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Tile Trends 2023: Reshaping Design and Durability

What’s creating a buzz in the world of porcelain and ceramic tiling? Why should the building industry stakeholders – architects, designers, builders, homeowners, and even real estate professionals – pay attention? Tiling is a diverse, multifaceted and enduring resource that can amplify the sustainability, health quotient, and resilience of residences it garnishes.

The factors mentioned above bear significant weight during tile selection. The principle of sustainability is gathering traction among many selectors, with an increasing number of manufacturers promoting their green initiatives – some have even ventured into producing carbon-neutral offerings.

Table of Contents

Health Elements

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As homeowners seek serene and peaceful environments, designs oriented towards tranquility are pivotal for successfully realising wellness-focused projects. The emphasis on body health and aspects like outdoor living, biophilia, and age-in-place has seen a considerable upswing in the post-Covid era. The goal of every homeowner is to create a personal sanctuary.

The focus on human health has brought tiles’ antimicrobial and non-allergenic properties to the limelight. Consequently, the dominance of carpets is waning, giving way to tiles in hotel rooms, a trend mirrored in residences and often promoted in real estate listings. 

Tiles, with their impermeable surfaces, provide a deterrent to odors, allergens, molds, and bacteria. Unlike many alternative materials, the natural composition of tiles is devoid of harmful chemicals and irritants, presenting no risk of VOCs, formaldehyde, phthalates, organotins, allergens, or plastic.

Technology Trends

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Despite being a material with over two millennia of architectural usage, tiles are familiar with technological advancements. A good example is the recent evolution of inkjet printers, which have made possible the authentic aesthetics of wood-, stone-, and concrete-looking tiles, among other designs.

Slip-resistant finishes have also seen improvements. In the past, such surfaces were abrasive. Still, innovations now allow for a smooth finish that turns slip-resistant when exposed to water. This is a remarkable development.

Advances in large-format production technologies are also noteworthy. Even though there are challenges in fabricating and transporting these slabs, they are increasingly used for countertops and walls, and manufacturers are striving to enlighten fabricators and installers.

Functionality Trends

The charm of porcelain panels and slabs has captivated consumers, who are employing them as accent walls, shower walls, and furnishing cladding. Small-format tiles are also gaining popularity in unconventional applications such as bedrooms and spaces traditionally carpeted.

Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces are in vogue. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, the robustness of tiles makes them ideal for withstanding outdoor elements. This extends to decking and wall surfacing materials, as well as countertop and cabinet cladding.

Tiles have always been a preferred flooring option for homes in South Florida, given their compatibility with moisture-rich environments. The idea of extending their use to outdoor areas with porcelain pavers is intriguing. The consistent flow of the same floor tile from the indoors to the outdoors facilitates a harmonious transition between these two home areas. The introduction of barrier-free doors for wheelchair users further enhances this.

Resilience Trends

The trend of installing tile facades on buildings is rising, offering resilience benefits to a building’s exterior. These facades are low maintenance, durable, and fire resistant – a noteworthy trait in the current climate of escalating wildfires. These materials neither combust, contribute to flame propagation, nor generate smoke.

Tile’s water resistance makes it a superior surface for homes susceptible to flooding. Tile flooring within a home provides heightened resilience against water damage. In condominiums, where water leakage from adjacent units is possible, or in rental homes requiring robust flooring, tiles are the optimal choice.

Aesthetic Trends

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Warm hues are resurfacing! While the shift is subtle, shades of gold, brown, and terracotta are permeating new tile collections. Previously popular white marble-look tiles now showcase veins of these warmer tones, a shift from the grey and black veining of the past.

The trend of multi-surface finishes is gathering momentum. Tile manufacturers are superimposing textures on tile surfaces, offering a unique, three-dimensional aesthetic.

Neutral tones are being redefined to move beyond beige, taupe, or cream. The popularity of mosaic tiles, stone murals, and large-format porcelain tile panels exhibiting elaborate designs or patterns has increased in 2023. The results are riveting and spellbinding, from pattern-matching intricate veining to emulating gems found in nature, such as lapis, onyx, and jasper.

Designs invoking biophilia remain popular. People are drawn towards nature-inspired elements, infusing their homes with tranquility. Floral patterns and shades of deep blues and emerald greens are increasingly being used to adorn accent walls or entire bathrooms or bedrooms. Technological advancements now facilitate highly detailed designs, creating tile patterns reminiscent of wallpaper, albeit more durable.

Green tiles inspired by nature, mimicking watery depths, leaf patterns, cool forests, and jungles, have gained traction. There is an array of striking shades of green tiles to incorporate into designs.

Conclusion

Tiles are an ideal contender for residential designs because they combine beauty and functionality. An array of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures is available to cater to all design styles.

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