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Latest Tile Trends

From Remodeling Tips:

New technology has been taking tile to a whole new level—far surpassing anything we could have imagined back in the days when tile was typically rectangular. In 2011, this trend seems to be picking up speed.

An abundance of unusual and innovative textures, shapes, sizes, colors and materials has expanded the possibilities for tile beyond the kitchen and bath—moving it into unexpected areas of the home. Since tile requires so little maintenance, it can also be seen as a practical alternative to other surfaces that are less easy to care for.

There are tiles that convincingly imitate other materials: tiles with a wood-like texture that may be used in place of paneled wainscoting; tiles that bear an uncanny resemblance to hand-scraped wooden planks, minus the splinters; tiles that appear to be luxurious marble or travertine.

Beyond imitation, many tile designs are original works of art, taking inspiration from nature or from the designer’s travels to other parts of the world. The tiles can be uncommonly thin or super thick; they can have long, straight lines or sensuous curves—some are even formed into cylindrical shapes. They are often strongly 3-D, having rounded or undulating surfaces, or perhaps angular surfaces with a variety of heights and depths in sharp contrast. Some tiles may have a “soft” fabric-like feel; others may be rough and pitted. Metallic and glass tiles, or tiles with embedded pieces of metal or glass, reflect the light and enhance the wonderful dimensional ­effect.

Let these examples inspire you to think outside the limits of a kitchen backsplash and consider whether a wall of textured tile might be just what you need to make a big impact at the front door.

Ikat textiles from Uzbekistan were the inspiration for Sara Baldwin’s Ikat design in glass tile.

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