Top tile manufacturers released their tile trend forecasts for 2021, and construction professionals can expect to see themes that include luxury, wellness, and simplicity.
Whether it’s in the kitchen or bathroom, tile plays a large role. These heavily used areas of the home rely on tile for its functionality, aesthetics, and simply because the product is highly durable.
Tile trends reflect overall architecture and design at large, so it may come as no surprise that manufacturers are focusing on texture, scale, and colors for 2021 and beyond. PRODUCTS checked in with the major tile associations and manufacturers, including Tile of Spain, Emser Tile, TileBar, and the organizers of Coverings, the country’s largest stone and tile show, to see what else is happening this year. Here is what they told us:
Subtle Textures + Standout Finishes
[ Read More: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CERAMIC TILE AND PORCELAIN? ]
Natucer’s D’Autore line offers 13 different colors, two sizes, and five designs. The Donna design pictured above features the Bianco color. Each porcelain tile in the collection features a different extruded design. The Donna tile design mimics slatted walls and can be installed horizontally or vertically. Tiles are available in 5 by 5 inches or 4 by 8 inches. These are intended for wall use only.
Manufacturers are calling on matte to be 2021’s trending finish. Tile of Spain says a matte finish brings in clean lines and smooth surfaces. The subtle texture can make a simple statement, which Tile of Spain connects to other design trends such as simplicity and raw materials.
Emser Tile does the same, noting that matte finishes play into the Nordic Style trend, which includes minimalism, simplicity, and functionality. This design style focuses on less being more. Textures from natural materials, such as terracotta, are expected to receive extra attention this year as well, says Emser.
[ Read More: 7 BUDGET-MINDED PORCELAIN TILES THAT MIMIC PRICEY MARBLES ]
Mizu offers a sophisticated style with a handcrafted appearance, says Emser Tile. The Mizu tile line features a glossy oval motif with an earthenware look, helping the tile work in both modern and historical spaces. The glazed ceramic tiles are available in four colors: white, taupe, green, and blue. Tiles come in one size: 8 by 16 inches.
Coverings organizers say there has been a shift toward more toned-down designs. Because of this shift, designers seek other ways to add eye-catching designs. Coverings says texture is “the simplest and most effective way to manipulate shade and to create depth.”
Sunlight can play off of textures, adding elements of design unachievable through other means. It allows designers to keep color palettes to a minimum, notes Coverings. TileBar finds that 3D tiles that feature one color but a dramatic, multidimensional texture can be just as impactful as a bold pattern.
[ Read More: AIMEE WILDER DEBUTS COLORFUL, RETRO MODULAR TILE LINE ]
TileBar’s Renzo tile features a matte finish with 3D lines that switch from horizontal to diagonal. The company says the finish mixed with the 3D element helps add movement and drama. These Italian-made porcelain tiles are suitable for interior walls only. Renzo also comes in beige and gray.
Many of the 2021 tile trends connect to the idea of natural and organic materials. This wellness-focused, biophilic design trend can be found throughout the residential sector right now as the pandemic makes it difficult to connect with the outdoors. Additionally, homeowners that have private outdoor spaces are seeing these as escapes and havens, but the same perspective is being placed on the indoors.
The glazed ceramic subway tiles in Emser’s Hues line come in a warm, earth-toned palette. Color names are reflective of the natural element the tile color mimics, such as brick, cement, and kale. Hues tiles come only in 3 by 10 inches and are available in six different colors. Hues offers a less traditional, smooth subway tile and instead adds a rustic, artisan appearance with its organic texture.
As mentioned before, each tile manufacturer noted texture as a big design trend for this year. Natural textures can play an important role in a nature-inspired, wellness-focused room. The purpose of bringing nature into the home is to create a space that reduces stress, promotes creativity, cognitive functions, and general well-being, says Emser.
Tile of Spain sees deep red, rusty terracottas tied with natural browns bringing nature into the bathroom, while Emser Tile and Coverings see the color green as a prime connector to the outdoors.
