Style stories

Why Tiles are Trending in Interior Design

Tiles have been taken for granted for too long. We’ve had them on our bathroom and kitchen walls and across our hall floors for decades but until recently, there has never been enormous variation. The iconic metro tile for example, has been around for over 100 years. While they do now come in multiple colours and you can lay them in interesting ways as seen below, they haven’t ever evolved and their popularity comes and goes with various interior design cycles.

Metro Tiles

Mandarin Stone Oska jungle green matt porcelain tiles
Structural Skins Artiste pink handmade tiles
Best Tile Artisan metro tiles

Tiles and Foot Selfies!

But last year, something changed for tiles. Pinterest saw a 1,276% increase in searches for "painted floor tiles" and suggested there was a global trend afoot. At the same time, Instagram was flooded with foot selfies on tiled floors, with blue and hexagonal ranked as the most ‘liked’ colour and shape on the social channel. Tiles were suddenly everywhere: hand-painted, shaped, bold, textured. So, what happened? And what are this year’s trends in tiles?

Image from ‘I Have This Thing With Floors’ Instagram feed (click on the image to follow them)

Tile Technology

Finally, affordable tile technology means that tiles no longer have to have a straight edge or a conventional finish. This has meant that tiles have become a genuine alternative to marble, with realistic, intricate vein detailing; or wood, with distressed or weathered finished tiles laid out in plank formations. It’s also meant that tiles can jump onto almost every interior design trend with their affordability bringing serious impact for your money.

Structural Skins Majestic marble tiles

Structural Skins Majestic marble tiles
Mandarin Stone Jakob ash parquet porcelain tiles
Mandarin Stone Colour block porcelain tiles

These stunning Malmo Willow Leaf tiles from Fired Earth are made using clever production techniques. While they have the appearance of marble, they are made from recycled glass and then coloured using a state-of-the-art inkjet printing process.

Malmo Willow Leaf tiles from Fired Earth

Tiles don’t need to be straight

When I looked at the interior design trends for 2020 in a blog in January, I discussed Art Deco and the return of curves everywhere. Tile trends are no exception, with scalloped fish scales, circles and teardrop shapes selling fast. Topps Tiles announced their 2020 tile of the year as Syren in Midnight Blue. Syren’s dramatic sea colour and shape are bang on trend not just in terms of its Art Deco roots but also its nod to nature as an inspiration, another trend I highlighted. The scalloped shape can be laid upright, facing down or even sideways like fishtails. While they can be cut to finish to a straight edge, they can also be left open for a more visually arresting finish. In dark, glossy finishes like this, a standout contrasting grout makes the scalloped pattern pop even more.

Some design trends and no doubt future ones, will rely on or be focused around the tile detail. Think of the vogue for the Moroccan, North African vibe and how lost it would be without their hand-finished artisan tiles. Or where the glam, opulent bathroom trend would be with only white square tiles to play with. With tile tech meaning organic designs and textures are easy to produce and able to react to colour trends in design, tiles will never be an afterthought again. We certainly can’t wait to see where they go next.

I hope you have enjoyed our look at how tiles are used in interior design today. If you would like to incorporate some of these tile designs into your interiors please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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