What Are the Different Types of Artistic Tiles?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 February 2019
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Artistic tiles come in dozens of colors, patterns, and materials that can complement nearly any design style. Some of the most popular types of artistic tiles include hand-painted, mural, and mosaic tiles. Certain types of artistic tiles are also associated with specific regions, such as Moroccan, Mexican, or European designs. Using artistic tiles rather than plain varieties can be an excellent way to bring color, life, and style into any tiled space.

Hand-painted tiles are often available from individual craftsmen or small tile businesses, and can be customized to suit nearly any request. In addition to being artisan-crafted, hand-painted tiles also have the benefit of being unique designs that can reflect the buyer's needs and personal style. One popular use of hand-painted tiles is the creation of address tiles, which can be mounted on the front of a home or apartment. Kitchen back-splashes and bathrooms are also excellent places to use hand-crafted artistic tiles.

A tile mural typically uses several tiles to create a full image or design. Images may be painted across the tiles, creating a single, unified design when the tiles are placed together. Tile murals are often good choices when a large, cohesive image is desired, since the finished design can be far larger than a single tile allows. Some tile manufacturers can even create tile versions of famous artwork, so that any tiled space can be an homage to a favorite da Vinci or Monet.


Some artistic tiles are used to create mosaics, in which the tiles themselves become part of an overall image. Whereas murals are painted onto tiles, mosaics require the careful selection of tile color and shape to create the image. Mosaic tiles can be used to create images such as flowers, animals, or landscapes, but can also create distinct and colorful patterns.

Tilework has a historic place in many different cultures and regions; using certain types of tiles can be an excellent way to complement some region-based design styles. Moroccan tiles depict intricate geometric patterns in a variety of vivid colors. Mexican and Southwestern design frequently incorporate Talavera tiles, which are influenced by Spanish design but come in a wide variety of color and styles. Terracotta tiles are also frequently used to create an artistic Southwestern look. European-influenced designs often include the use of traditional Dutch artistic tiles, which are painted in a distinct blue hue and depict charming vistas of windmills, farmers, and animals.



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