Wednesday 23 January 2019

Tile trends... the must-have feature this year

On walls and floors and everywhere in between, tiles are the must-have feature of 2018

Original style
Woodchip and Magnolia
Lime Lace
Hidraulik Tiles
Halo Tiles and Bathrooms

Caroline Foran

This year will be the year of the tile; mark my words. No longer the reserve of the en-suite or utilised for their wipeable nature alone, tiles are the ultimate decor statement.

Whether it's wood-effect tiles on the floor (yes, like the ones with which Majella O'Donnell annoyed Dermot Bannon on Room to Improve), a particular design to zone an open-plan space or a honeycomb feature on a wall, tiles are to 2018 what wallpaper was to the '80s. When it comes to a tiling job well done, recruit a professional tradesman (or woman); tiling is not something you want to DIY. That said, you still have the tile-choosing challenge with which to contend. Will you go bold with colour? Will you get creative with shapes? And what about the texture? Will you stick with gloss or embrace a matte finish? From faux-brick style tiles to chevron to 3D geometric options, gone are the days when you merely chose between varying shades of grey with white grouting in between. Here, we explore tile trends to consider for your next home improvement project. 


Hexagonal honeycomb tiles will take the lead this year in terms of shape. This particular style - in a variety of colours - is best used in smaller amounts. Rather than tile floor to ceiling with honeycomb, which might be somewhat headache-inducing, this is ideal for the space in between your kitchen units or for a feature above your bathroom sink.


Can't afford the real deal? Marble effect tiles are a great alternative if you want to create a luxe feature, particularly in a bathroom. With a matte marble tile and brass accessories, you will achieve instant luxury; the metallics of your taps and bathroom mirror will pop against the matte marble backdrop. Choose large rectangular marble-effect tiles if you want to create the appearance of a genuine slab of marble. Or, get creative with shapes and try a marble-style tile laid out in a chevron pattern. The zigzag of tiles will add even more individuality.


Original style

In terms of dominant decor trends this year, we're taking our lead not from the Scandinavians but from the Japanese with their interior philosophy called 'Wabi Sabi'. This trend is all about working with what you've got and stripping things right back to their natural state with rustic colour palettes. Hence, the rise of the terracotta tile. This also ties in the re-emerging 1970s trend. Either opt for terracotta-coloured tiles with a matte finish (to tie in with the raw, pared-back nature of Wabi Sabi) or go for real terracotta cladding.


Woodchip and Magnolia

Moving away from mosaics, and penny-style tiles, a grid of tiles laid in Tetris-style (in patterns like those of the classic computer game) is clean and functional and, again, reminiscent of the 1970s. To keep things contemporary, choose a rougher texture and experiment with multiple colours within the same palette. Mixing colours is definitely for the more adventurous among us, but if you make this the dominant feature within a room, keeping everything else low-key, it won't be overwhelming.


Lime Lace

These are more textured than the subway tiles you'll find in most NYC-inspired bars and restaurants. They're not glossy but rough and ready like a slab of brick. This tile trend is certainly for the more industrially inclined, but it can be balanced nicely with softer colours and textures elsewhere. The exposed red brick tile has been increasing in popularity - as a convenient solution where a genuine brick wall does not exist - but for a more contemporary take on things, try raw concrete-coloured tiles with dark grouting or vice versa.


Hidraulik Tiles

Another strong trend for 2018 is what tile experts are calling 'rugging'. This is where you create a distinction on your floor with a statement tiled section surrounded by wood or more muted tiles. It has the same effect as a rug and is also very helpful when trying to zone a room.

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