Ten Tile Trends for 2016

March 11, 2016

Trends, schmends.. I confess I’m not a great one for following trends.

Usually I think we are all better off following our instincts and surrounding ourselves with things we like rather than things that are in fashion. Particularly in interiors, because however easy it might be to discard last season’s shirt or dress you are tired of, it’s a whole different ball game to change everything in your palazzo or studio because grey has gone from Woo-Hoo to Meh. Not to mention the ethical and sustainability dimensions..

However, it is interesting to see what is new in the world of decoration and to track the changes in how we furnish our homes. Especially when we map these to political and societal changes. Are we so interested in modernist designs of the twentieth century because they are from a period when there was an optimism about the future which we no longer share?

Anyway, I recently went to an interesting presentation of the latest trends in tiles by Jess Piddock and Jules Archard from Domus, the authoritative supplier of all things tiles, stone and wood. Having been to CERSAIE, the international ceramic show in Bologna, they were able to share their views on new patterns, colours, materials and likely trends. Many of these link to wider trends in interiors and demonstrate both the increasing versatility of tiles and how technological developments are driving forward the scale and use of ceramics.

Here’s what I learnt.

Pastels are big in the world of tiles too
A big trend in decoration for the past few years, pastel shades are spreading to tiles. These are much fresher and less sickly than you might imagine and work well with the greys so prevalent in modern schemes.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

Numi by Konstantin Grcic for Mutina

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

Numini by Konstantin Grcic for Mutina

Tiles don’t have to be monochrome or earthy in hue
Conversely, deep saturated rich colours are also becoming much more prevalent than before. These deeper shades, previously used in ceramics and mosaics are now being seen in porcelain too.

Tierras by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina

Tierras by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina

Grout can be interesting and colourful
Grout is moving centre stage as the focus for tiling schemes, with contrasting colours used to emphasise the shape of tiles and making an important contribution to the design scheme itself.

Rombini by Rowan and Erwan Bouroullec for Mutina

Rombini by Rowan and Erwan Bouroullec for Mutina

The handmade aesthetic is big – whether handmade or not
These lovely Tratti tiles reference craft and handmade marks as part of a trend reacting to industrial production – although they are in fact factory made.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

Tratti by Inga Sempè for Mutina

Signs are hand pressed and also celebrate the uneven, irregular aesthetic of the maker.

Signs by 41Zero42

Signs by 41Zero42

Rustic and natural textures are big
This trend also celebrates the natural imperfections and textures of raw materials. These coarse finishes and patterns follow on from the popularity of concrete and stone, while referring to textures more popular in previous decades. Timeless harks back to Terrazzo – also seeing a resurgence at the moment.

Timeless by Cerim

Timeless by Cerim

Crazy paving is back!
Hurrah! Crazy paving is making a comeback too as part of a trend of fragmented surfaces. Cracked Earth was successfully used in Hugo Bugg’s Gold Medal winning Chelsea Flower Show Garden in 2014.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

Cracked Earth by Hugo Bugg/Kaza Concrete for RBC Waterscape Garden for Chelsea Flower Show

DRY is a modular tile with asymmetric grooves that can be laid out in a variety of ways.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) by Vincent van Duysen for Brix

Sicistone shows that fragmented patterns can be sophisticated too.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

SiciStone by Sicis

Pop!
Pop Art has been a big design influence for some time and now it’s having an impact on tiles too, from India Mahdavi’s Dots to Tom Dixon’s Grit. Bold colours, graphic patterns and, above all, a sense of fun prevail.

Dot by India Mahdavi for Bisazza

Dot by India Mahdavi for Bisazza

Grit also references another retro finish we haven’t seen for a while: pebbledash.

Grit by Tom Dixon for Bisazza

Grit by Tom Dixon for Bisazza

Playing with the Grid
These examples make playful interpretations of the grid, the traditional shape formed by tiles. Some do this through the tile shape and the use of grout lines. Others use the grid as a surface pattern.
The soft tones and variations of colour and shape of Mews by Barber & Osgerby for Mutina give a much warmer, softer feel than a traditional grid of tiles.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

Mews by Barber & Osgerby

Similarly, the hand-drawn lines of Tratti contribute to a gentler aesthetic.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

Tratti by Inga Sempè for Mutina

New Geometrics are a development from the Old Geometrics
Another wider design trend, Geometrics continue to influence tile designers. The resurgence of encaustic tiles a few years back led the way and the new geometrics are now playing with scale and shape.
Irregular tile shapes are set to be popular, along with triangles and rhombuses, while hexagons are elongated. On Off plays with the distortion of a familiar pattern by offsetting the hexagonal design within the tile.

Tile Trends 2016 Domus Mutina Bisazza Casamood 41Zero42 Cerim Brix Sicis Verso 25 Casa Dolce Casa CERSAIE Egon Walesch Interior Design

On Off by Paola Novone for Bisazza

Stile by Verso25

Stile by Verso25

Supersized Formats are now possible
Technological advances mean that tiles up to 3.2m x 1.6m are now possible. Developments in inkjet printing enable high quality reproductions of the texture and detail of natural stones and woods on porcelain.

Stones & More by Casa Dolce Casa

Stones & More by Casa Dolce Casa

So, there you have 10 predictions for tile trends in 2016. The manufacturers highlighted here are at the cutting edge of tile design, with many of the design world’s biggest stars coming up with new patterns and shapes. You can be sure though that many of these ideas will filter down to the high street over the coming months and years.

All these tiles are either available from Domus or will be launched there shortly. Contact Domus for availability or to order samples.

Thanks to Jess and Jules of Domus for their insights. Thanks too to the manufacturers and suppliers for the use of the photographs. Follow @domuslondon @bisazzalondon @mutinaceramics @SicisOfficial on twitter and instagram to keep up to date with innovations in the world of tiles.

Use the comments form below to give us your take on tile trends.



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