There’s really nothing worse in the design world than “builder-grade” materials and interiors. And when I think of 12×12 tiles, builder-grade is exactly what comes to mind! But this readily-available, budget-friendly size tile doesn’t HAVE to look boring. Check out the strategies below for ways to jazz up simple square floor tiles.

Create a Tile “Rug”

Just like your living room or dining room looks great with a decorative area rug, bathroom or kitchen floors can get the same treatment using tile patterns! Use a stock 12×12 tile for the bulk of the flooring area, but create a small square or rectangular “rug” with a 1×1 accent mosaic tile border and a small-scale mesh-mounted tile in the center.


Accent Tile Borders

A muted 12×12 Crema Marfil tile is bordered by strips cut from a 12×12 sheet of a trellis pattern mosaic tile. Doing so breaks up the sea of marble with a luxury tile that won’t break the bank in limited quantities.






A similar strategy applies here, but with a darker 1″x1″ mosaic tile framing sets of four tiles. Using a darker tile not only creates contrast, but it also pulls in the darker color of the plumbing fixtures, all while giving the illusion of larger floor tiles.




Two Tone for a Twist

Polished black and white marble tiles, laid in a diamond pattern create a luxury look in this entry way. The mix of the two colors creates a timeless and elegant feel upon entry!








The best part? This look works with all sorts of colors and types of tile! Check out the examples below…


Stripes and Stripes

Inexpensive black and white ceramic tiles have a striking impact when used to create stripes in an otherwise simple white kitchen.


Take it up a Notch

In the two photos below, 12×12 tiles are “notched” with smaller accent tiles at regular intervals and add subtle interest to the floor.

















images (from top to bottom):,,, Dillard Design Group,,,,,,


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