Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Design Tips for Stair Riser Tiles

Decorative tiles are the perfect design accent for a stair riser. For a classic look use the same tile for all the risers. For a more bold statement, alternate the pattern used on each row or try using different designs on the same riser. Here's our top five ways to use hand-painted or decorative tile on stair risers.

Try using:

  1. The same tile pattern on each row for a classic approach.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using the same pattern on each row

  2. A different pattern on each row.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using a different pattern on each row

    You can also limit your selection to just a few patterns and repeat the pattern every other row.

  3. Different designs on the same riser. For instance, our Spanish tiles shown here are the Teruel, Alcala, and Andalucia. They look great next to each another on the same row.

    Stair Riser Tile Idea using Alternate Patterns on the Same Row

  4. Use different size tiles on different rows.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using different sizes on each row

    Above, Caceres 3"x6" was placed on the top row, 6"x6" for the middle row, and 2"x2" dots for the bottom row. You can also be creative with sizes. Try using two rows of 3"x6" tiles instead of a single row of 6"x6".

  5. Place the decorative tiles 'on point.' Or, Include a vertical or horizontal "spacer row" using a 2"x2" of the same design or in a solid color field tile.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using Different Patterns on Point

Be creative with your designs when using hand-painted or decorative tiles for stair risers. There aren't any 'strict design standards' to follow, except your own! Try different sizes, patterns and groupings. You can place them in a traditional grid pattern or on-point with field tile in a coordinating color. Get samples and and try various layouts until you find one that suits your sense of style.

Our slide show of stair riser installations has even more great design inspiration ideas for tiling stair risers!


Have a favorite? Of course you do! Let us know your favorite from our top five picks by leaving a comment. Or, share your own idea. There are few projects more fun than tiling stair risers!


Bill Buyok said...

Our friends at Fire Clay Tile shared these great
stair riser inspiration photos with us today on Twitter after reading this post.


Donna said...

We are building a home in the mountains of CO and would LOVE to put talavera tile on the vertical risers of our stairs. There have been some people that have advised against it, saying the tiles will not withstand the pressure and will break/crack. Do you have any opinion on this? Thank you!

Bill Buyok said...

Without knowing more about your specific tiles and the application, it's difficult to answer your question. First, will your home be subjected to freeze/thaw cycles? If so, I would not recommend anything but vitreous or porcelain tiles. If your home does not experience freeze/thaw cycles and you do not require a water tight seal, then most decorative tiles will work on wall and stair riser applications. Generally speaking, Talavera tiles are often low-fired or sometimes "sun-fired" and the ceramic body is weak and crumbles over time or when subjected to stress. The low-firing methods may produce a glaze that fades when subjected to radiant energy from the sun. The tile artisan or vendor of these tiles should be able to provide recommended applications for use. If not, weigh the risk of failure and the cost of repair to help guide you.