We know our customers are a pretty stylish bunch, so it’s important to keep you all up to date with the latest going-ons in the wonderful world of tiles. And with a little heatwave hitting the UK, what better time to show you the hottest tile trends for summer ’16?
One thing that’s certain is that if you’re looking to update your home, you’re in luck – tiles have never looked this good! Not so long ago, every other tile seemed to be either beige or grey. Some were even ‘greige’ – the lovechild of the two, just to be different.
And much as we love our neutrals, there were times when we pined for a little more character and colour. Someone somewhere heard our call and these days, there’s an incredible amount of different designs, in all manner of shapes and sizes.
But don’t worry, we’ve gone through all these tiles so you don’t have to. From timber to texture, herringbones to hexagons; we’ll take you through what’s hot and what’s not, to make sure your new room has the latest designer look.
Hear the words ‘brick tiles’ and you’re likely to think of the ubiquitous white metro tile. Not any more! As Bob Dylan once sung, ‘The Times They Are A Changing’ and this year, brick tiles has come to mean tiles that actually, er, look like brick.
The popularity of these porcelain tiles isn’t that surprising. After all, who doesn’t love the raw appeal of an exposed brick wall? However, exposing the building blocks of your home isn’t that easy – it’s a messy job and there’s no guarantee your bricks will look any good, not to mention they’re unsuitable for many areas of the home. That where these porcelain replicas really come into their own. They’re easy to install, totally waterproof (so great for wetroom feature walls) and best of all, can be used on any wall or floor, inside or out.
Sometimes, it’s a funny old world. The humble herringbone has been a staple of the design world for centuries – just think of your favourite throw or the parquet floor in a stately home – but it’s been curiously missing from the world of tiles for far too long. Thankfully, those days are gone!
This year, we’ve seen a number of smaller format designs that are just perfect for laying with the classic right angle. After years of tiles getting ever larger, maybe we’ve reached ‘peak size’ – it certainly seems quite a few of you are yearning for dinky rectangles.
Of course, wood planks such as our Herringbone Brown naturally lend themselves to this pattern, but it’s also being used with other finishes, such as brick and marble looking tiles. We love the oh-so-chic chevron style of Antique Marble – it adds a touch of extra detail to any interior space.
If last year was the breakthrough for hexagon tiles, then 2016 is the year they went mainstream. No longer content with sitting on the sidelines, the six-sided shape seems to be on everyone’s wish lists these days. And we’re not surprised, the geometric pattern has been used in interior design for years, so it was only a matter of time before it took over tiles.
And what a take-over! The first hexagon tiles kept things simple – take a look at the monocolour wonders that make up our Kaleido range – but now they’re available in almost any style. There’s something for everyone, from patchwork Moroccan-style honeycombs, to Persian style motifs and of course, cute little mosaics that are just wonderful for wetroom floors.
What is there to say about grey floor tiles that hasn’t already been said?
Probably not much, given that they’re easily the most popular tile around. In-fact, as Mark Twain might say, reports of the death of grey tiles ‘have been greatly exaggerated’ and their popularity keeps on growing. If there’s anything concrete in life, it’s that grey is here to stay.
Perhaps that’s due to the ever-more sophisticated styles of grey – we’re looking at you, Mr Bistrot. Or maybe it’s because, from rippled subway to extra large cement-style slabs, the subtle shades just work perfectly with today’s modern kitchens and contemporary bathrooms?
Ok, we know it’s not particularly novel to say that wood tiles are a hot trend – they’ve been incredibly popular since manufacturers first got to grips with digital printing a couple of years ago. But this year we’ve noticed a marked shift towards more traditional timbers, from both factories and customers alike.
To us, the reason for this shift is pretty apparent. Producers have tinkered around with timber tiles, and now the time’s come to show how good their porcelain planks really are. And boy, are they good – whether it’s the rawness of Rustic Wood Grey or the comforting charm of Orchard Warm Oak, why wouldn’t you go for something this beautiful if you had the choice? And to top it off, these new planks are available in different widths to add to their rustic nature.
There’s no time for sitting on the fence when it comes to feature walls, you either love them or loathe them. But if you sit in the former camp then rejoice – after years of being neglected as minimalist design schemes took over, they’re making a swift comeback.
However this time round things are a little different. Gone are the bright paints and flock patterns of yesteryear, and in their place are sophisticated shapes and tactile textures. We’ve noticed a surge in sales of some of our more understated decorative tiles such as Cube Mix Hex and the Decor range; it seems like our customers are creating flirty walls that catch the eye but never dominate the space.
Over the past few years, retro style has been one of the top trends in the design world. Who hasn’t got a ‘Keep Calm’ mug on their desk or a pretty polka dot pattern somewhere in the kitchen? And when it comes to tiles, plenty of us are taking a trip down memory lane.
After all, why have something cold and sterile for your new kitchen or bathroom when you can choose to have tiles full of age-old character? Whether it’s patterned pieces with a deliberate rustic finish or glazed wall tiles that look handmade, we predict that the fashion for tiles with a story to tell will continue for a long time.