Split face tiles are a great way to introduce texture, tones and eye-catching interest to your home. Texture is always a popular interior design trend, so split face tiles will always stay up to date through the years.
Indoors, they work perfectly to stand out against plain paint or tiles and to spruce up any room in a sophisticated fashion. Add them as a kitchen backsplash, frame a fireplace or create a gorgeous feature wall.
Split face tiles are also fantastic to use in outdoor spaces. Liven up a dull garden wall with split face tiles to add the wow factor ready for alfresco entertaining and relaxing.
We’ll tell you a little more about split face tiles and show you some of our favourite ideas for using them.
What are split face tiles?
Split face tiles are essentially large mosaics that can be interlocked to create a seamless design. They have a staggered, layered surface which gives a wonderful 3D effect and the variation you find between tiles gives them a very natural and unique appearance. They are also very durable, proving tough against any cracks and scratches.
Modern split face tiles are available in a variety of designs and a huge variety of shades, from subtle shades of grey and brown to striking black and chic white. There are also numerous size options available, from smaller tiles to build up a more random pattern, or larger tiles to save on tiling time.
How to install split face tiles
Here are our top tips for skillfully installing split face tiles.
Order a little more than you think you need
No one wants to run out of tiles in the middle of a job! We always recommend adding on 10% for wastage, but with split face tiles, you might need to add on 15% extra to cover any cuts in corners and trickier areas.
Choose your grout and adhesive
It’s very important to choose the right colour adhesive for your split face tiles. If your tiles are a light shade, choose a white adhesive as grey could discolour the stone or start to show through any mesh behind the tiles.
Natural stone split face tiles need to be sealed, but do not need to be grouted. Porcelain or ceramic split face effect tiles need to be grouted with a width of no less than 2mm to make them watertight. Luckily there are brands such as Grout 3000 that have a wide spectrum of shades to choose from, so you’ll be able to find a colour that blends in with them nicely. These tiles are supplied sealed from the factory so are maintenance-free other than cleaning as and when required.
Plan your design
If you have space, lay the tiles out first to look for any patterns you’d like to repeat or colours you want to keep close together.
Ensure your surface is clean, dry and most importantly flat. A coat of primer will also give your tile adhesive a head start.
As porcelain and natural stone are both very hard, you’ll need the right equipment for clean cuts and to minimise broken tiles. We would recommend an electric tile cutter with a diamond blade.
Seal natural stone split face tiles
If your tiles are natural stone, it’s important to seal them to protect them against dirt and moisture. We recommend seeking the advice of a professional tiler. At Direct Tile Warehouse our Split Face Tiles are porcelain and do not require sealing.
Our favourite ideas for using split face tiles
Exterior Feature Wall
Timotina wanted to cover her black breeze blocks to lighten up her garden. “We bought our house a few years ago and started construction straight away. The garden of course we left until last and I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted it to look like. As it was quite a small garden, we decided to go for some light tiles to create more space and these gorgeous tiles did just that.”
If you’ve got a plain wall and don’t fancy wallpaper or an accent paint shade, then split face tiles can really make it shine, like Lisa’s fabulous feature wall. “We had our new kitchen installed last year and always thought that our dining wall looked bland in comparison. We wanted to create a feature wall that completed the room. Something nice and modern and a bit different, so we chose to tile our wall using split face tiles.”
Stunning Split Face Shower
Rachael has always been a big fan of our tiles, and we absolutely love the stunning combination she has gone for in her new en suite, combining soft shades, texture and a striking veined natural stone look. “I went into Direct Tile Warehouse with an image in my mind of a stony, neutral look and that's exactly what I found. Everyone who sees my tiles always compliments them.”
Create a zoned section in your garden
Emma has created a wonderful seating area in her garden using split face tiles to section off the area in a stylish fashion. “We’ve recently transformed our whole back garden and these split face tiles really are the wow factor that completes the effect. It was previously a red brick wall that just looked dull and out of place. The tiles have completely changed the whole look of the garden making it feel contemporary, sophisticated and stunning. “
Frame a fireplace
This plain wall has been brought to life by Nathan Hobson Building & Fireplaces with the addition of a stunning black fire framed by porcelain split face tiles that really shine against a vibrant teal paint colour. This look combines both a traditional and modern feel and is a beautiful focal point of the room.
Liven up the Living Room
Hamant used split face tiles to take the focus off his large television and to also include his LED flame effect fire. “Whenever guests visit my house and they see they feature wall, the first thing they do is touch the tiles! I’ve even had people ask if they are real as they can't believe how good they look and are used to seeing tiles in bathrooms or on kitchen floors and not on a wall in the living room!”
The natural, tactile effect of split face tiles work perfectly in this gorgeous spa reception area, where they evoke an air of serenity and relaxation. Pair with natural wood and textiles, or add black and white accessories that will really pop.
Shop the Kamale range
We hope this blog post has inspired you to consider split face tiles for your next project. Shop our split face tile range or get in touch if you need any advice or suggestions.