If it’s been a while since you’ve been in a tile store, prepare yourself — there are a lot of new looks in the world of tiles.
First and foremost, wildly popular glass tiles are popping up all over the place. And why not? They reflect light instead of absorbing it, and create a feeling of brightness and radiance.
Whether you prefer a smooth, shiny look, or a more textured, frosted or opaque look, glass tile is available in a dizzying range of colours.
We love the iridescent glass tiles for an earthy look. And from a practical point of view, glass is great because it does not absorb liquids and remains free from mould and mildew.
Glass tiles often create a sleek feel that’s great in a contemporary space. But some types, such as beautiful glass tile mosaic, can look smashing in any kind of vertical space.
Dramatic colour combinations — a cream, brown, and tan combination, or a grey, light blue and dark blue combination, can add a lovely punch of colour. Mosaic combinations with frosted glass pieces also tend to be more flexible in terms of look.
Subway-style tiles in single colours add a glowing, elegant touch to any room, including around a fireplace, or in kitchens or bathrooms. Large glass panels are new, and can look fantastic as a kitchen backsplash or in other places where a sleek, shiny, elegant look is a must.
In terms of tile shapes, the long, narrow tile, or “strip cladding” is showing up all over the place, mixed with tiles of the same type but in different shapes. In fact, using tiles of different shapes together is infinitely flexible, because patterns of all types become possible, whether it is a basket weave, herringbone, pinwheel or any other possibility. The shape of tiles can also vary greatly, and can include big squares of up to two feet, rectangular tiles, smaller squares or mosaics.
Another type of tile that is starting to appear with increasing frequency is a stainless steel tile, particularly as an accent decorative tile in a kitchen backsplash. These tiles are a fraction of the weight of solid metal, and can be installed in a variety of different shapes including diamonds, slats, or even a herringbone or basket weave pattern.
Other interesting developments include tiles that look like wood, grass or fabric. Tiles that look like they contain pebbles or small stones have also started appearing.
Another development is that tiles are starting to feature other non-ceramic elements, such as metal, glass or wood.
Whichever way you look at it, there is a world of new and exciting possibilities in the tiling universe. Take advantage of it if you are in the market for tile right now.
Tammy Schnurr and Jeffrey Fisher are hosts of Arresting Design on W Network. Tammy is an interior decorator. Jeffrey designs home furnishings and bedding through his company Jeffrey Fisher Home.