Trends In Tile: Making Your Installation Unique

When it comes to choosing materials for your home, there’s the fun stuff, and then the mundane, but necessary projects. Paint colors, light fixtures, and furnishings fall under the “exciting options” category since you get so much more freedom to play around with design. But picking out tile? That’s just about practicality, right? Wrong. There’s been quite a bit of buzz about tile in the design world lately: there are more unique options than ever before! A beautiful tile can complete the look of a room or even function as that main, head-turning focal point your neighbors will be envious of.


If you look back over all the different style and color choices of the past you will notice a couple of things:
1. Tile shades remained white or lighter shades of color.
2. What people chose to decorate their homes with has always been a way to differentiate their style from their neighbors, while still maintaining a livable design and look. They wanted it to be different, but not so different as to make their home unsellable.
3. There has been a consistent move toward patterns and textures which is now on the rise. At first it was the incorporation of differently colored tiles interspersed throughout the sterile white installations. Then trendy colors became more common. Some even began being produced with speckles in the glaze to give the tile depth and feel.

The move toward natural stone has really brought texture and feel to the forefront. The popularity of travertine is a large part of this move. Every piece of natural stone is different. Travertine, with its large amount of fissures and holes adds a great deal of texture and depth to an installation. While granite and marble both have natural colors and striations which add to this, travertine has that coveted feel to it as well.


Currently the popular aspects of design are lighter or earth tones. Texture, feel and depth all play a large role in preferred designs and people are always looking for that one little, subtle aspect that really sets their room apart from all the others and takes the aesthetic to the next level.

What’s next in tile style?
The texture and feel aspect of tile installations will continue to grow and become an even larger factor in design choices. Other than simply the feel of the tile itself, the manner in which the tile is manufactured or fabricated will also begin to make more of an impact on the tile design itself.


Since travertine became commonplace and readily available the demand for it has exploded. While the shades and colors found in travertines are available with many manufactured products, it was the actual, physical feel of travertine which differentiated it from the others.

Manufacturers are innovating the trend by creating 3D tile mosaics in several textures with height and angles rather than simply a flat plane. They can have sharp, angled cutbacks or rounded tops like a river stone. As you run your hand over them they have several different levels of depth.

With continuously evolving technologies, companies are able to create ceramic tiles with three dimensional folds, wavy ridges, raised geometry and asymmetrical profiles. Fitting these tiles together creates a three dimensional wall with a seamless sculpted surface that draws the eye.

This year there was also a warmth to tiles, lending a softness to the hard surface. From designs with distressed and tactile effects (sandblasted marble, stripped wood and fabric) to warm shades, watercolor and velvety textures, it is a welcome reprieve from the minimal aesthetic of recent years.


For over one hundred years, rectangular and square tile have been the bulk of what has been available and accepted. That is beginning to change.

There’s now a porcelain-tile dupe for nearly any wood floor—from heart pine so shiny you can admire your reflection in it to white-washed salvaged wood with faux nailheads—but classic herringbone treatment has as much stylish staying power as it has durability.


Drawing inspiration from the age-old chevron pattern, designers dress up floors and walls with these porcelains. Designers are innovating traditional chevron and herringbone patterns with more unique materials, like stone, brick resin and painted wood across all scales.

Unusual shapes, something unexpected like circular glass tiles, are becoming popular and the availability continues to rise. Tile manufacturers are starting to get back to the ’tile as art’ frame of mind and are producing different, unusual and specialty tile which don’t conform to everyone else’s idea of what tile should be. While they are mostly used as an accent tile or band through a traditional tile installation, these very different tiles add pop to an otherwise normal space.

Another interesting tile trend incorporates colorful fragmented geometric patterns to produce large kaleidoscopic compositions.



The current, most popular designs incorporate cool, earth tones or a marine palette of greens and blues. They are readily available, match nearly any decor, have hundreds of variations and are simply comfortable. Coupled with that special mosaic band or insert these can create a truly one-of-a-kind installation while remaining functional and livable.

Neutral has always been in, and will continue to be so long as tile is being used for interior surface coverings. When you walk into a bathroom with neutral flooring you will hardly ever notice it right away. Try to take this up a notch by incorporating one special, unique design aspect like a specialty tile or an unusual glass tile running through the center of the installation.

Street and pop art are having a direct influence on the future of tile design, turning your floors into vivid object d’art!


While unique is fairly easily accomplished it must also be livable and comfortable. With some good research, and a solid plan to stay true to your tastes, you can have all three.

The struggle to differentiate your particular installation from everyone else’s will continue – it’s human nature. It should however be accomplished in a way that does not stray too far from the normal styles and colors, but should incorporate one very original aspect which makes it your own. Find a nice, cool toned tile which is readily available then search to the ends of the earth for that one very special thing!

Actually, you don’t need to look that far, check out Floors For Less for the best choices in tile in Madison and get a free consultation to upgrade your home today!