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Trend Alert: Tiled Kitchen Islands

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Trend Alert: Tiled Kitchen Islands

February 15, 2024

We’ve been noting the rise of the tiled kitchen island for a while. When Margot recently stayed at her friends’ chic Berkshires home and saw that they, too, had a tiled kitchen island, we knew we had a legitimate trend on our hands. Below, some examples we’re particularly taken with.

small, red wine hued squares are paired with a tonal dusty rose grout for this  17
Above: Small, red wine-hued squares are paired with a tonal dusty rose grout for this show-stopping island. Photograph by Nicole Franzen, from Kitchen of the Week: An East Village Cook Space That Defies “One-Word Summaries”.
designer sophie rowell of côte de folk had this simple box covered with ca 18
Above: Designer Sophie Rowell of Côte de Folk had this simple box covered with Ca’Pietra tiles. “I like how it hovers over the floor,” she says. (See a complete project by Sophie here.)
margot&#8\2\17;s friend, lara holtz, was inspired to have her own tiled all 19
Above: Margot’s friend, Lara Holtz, was inspired to have her own tiled-all-over kitchen island after spotting one in a London home. She particularly loves “the contrast between the hard poured concrete floors and the organic quality of the zellige tiles which are hand made and uneven,” she says. As for maintenance? “It’s not as easy to clean as a smooth Corian worktop would be—but with dish soap, water, and a J Cloth, it cleans very well.” Photograph by Margot Guralnick.
this extra long kitchen island is covered with green tiles sourced from melbour 20
Above: This extra-long kitchen island is covered with green tiles sourced from Melbourne purveyor DeFazio Tiles & Stone. Photograph by Shannon McGrath and styling by Swee Lim, courtesy of Robson Rak, from Kitchen of the Week: A Green-Tiled Kitchen Island in an Indoor-Outdoor Setting.
paris based heju, a remodelista favorite, designed a coffee shop with tiled caf 21
Above: Paris-based Heju, a Remodelista favorite, designed a coffee shop with tiled cafe tables and a terra-cotta-tiled coffee bar. Photograph by Ludovic Balay, courtesy of Papotte, from La Vie en Papotte: A 15th-Century Mill in Burgundy, France, Redone by Heju.
designer liz kamarul sourced the square tiles on the peninsula from the tile sh 22
Above: Designer Liz Kamarul sourced the square tiles on the peninsula from the Tile Shop. “Because it’s not our primary workspace, I wasn’t worried about all the grout. We built the island from scratch and it’s been such a lovely and functional addition to our kitchen. We eat breakfast here every morning,” she says. Photograph courtesy of Liz Kamarul.
green heath tiles cover the outdoor kitchen designed by and and and studio. pho 23
Above: Green Heath tiles cover the outdoor kitchen designed by And And And Studio. Photograph by Caitlin Atkinson, courtesy of And And And Studio.
a bold hot pink kitchen island designed by jill rooijakers. photograph by peter 24
Above: A bold hot pink kitchen island designed by Jill Rooijakers. Photograph by Peter Dekens/Mr. Frank.
this kitchen island in london by nimtim architects features white tiles by dtil 25
Above: This kitchen island in London by Nimtim Architects features white tiles by DTILE, which is known for making curved tiles for rounded edges. Photograph by Megan Taylor. (See Kitchen Tour: A London Kitchen in Plywood by Nimtim Architects for another project designed by the firm.)

&#8\2\20;in my projects, i always tend to reach for a balance between cold  26
Above: “In my projects, I always tend to reach for a balance between cold and warm tones…and between textures, such as the terra-cotta tiles [next to] the smooth walls,” says artist Ilse Popelier, who sourced the tiles from Ghent-based tiles store David & Goliath. Photograph by SNfoto, courtesy of Ilse Popelier.
For other noteworthy interior design trends, see:

N.B.: This post originally ran on May 11, 2023 and has been updated.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the trend of tiled kitchen islands?

The trend of tiled kitchen islands involves using tiles to cover the surface of the kitchen island, creating a unique and eye-catching feature.

Why are tiled kitchen islands popular?

Tiled kitchen islands have gained popularity due to their ability to add texture, color, and pattern to an otherwise plain and ordinary kitchen space. They can transform the look of the entire kitchen and become a focal point.

What types of tiles are commonly used for kitchen islands?

Commonly used tiles for kitchen islands include ceramic, porcelain, glass, mosaic, and natural stone tiles. Each type offers different styles, colors, and textures to choose from.

Are tiled kitchen islands easy to clean?

Yes, tiled kitchen islands are typically easy to clean. Most tiles are resistant to stains and can be easily wiped or mopped clean. However, grout lines may require occasional scrubbing to maintain their appearance.

Can I install tiles on an existing kitchen island?

Yes, it is possible to install tiles on an existing kitchen island. However, the surface should be properly prepared by cleaning, priming, and ensuring it is level and free from any imperfections before installing the tiles.

Is it necessary to hire a professional for installing tiled kitchen islands?

While it is possible to install tiled kitchen islands as a DIY project, hiring a professional tile installer is recommended for a flawless and durable result. They have the expertise and tools to ensure proper installation and avoid potential issues.

How do I maintain the tiles on my kitchen island?

Regular maintenance involves wiping up spills promptly, using mild cleaners or designated tile cleaners, and avoiding abrasive materials that can scratch the tiles. It is also recommended to seal the grout periodically to prevent staining.

Can I customize the design of a tiled kitchen island?

Yes, tiled kitchen islands offer a wide range of design possibilities. You can choose from various tile patterns, colors, and sizes to create a personalized and unique look that suits your style and complements your kitchen.

Are tiled kitchen islands suitable for small kitchens?

Tiled kitchen islands can be suitable for small kitchens, as they can visually expand the space and make it more interesting. By choosing lighter tiles and clever placement, you can create the illusion of a larger kitchen.

How do I choose the right tiles for my kitchen island?

When choosing tiles for your kitchen island, consider the overall style of your kitchen, the desired color scheme, and the level of maintenance you are willing to commit to. It is also helpful to gather inspiration from design magazines or websites.

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