By Ruth Doherty
Interior fans know that tiles are a stylish way to breathe life into your home, with a host of different shapes, colors, prints and patterns to choose from. But the question on every decor fan's lips is, what do the top tile trends 2021 have in store for us, and how do we style them?
Tiles have been a staple within interiors for centuries and despite the evolution of various formats and finishes, it’s the traditional styles that turn heads time after time – from the quintessentially British Victorian floor tiles through to artisan glazed and decorative bathroom tile ideas.
2021 tile trends see new takes on these traditional classics, as well as forward-thinking ways to style them.
Tile trends for 2021
We've teamed up with a host of experts, including Ca'Pietra, Mandarin Stone, Fired Earth, Otto Tiles, Topps Tiles, Original Style and Gemini Tiles, to bring you the top tile trends 2021, from Art Deco flair to dramatic dark hues and the enduring terrazzo trend.
1. Terracotta is back
We had noticed that terracotta tiles were creeping back into interiors and Hamish Smith, Creative Director at Ca’Pietra, confirms it:
‘When it comes to choosing tiles, terracotta designs are certainly having their moment,’ says Hamish. ‘From baked clay tones that warm up any room to earthy texture that’s just the right balance between rugged and refined, it’s no wonder that terracotta is a forever trend. But with warming, nurturing colours and textures set to dominate 2021, terracotta tiling is set to soar sky high.
'Lay them from kitchen through to hallway, cloakroom and dining room to really add warmth to your space. The beauty of our Marlborough Terracotta (aside from its Siena-style colouring) is that it builds up a patina over time. In other words, the more you use it and the older it gets, the better and more characterful it will look.’
2. Block colors and hexagons
Block colors are a big new look for bathrooms this year, and here it's encapsulated perfectly in the tiles. Matte tiles are also in fashion, as are hexagon shapes – these Stellar Navy Matt Porcelain tiles by Mandarin Stone hit just the right note.
3. Magical Moroccan
Known for its vibrant colors, intricate designs and mixture of textures, Moroccan style has become one of the most significant trends of the year, as shown by the worldwide success of North African handicraft products, such as Berber rugs, raffia baskets, metal lanterns and decorative Moroccan tiles.
The trend will keep going strong and is also a timeless style that won't date. Add some extra color and create a unique appearance, full of patterns and life, by using ceramic hydraulic tiles, which are long-lasting and extremely easy to install and keep clean. They are also suitable for most floors and tiling bathroom walls.
Using Moroccan tiles is a fool proof way to add an exotic touch to the room, either as a wall or floor covering. You can also create a focal point, choosing one element of the room, like the kitchen island, and cover it using patchwork prints.
Ca'Pietra's Hamish Smith explains: ‘A decorative tile adds instant impact underfoot and it’s a fantastic way of refreshing or updating kitchens, bathrooms and hallways. Opt for an encaustic tile that will age beautifully and create a lived-in look over time, porcelain tiles for ease of maintenance, or mosaic tiles underfoot to really bring the room to life.' Shown here is their Algarve Encaustic tile, which brings beautiful color to a bathroom.
4. New heritage
Every year, Original Style works closely with leading designers and interior experts to assess what colors, styles and schemes the interior scene will embrace in the upcoming year.
This year, they’ve teamed up with London-based interior design duo, 2LG Studio, to bring you their top tile trend predictions… Think decorative details, fine craftsmanship and timeless colorways. Through incorporating classic qualities of historical interior décor alongside modern influences, you can create a space that withstands the test of time whilst ensuring your home never goes out of style.
'What’s wonderful about the New Heritage trend is that you don’t have to have to a period property to embrace it,' says Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, of 2LG Studio.
'It’s all about capitalising on momentous historic décor, such as from Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco movements, and adapting and mixing these styles to suit your interior – think Victorian floor tiles in modern colorways and rich, deep glazed tiles in contemporary formations such as herringbone or stack bond. Take something old and add a modern twist – this is what New Heritage is all about.'
5. Perfect patina
'The latest patterns on tiles are hand-painted and organic,' says Damla Turgut, Founder of Otto Tiles & Design.
'As such, designs have natural variations which create vibrant, unique surfaces full of character. Hand-drawn, hand-painted and glazed.'
