Preview 2019’s Top Tile Trends For American Homes
If you didn’t make it to Valencia, Spain last month and won’t be able to visit Bologna, Italy in September, you can still catch the latest tile trends in Orlando less than two weeks from now. That’s when the global tile industry gathers in North America for the massive Coverings industry expo. You’ll see artisanal and advanced production tiles from more than 40 countries – including top American brands and Spanish and Italian industry leaders – and see the latest styles in person. Here’s a preview of the trends being showcased there:
Graphics continue to excite those seeking more eclectic looks. This fits the trend of homeowners wanting to personalize their space. With so many exposed to global styles online and through travel, it isn’t surprising that they would show up in a material as widely used as tile. Among those graphics are florals, leaves and other nature-inspired elements. (Nature was a strong trend at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show last month, as well.) The European expos are bolder than we’re likely to see here, with their tile murals featuring nude goddesses and dramatic street art. Still, the trend is toward creative home style expression, rather than Realtor-loving neutrals.
Retro styles, also seen throughout the KBIS in February, are being rendered in tile. Look for collections inspired by the art deco movement, cement tiles and terrazzo to show up in residential offerings. This is not a new trend, but it continues to be a strong one, and not just in traditionally-styled homes. Many designers are selecting retro tiles for contemporary and eclectic rooms, especially kitchens and baths.
Bright and colorful looks, on display at KBIS last month in faucets, bathtubs and appliances, are showing up in tile, as well. You’ll see it in pops of color, modern mosaics and glossy finishes. Once relegated mostly to accents in neutral backgrounds, vibrant tiles are showing up in full-height backsplashes and feature walls.
Great imitators will continue to beg shares of the markets for natural stone, wood, concrete and brick with increasingly sophisticated production techniques. Natural stone is the largest target for porcelain, and numerous manufacturers are creating large format tiles that offer the look of marble without its cost and maintenance drawbacks.
New dimensions are constantly being presented, with fresh possibilities for pavers, countertops, shower walls and building facades, among others. Europeans have long used tiles in more ways than Americans, but these new thicknesses and increased heights and widths encourage more experimentation by design and construction professionals. Tiles can become headboards, accent walls, home exteriors and cabinet fronts. The latter have been spotted at KBIS and European design expos, and are starting to gain fans in the U.S. for their durability, easy care and design flexibility. (Global hardware manufacturers are now making new hinges to accommodate these thinner door types.)
Textures and dimensionality offer yet another way to add visual interest to a space, and are being offered in tile. Both can add subtle intrigue to monochromatic and minimalist décor, and offer fans of contemporary design a tool to distinguish their rooms without visual noise.
Coverings will take place from April 9 through 12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Admission is free to members of the building and design trades, including bloggers and journalists. Coverings ambassador, designer Alena Capra contributed her trend insights to the information shared in this preview.