Tile Trends

You want to tile your kitchen floor, backsplash or bathroom, huh? Here are a few tips based on tile trends.

I’ve been doing tiling even before I started my company for many years now. When I went to the initial meeting with prospective clients, I would bring magazines with pictures of possible designs or pictures of jobs I did. This visual helped me to give them ideas to find their likes and dislikes.

With the Internet, the world of tile is literally at your fingertips. I say take advantage of the multitude of great websites and outlets for tile designs out there. Get yourself a cup of coffee or bottled water and click your way to tile choices, faucet designs, cabinet colors, paint finishes, etc. – decisions that need to be made before you take out the sledge hammer!

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Many of today’s bathroom tile trends lean toward simple lines, bold colors and ease of cleaning. Larger tiles with less grout maintenance rise to the top of the wish list. Glass accents are popular to get that elegant feeling and to create beautiful splashes of color. Floor tiles also are getting bigger; 18×18 porcelain tile is not uncommon, with 9×18 being the most popular size. With these larger tiles there are a few things that must be addressed. Large format tiles, any tile measuring 15” or larger on any one side, must have a flat substrate surface. The tile trade industry says the floor can’t vary more than 1/8” in 10 ft. Also, the tiles must be structurally supported: Double plywood with a cement board underlayment is recommended with some tiles. Check with the manufacturer of the tile you select for details.

Also popular in today’s market are “uncoupling membranes;” I’ve been using Schulter’s Ditra (orange waffles) for some time now as the underlayment. Uncoupling membranes allow for slight movement in the sub-floor without being transferred to the tile. This means no cracked grout or tiles, something to consider in your budget at the planning stage.

 

Courtesy of Schluter Systems

 The big bathroom tile trend is electric floor heat. Electric floor heat comes in two forms: Mats with heating wires already attached are great for mostly square rooms. They may be cut and trimmed to fit. Secondly, there are cable systems; this type of system utilizes guides and free wire cable. These systems work well with irregular-shaped rooms and have a larger degree of flexibility. I’ve never had a client say, “I wish I hadn’t put in the floor heat,” but I have had many say the opposite.

Courtesy of WarmlyYours

 So, there are many options available for consumers. Take your time with your decisions. Plan your design and then go for it. A newly remodeled bathroom adds value to a home as well as improved quality of life.

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