tile design

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Tile trends continue to expand in a number of ways. Wood-look tile for floors and walls remains very popular, and many suggest it is tied to the homeowner interest in the reclaimed lumber look.

As far as design and style, the wood-look goes with everything from rustic to the cleanest contemporary and it is the tie that binds different styles together in an eclectic whole. It can be used for an urban loft as easily as it can be used in a traditional kitchen.

In addition, homeowners will find wood grain tile in both more traditional and completely surprising shapes and sizes this year. Shorter, narrower planks that were popular in the mid-century modern era are back. Daltile’s 4-in. x 28-in. offers an elegant look and is suited for use in herringbone patterns. Wood look tile is available in brick sizes, hexagons of all sizes, even mosaics.

Subway tile remains a popular choice, but in a variety of sizes and installation patterns. “Many customers opt for the larger 4-in. x 12-in. sizes,” says Tammy McKinney of Superior Custom Homes & Remodeling. “We are also seeing manufacturers creativity by adding a beveled edge, crackle, arabesque shapes, or mosaic options.”

Subway tiles can be used in numerous ways including stacking them vertically and using them in chevron patterns.
Shaun Doughtery of SDI reports, “Geometric patterns are popular and appealing to the eye. Currently, geometrics are driving design from home interiors, exterior architecture, and neighborhood design to skyscrapers. These were very popular in the 70s and are trending full circle today with a fresh twist.  We are taking the shapes of the 70s and shading them with a more calming, neutral palette. One of my favorite go-to choices is a porcelain tile that looks like marble.”

“In the last few years we’ve been experiencing the large format floor tile go from the popular 12-in. x 24-in.  to 18-in. x 36-in.,” says Gina Hewlett of Louisville Tile. “Up until about six months ago the white subway tile was a request all day, everyday.

“Recently we are having more fun with all of the options available for backsplash tile. Another interesting thing is customers are shopping for their backsplash before their counter tops,” says Hewlett. “That is the complete reverse from the norm. There are so many choices for both counter tops and backsplashes and only one of them can be the star while the other needs to be the supporting roll.”

According to Carla Taylor of Hermitage Kitchen & Design Gallery painted floor tiles are one of the newer trends. In agreement about larger tile size, she adds that Hermitage designers are using a lot of 12-in. x 24-in. tiles, not only for floors but also for shower walls.

“We’re seeking a shift to a simple approach for kitchen backsplashes—and fewer of the colorful decorative accent walls behind the range or cooktop,” says Taylor. “The subway tile is still popular but in sizes that include 1-in. x 3-in. or 2-in. x 8-in. It’s not just the ‘standard’ size anymore.”




Agreeing that large tiles are popular, Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors. “The larger tiles are most popular in rectangular shapes, versus square, for flooring. Larger tiles give a nice, clean modern look to a room. Wall tile doesn’t have to be as durable as floor tile, so ceramic tile are still popular and can be very colorful.” She adds that the use of digital printing on porcelain tile offers an amazing variety of looks mimicking natural stone, fabric, and other interesting patterns. “And of course natural stone is also available in tiles,” she says.

Camille Ervord Jacky says that the wood look in tile is still the big trend, and points to the large selection available in the Florim showroom. Florim tile is made in Clarksville and more than 30 collections are available in a variety of colors ranging from grays and tans to woodtones and traditional stone tile patterns and shades.

Reporting that for flooring homeowners favor wood looks in ceramic and porcelain, as well as faux stone looks that mimic other natural materials is Kirsty Froelich of The Tile Shop. “Favored sizes are 24-in. x 48-in. in faux stone and faux wood,” says Froelich. “We’ll soon be introducing wood plank looks that are 7-ft. in length.”

Froelich adds that homeowners like dimensional tile for its tactile qualities on walls. “Many of the same trends we’re seeing for flooring apply to walls as well,” she says. “People are selecting oversize tile, using faux wood on the walls, and emphasizing accent tiles by filling an entire wall with them.”

There are a number of local resources for tile including:

Decorating Den Interiors

615/ 469-7334

Emser Tile
2505 Bransford Ave.


Nashville 615-385-3054
Murfreesboro  615-890-5599
Clarksville 931-647-0276
Lebanon 615-444-2111

Florim Tile Outlet
615/ 712-9100

615/ 771-7669

Hermitage Kitchen Design Gallery
615/ 843-3310

Louisville Tile
615/ 248-8453

Natural Stone Distributors
615/ 251-1345

SDI Interiors
615/ 708-3735

Stone Source
2930 Sidco Drive
615/ 244-6448

Superior Custom Homes& Remodeling
651/ 224-9771

Tile Shop, The
Franklin 615/ 656-5112
Nashville 615/ 333-7690

Traditions in Tile
2548 Brandsford Ave.

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