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Care & Maintenance

Rustic Style Tiles: A Guide for Designers

Rustic style floor and wall tiles add warmth and character to interior design spaces. These tiles embrace imperfections and traditional craftsmanship, standing out from the mass-produced options available on the market.

As an interior designer, including rustic tiles into your projects can add depth to your designs. However, working with these tiles requires a thoughtful approach to installation and maintenance. Here's what you need to know:

Embracing Imperfection

Rustic tiles to showcase the marks of human involvement. Variations in color, size, surface texture, and edges are not flaws but rather the essence of their appeal. These intentional imperfections create a sense of warmth and history, making each tile a unique piece of art.

Coffee Colored Glazed Ceramic tile on a wall

Porto Coquille

Installation Considerations

To preserve the authentic charm of rustic tiles, it's crucial to approach their installation with care:

  1. Choose the Right Contractor: Find a contractor experienced in working with rustic-style tiles. Their expertise is vital in achieving the desired aesthetic while navigating the unique challenges these tiles present.

  2. Create a Mockup Board: Before starting the installation, have your contractor prepare a mockup board. Test various grout colors, sealers, and maintenance products to match tiles and keep their rustic look. Testing different grout colors will help you find the best match for your tiles. Using sealers and maintenance products will help preserve the rustic look of the tiles.

Key Qualities and Recommendations

When working with rustic tiles, keep the following points in mind:

  • Variation is Key: Expect variations in size, thickness, color, and texture. These variations add to the tile's character and we should embrace them instead of correcting them.

  • Embrace Blemishes: Small blemishes, such as tiny spots or glaze pooling, are part of the tile's charm. They add to the authenticity of the rustic look.

  • Blend from Multiple Boxes: To achieve a harmonious color blend, mix tiles from different boxes. This ensures that the installation evenly distributes any variation from production or different batches.

  • Grout Joint Variation: Because of the size and edge variations, grout joints will also vary. The rustic aesthetic includes this as a natural part, and the design should account for it.

  • Seal tiles with engineered crazing to prevent water damage and staining in wet areas like showers. Crazing is intentional fine cracks in the glaze. This protects the tiles and maintains their appearance.


Rustic tiles add depth to design projects that is hard to achieve with other materials. However, it requires a careful approach to installation and maintenance to preserve their unique charm. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your rustic tile designs not only look beautiful but also stand the test of time.

4 distressed concrete bricks

Ludo Antique Parefeuille

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