The phrase ‘structured tiles’ is a bit misleading. It’s nothing to do with the structure of your house or using them as building blocks like some kind of grown-up Lego (sadly) -, it’s about the structure of the tiles themselves.
In a nutshell, while the majority of tiles are smooth and flat, a structured tile has texture or shape pressed into it before the clay is fired.
Because of the physical patterning on the tiles, they work much better as wall tiles. You can use them as floor tiles, but they may not be comfortable to walk on – as an example, the tiles you generally find around the edges of swimming pools are structured, and while they are helpful as an anti-slip measure, you wouldn’t want them on your kitchen floor.
Structured tiles are made from both ceramic and porcelain which means they’re as durable and long-lasting as their smoother counterparts. As a material, porcelain has an advantage over ceramic because it produces a more durable tile that is less easy to scratch or damage. And even if that does happen, the clay is the same colour all the way through the tile, which means small chips will be a lot less obvious.
Possibly the best-known structured tiles are Metro tiles. These have a defined bevel around the edges which plays with light and shadows and makes your wall more interesting. Metro tiles are a timeless classic that never go out of style.
Structured tiles with a smoother surface, such as the Stoneway range, can bring your room to life and can be used anywhere in the house. Designed to resemble natural stone, the Stoneway range is great for use in kitchens, hallways, bathrooms or conservatories, adding style and creativity as well as an organic feel to the room.
It depends on the pattern of the tile, but it’s unlikely that you’ll want to cover the entire wall with structured tiles that have distinct patterns, such as Ordi Beige or the Imotion Inox Metallic. However, they will make great feature walls or can be used as an accent strip to add interest to a plain wall.
If you want the attractiveness of structured tiles but prefer smooth ones – especially if you are using them as floor tiles – patterned tiles provide a great compromise. The Brushstroke Gris Tex and Brushstroke Gris Dec are great examples which can be used on floors without the worry of damage from moving furniture over them.
Structured tiles can be very tactile, so before you make the decision as to which ones to use, it’s best to visit one of our stores and see them ‘in the flesh’ so to speak. Please note that opening times may change at short notice depending on local restrictions, so always check before you leave home.