Tile ideas for a hallway

Written by deborah stephenson
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Tile ideas for a hallway
Tiles come in many colours and shapes. (ceramic tile image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com)

Hallways by definition are passages -- rooms to get you from one place to another. Because they are places to move through instead of linger in, people tend to forget them when decorating the home. Hallways do not have to be boring though -- with creative planning, they will stand out as pretty and functional rooms in their own right.

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Widening and narrowing designs

Make a narrow hallway seem wider, or a short hall longer, with careful choice of colour and pattern in tiles. Dark colours recede, so put black, deep blues or greens on the floor in contrast to lighter painted walls to draw your walls together and make the space seem narrower. If you want to open up the space, paint walls a brighter hue and choose tiles near the same colour (i.e. pale yellow walls with light golden brown tiles). You can also change the shape of a hallway by alternating bands of tile colours. Run the stripes across the hall side to side to broaden the space. (Adding one tile width more up each wall will further widen the space visually.) Alternate bands aligned parallel to walls to narrow the space and give the illusion of greater length. Strengthen the power of the stripes even more by using bright bold combinations to broaden, and darker, more subdued colours to lengthen.

Paint a tile rug

Use mosaic tiles and freely available mosaic or stained glass patterns to create a piece of floor art in your hall. Leave space to frame your masterpiece all round with ordinary square tiles in a neutral colour. Visitors will definitely linger to look at your pretty, permanent "rug." Go a step further and create a rug "runner" appearance by placing a row of 10 cm (4 inch) tiles against the walls, followed by a contrasting band of narrow tiles around your artwork. The 10 cm (4 inch) tiles will appear as the floor beneath your mosaic rug.

Classic tile looks

For a formal look, you cannot go wrong with the classic black-and-white chessboard tile pattern. Whether you lay the tiles straight or in a room-widening diamond configuration -- laying them diagonally across the space -- you will create a more finished look if you outline them with half tiles in black around all edges. Another classic look pairs a solid white floor with a black outline. Use larger square tiles for the centre and outline with small black squares or narrow black rectangles. For either look, tiles may be solid black and white glazed ceramic, or for a richer look, alternate dark slate with pure white marble stone tiles.

Make a path

In a hall with numerous side doors leading to closets and other seldom visited rooms, direct visitors past the wrong doors and straight where you want them with a stepping stone path. You will not use real stepping stones, of course, but you can get the same effect by turning one large dark-coloured tile diagonally against a ground of lighter coloured, smaller squared tiles every 60 cm (2 feet) or so. Without realising it, visitors will follow the lead of this path from one "stone" to another until they arrive at the intended destination.

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