Porcelain Planks, Wood Looks, And More In Today’s Ceramic Tile Trends
What are the latest tile buying trends in the A & D Community? We asked Jeanette Rodriguez, architecture and design consultant for Daltile and Marazzi in NYC to report on some of the latest trends. Read Jeanette’s insight on tile’s latest design aesthetics, how technology inspires new looks, and what designers are looking for today.
As a designer working on a daily basis with New York City top commercial and residential design firms, there are so many new looks and trends that are inspiring today’s interiors. I have found stone and wood looks on ceramic and porcelain tile being specified more than ever; perhaps due to the amazing developments in the industry’s digital technology. Digital printing has replaced screen-printing allowing for more detailed and realistic aesthetics as well as less pattern repeats. Before this latest printing technology, screen-printing ran on a rotary, which means the image was printed repeatedly. Therefore, identical tiles were more apparent in an installation. New technology allows printers to go for longer runs, allowing for less image repeats and creating a floor that has a more random, natural look. Digital technology also provides a no-contact process, leading to less breakage and lowering overall costs of manufacturing. In addition, it allows printing on uneven and thinner tiles, giving designers more thickness and texture options. There are some natural stone textures that are bound to fool the eye of even the most experienced stone experts!
Pavers and stone-look porcelains have been the norm for outdoor areas such as pool surrounds and patio floors. More recently, wood-look porcelain planks are making the scene for these same areas. The “warmth of wood” aesthetics combined with the durability of porcelain tile are ideal for this type of application.
Another trending look is the thinner and larger scale porcelain tiles, specifically for environments with weight restrictions, such as elevator cabs. These sheet-like tiles have been specified as wall panels and even kitchen island countertops. Today, tile panel sizes have wide range of sizes, colors, finishes and textures.
Highly ornate decorative mosaic tiles are also trending. We are especially seeing ornate mosaics with Mother of Pearl and exotic stones. These accents are typically meant for feature walls or very exclusive conditions. It’s all in the details!
Subtle finishes, textures and neutral colors paired with large format tile are also all the rage when it comes to hard surfaces! Imagine a fabric-look on the wall in a corridor adding warmth while retaining the ease of maintenance that ceramic and porcelain tile provide. There are some amazing fabric-inspired textures.
And, how about the subway tile? The new updated subway tile is elongated with a softer, handcrafted look. These new modules and textures are great alternatives to the classic subway tile.
Finally, the distressed look has arrived in style! Distressed looks mimic reclaimed wood and all that is rustic are fantastically embraced!