5 Tips for Designing Fireplaces with Cement or Ceramic Tile
Posted by William Buyok on
Fireplaces are a natural for tile designs. Cement and ceramic tile in particular are ideal given the range of available bold and subtle patterns.
If you're looking to create your very own fireplace design, here are five tips to help you determine how to get started and with which style of tile.
Avente's 5 Tips for Designing Fireplaces with Cement or Ceramic Tile
Design Tip 1: Define Your Style
With so many different types of tile out there, it's always best to start by understanding what you like and what style would work for your home.
Define your style and your home's style before deciding what tile to use. Just because you love a tile doesn't mean it will work with the design and flow of your home. For example,
- Do you like plain, solid-color tiles or patterned tiles?
- Are you mad for muted patterns or vibrant ones?
- Are you working with a rustic or contemporary design?
Answer these questions, and you're off to a great start.
You can add decorative tile as accents or create a pattern with plain tile using two or three different colors. Decide what style suits your tastes and the style of your house.
Design Tip 2: What is the Style of the Space Your Fireplace Is In?
Ideally, you want cement or ceramic tiles that enhance, embrace or complement the design theme. And, you want to choose patterns that are consistent with your home's architectural details. For that, be sure to consider size, color and texture.
A Provincial Fireplace Feel
The rough, uneven surface of Avente Tile's handmade Rustic and Arabesque tiles, for example, impart a provincial feel that works great for houses with a Spanish, Southwest or Spanish Colonial design.
This is Premium Cafe Olay Cement Tile.
An Arabesque tile adds an architectural element with a monochrome color scheme as you see with Cordova Cement Tile in Winslet Blend.
Hand-Painted Tile Fireplace Details
Contemporary-Looking Tile in Neutral Colors
If you're trying to create a mid-century modern feel with clean and contemporary lines, you'll prefer a neutral color or organic color using square-edged tiles without any pattern such as Malibu Field and Rustic Terracotta.
Or, you can use Rustic cement tiles or Arabesque tiles in one of our popular neutral colors or gray-scale tones.
Contemporary-Looking Square-Edged Tile in Bold Colors
Another approach for contemporary design focuses on bold colors. In that case, you'll prefer a bold color on square-edged tiles without any pattern also available in Malibu Field and Rustic Terracotta.
Below you see Malibu Field in Mallard Green, available in hexagon, brick, and more.
- For a more formal effect, look for tiles with a smooth surface and precise, square edges and flat surfaces.
- Use lighter glazed tiles to brighten the area.
- Relief tiles are a great way to add texture.
Design Tip 3: What is Your Room's Color Scheme?Next, decide on a color scheme for your fireplace design, or more precisely, work with the room's existing color scheme, provided you are happy with it. Then start looking for tiles! Make sure to give the design aspects of the project proper attention. Take into account the scale, pattern, and texture of the tile.
It may sound obvious, but make sure your fireplace tile design works by framing the fire box.
The pattern or colors should help provide interest and draw attention to a space that will be warm and comfortable - a place that makes you happy and want to share it with friends and family.
Design Tip 4: Frame the Firebox with Cement or Ceramic TilesYou can frame the fire box with a decorative border tile, patterned cement tiles or liner tiles.
For plain tile installations, use molding, different color tile, or a different format.
For instance, if you are tiling the fireplace in 6"x6" tiles, try using a 3"x3" tiles around the box.
Notice in the fireplace design image above how tile frames the firebox even if other design elements like a tiled mural, medallions, or panel are used.
You'll find that some designs use a cement tile border pattern for the frame, while others use a decorative liner or listello tile. Sometimes you'll only see a few decorative tile used while plain tiles provide the detail and outline the firebox.
Design Tip 5: Consider Scale. Sometimes patterns just don't fit on a fireplace.Tile size and pattern will drastically alter a fireplace's appearance. For that reason, be sure to scale your tiles to the size of the room and fireplace for balance.
The tile size needs to be in scale with the size of the firebox, mantle, hearth and the room. You'll want to consider the pattern on the tile, the tile layout (or how it is set), color and texture so you create the right atmosphere for your fireplace. So, make sure the tile fits!
In the fireplace image above, the design includes enough space above the firebox to display the entire quarter design pattern.
Watchout: Large Cement Tile Quarter Design Patterns Often Don't Fit Fireplaces!Large quarter design patterns common in cement tiles are often not a good choice for existing designs because not enough of the pattern can be seen. Quite simply, the pattern doesn't fit.
Frequently, folks love a certain tile pattern and want to use it for their fireplace. After ordering samples, they will call and say it just didn't work. I'll ask, "Did you try it in a smaller format?"
In general, fireplaces aren't very big and can't accommodate large patterns. Sure enough, the design works when the tile is the right scale for the fireplace.
When working with patterned or decorative tile, it's a good idea to look at patterns that are available in different formats such as Malibu, Barcelona, Spanish and Portuguese ceramic tile lines.
Try Mailbu Piuma in color A
Ready to Design Your Own Fireplace Using Cement or Ceramic Tile?These five design tips will help you organize your thoughts around designing your ideal fireplace and selecting just the right cement or ceramic tile to achieve that look you are dreaming of.
Don't hesitate to reach out with questions about products and patterns.
Thanks for reading.