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June 20, 2019 – Published in Design & Decor Summer 2019 issue

Tiling our kitchen walls

Words Stephanie Falzon

As promised in my previous article from the Spring 2019 issue, we are, today, going to discuss the Tiling of our Kitchen Walls. This is the third in a series of articles on how to tile our walls by focusing room by room in our homes. As you probably know, the first two were about Tiling our Bedroom Walls and Tiling our Living Room Walls.

How many times have we heard the saying: “The kitchen is the heart of the home?” This is so true. For most of us, the kitchen is an extension of the Living Room. And nowadays, we invite our family, friends or guests straight into the kitchen.

Entertaining in our homes has become more relaxed and casual. The newer homes are now eliminating the formal dining/sitting rooms from the proposed building plans. Space has become an issue and a headache for all architects and designers. It is only the larger homes that are holding on to these rooms.

For many years, we were seeing that in the kitchen, we were only tiling the space ‘between the cupboards’. Although this is still a common practice in Malta, I have to tell you that this is not the trend at the moment. In fact, the tiling of full walls in the kitchen has become very popular abroad. And you can tile with a plain tile by itself or also add the decorated tile in some areas which you want to highlight. And this, notwithstanding the fact, that in the kitchen it is always more advisable to have a wall that can be easily cleaned.

I do not want to repeat what I said in my previous two articles, but I am sure you appreciate that some basic rules apply to all the rooms. So here are just the points we discussed in the preceding articles, of what you need to take care of before you choose the size and colour of the tiles.

  • How large is the room?

  • How much natural light does it have?

  • How much kitchen cupboards do you have in the room?

We also have to keep in mind that if we have already created a feature wall in the adjacent living room, then the wall tiles of both rooms must match. If you have used the decorated tile in the living room, then it is advisable to use the coordinated plain tile in the kitchen. The plain tile can be easily used in both rooms, though most times I would say not to use the decorated tile in both rooms this will depend on so many things (see the points above). I always stress that if you are not sure, please get the services of a good designer. They will be able to guide you professionally.

Feature walls do not necessarily have to go on full walls. Perhaps you have an area which can be given a certain focus. This can be a fraction of the wall, or an inlet in one particular wall that you would like to emphasize. In one of the pictures, the designer decided to build the space to place an extractor fan and have that tiled in a decorated tile. The ideas are endless.
The size of the tile is also something that needs to be chosen with care. I always advise that we first identify which area we are going to concentrate on. If this is going to be the focal point on the room, then even more care has to be taken with the choosing of the size of the tile. We first have to measure the area we want to spotlight and then decide which size tile will look best in that particular area. If possible – we need to choose a tile that will fit perfectly in that particular space, so we won’t have any unplanned joints. When you see a picture in a magazine and think of how perfectly everything seems to be in place, I can assure you that this does not happen randomly. Everything needs to be planned.

A favourite tile in the kitchen is the ‘metro’ tile. This is usually a small white beveled tile and the size is usually 20 x 10. But you can find various sizes and colours on the market. Again this depends on the individual room. If you are tiling whole walls in this tile, I can guarantee that with its beveled edges, it creates a wonderful design on its own and probably will not need any more help to look good.

Every room is particular. And even our own styles and ideas will give each room a unique and particular look. This is good. We do not all need to be the same. Individuality is a quality and charm that distinguishes us from others of the same kind. Designing our kitchen in our own distinctive design is a very exciting thing to do.

I hope you have found useful tips in this article. But if you are still not sure, please do get the services of a designer. Designers will not only look at your individual walls, but they will keep in mind the whole kitchen as a whole and will be able to guide you perfectly. Mistakes in our line of work are costly so please choose quality and carefully.

Falzon’s Bathrooms & Ceramics, Psaila Street, Sta Venera.
Tel: 2148 2860 / 2148 5536


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