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Tantalized By Tile


Sonja-4

From Walker Zanger, “Sonja” stone mosaic reinvents time honored mosaic patterns with a bold graphic sensibility, yielding a decidedly modern collection. photo – Open House Photography. Designed by ecohistorical homes.

By Elizabeth Anthony

Inspiration and influence for tile floors and walls come from everywhere: fashion, upholstery, wallpaper, furniture, media and even electronics. In our homes and offices, where each element must uniquely capture the current style of those who live and work there, honing in on the style and colors of tile that suit your space can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are, like most of us, not a professional designer. To help you out, we’ve compiled a shortlist of what’s trending in tile.

This year’s tile trends seem to offer more options for customizing and incorporating personal style and design. Consider the use of technology now available in tile design. You are now able to integrate photo luminescence and home automation into tile, utilize touch sensitive glazes, and incorporate nano technology that makes tile warm to the touch. There are even tiles that clean the air with biomimetics. It’s so George Jetson-esque.

Technology is also responsible for a resurgence of mosaic tile design. Aided with cutting-edge technology, any image can be pixelated and reassembled using a tile palette — creating beautiful large scale mosaic murals.

Another popular trend is titan-size tile. Last year, size-wise, tiles were large — think subway bricks, 8-inch by 8-inch squares and even as large as 16-inch by 32-inch rectangles. This year they are titan — more like 36-inch by 72-inch. They’re clean and contemporary, and they look great on floors and backsplash areas. Plus they’re so huge that they are much easier to clean than the standard tile.

Textures in tile are hot right now. Plain Jane flat tiles on the wall or floor are so yesterday. Today’s tiles have depth and movement which add amazing visual elements to a room. As designers and homeowners become bolder with tile, more animal prints, pebbles and tactile elements will become more popular.

Perhaps the biggest tile style this year is wood-grain tile. People are loving the plethora of options available in this look as much as they are loving the prices. Though the faux hard wood has been around for a while, now we’re seeing wood styled everywhere. It looks great, wears well (no dreaded staining and sealing required) and there are more styles and sizes to choose from than ever.

Initially introduced as a modern take on hardwood floors, this trend has inspired all sorts of new dimensions in never-before-seen tiles — the most popular being long narrow planks, as well as different colors, patinas and finishes.

Wood grain tile can now be found in a finish that could double for dark stained walnut, to wood from a well-weathered fishing boat. Additionally, while using reclaimed wood is uber-cool, finding it in just the right size and patina may be a chore. However, finding look-alike 100-year-old barn wood tile is much, much easier as tiles are available in dimensions that wood is typically not.

Some really interesting wood tile looks are worth considering:

• Mixed wood-look tiles — The great thing about all the different styles and colors is that you can mix and match them in unique ways that would be next to impossible with reclaimed wood.

• Instant aging — This trend is taking the wood look to a whole new weathered level, adding the look of years of age and exposure to the elements via digital imaging and ink-jet printing. This particular tile is great for a coastal cottage, a rustic cabin or an updated Shabby Chic space.

• Wood-look tile from wall to wall to ceiling — Many designers are driving this trend across the floor and up the wall. The popularity of reclaimed wood accent walls is exploding, and tile is a great way to pull off the appearance of it. Wood-look tile won’t snag your linens and upholstery the way weathered wood can, and there’s no danger of exposure to old lead paint or toxins from wood pallets.

• Traditional hardwood looks in tile –Some of the tiles look so much like wood that you may have to touch them to make sure they are porcelain. These have the look of more traditional hardwood floor planks and patterns, including herringbone.

• Traditional dimensions — More traditional looks and patterns, like parquet, are easy to achieve with tiles.

• Herringbone patterns are also popular and easy to achieve in tiles.

• Variations in plank size — The wood trend is growing, and so is the number of different sizes of these tiles. Rare wide planks that are hard to find in real wood are easy to find in tile, and different widths and lengths can be mixed and matched.

• Driftwood — This beautiful tile really does resemble driftwood and comes in 6-inch by 24-inch plank tiles. It lends a coastal feel in a contemporary way, at once warm and cool.

• Weathered painted planks — Vintage looks are a major inspiration for tile trends right now. Trying to achieve this look with wood could be backbreaking and splinter-inducing — risks you can avoid by choosing a tile product instead.

• Industrial wood — Tiles that suit industrial style where the wood planks take on the hues of a concrete floor. It’s a tile-modern mash-up.

Kitchens, too, are being transformed with tile this year. According to Mission Stone & Tile Founder and President Mary Elizabeth Hulsey Oropeza, “Backsplashes allow homeowners to get creative and go for custom looks more easily and affordably. They can incorporate colors and designs in backsplashes to give their kitchens the designer touches they love.”

