If you think everyday tiling means fixing endless walls with standard plain white ceramics, then think again! There are many occasions when great use is made of the countless range of patterned tiles now available on the market, which makes for an interestingly different and ultimately satisfying job!

One of the most exciting things about tile patterns is the ability to recreate certain time periods. For example, different types of ceramic tile both with and without exquisite trim tiles have been made since the late 1800's. If you want a period Victorian ceramic tile, it can be found, even one with a crackled glaze. Crackled glazing has hundreds of random cracks in the thin glazing. Many people love this unique look and pattern. Tiles that resemble 1950's ceramic tile is also available.

An especially interesting ceramic tile pattern one that looks like a brick wall! The tiles are rectangular in shape measuring 2-inches high by 6-inches long. But it gets better. This particular tile comes with a special base tile that looks like a wood baseboard. It doesn't stop there, as you can also order a special cap tile or cornice tile that is a great wall to top off the 2x6 tile when used as a wainscoting in a bathroom where you only want the tile to extend up the wall three or four feet.

You can make your own patterns as well if you have access to a wet diamond saw. Unique geometric patterns can be obtained from two different-colored granites. For example, one possible combination could be jet-black granite with gold specks, and the other a golden light-colored granite with various embedded crystals and using the saw to cut different rectangles, squares and triangles of all different sizes that fit together resembling a jigsaw puzzle. This type of approach might be considered for one large wall of a bath/ shower area.

Some of these unique patterns can be hard to install, while others are no different than the most common ceramic tile. Some tiles come with self-spacing lugs on the edges of the tile. These little lugs are small bumps on each edge that create uniform grout lines when the tiles are butted tightly against one another. The line between the tiles often looks very narrow as you install each tile, but because the edge of the tiles is almost always a soft 90-degree angle, the grout line ends up about one eighth-inch wide.

It is of course important to know which type of adhesive must be used with a particular tile. Some tiles can be installed with organic mastic that resembles thick cake icing. Other tiles should be installed using thinset which resembles bricklayer's mortar. Thinset comes in both gray and white, so use white thinset for light-colored tiles. .

The grout should be very firm, not runny. Grout that is properly mixed will be so stiff it will barely slump or droop. Grout mixed to this thick consistency and then troweled into the joints will cure very hard if minimal water is used to clean the grout joints.

Taking a tiling course before you take on a DIY project in your bathroom or kitchen is strongly recommended, ane even more so if you are thinking of installing the heavy and expensive, patterned ceramic types. Training to tile professionally as part of being a builder or painter and decorator can be carried out at AbleSkills construction skills centre on DIY weekenders or fulltime, from short 5 day intensive block diplomas to 3,4, or 6 week NVQ certification.