Woodstoves provide ample warmth, both literally and figuratively, and create cosy interior spaces. Woodstoves are commonly associated with informal, old-fashioned environments. Hearths protect floors and walls from burning embers and smoke damage. They also offer an opportunity to decorate the area around the woodstove. Tile hearths can look either traditional or ultracontemporary, depending on the choice of materials.
Stone tiles are one of the most traditional choices for a hearth and come in a nearly endless variety of shapes, sizes and colours. They offer a durable surface that develops character with age. Larger tiles with rough surfaces look rustic and old-fashioned, like an Italian farmhouse. Mid-century designers, like Frank Lloyd Wright, installed short, wide tiles, with no visible mortar, for a natural, modern effect.
Unglazed Terra-cotta Tiles
Terra-cotta is a particularly popular tile in Mediterranean countries. Simple terra-cotta squares are versatile and complement both traditional and contemporary decor styles. Unglazed tile is inexpensive and provides rustic charm. Its surface is very porous, so you should seal the tile with a clear coat if you want to protect it, or leave it to quickly develop a distressed appearance.
Hand-painted tiles add a touch of elegance and visual interest to a rustic setting. Painted patterns range from simple, linear designs to elaborate, highly detailed patterns. Various regions of the world create iconic painted tiles, such as Mexico, Italy, France, Spain, the Middle East and China. Painted tiles make a good accent or border for plain tiles. They can be overwhelming unless used in moderation.
Mosaic Glass Tiles
Mosaic glass tiles provide an ultramodern complement to an old-fashioned woodstove. Glass tiles come in various finishes from matt to iridescent. A random arrangement of tiles in similar shades will look subtle. Small tiles can be arranged to create intricate pictures and designs. Mirror tiles add flashes of light when incorporated into mosaics.
Black Slate Tiles
Black slate tiles create a sleek, modern hearth. Large tiles and grout in a matching shade make a clean, seamless look. Dark tiles also will blend with a cast iron woodstove, minimising its presence, if that is preferred.
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