Fans of interior design know that one simple, gorgeous way to breathe life into a space is with the colors, shapes, materials and patterns of tile.
Tile has been a staple of design for centuries…and with all its evolutions and improvements, the right tile selection today can turn heads and generate an unforgettable sense of beauty in a space.
To me, that sounds like EXACTLY what we need in our homes!!
Whether selected for your shower, kitchen backsplash, flooring or walls, tile selections are absolutely one of my favorites to go over with clients. The options are ENDLESS when you factor everything in.
The question many homeowners still have when looking further into 2021 is WHICH of today’s hottest tile trends will stick. The last thing you want is to make a huge design decision now that will only look dated later. This is one of the pillars of getting a real “return on enjoyment” with your remodels.
So, buckle up and get ready as I go through today’s 2021 tile trends…and prepare for a little inspiration as we move along!!
#1: Trending Tile Colors
In one attention-grabbing trend, Arizona Tile (whom we work with on just about ALL our remodel projects) as well as other tile manufacturers are coming back with some of the colors y’all will remember from the ‘60s and ‘70s!!
…At least, I sure remember them!
These shades of blue, pink and yellow are definitely eye-catching…and interestingly, for anyone who’s into today’s black and white trend, these colors of tiles give remarkable combinations to “pop.”
That said, I TRULY do caution homeowners against making any design decisions based on a fad, unless it’s a fad you have always loved. These retro-colored tiles are fun, and in certain applications can be stunning! As soon as the fad rolls out, though, any space with this tiling could look dated.
This points to everything I have said before about favoring timeless designs. That said, homeowners are increasingly using tile to set the tone or feel of a space, which requires more beautiful color options. And so, there IS room to grow, and the industry will continue to experiment…just be sure you don’t get the short end of that stick!!
Coming back to the black and white trend, black tile has risen in popularity, too. White tile, of course, remains a classic, especially for fresh and beautiful bathrooms.
Playing all these options together, take a look at this bathroom remodel where we favored a white sink and counter but then carried the accent tile from the shower to the backsplash…it really made it pop!!
#2: Subway Tile Reimagined in Patterns
Some people say subway tile is overdone, but it’s been around for SO long that you definitely don’t have to worry about it going out of style!!
Plus, there are so many different ways you can apply it…
Imagine any of the following patterns to shake subway tile up, and tell me they wouldn’t feel like something creative to you!!
- Up-and-down patterns
- Diagonal patterns
- 90-degree herring bone
- 45-degree hering bone
Since subway tile absolutely is sticking around, a timeless design can be easily based on this selection…just take a look at his recent bathroom model. The subway tiles with deco in the middle won’t ever look outdated, and yet it carries in a breath of something beautifully unique.
#3: Tile Material “Looks”
Tiles today can be made to look like bricks, glass, concrete…you name it!! There are even some SUPER shiny finishes that might surprise you. The textures that manufacturers can achieve today are exceptional, making this trend one of the hottest things to hit design in a LONG time.
The one thing to bear in mind with these different materials “looks” is where they’re going to go. Some tiles are only meant for bathrooms, while others can only be used in flooring…some aren’t safe for pool areas, etc.…
Personally, I LOVE this update. It’s nice to use some of these “other material” designs in a small space for some visual interest, because they really pop. It’s not a huge expense, either! Imagine adding something this simple and affordable to your powder baths, or even your laundry room!!
#4: Tile Sizes
Mixing and matching tile sizes has gotten big, too.
Of course, the biggest reason for this has been the technology that makes different size manufacturing easier for brands.
That said, there are some design reasons, too:
- For example, just 20 years ago, only small tiles could be used for wet areas. Today, however, new sizes of tiles have the same R-11 finish rating that they need to be safe in wet areas.
- This has also given us new tile formats for a more “seamless” design in bathrooms. Just look at this line drain in this recent bath remodel we did…we were able to use large format tiles without having to cut them, despite the slope needed to lead water down to the drain.
Mixing and matching tile sizes has added a whole new layer of fun to design options, too! Picture a new kitchen backsplash, for example, where you do one row of 4×8 tiles followed by a row of 3×6…
Large format tiles even come as large as 24×48, so the design options are starting to become INSANELY versatile.
Creating a seamless feel from the indoors to the outdoors is another trend in itself, and it’s the result of these sizing and material options…with new tile materials that can be used in both spaces, homeowners are able to enhance that feeling of one large, connected living space.
There really is a LOT going on in the tile industry these days. Some of the trends will stick around for years to come, and others might be passing fads.
The one certainty is that, for fans of tile, ANYTHING is possible now. From colors to the materials and sizing, your design possibilities are endless.
Choosing a direction to go with your own tile selections can become a little overwhelming, especially with the fast addition of new options. You can use our complimentary Remodel Planner take a simple walk through your home. Take notes on the tile you have and the opportunities you see, and planning will get a WHOLE lot easier.
For some added inspiration, leaf through the most recent edition of our new magazine, too, Signature Design Style!!