Tile trends - how to pick the right tile

Tile trends; How to pick the right tile for your kitchen

At Stoneham, we never tire of tiles! They can be used in a multitude of ways to create an eye-catching feature to enhance your overall design, and should be amongst the first details to consider when planning your kitchen, especially if you’re using them in your flooring.

Practically speaking, tiles are an excellent choice for the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen. Since they’re most commonly made from hard-wearing and resilient materials, such as porcelain, it makes them a clever choice for injecting long-lasting style into your kitchen. With most tiles, up-keep is easy and maintenance is minimal – what’s not to love?

In homage to the humble kitchen tile, we’ve shared our top tips of things to consider when making your selection.

PLACEMENT
Splashbacks, statement walls, or flooring – tiles’ durability give them the versatility to be incorporated into more than one place in your kitchen. A tiled floor is a kitchen designer’s no-brainer; it’s waterproof, stain-resistant, scratchproof and gives you the option to shun slippers in favour of underfloor heating. Cosy! Another common use for tiles is in splashbacks; with heat-resistant and wipe-clean properties, tiles are the sensible choice to back a high-action appliance such as the hob or sink. Turn your splashback into a statement showpiece or feature wall by picking tiles that pack a design punch.

SHAPES & SIZES
Traditional squares have been reimagined to span both sides of the size spectrum, as either tiny mosaics or large-format tiles, and the rectangular subway tile – a huge hit last year – has evolved into the ‘kit-kat’. As the slimmer sibling, the elongated and narrower shape lends itself well to smaller kitchens, tricking the eye into making the room feel more spacious.

If you’re hoping to think outside the box when it comes to shape, 2017 is your year, as the trend for quirkier tiles shows no signs of slowing down. This years’ hottest format is the hexagon. Bringing six sides of style and sass, this geometric shape can be used in both contemporary and traditional design, with the multi-faceted outline giving you the chance to experiment with quirky colour-combos.

ARRANGEMENT
Sometimes, the simplest tweaks can be the most effective; by changing the arrangement of your tiles, you can bring a new dimension to your design. Turn tradition on its head, literally, by installing rectangular tiles vertically instead a standard horizontal-brick layout. Another huge pattern trend for 2017 is herringbone, which finds its perfect partner in the rectangular ‘kit-kat’ tile. And it doesn’t stop there – ask your designer about straight or diagonal lays, chessboard or basket weave patterns and the Versailles. Be brave!

MATERIALS
Modern materials mean that you don’t have sacrifice style for substance, so tiles can be just as pretty as they are practical. Developments in technology mean that they can make it and you can fake it, with porcelain tiles that look like the real thing. This makes tapping into interior trends, such as 2017’s ‘Raw Elements’, even easier, with wood-effect, brick-style and roughened stone-type tiles readily available for a tactile touch to your kitchen. Or, go with an authentic terracotta tile.

Popular last year, metallic tiles have continued their upwards surge as a designer favourite. Now available in a matte, burnished or light polishes, the colour palette has also expanded from stainless steel to include pewters, gun metals, golds and burnished shades.

PATTERNED OR PLAIN
Whether you’re a lary-Mary or more of a plain-Jane, there’s a tile to suit your tastes. Patterned tiles are proving increasingly popular, as their vibrancy and bold colours soften the often-hard aesthetics of a kitchen. Revive a retro vibe by sourcing vintage tiles to mix-and-match with modern palettes, especially if you’re living in a period property. With Moroccan inspired prints and patterns big in 2017, picking a patterned tile is not only on-trend, but will create lively pockets of interest in your room.

Plain tiles can be equally as effective when carefully chosen, and a big part of this is choosing the right colour. This year’s interior design palette has graduated to one filled with earthy, rich tones that are reminiscent of nature; think varying shades of green (see our blog on Pantone’s colour of the year ‘Greenery’), plenty of deep floral hues, ochres and lots of blue. If neutrals are more your style, lighter greys remain a failsafe choice, and can always be brightened up by using coloured grouting.

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