Here are the top selling backsplash design trends:

• Subway Tile — Subway tile is perpetual best seller as it’s a classic that works whether your home is a farm house or a big city loft. Available in many different color glazes and finishes, this tile choice can be configured into a wide range of patterns. Most popular subway tile patterns include the classic herringbone pattern and vertical “soldier stacked,” a more modern effect. While the basic white subway tile is the strongest seller, Oropeza reports more bold color orders are being placed these days, reflecting the market’s readiness for more daring looks.

• Glass Mosaics — Glass mosaics are consistently strong sellers for backsplashes offering the contemporary, colorful and glimmering effect many homeowners seek today. Many customers pair these linear glass mosaics with other tile formats to create designs that extend across entire walls in the kitchen. “Use of under-cabinet lighting is a nice way to achieve even more glimmer and ambiance with glass mosaics,” Oropeza explains.

• Large Format Glass — In contrast to their mosaic counterparts, large format glass tiles provide a continuous wash of shimmering color to create the illusion of a solid surface. Oropeza explains “The look is solid and contemporary… more reflective with a sleek and almost seamless appearance.”

• Artisan Tile — The use of tile as art for backsplashes is really beyond the status of a passing trend. It is truly more traditional and is a seasonless strong seller as so many homeowners love to create artistic focal points in their backsplash designs. With both traditional and contemporary designs homeowners can create beautiful murals or naturalistic wallscapes for the kitchen.

Tile is anything but dull. Now, more than ever, creative new ways to use tile are available: more graphics, more textures, and larger more unique sizes. So the question now is: Which tile tantalizes you?

Wood Impressions by Crossville captures the look and warm appeal of wood flooring in easy-to-maintain porcelain tile. With the right blend of design details and manufacturing technology, Crossville can replicate the look of wood in a more durable, easier to maintain porcelain tile.

Wood Impressions by Crossville captures the look and warm appeal of wood flooring in easy-to-maintain porcelain tile. With the right blend of design details and manufacturing technology, Crossville can replicate the look of wood in a more durable, easier to maintain porcelain tile.

From Morocco to Modern Day, the Beveled Arabesque backsplash by Mission Stone and Tile is a classic shape that looks fresh and corresponds with several design styles. photo-www.missionstonetile.com

From Morocco to Modern Day, the Beveled Arabesque backsplash by Mission Stone and Tile is a classic shape that looks fresh and corresponds with several design styles.                                        photo-www.missionstonetile.com

From Daltile, glazed porcelain floor and ceramic wall. The graceful intertwining of travertine cross-cut and vein-cut visuals and textures result in Exquisite’s unique interpretation of natural stone.   photo - Walker Zanger

From Daltile, glazed porcelain floor and ceramic wall. The graceful intertwining of travertine cross-cut and vein-cut visuals and textures result in Exquisite’s unique interpretation of natural stone.
photo – Walker Zanger

The KaleidoStone tile line from Mission Stone and Tile comes in a marble-honed basalt limestone combination with a marble blend that mixes polished white and french grey tones. These materials are crafted in a unique, mosaic pattern that harkens to the appearance of kaleidoscope designs. The overall effect is a creative, contemporary look interpreted in perpetually popular natural stone. photo - www.missionstonetile.com

The KaleidoStone tile line from Mission Stone and Tile comes in a marble-honed basalt limestone combination with a marble blend that mixes polished white and french grey tones. These materials are crafted in a unique, mosaic pattern that harkens to the appearance of kaleidoscope designs. The overall effect is a creative, contemporary look interpreted in perpetually popular natural stone. photo – www.missionstonetile.com

 

Waterfall Mosaics take their inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright's distinctive use of natural materials. Like Wright's evocative architecture, Waterfall Mosaics merge crisp, finely honed surfaces with the natural color variation of slate and glass, creating a unique “organic modern” look. Shown is Rain pattern from Walker Zanger. photo -  Crossville, Inc.

Waterfall Mosaics take their inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s distinctive use of natural materials. Like Wright’s evocative architecture, Waterfall Mosaics merge crisp, finely honed surfaces with the natural color variation of slate and glass, creating a unique “organic modern” look. Shown is Rain pattern from Walker Zanger. photo – Crossville, Inc.

Introducing “Color It” by Fireclay Tile, a freshly launched online tool, that allows for  custom Cuerda Seca multicolor tile designs using an inspiring selection of patterns and colors.  photo - Fireclay Tile

Introducing “Color It” by Fireclay Tile, a freshly launched online tool, that allows for
custom Cuerda Seca multicolor tile designs using an inspiring selection of patterns and colors. photo – Fireclay Tile


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