Look & Color: We have all white cabinetry (just painted) and newly installed hardwood floors (maple with a cinnamon finish). For the counters, we want to add some warm colors like ochre, mustard yellow, and cobalt blue, rather than using neutral tones or stone textures. We are thinking about incorporating some other materials in the design, including wood trim and a granite cutting area.
Cleanup: We want easy cleanup, of course. With the exception of accent pieces, we are planning to use larger tiles (from 4" square to 8" square) to minimize grout lines and to provide large, smooth areas.
Glazes: I would say we're looking for a matte or moderately glossy glaze. We don't want too much reflectivity and we don't want tile that loses its character once the luster begins to fade.
Does this help shape your recommendations?
Given these objectives, how do I judge whether the tile samples I see are suitable?