Sprucing up the kitchen or giving the bathroom a new lease on life? Nothing can make or break the result quite like your tiles.
Tiles are one of the most effective ways to create interest in a space. Whether you want a calm oasis, a dramatic statement or an artistic splash, there’s something for you.
The huge variety of modern tiles on the market include textured, handmade and even timber-look options. They’re hard wearing and easy to clean.
But what’s big in 2021?
The subway tile has been big for several years, and little wonder. These rectangular tiles are flexible enough to work in almost any space. They’re minimalist, stylish and never go out of fashion.
For 2021, the subway tile trend has gone soft and organic. This means no more glossy white porcelain. Instead, textured handmade tiles and soft pastels are on offer.
Handmade tiles offer a textured surface, in contrast to the flat finish of a standard subway tile. It fits in beautifully with the overall trend towards organic and natural surfaces, and pairs beautifully with a timber vanity or kitchen benchtop.
You can also get creative with subway tile layouts. Consider a herringbone pattern or lay them vertically to create the illusion of a higher ceiling in a small space.
Fish scale designs (sometimes known as mermaid tiles) are having a moment. Their organic curves are bang on trend, creating a soft and welcoming look. They’re also available in a range of bold colour ways, making them perfect if you want to draw attention to a space. Choose pastels for a dreamy look, brighter tiles for drama or even get brave and mix a range of tones for a true statement.
Try fish scales in a shower recess, kitchen splash back or bathroom feature wall. The tiles are small, making them flexible across a range of spaces. You can even use them as a border to create a wave effect.
If you only have a small space to cover, consider going bold with original artistic or even antiques. Each tile is unique, with technical imperfections like rough edges, pooled glazes and uneven surfaces. Taken together, they create a focal point.
Patterned Moroccan or Art Deco styles also feature heavily in this category. They’re ideal for kitchen or bathroom vanity splash backs.
Use them as a contrast in shower wall niches or mix a few patterned tiles in with a plainer set for pops of interest. You can even hang individual tiles as artwork on the walls.
Natural finishes, especially wood, have come roaring back in a big way. Real timber can warp and bend in wet areas, but technology has come to the rescue. Thanks to new advances in digital printing technology, you can now get tiles with timber, stone and concrete-look finishes that are hard to tell from the real thing.
Use timber-look tiles to add warmth and organic appeal to your bathrooms and kitchens. Choose bleached colours for a coastal look that’s ideal in your beach house or go classic with walnut and oak finishes.
To carry this look off, contrast timber tiles with white surfaces to open up the space, or keep them to large spaces like your open plan kitchen. Timber is also ideal for flooring, especially in kitchens and laundries.
In 2021, nobody is taking grout for granted. Traditionally, designers have gone with a neutral colour that keeps the focus on the tiles. Today, grout is starting to steal the show.
A contrasting colour can give you a unique effect. Black grout between white tiles, for example, highlights each individual tile, giving you a crisp look with a touch of drama.
In 2021, think beyond neutrals. Try a pink grout with white tile for a feminine effect in an en suite. You can even get bright primary colours for that retro eighties look. Use with caution!
Tiles can refresh your space and make it truly unique. Whether you embrace the latest trend or keep it classic, this is one renovation that’s sure to reward.