Last week I had the incredible good fortune of spending a week with Tile of Spain attending the Spanish tile show called Cevisama. It’s almost impossible to put into words just how amazing the show was but I took lot’s of photos so that I could share what is happening in the world of tiles.
The popularity of tiles is growing and according to ASCER (The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufactures Association) the quantity of tiles imported into the USA grew by 22.6% from 2015 to 2016. Due to advances in technology like 3-D printing and new inkjet printers, tiles are taking on innovative new shapes, patterns and colors.
After going through all my hundreds of images I spotted six trends to share with you in photos. Today I will share trends 1-3. Next week I will wrap it up with part two and share trends 4-6.
- Wood look tile: Tiles that resemble wood was by far the biggest trend I saw at the show. Even though wood look tiles have been around for awhile they haven’t been all that convincing. New technologies however have made it almost impossible to tell the difference between porcelain and real wood. Even the touch feels just like wood. The vendors I spoke with said wood tiles are currently their number one export.
Porcelain wood tiles come in a variety of plank sizes and mostly neutral colors. The grain is clearly visible and the hottest trend is distressed looking wood. Look at the image on the bottom right on my composite photo above. Do you know what that is? It is “water stained wood”. Yes, I had to have that clarified but they actually make tiles that are an exact replica of water damaged wood. This is one trend I personally would steer clear of but in the right space it could be wonderful.
Tile planks laid in a chevron or interlocking pattern were also popular at the show. The distressed blue, gray and brown tiles on the bottom right below won a “best of show” award. How about these tiles below? Looks just like aged wood but it’s porcelain. I think it would make a great accent wall.
The technology to achieve this look is very new and you can bet you will be seeing even more of this.
2. 3-D tiles. The latest technology with 3-D printers has revolutionized the tile industry and has created some of what I think are the most exciting options today for wall tiles.
The variety at the show was amazing and for those who want something a little more interesting than plain subway tiles, these 3-D tiles could be the answer.
3. Porcelain Encaustic tiles: Old world encaustic tiles were traditionally made from cement. Today with new inkjet printers porcelain tiles can be an exact replica of the traditional encaustic tiles but the advantage of porcelain is that it weighs less (less shipping costs) and is much more durable than cement.
I would love to find a client who would go for these, maybe for a powder room or a sun room floor?
As far as colors, I was told that grays continue to be the most popular colors for North America with whites, creams, and other light neutrals not far behind. One manufacture told me he sees the color taupe on the rise so it will be interesting to see if taupe overtakes the popularity of grays in the coming year.
I hope you enjoyed my tile pictorial and be sure to check out next Tuesday’s post with the final three trends.
Which of these first three trends is your favorite?