The Current and Future Tile Trends You Should Know About

Tile trends

Tile trends change yearly, often evolving from prior years. Take, for instance, subway tiles. They have been in vogue for quite some time, but with minor modifications either in color or layout as years progressed.

In 1904, 3" x 6" white subway tile made its entrance into the world of design in New York subway walls lined in a brick layout pattern, thus the name. They evoked pristine, light, and the ultra-hygienic cleanliness favored by the Victorian area. The look was also essential for such a drab space, where dark colors would have proved suffocating to the people waiting for trains.

Yet, times have changed and black is the new white. Since then, we've seen subway tiles change color, sizes, and layouts that evolved into vertical and even diagonal grids in luxury homes and businesses around the world.

So, what's new this year? Here are a few different takes on what you can expect today and in the future.

#1 Unusual-Shaped Grids

Following the look of the subway grid, comes fish scale grids. These are unusual scallops of tile that sort of hook into each other in an endless pattern.

These grid-like designs in unusual geometric shapes can also be evoked by using stone mosaic patterns like the Univo Aroma Star Mosaic here

#2 The Return of Green

Ever since the days of bathrooms drenched in avocado green, and the subsequent buyer's remorse, designers have stayed away from strong green colors in the bathroom. With more interest in natural materials and colors, green was a shoe-in to come back, although not as overpowering as before. Here, we see Soho Strip glass tiles in different shades of green and gray, laid out in a subway tile pattern, for another nod to the past.

#3 Dark on Dark Design Schemes

These monochromatic black or dark colors may seem a little brooding, but in actuality lend themselves well to modern tastes. They also help bring masculinity back into home design. Also, in a sort of ironic twist of history, it is white now that is seen as a "dirty" color because it's associated with subways and also hard to keep clean, unlike black. Subway tiles have gone full-on black with black grouting for a more polished and easy-to-keep-clean look. If subway tiles aren't your thing, anyway, the idea still works well with black-tiled floors.

#4 Wallpaper Looks

Pattern and darks combine to produce a desire to recast old-fashioned wallpapers in mosaic tile designs. Not only are they easily kept clean, but they are very interesting visually, if they use etching or raised features. Here is one that uses etched stone to produce a Barroque wallpaper design in the bathroom.

If you prefer a more modern wallpaper look, try the Univo Arbor mosaic on this wall.

#5 Matte Finishes

Black in a matte finish is especially sought after because of the way it blends so well with metallic finishes in kitchens and bathrooms. Stone tiles, in neutral shade, with a matte finish are soft to the touch and also quite Zen-like, as in this gray limestone tiled wall and bathroom raised floor

#6 Terracotta Look-A-Likes

Terracotta tends to be fragile because it is a reddish-brown tile that is best suited for ornamentation in buildings. However, it has a beautiful, earthy, tan to orange and burnt umber look that is typical of designs that accent natural elements. That's why terracotta looks in stone are particularly popular now because the hardness of a stone, like limestone or marble, gives the material the needed power to be used in floors and other foundational features.

Limestone in terracotta flavors is also perfect around the pool area because of its ability to withstand wet spaces without getting slippery.

#7 Shimmery Neutrals

Even with glass tile, the rainbow of colors have gotten more muted and become more shimmery. Glazes for glass tiles on neutral colors like beige and gray give them a frosted effect and are very popular today. Stone tiles can produce a similar frosty shimmer with collections like the Blanch Stone mosaics collection here.

They offer unusual grid-like designs and subway "knock-offs" with a dance of light that accentuates the gray tones, but doesn't overpower them.

#8 Antique Effects

The muted tones of ancient classical design work well with this darker and more nuanced style. Here we see Bordo Antico Etched stone used with a terracotta-flavored tile that produces something truly unique and elegant.

#9 A Celebration of Patterns

All manner of patterns, not just grids, are embraced in these future tile style trends. Whether they are antiqued, like in this Bessi tile

or created with high-end waterjet technology, like this Dimensional tile.

#10 Botanical Patterns

Included in this focus on patterns is the use of botanicals in tile works. Whether it is leaves or flowers, they are all welcome. This trend works equally well with botanical tiles as it does with full-blown mosaic or waterjet medallion works of art. This Cucina Floral Mosaic Mural shows how to use botanicals in a kitchen backsplash.

This waterjet tile called Cartus Small shows how to include botanical patterns in a more modern take of this timeless classic.

Patterns, Muted Neutrals, and Antique Looks

You may remember the gorgeous wallpapers of the past with their intricate floral designs and paisley patterns. These never seem to go out of style and have been upgraded into tile trends that make use of stone, glass, and ceramic tiles. If you want a more muted elegance that has a soothing effect when you walk in a room, then this style trend is for you. There are masculine designs that make good use of bold geometrics and dark on dark color schemes, and if you prefer something more feminine, you can still have your patterned florals and shimmery effects too.

These are the tile trends we will be seeing more of in the future, as new designers put their stamp on old favorites. If you like the list, and feel inspired, then "Like" it on social media and share it with your friends and followers.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.