we will find that tiles in lighter shades will merge and combine better for us. However, some of us are lucky enough to live either at the top of high-rise buildings or in homes with a lot of natural light streaming in. In this case, we can easily use the darker shades. And if, perhaps, we are not so bold and daring to use blacks, we can, alternatively, opt for the dark greys.

One room we usually associate mostly with wall cladding is the bathroom. The large formats for bathroom tiles are lately appearing to be more and more popular. But bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes. So, what kind of tile is best for a small bathroom? The large marble tile is one of the best options for small bathrooms and for making this room appear wider. This perception was not always the case. For years, the idea was that smaller rooms needed tiles with a size appropriate to the size of the room. Of course, the colour of the tile will also contribute to the way the room will finally look. A lighter shade will always make a room appear wider and larger. Obviously, if we are fortunate enough to have a large bathroom, then we can literally set free our imagination.

Another room that is closely linked to having its walls tiled is the kitchen. In Malta, we still tend to tile just between the cupboards, but the trend abroad is to tile the full walls in the kitchen. If you do not wish to tile all the four walls, you can, at least, tile some of them. And in homes with sizeable open plans, tiling some of the walls will help give the kitchen area its own identity.

But wall cladding is not only limited to bathrooms and kitchens. Wall tiling has now spread to bedrooms, living rooms, halls, and practically any space in your home that you feel needs it – either because it looks good, or even if you need to cover a wall because of humidity or any other problem present.

As you can see, the porcelain tile in 120 x 60 format is extremely adaptable and versatile. But, as always, quality, styles, and colours must be chosen with care. Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of buying good quality products. If you are not sure about your choice, please consult an architect or a designer. Once more, allow me to finish with my usual warning. Mistakes in our line of work are expensive. So, choose wisely the first time round!

Falzon’s Bathrooms & Ceramics, Psaila Street, Sta Venera. 

Tel: 2148 2860 / 2148 5536



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