Top trendy tile styles for your bathrooms and kitchens
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Giving careful thought to tile is worth your while before embarking on a kitchen or bathroom redo, the experts agree. That’s because your tile choices will set the tone and template for the entire room and reflect your distinctive design tastes within two of the most valued and used spaces in your home.
“As we’ve learned from being kept indoors these past few years with the pandemic, your surroundings play a big role in your mood and attitude every day. So, it’s all about surrounding yourself in a space that makes you feel happy, which the right tile can contribute to,” says Ariel Schuster, residential sales and design manager for Artaic, a custom tile mosaic designer and manufacturer in Boston.
Robin Pelissier, an interior designer in Hingham, Mass., says that tile selection for kitchens and baths can sometimes be the most intimidating of decisions for homeowners. However, they don’t have to be.
“Backsplash tile, floor tile and wall tile are sometimes decisions that can be made later on in a project, but can have a big impact on your personal style,” she says. “Tile is like the icing on the cake or the accessories in your wardrobe.”
When choosing tile for a kitchen renovation, carefully ponder tile sizes, materials and durability.
“Make sure your backsplash tile can handle cleaning chemicals and being wiped regularly. If your tiles are near a stovetop, consider if they can withstand heat as well,” suggests Amy Stansfield, a home design expert. “To ensure the tile harmonizes with the rest of the kitchen, make sure they are the last thing you choose. Kitchen units and appliances are more expensive and cannot be swapped and changed out easily.”
Small-sized tiles are usually suited to kitchen areas like the backsplash and flooring. In contrast, large tiles can make the kitchen feel bigger and airier, according to Michael McFerrin, owner of Texas Building Contractors in Bedford, Texas.
“Murals are very popular for accent walls and kitchens right now. If you have the wall space and vision, consider turning it into a mural traversing multiple planes and traveling across an island or backsplash,” advises
Schuster. “Traditional European geometric aesthetic is another tried-and-true style in the kitchen that will never lose its luster or feel like a flash in the pan. This involves repeating geometric tile patterns within decorative borders that create a custom but simple feel, allowing the tile to span the full breadth of a floor or wall.”
In the bathroom, meanwhile, ruminate on the feel you want to achieve with tile.
“Perhaps it’s serene and relaxing, in which case you want to choose colors that blend well together,” notes McFerrin.
Schuster echoes those thoughts.
“Think about how you will use the space,” she says. “What does the space mean to you? Do you want it to energize or calm you? How frequently are you there? What sort of light does the space receive – natural, artificial or both? And what rooms sit adjacent with a clear view?”
Most importantly, ensure that the bathroom tiles you choose will function well in a warm and damp environment surrounded by quality grout that resists mold.
“As in the kitchen, choose your bathroom wall color, bath, sink and flooring first before selecting the type of tile so that you can see what works well in the current room,” recommends Stansfield. “If you choose a very white bathroom, think about using tile as an excuse to embrace more colors and patterns.”
Schuster points out that top-down-bottomup tile designs are currently in vogue within bathrooms “because they always feel custom to a space. This design approach creates depth without ever feeling overcrowded or loud by heavily incorporating negative space across one half of the space.”
Moroccan and Turkish-inspired tiles are also popular right now, per Stansfield. She says terracotta tones are especially on-trend, as are tiles with touches of teal green that can add luxury and warmth to a bath or kitchen.
“Another trend is terrazzo-speckled tile, which creates a more minimalist, timeless look,” she adds.
For best results, collaborate closely with an interior designer and tile retailer – resources that can help you choose and order the right products.