The brand's Coral Oriental Fairy ceramic tiles are made by artisans using age old techniques. Rich in color and glossy in texture, the traditional Turkish delicate figurative design creates the feel of a luxurious exotic retreat.
6. Terrific terrazzo
'Terrazzo in all shapes and colors remains a dominant trend as we enter into 2021,' says Damla. 'Its decorative speckled design and soft textural pattern is understated, endlessly stylish and versatile.'
Brand communications manager and tile consultant at Topps Tiles, Harriet Goodacre, agrees, saying: 'Terrazzo is fast becoming an interiors favourite as a more affordable alternative to marble or granite.
'There are virtually unlimited color and material options – fragments can be anything from marble to quartz, glass and metal. This mix creates depth and texture, whilst a smooth finish keeps the look modern'. Perfect if you're looking for either tile ideas for a small bathroom or larger space.
7. Colors that are one with nature
‘As life takes on a slower pace and the world around us pauses to breathe and reflect, more and more of us are gaining pleasure from recharging and relaxing at home. With this in mind, when it comes to tiles think lush greens, deep moss tones and the rich, rustic reds of autumnal leaves,' says Ca'Pietra's Hamish Smith.
'Green in all its many forms is ideal for interior projects, as it’s a calming, soothing palette that suits all spaces. It is inherently tranquil and connected to nature, and this is why choosing tiles from this color palette will have longevity. We adore natural shades complemented by rattan, sisal, bamboo and rustic wood shades as seen here with our Seaton Sea Grass tile.’
Green is such a versatile color and adds a vibrancy to a space. In green kitchens, balance that with a neutral – it looks fabulous here with the sandstone sink and rustic chopping boards.
8. Art Deco exuberance
Otto Tiles & Design’s Fish Scale Turquoise Ceramic tiles are perfect for creating a feature wall, with its rounded shape and curved lines providing a welcome escape from classic square, metro brick tiles and angular geometric patterns.
'The bold playful color is a simple but effective tool for personalizing a space,' says Damla.
9. Dark drama
Just like a little black dress, a black – or very dark – bathroom is ultra-chic.
'Whilst a moody palette pairs with any interior style, when teamed with a Victoriana inspired scheme, black on black inky tiles and grout provide an expressive and artistic interior that can surprisingly open up a small space,' explains Damla.
However, in a move on from black bathroom tiles, the newest tile range to gain attention is one with a dramatic verdigris effect. Mandarin Stone's Verdigris Porcelain tile is our favorite find.
10. Big and bold
'Large format tiles offer a striking appearance that’s guaranteed to turn your head when you enter the room,' says Topps Tiles' Harriet Goodacre. 'Their considerable size provides a spacious feel thanks to minimal grout lines. They also bring a decadence that is associated with the most premium of hotels.'
There’s plenty of variety in large format porcelain tiles as they are available in multiple effects, such as iconic types of marble, mixing this trend with the natural effect one. Harriet adds: 'Colored marble can provide greater variety, such as emerald greens or an indulgent black. Our Stadia Storm tile offers a regal style with its rich charcoal hue and high gloss finish.'
11. Hexagon shaping
As we said above, anybody looking for something a little different will love the hexagon trend that's coming through – a great alternative to rectangular or metro tiles.
Combine the shape with other tile trends 2021, like a natural effect finish marble or wood, or throw in some hotel luxe features, like metallic accents or bold color (seen above in the Rhomba from Topps Tiles), also hot for next year.
Topps Tiles' Harriet Goodacre says: 'If you'd like to create a slightly edgier style then try mixing a classic marble with wood effect tiles for a more contemporary feature floor area. This medley of textures, shape and style is perfect for creating a grand, sweeping hallway or floor that’s totally unique.'
12. Tiles that blend indoors and out
Creating an all almost seamless feel from indoor to outdoor has become a trend in itself and with the development of technology, the same tile material can be used in both spaces, as Hamish Smith from Ca'Pietra confirms below.
‘Use large format tiles to create a seamless blend between indoors and out. We are seeing that homeowners are really looking to create one large living space, which is why choosing a large format tile really helps a home feel “as one”.
You can add a decorative large format tile to spark some excitement. Team these Piazza Geo Anthricita porcelain tiles with more pared-back walls and simple furnishings and furniture.’
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