Tile is never going out of style. “For hundreds of years European, Middle Eastern and Asian countries have used tile as a major design and functional element because of its durability and beauty,” says Gina Caputo of Caputo Design, Stone & Tile. “Today, with the modern twist in technology, we are seeing water jet and high-definition porcelains create modern looks to an old architectural element.”
With so many options available, it can be sometimes difficult to settle on one style. Choose your favorite design elements based on your personal taste and lifestyle needs, but take your time to explore different options and reach out to professionals. There are more options than what’s available at big box stores; try a local tile retailer that offers a greater selection of designer options and personal attention. “Think outside of the box!” adds Caputo.
White Never Ages
“I see a lot of people wanting clean white rooms with white marble like Carrara and white subway tile that is easy to care for and not fussy,” says Caputo. White subway tiles never go out of style, so sometimes the best trend is the one that lasts. But there are ways to modernize the look. “A herringbone accent above the range or something like a larger subway tile with a beveled edge [allows] you to dress it up a little but still keep a clean and simple look,” says Laura Siegmund, Partner at Midtown Custom Homes.
Outlets Out of Sight
When you spend a small fortune on beautiful tiles, why destroy them with unsightly outlets? Caputo advises installing outlet strips under the cabinets, especially when you have an intricate pattern. Siegmund agrees: a power strip doesn’t distract from the style and provides the functionality you need in a kitchen.
Bigger is Better
Industry trends are starting to move away from smaller, mosaic styles to larger (easier to clean) tiles in 24 in. x 24 in. square or 18 in. x 36 in. rectangular shapes. The larger format also lends itself to styles that appear to look like hardwood flooring. “Wood looks are very prevalent and have many features that real wood cannot offer,” says Greg Royle, Branch Manager of Florida Tile. The products are water resistant, more durable and cost less. This trend has been huge in Europe for the last few years, and it’s finally making its way to America. “In the Raleigh market in particular the shift has been to a more contemporary look,” adds Royle.
Play with Grout Color
Stain resistant grouts in a myriad of colors offer new ways to add interest to tilework. Caputo says new trends “harmonize the colors” but you can also go bold and choose a contrasting color to make a design statement. “Whatever you do, have fun with it, choose something you like, but also make sure it’s something you can sell in the future,” says Siegmund.