Zoning with tiles and the rise of broken plan living

Zoning with tiles and the rise of broken plan living

With our homes evolving at pace to support home working and more, we are all looking for ways to utilise space wisely.

It's hard to deny the benefits of the open plan approach. It makes for a social hub that brings everyone together and creates a bustling environment.

Whilst we all love light-filled sociable spaces, recent events have also highlighted the need for cosy corners and more privacy and with it the evolution of open plan to broken plan living and zoning with tiles.

Zoning with tiles and the rise of broken plan living guide
Zoning space. The TilePortfolio Forge Blue Mottle and Artisan Rope in 800 x 800mm to floors in Matt finishes and Forge Blue Mottle super-size slabs to walls in 2780 x 1200mm

What is broken plan living?

Broken plan living is about having the best of both worlds. It's about keeping the big open plan space you love, along with the clever use of zones to create personal hubs, quiet areas for work or study and spaces for family time.

Fuse Beige
Glass partitions help natural light flow from room to room. Image shows The TilePortfolio Fuse Biscuit in Antislip Soft finish

These distinct areas can be permanent so things like changes in level, glazing or even full and half height walls. All of which require expert builders of course - and can prove expensive when adapting an existing space.

Artisan Living Room comp
Changes in floor level help to create separate zones in open plan spaces. Image shows The TilePortfolio Artisan Salt 1200 x 1200mm porcelain floor tiles, Artisan Brick and Blend Mouse to walls

Or they can be semi-permanent - think rugs, furniture and screens - all solutions that are more cost-effective and allows the flexibility to zone and re-zone at speed.

How to choose indoor outdoor floor tiles blog
Rugs are a great way to zone space. Image shows The TilePortfolio Swoop White porcelain tiles in Antislip Soft

Things like open or free-standing shelves are also a great way to divide space and add a little privacy. They have the added benefit of storage and don't need to cut out light - they can be half-height, or if full-height, shelves can be left open. Even things like plants can be useful in dividing spaces.


Flooring plays a key role in zoning with tiles. If you are about to tile a space it is definitely worth thinking about. Feature floor tiles can be used to define an area. It is of course a permanent feature so requires careful planning but can be perfect for signalling a transition from one area to another.

Forge Blue Mottle and Artisan comp
Zoning with tiles - Forge Blue Mottle and Artisan Rope 800 x 800mm porcelain tiles

Porcelain in particular is perfect for zoning. Not only are tiles brilliantly hardwearing, they are in designs that expertly echo other materials from woods to marbles, cements to metals and more.

The TilePortfolio Aria Apuan Gold 600 x 1200mm marble effect porcelain and Pave Dark Grey concrete effect porcelain 600 x 1200mm to centre

That means they are just the ticket to create everything from that snug living area to a drop dead gorgeous canvas.

Blend Living Space comp
The TilePortfolio Blend Nutmeg tiles to perimiter in 600 x 600mm and Blend Twine 1200 x 1200mm cement effect porcelain tiles to centre

Or leave yourself the flexibility and freedom to adapt zones as and when you need by running the same flooring throughout your space and using those less permanent solutions such as panelling, furniture or rugs to divide.

Artisan Charcoal Living and Dining comp
Zoning with panelling and creating break off areas with rugs and furniture. Image shows The TilePortfolio Artisan Graphite 600 x 1200mm porcelain floor tiles

There are so many beautiful options and the choice is yours!

For more ideas on zoning with tiles, get in touch, we’d love to help.

The TilePortfolio specialise in Italian and Spanish Porcelain and Ceramic tiles, in particular large format Porcelains and Porcelain tiles for inside and outside. Our carefully curated, stunning tile portfolios are beautifully presented online and supported by our fuss-free ‘go-the -extra-tile’ service and tile consultancy service. Visit our website for unmissable interiors inspiration. The TilePortfolio team are always available to chat, we’d be delighted to help with your project so please do get in touch. www.thetileportfolio.co.uk.