Today’s trend in tile is all about variety—wall tile in particular is being used to tell a lot of stories.
It might talk about texture or shimmer or matte finishes. It might find harmony in its arrangement with other tiles. It is indeed, a new world of tile “People are moving away from heavy decorative elements to a cleaner more stylized look,” says Linsey Capps of Tile & Stone Design. Natural stone with a straight edge versus a tumbled edge is used more in our designs. We are also seeing an increase among homeowners opting for larger format porcelain tiles. Many of our clients select neutral stones or tiles and design with mosaics such as glass, stone or decorative ceramic.”
Mark Sandler with Mission Stone & Tile says, “While natural stone is and will always be a popular material, imaging and printing technologies have allowed manufacturers of porcelain tiles, particularly in Italy, to create amazingly accurate reproductions of natural stone and wood looks which, once installed, are virtually maintenance free.”
Speaking for Metro Carpets, Elizabeth Regas agrees, “Natural stones such as travertine, tumbled marble, and slate are still hot tile trends. However, glass, metal, and mosaics are growing in popularity as well. Designing multiple materials together is a great way to add interest for kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms.”
Applauding the many tile materials available today is Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors. “There are many beautiful products available —many different types of materials such as glass, porcelain, stone, resin, even wood. One product we love to use is Projection. It’s an end-grain wood tile that is made in Tennessee. The wood has a warmth you can’t achieve with hard surface materials.”
Specialty tile and hand-molded tile are growing in popularity, according to Carolyn Campbell of Carolyn Campbell Interiors. “Leather tiles and metal tiles in bronze, pewter, and copper finishes are gorgeous. More and more small artistic, one-of-a-kind tiles are being made. Tile can be so striking it has become a focal point in its own right.”
Campbell reports that tile is going high definition. “Look for tactile appeal in high-relief tile pieces,” she says. Her customers still favor natural tiles in granite, marble, travertine, limestone and slate. “The finishes can be tumbled, honed, polished, and sand-blasted. Insets of mosaic strips or pieces cut like crown molding or chair railing can break up the expanse. Also, large geometric patterns are being used and bright outlines of specific areas are great accents.”
In addition to the advent of metallic finished tiles, Marcia Leach of Designer Floors & Interiors reports that rectangularly-shaped tiles resembling wood plants are popular with her clients. “In backsplash areas in kitchens we are seeing more beautiful glass mosaics.”
And while Leach’s customers tend to select neutral tile for large areas, it is in the kitchen backsplash that they are most likely to show their individuality.
Tara Johnson of Scarlet Designs says that as granite has become standard for countertops, matching granite backsplashes have become boring. “Customers want to enhance the stone with something complementary and with something that has a little more personality.
Mosaics in glass, marble, and stone come in countless colors and patterns,” she says. Glass, stainless steel, and mosaic tiles are all popular with her clientele.
Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors reports her clients remain quite attracted to glass. “Glass tiles are still hot,” she says, “and recycled glass is a great option both in regard to style and price.” Like others, she says subway tiles are still popular and look fresh and new.”
Saying that glass tiles being used as either accents or all over a wall surface have had a powerful influence on the design world this year is Anna Aycock of Designs by Anna Aycock. “Wall tiles tend to be used in backsplashes, showers, and bathrooms. Beautiful mosaic bands and scudos create a pleasing rhythm in the tile design,” she says.
Agreeing that glass tile has gained favor among homeowners is Amanda Sweeney of Yessick’s Design Center. “Tile is no longer laid straight and plain the way it once was,” she says. “Today it is laid on the diagonal or different sizes are combined to add dimension.” Sweeney adds that while granite, ceramic, and marble tiles remain popular, she sees onyx growing in popularity.
There are a number of sources for tile in the Greater Nashville area including:
Carolyn Campbell Interiors
Decorating Den Interiors
Designer Floors & Interiors
Mission Stone & Tile
Tile & Stone Design
Yessick’s Design Center