Wood-look tiles in an open-plan kitchen/family room

Home & Garden

6 Statement Tiles to Transform the Home

Here are the latest trends to go from ho-hum to hot.

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Fans of the home-renovation shows on HGTV have seen the astonishing transformative power of the utilitarian tile. 

This fabulous feature can work wonders in your own home as well: Revamp boring walls and floors with gorgeous new tiles and see first-hand how they add depth, pizzazz and visual intrigue to a space. 

Bree Wellons, interior designer and owner of Adorn Goods in Centerville, says, “Tile can make or break a room. In powder rooms, I like to go bold on tile selections. They are typically small spaces and it’s fun to see a really unique tile design. In kitchens I tend to stay more timeless and traditional. Bar backsplashes are fun spaces to do something different and moody.” 

Here are six hot tile trends to try: 

Fish scale tiles
Fish scale tiles

Fish Scale 

Fish scale tiles, also known as mermaid tiles, fan tiles or scallop tiles, are currently all the rage. Why? Because they’re eye-catching, ornate, unusual and add an element of dimension. In white or grey, this tile is perfect as a subtle accent wall in a modern kitchen. To spice up a bathroom, choose a bold mosaic in your favorite hue. For a unique look somewhere unexpected, use fish scales in your laundry room in the place of wainscoting. Apprehensive about completely committing to the look? Opt for fish scale tiles on an island or breakfast bar. 

Wood-Look 

Kate Groves, owner of Studio 882 Furniture and Design in Glen Mills, says, “Wood-look tile is one of the largest and fastest growing tile segments this year. With advancing technology, they are more realistic than ever before. They offer the look of hardwood, but the same durability of ceramic and porcelain tile products. It’s a popular choice for high-traffic areas like mudrooms and kitchens. 

While the popularity of traditional rectangular plank tiles is obvious, we’re seeing wood-look tiles really gaining popularity in interesting shapes like hexagons and mosaics. Technology has also come a long way in replicating saw marks and hand-scrapped and other aged looks, so homeowners can find great wood-like tile options with depth of character.”

An arabesque bathroom floor
An arabesque bathroom floor

Arabesque

Detailed and lavish, arabesque tile will bring intricate style and unique flourish to any room. Arabesque tile in a bold color gives rooms a rich and exotic vibe; for understated sophistication, choose neutrals instead. If you want just a touch of arabesque, this tile can be paired with a simpler design in the same hue for a subtle pop. Think: white subway tile on shower walls with white arabesque tile in recessed niches. 

Terracotta

Terracotta brings warmth and Mediterranean charm to any space. Laurel & Wolf Interior Design says, “The terracotta of today tends to have a more natural, matte finish than the ever-popular border tiles often used in the ’80s. But even if your tiles are left over from days gone by, they feel fresh when mixed with other earthy tones and materials.” Terracotta gives a rustic vibe to a kitchen and allows for stylish transitions between the interior and exterior of a home. 

Subway

First seen in New York City subways in 1904, this clean, bright and classic tile is just as modern and timeless as it was when it debuted. Easy to maintain and reminiscent of turn-of-the-last-century elegance, there’s no question as to why this tile has stood the test of time. It’s versatile, combining well with many styles, and will keep your home looking fresh and up-to-date, no matter the decade. 

Honeycomb tiles on a kitchen backsplash
Honeycomb tiles on a kitchen backsplash

Wilmington-based interior designer Jessica Farnan says, “white subway tile still remains most popular, but try the tile in a different finish like antique mirror, tumbled stone or colored glass. To create a fun, more contemporary look, pair the white subway tile with a darker grout color

like charcoal or a deep navy.” 

Honeycomb 

The preferred shape of the honeybee, honeycomb tile or hexagon tile, is a fan favorite to more than our honey-making friends. Geometrically perfect, the hexagon leaves no waste surrounding it, fitting perfectly together on each flat side with other hexagons, providing strength and symmetry. 

To give walls and floors a subtle yet dynamic look, choose white or neutral tiles; the shape will draw the eye on its own. For more zest, place decorative or bright accent tiles into the design. Available in many sizes, honeycomb tile will add a creative element to any room. 

The Hunt Fall 2017  Issue

This article was published in Home & Garden from the Fall 2017 issue.
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