“Green not only connects individuals to nature, but it also evokes a feeling of optimism, peace, and security, all of which are much needed in these uncertain times,” writes Coverings.
[ Read More: 13 COOL LOOKS WE SAW AT THE 2020 SPANISH TILE SHOW ]
Raku is the Japanese method of firing pottery, and Emser says its Raku tile is a contemporary take on ancient art. Raku firing results in an array of colors on pottery. These tiles feature uneven glazing in a glossy ceramic 3-by-12-inch tile. It comes in five colors: blue, charcoal, ocean, white, and silver.
No matter the material, shape, or shade, green tiles can help occupants feel a connection to nature, which is why Coverings lists it on their tile trends report. Emser Tile sees mostly emerald greens and muted sages as being popular 2021 tile colors.
But other earthy tones can help add an organic touch, such as tans, browns, and mushroom shades. Ceramics of Italy’s summer collection features some bold prints with natural subject matter, such as Study, which mixes single color tiles with decorative tiles featuring leaves and butterflies, or Wide & Style Mini, which features tropical plants and flowers.
Nuances combines rich terracotta and concrete colors with a terrazzo design. It mixes some trending earth hues in a modern style and the company notes it works well in small areas when paired with monochromatic interiors or pops when used in large-scale projects.
Natural stone tiles, and specifically terrazzo, directly bring an earthy touch to the home, says TileBar, because these materials offer a polished finish but with a natural look. Ceramics of Italy says terrazzo is a new trend and it can work well to add dimension to small areas if paired with monochromatic interiors. Coverings notes ceramic tiles as the perfect medium to support a biophilic design.
“Ceramic tile designs are moving to more natural and untreated wood looks as the timber elements become calm spaces and tension anchors for the overall design,” writes Coverings. “This trend showcases simple wood grains—narrow and wide, light and dark—as well as natural stone looks in every texture and size and in colors that evoke a sense of nature.”
On the other end of the simplistic design tile trend is the luxe extravagance of large slabs, high gloss, veining, and metallics.
Bestile’s Eunoia Blue porcelain tile brings elegance and drama, the company says. The large format polished porcelain features light blues swirled with milky whites and contrasting gold veins. Tiles come in 11.8 by 23.6 inches, 23.6 by 23.6 inches, and 23.6 by 47.24 inches. These tiles work for walls and floors. Eunoia also comes in green, gray, and beige colorways.
Large slabs are as elegant as they are durable and safe. Fewer grout lines help to promote a more hygienic space because fewer bacteria can harbor in between tiles. Large slabs also expand application possibilities. These tiles work for floors, walls, backsplashes, and furnishings, notes Coverings.
High gloss tiles can add flair anywhere and punch up a basic tile. Because high gloss tiles need regular cleaning, it helps promote a luxurious, clean atmosphere. It’s a more high-maintenance tile that aligns well with glamorous interiors.
The name Kintsugi comes from the Japanese practice for mending broken pottery. It involves repairing a broken vessel by reattaching the shards with lacquered dust and can be mixed with gold, silver, and platinum. The result are natural breaks with metallic accents that add interest and character. The porcelain stoneware comes in four styles and can be used for residential and commercial settings.
Marble remains beloved, but more tile manufacturers are widening the options with other stones that offer homeowners a similar aesthetic. Azure-colored marble helps create a spa-like environment, says TileBar. The decadent blue shade tied with luxe veining will stun this year.
Marble veining is evolving in 2021 with gold and silver metallic accents, says Tile of Spain.
“Large-format slabs featuring smoky marbled streaks combined with the soft shimmers of iridescent details will remain the protagonist to conceive glamorous interiors,” writes Tile of Spain.
Natural onyx can be a poor choice for flooring, but TileBar’s porcelain version makes it difficult to tell if it's real. It can be used on floors and walls and comes in 24 by 24 inches or 24 by 48 inches.