New designs, styles and technologies are making tile the most versatile and accessible flooring material in homes today. Whether tiling up a wall or carrying tile throughout the home, many builders, designers and homeowners are thinking outside the box when it comes to this trend, says The Tile Shop, purveyor of tile and natural stone at more than 100 retail showrooms across the country.
"Tile has always been durable and easy to maintain," says Kevin McDaniel of The Tile Shop. "Tile has a long lifespan and classic good looks, making it a favorite flooring of choice wherever homeowners need a floor material that's both practical and beautiful. Even more design options are available now, making tile a smart floor surface in virtually any room of the home."
If you’re thinking of renovating your home, try incorporating some of these innovative tile trends in your home.
Rustic, Real Wood
Many of the larger-format, faux wood tiles mimic the look of real hardwood floors. Less expensive and more durable than real wood, these tile floors are practical yet beautiful choices for active households with children and pets. Details evoke the character of real wood, right down to the nails.
"Rustic faux wood is making a huge splash because of its warm, earthy coloring and unusual time-worn finishes such as aged paint, which is difficult to achieve with real wood. I foresee it continuing to be a very popular design trend," McDaniel says.
While standard square tile sizes will always have their place in home decor, rectangular tiles - otherwise known as planks - are gaining popularity. New 12-by-24-inch tiles are ideal in bathrooms. In addition, 6-by-36-inch tiles or 8-inch by 8-feet planks (often in wood-grained looks) are a favorite for living areas.
"Using longer planks can help smaller spaces look larger, and create an appealing consistency across multiple rooms," says McDaniel. "While consumers may be familiar with traditional tile shapes such as square or hexagon, these longer tiles offer exciting new design flexibility."
Concrete is a trendy design material right now, but it's not practical for every household or application. New tile styles create the look of poured or stained concrete at a fraction of the cost, and they include all the durability, versatility and ease associated with tile. Tile options range from long rectangular 8-by-18-inch or 12-by-24-inch planks to 18-by-18-inch squares. Tiles are rectified (the edge is cut completely straight) and grout joints are very narrow to create the look of seamless concrete.
While heated floors were once a luxury option for homeowners, they're becoming increasingly mainstream. Tile lends itself to radiant heat beneath the floor. Some retailers even carry thermostats to control the heated floor.
Using a high-contrast grout color can make the floor pop, and it's a tactic that works well with mosaic designs. Choosing the right grout color is just as important as the tile you select. Also popular is the concept of mosaic designs that mimic an area rug within a larger section of tile flooring. It creates the look of custom art within the floor.