As we approach the end of another year, designers are thinking about what the most popular trends will be among consumers as they design homes for 2017. When it comes to tile, the hottest trends for 2017 offer buyers a number of unique finish options for any kind of style, from “gritty chic” to “rustic modern.”
Cersaie, the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, was held in Bologna, Italy this past September, and showcased the latest tile products from over 800 companies. Ceramics of Italy, an Italian-based firm that represents over 200 ceramic production companies, highlighted the top ten tile trends from the show that builders and designers should watch as they head into the new year. New textures and unusual aesthetics, such as faux wood tiles with a twist, retro patterns, and metallics, emerged as design styles that buyers will be looking for in 2017.
Wood continues to serve as a major muse for the tile industry, with companies adding their own twist and utilizing new production methods to create a whole new type of finish. Some are inspired by exotic woods and offer a sustainable alternative to rare hardwoods, while others recreate the warmth and imperfections of wood in varied patterns and three-dimensional tiles that can be hard to achieve with real timber.
Manufacturers are utilizing new textures to define this year's tile trends. Designs range from lace, macramé, linen and madras to masculine suiting fabrics, leather, tweed and tartan. Whether woven, knitted, knotted, or layered, the designs add another tactile element to the hard surface.
Many companies are introducing collections characterized by a random assortment of fragmented pieces that together create an eclectic and playful visual. Some of the designs are inspired by natural stone while others convey a sense of pieced-together art such as Venetian terrazzo and irregular stone mosaics.
Black and Blue
Striking black matte finishes are making their way into home design this year, emerging everywhere from kitchen and bath appliances and hardware to tile. Meanwhile, blue is taking the tile industry by storm, expanding beyond last year’s marine palette to include dusty, vibrant, and sophisticated hues of blue.
Tile companies continue to experiment with plaster, concrete, metal and resin to add a subtle edge to interiors. Some designs are elegant and sophisticated interpretations of industrial style, while others are intentionally corroded and weathered.
Authentic marble can have a number of headaches associated with sourcing and installation. Thus, porcelain tiles with a marble design have become popular among builders who want a product that’s easier to work with. Porcelain tiles are stain, scratch and chemical resistant, and provide a low maintenance and low cost alternative to marble. Companies are producing these tiles in sizes up to 5.25’ x 10.5’ and thicknesses ranging from a typical tile thickness of 10mm for heavy traffic floors to super thin ceramics that can be used to cover doors, furnishings and walls.
With metallics’ growing popularity beyond product design and into the built environment, tile companies are adding more metallics to the mix. Key colors are bronze, platinum and gold, often acting as decorative accents to add an extra touch to collections inspired by natural materials.
Tile companies are borrowing elements from the past and infusing them with contemporary touches to create a new revived retro design that’s all its own. Historical movements have influenced the trend, such as the art deco period, and have led designers to create elegant and bold patterns.
Adding a new twist to country style, wood, stone, brick and cotto are fused with modern hues and patterns to blend farmhouse charm with modern elegance. Antique stone with metallic accents, terracotta in quatrefoil shapes, and geometric patterns overlaid onto distressed wood planks are just a few of the ways tile companies are bringing this trend to the market.
Some tiles combine the tactile appeal of wallpaper with the durability of ceramic. From large, thin porcelain tile panels and mesh-mounted mosaics to patterns that traverse a single tile's dimensions, Italian manufacturers are giving designers the tools to create a seamless surface.