Find the right tile style for you.
Material trends ebb and flow regularly in the world of home decor, but tile is a perennial favorite that seems to become more popular with each passing year. Perhaps that’s because of tile’s well-known hardiness and ability to stand up to wet conditions, both indoors and out. Or maybe tile’s chameleon-like array of tones, textures and shapes is the reason for its staying power. Whatever the cause, tile adds pops of color and pattern no matter what size, shape or style of home. What tile styles will be gracing our homes over the coming year? Let’s take a look at the biggest tile trends for 2020.
Tile mimicking other materials
One of the most popular tile trends this year is tile that imitates the appearance of natural materials such as wood, metal and stone. Technological advances in digital printing and manufacturing mean these faux versions look more authentic than ever. Porcelain tile that impersonates hardwood flooring is an easy-to-clean and durable option for busy households. Available in plank or strip configurations in all manner of color and finish, wood-like tile can even be used to create a herringbone pattern. Ceramic tile that mimics the look of luxurious stone, especially in large formats, is gaining traction as a more affordable alternative to marble both on walls and floors. The bonus is that tile doesn’t show stains and dirt like the more porous natural stones. It’s also more sustainable, as tile’s manufacturing generally has less environmental impact than harvesting trees and mining for stone.
Big and beautiful
You may have noticed, but tile is bigger than ever these days. Just a few years ago, 12-inch by 24-inch tiles were the most common large-format option found outside of commercial spaces. Today, 18-inch by 36-inch tile is popular for homes, and massive slab-like tiles spanning 60 inches by 120 inches are now available. Many homeowners like the larger expanse of tile and less grout, as the look is decidedly sleek and modern. Fewer grout lines also mean large-format tile is easier to clean. Ideal for floors, big tiles also work on walls where they take on the look of wallpaper or hand-painted faux treatments.
Color without compromise
Tile is an excellent option for those who want to experiment with color without committing to an expensive fuchsia rug or teal green couch. Pick a small area, perhaps a butler’s pantry backsplash or laundry room floor, or create a bathroom accent wall surrounded by more muted tones, and let your bold color fantasies come true. What colors can we expect to see this year? Green is enjoying major momentum across all home design materials, and tile is no exception. There’s also no doubt that Pantone’s Color of the Year, classic blue, will keep cobalt, cerulean, indigos and azure front and center in the coming months. But of course, neutrals will always be popular thanks to their broad appeal and ability to accommodate any interior design style.
Subway with a twist
If you’re a die-hard fan of subway tile, you’re in luck. The tried-and-true classics aren’t going anywhere, but they will evolve. Look for new colors, finishes and textures like matte and crackle designs. Small details like beveled edges or slightly larger sizing can give subway tile a modern vibe. Different layouts — running, stacked, vertical, basket weave and more — can add unexpected intrigue, especially when used with contrasting grout. Subway tiles also offer a bit of history, as they get their name from the fact that they were invented for the New York City subway. Chosen for the economical and easy-to-clean design, the 3-inch by 6-inch tiles were created by architects George C. Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge for the launch of the first New York subway in 1904.
Passion for patterns
From Moroccan to floral and from retro to abstract, bold patterns in tile are here to stay. Encaustic tiles, where designs are created using multiple colors of clay or concrete, helped propel the resurgence of patterned tile over the last few years. But encaustic tiles can be prone to wear and staining. Luckily, similar designs are now available in durable ceramic tiles with thick glazes, which offer a longer-lasting alternative. Geometric prints, especially with metallic accents, provide a modern take on art deco. Leaf and floral designs caused a stir at the recent European tile shows, and ’50s and ’60s tile patterns mirror the emerging popularity of retro appliances.
For visual interest, even in neutral or monochromatic color palettes, textured or 3D tile is a perfect choice. Bumps, divots, ripples, beads and waves add a unique design element that makes rooms exciting, especially with the right lighting. Place the tile one way to create a consistent form around a room or wall, or alternate the direction of the tile and you create unexpected contrast and drama. Elegant, sculptural designs elevate interiors while tumbled finishes are perfect for rustic interiors or outdoor spaces. The downside to all that tactile character is that textured tile can be challenging to install, and even more daunting to keep clean and dust-free.
Here are six tile trends to consider for your home in 2020:
— Tile mimicking other materials.
— Big and beautiful.
— Color without compromise.
— Subway with a twist.
— Passion for patterns.
— Touchable texture.