I’m always a bit hesitant to use the word ‘trends’; it lacks longevity and I always like to think our tiles will still look fabulous in years to come. Another problem, is whilst we always talk about trends, they can take a while to filter into the mainstream, in fact it can be a couple of years before these trends hit reality and by then then trendsetters are on to the next big thing! Also it’s rare that trends are actually ‘new’ per se. Trends kind of do loops and return from eras gone by, albeit often with a modern twist.
Now I’ve got that ‘trend’ hang-up off my chest, here’s my thoughts on what we’ll be wanting more of in 2018.
Definitely not a new trend but one we still can’t get enough of. Apparently ‘Spa Bathrooms’ is a top Pinterest search and marble tiles fit this look perfectly. Previously seen as too extravagant and perhaps only suited to luxury hotels, marble is now accessible to all. Small, slender marble bricks that can be laid in herringbone (especially in Carrara) are particularly desirable right now. We’ll also see more decorative marble mosaics hitting the bathroom design scene this year, from stylish scallops and chevrons to hexagons and penny-rounds. In terms of surface finish its definitely matt over polished. A smooth matt or ‘honed’ finish gives amore sophisticated feel and allows the material speak for itself.
Nobody wants lifeless looking tiles do they? From subtle surface texture to richly embossed tiles, texture is defining the way in 2018. Adding a tactile element to a hard surface creates a softness and a feeling of nostalgia and individuality. For eye-catching feature walls, stylish bathroom tiling or kitchen splash backs, they will undoubtedly add character.
‘Blending indoor and outdoor spaces’, ‘the garden is an extension of your home’…okay so I’m sure you’re familiar with this idea and isn’t a cheeky glass of vino on the patio the best thing on a summers evening after a long day in work? Hard surfaces surrounding a property are essential and natural stone offers options from cobbles to flagstones. However for a truly seamless surface, 2018 is all about the use of Porcelain from inside to out. New collections have been designed specifically to allow for continuity of size and finish from inside to out and there’s also plenty of choice. Not forgetting that full-bodied porcelain tiles are exceptionally hard-wearing as well as being available with high anti-slip resistance and in minimal thicknesses yet large format.
The traditional subway tile has been our ‘go-to’ tile for decades now but who doesn’t like to add a little creativity. We’ve touched on it already, but standard subways have turned longer and leaner, I like to call them ‘brickettes’. But these brickettes look far more stylish laid herringbone or for a more contemporary feel lay brick tiles vertically and stack in straight lines. Hexagon tiles haven’t quite had their day, but we’re moving on to more unusual shapes such as triangles and stars. It’s not all about geometric though, as softer shapes such as scallops and circles create a more feminine feel.
Why Bigger Isn’t Better
Now I’m not underestimating quite how impressive say a faux marble, porcelain panel looks but there’s just something a little soulless about huge tiles, for me anyway. I understand the practicalities too, less grouting to keep clean but I do think smaller formats ooze character. As well as brickettes, I think this year we’ll see the standard square 10x10cm making a come back. Mosaics too, in marble or more slightly retro porcelain ones, will give the illusion of texture creating an interesting surface all round.
Is beige making a come back? Well I don’t think so but move over grey and white as 2018’s shades are modern and simplistic but with a little warmth. These include calming tones of sage green, powdery peach, sultry blue with a dash of cinnamon. There’s a desire to bring colour into interiors but we don’t want it to be over-whelming. These mellow shades are the perfect choice, and team with a smudge of grey and some rich metallics for the perfect balance. And move over black, it’s navy we’re after this year.