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If you want some real inspiration for your next tiling project, then look no further, as we’ve got the lowdown from four homeowners who recently got creative with their tiling projects.

Their decision to renovate was easy – tiles are not only durable, easy to maintain and waterproof, they also create a sophisticated focal point for the home.

And the best part? These homeowners added their unique style and personal touch using a variety of different patterns, colours, and materials. They now have gorgeous accent walls, splashbacks and shower niches, in their kitchens and bathrooms.

We asked them:

  • What were the logistics?

  • What inspired their tiling projects?

  • What was the vision for their tiling projects?

  • And, how do they feel about the results?


Let’s dive in!

Before: Justine’s monochromatic kitchen, called for a matching focal piece | Photo: Justine

Minimalists Dream: Black and White Tiles

Justine from Christchurch is a huge fan of the pristine minimalist look when it comes to her kitchen, making small splashes of statement colours along the way.

She prefers sticking to a (mostly) neutral colour scheme which allows her more room to play around with colours in the future.

Here’s the rundown on Justine’s tiling project.

The logistics

  • Materials: 10cm x 40cm white subway tiles (with black grout)

  • Size: Approx. 6.4sqm (2.6m x 0.8m per wall)

  • Cost: Approx. $780

  • Job duration: 3 days

After: A minimalist’s dream — white subway tiles, with black grout. Photo: Justine

The inside scoop

What inspired your tiling project?

“We had a massive renovation and the kitchen was part of that,” Justine says.

“We completely flipped everything, including the kitchen, creating a big open plan space that worked for me and my family.

“I always knew that I wanted to add the long subway tile look – they are timeless.”

What was your vision for the project?

“I designed the new kitchen a monochromatic white and black colour scheme,” Justine says.

“I wanted things to be light, bright and modern, while keeping it a character home.

“I just love the clean, modern style – it goes with everything, you can’t go wrong with it, and you’re never going to regret it.”

How do you feel about the results?

“For me price, quality and promptness were important as you don’t want to be waiting for months and it [the tile feature] is going to be in the kitchen for a very long time.

“Because we were doing such a huge renovation every dollar counted.

“And, I love the results!”

Before: This kitchen’s statement piece used to be a double brick chimney that took up space. Photos: Elizabeth

Timeless Character: Vintage Tiles

Elizabeth from Hamilton, decided to overhaul her kitchen back in 2012.

After the major parts of that renovation were completed, she wanted to bring some of her home’s character back into the mix with a couple of statement pieces, including these vibrant vintage-style tiles.

Elizabeth shares more on her tiling project.

The logistics

  • Materials: 13.2cm x 13.2cm ceramic tiles

  • Size: Approx. 2sqm

  • Cost: Approx. $1000 ($400 for installation)

  • Job duration: 1day

After: Stunning vintage-style tiles is the new star of this kitchen. Photos: Elizabeth

The inside scoop

What inspired your tiling project?

“It’s a very old house, and the kitchen space was tiny, poorly laid out for modern use and very dark,” Elizabeth says of the kitchen renovation.

“A double brick chimney took up about 9sqm of floor space — so I needed to pull this down and rebuild from scratch.

But I still wanted to retain some of the vintage style.

What was your vision for the project?

“I wanted two features in the kitchen; a large wooden island and a bold, visual feature to brighten up the space,” Elizabeth says.

“We chose the patchwork tiles because they were colourful, vibrant and interesting.”

How do you feel about the results?

“It’s perfect,” Elizabeth says.

“It’s a main feature of the new space, and the tiles feel exactly right.

“In hindsight, I would probably have extended the tiling up the wall to continue the feature. However, with the leftover tiles I’m going to create a ‘runner’ for the wooden island to provide more colour.

“I’d tell other homeowners to always start with your vision, instead of the tile.”

Before & After: From large grey tiles, to unique and sophisticated vertical tiles. Photos: Olivia

Trend On the Rise: Vertical Tiles

With baby number two on the way, Olivia from Auckland needed a fresh look for her kitchen within a short timeframe.

And a fresh look she got, with these unique, slim-look vertical tiles that undeniably elevated the space.

Read along for details on Olivia’s tiling project.

The logistics

  • Materials: 5cm x 20cm white matte subway tile

  • Size: 1.3sqm (1.76m x 0.76m)

  • Cost: $780

  • Job duration: Approx 1 day

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The inside scoop

What inspired your tiling project?

“I think it was the extreme nesting mode that made me want to pull the trigger and get it redone,” Olivia says.

“I’d always disliked our original splashback.

“I actually chose the original tiles, but they weren’t laid the way I would have liked, and I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t that bad — but it wasn’t quite enough.”

What was your vision for the project?

“I just wanted something light and bright,” Olivia says.

“I browsed every now and then, and when I came across these tiles, I just thought ‘this is something a bit different’ and ‘you can’t really go wrong’.

“I believe tiling is the most practical and cost effective way to enhance a kitchen.”

How do you feel about the results?

“I feel really happy,” Olivia says

“My husband was unsure at first, but we’re both so glad we did it.

“I was really happy that it was done under our budget, and quickly as I wanted it before the baby got here.

“It just feels a lot more enjoyable being in the kitchen and looking at it makes me happy, rather than that frustrated feeling I had before.

“If you’re considering it — just take the leap!”

Before: Homeowner and builder Zac set off to transform his single bathroom. Photos: Zac

The Unexpected Renovators: Bathroom Tiles

First home buyers Zac and his partner knew they’d be renovating their new home from the moment they bought it.

What they never anticipated was that their only bathroom would be one of the first places they’d start.

After a few hands-on weeks, they now have a bathroom that is both functional and stylish.

Find out how Zac and his partner achieved this cool new look.

The logistics

  • Materials: Glossy subway tiles (walls), with square marble tiles (floor)

  • Size: Approx. 17sqm

  • Cost: Approx $800

  • Job duration: 1 week

After: The final touches; cool glossy tiles, with marble flooring. Photos: Zac

The inside scoop

What inspired your tiling project?

“Having only recently bought the house, we hadn’t planned on renovating the bathroom as early as we did,” Zac says.

“The decision came down to the fibreglass shower tub we had originally.

“So as a builder myself, my brother and I were able to get the majority of the work underway, including waterproofing the area — leaving just the tiling.”

What was your vision for the project?

“It was actually my partner who had found most of the inspiration,” Zac says.

“We also took some bits and pieces as inspiration from other people’s bathrooms and merged them into one.”

How do you feel about the results?

“Being a builder means I’m quite critical of work,” Zac says.

“It was the only bathroom in the house, which meant we had to shower under a hose and use a camp toilet for a week.

“So in hindsight, we’d organise with a friend or family member to shower at their house, as renovations can always take longer than anticipated.

“But, above all we’re really happy with what we achieved within our budget.”

Key Takeaways For A Tiling Project

Thank You

A kind thank you to our homeowners, Zac, Olivia, Elizabeth and Justine for sharing their tiling projects. And shout out to our handy BC tradespeople who helped them achieve these results, bringing each home’s unique character to life.

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