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Ten top tile trends for new home builds

Excellence in floor and wall coverings is being boosted enormously by technology. Manufacturers are using new cutting-edge production techniques to imitate the look of natural materials at very cost-effective pricing. This means that homeowners now have an even greater range of tile colours, textures and patterns to choose from to transform a room from something good into something great.

Whether it’s by reviving old favourites or experimenting with new styles, the tile design world is bursting with a range of fascinating trends. If you’re building a new home and looking for inspiration, here’s our breakdown of the top tile trends for 2018.

1. Large format tiles

‘The bigger the better’ seems to be a popular approach to tiles in new builds this year. Large tile slabs that cover floors, kitchen benches and even walls are trending, creating a sophisticated modern look. Oversized tiles offer a seamless finish and the limited use of grout offers a uniform look that lets objects stand out when placed against it.

2. 3D tiles

In 2018, it is perhaps unsurprising that 3D tiles have taken off as an indoor trend. Often used as a feature wall, 3D tiles can truly feel like a piece of artwork in your home. Guests won’t be able to ignore them, nor resist running their fingers along to feel their texture.

3. Wood effect tiles

As wood printing techniques improve, wood effect tiles are becoming increasingly popular. While solid wood floors can be prone to scratches and everyday wear and tear, wood printed tiles provide the aesthetic appeal without the high maintenance.

Wood effect tiles are also incredibly versatile. Though the classic polished wooden plank look is always a sophisticated option, reclaimed wood tiles are also starting to emerge as a trend. The reclaimed look brings together different, seemingly mismatched pieces of old wood to create a charming, rustic effect. The natural look gives bathrooms a tranquil, spa-like quality.

4. Outdoor/indoor flow

With many people today using their outdoor space as a place to entertain and relax, complementary indoor and outdoor tiles can create a sense of unity and flow. This is best achieved with porcelain tiles, as their resistance to moisture and durability means they can handle both indoor and outdoor settings.

5. Terrazzo

Terrazzo is made by laying chips (usually of marble, quartz or granite) in concrete, creating a distinct mottled, or speckled, effect. Because the chips can vary in size, colour and material, terrazzo – first created in the 16th century – offers a diverse range of creative possibilities, which may account for its newfound resurgence in interior design. It was highlighted as a major trend at the 2017 London Design Festival and has since made it has way into everything from kitchen slabs to staircases.

6. Geometric shapes

Geometric tiles are a great way to add a point of interest and give extra dimension to a room, making them increasingly popular in new kitchens and bathrooms. In particular, hexagonal shaped tiles are being used as a stylish alternative to traditional rectangular styles. These are trending in larger formats, as well as smaller scale styles such as the penny or trapezoid tile.

7. Herringbone tiles

Herringbone-patterned tiles seem to have the perfect balance in creating a timeless, yet striking, look. A major selling point is their versatility and ability to inject a sophisticated look to walls or floors. Create a subtle effect through uniform, neutral hues, or make a bold statement by mixing and matching different colours.

8. Marble & marble effect tiles

Marble tiles were a major trend of 2017 and their popularity doesn’t seem to be going away. As a natural stone tile, marble connects us to the outdoors while feeling luxurious at the same time.

In particular, the clean, seamless look of large format marble tiles is trending. Marble mosaics also look set to grow in popularity, with designers experimenting with using marble in other fashionable styles such as the herringbone and hexagon. The marble trend is further helped by the emergence of marble effect ceramic tiles, which are increasingly being selected as an affordable alternative in new homes.

9. Encaustic tiles

Encaustic tiles (also known as Moroccan or Spanish tiles) are a style of ceramic tile where the surface is not a product of the glaze, but rather the different colours of clay. The clays are inlaid to create the elaborate patterns, then fired. In contrast to the minimalism of the subway tile, encaustic tiles are bringing back the beauty found in patterns. Renowned for their elaborate and often intricate designs, they are popular as an accent in the bathroom or kitchen, or as a captivating floor tile option.

10. Subway tile variations

While the subway tile look isn’t likely to go away any time soon, it is starting to be experimented with. The colourful subway tile is a great riff on this trend, and textured subway tiles offer a fresh take too. Both of these options add extra personality to this old favourite. Alternatively, a coloured grout is also a great way to inject interest into subway tiles.

If monochrome is preferred, however, another trending option is to go for a black tile rather than the conventional white. This gives a subtle sense of drama to an otherwise minimalist look.

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