In or Out? Get Up to Date on Tile Trends

In the constantly shifting world of home decor trends, tile is hugely variable. Today’s tile manufacturers have access to cutting-edge technology that allows them to produce tiles of virtually every shape, size, color, and texture. As a result, tile trends are constantly changing to reflect the new processes.

With the whirlwind of tile options, you may be tempted to cover everything in classic white subway and forgo the fickle trends. Don’t do it! We’re here to provide you with some insight on what’s in, what’s out, and what will always be acceptable (no promises, though).

Bubble tile

Splashy round tiles, mosaic-style, found their way into bathrooms everywhere and even on kitchen backsplashes.

Bathroom by Kenorah Design + Build Ltd.

Kitchen by Mercury Mosaics and Tile

Bathroom by Interiors For Modern Living
The verdict: out. But the bubbly aspect makes them okay for bathrooms; they’re not dated yet, but they’re not the newest thing.

Penny tile

Penny-shaped tiles, both in penny copper and other colors, made its way into homes everywhere over the last few years.

Bathroom by Helen scott

Kitchen by Mercury Mosaics and Tile

Bathroom by Kelly Scanlon Interior Design
The verdict: still in. The shape is classic and trendy simultaneously, so don’t worry about it going out of style too soon.

Crushed glass

The crackly finish of crushed glass tiles is available in different shapes and sizes, typically in mosaics.

Bathroom by Mark Newman Design

Kitchen by Rachel Reider Interiors
The verdict: in, but probably not for much longer. It won’t be dated quickly, though, so feel free to use it if you love it.

Hex tile

The hex shape recently made a comeback and was instantly popular again.

Kitchen by Nicolaj Bo

Bathroom by Fox Group Construction
The verdict: very in, along with other geometrics.
Kitchen by Trevor Brown Architect
Textured and 3D tile

Touchable tiles and visually interesting 3-dimensional pieces have taken the tile market by storm.

Image credit:

Bathroom by Michelle Chaplin Interiors

Photo credit: gail owens photography

Kitchen by Myaree Ceramics
The verdict: in, and expected to stay in for a while. Artisanal and hand-crafted tiles are also hugely popular due to their unique appearance and rich textures.

Mosaic and pencil tile

Small tiles in repetitive patterns have appeared in bathrooms and kitchens for years, becoming almost ubiquitous. Slim pencil tile as an accent has risen in popularity as well.

Kitchen by New Mood Design LLC

Bathroom by Gaspar’s Construction

Bathroom by Kariouk Associates
The verdict: out. Replace busy mosaics with large-format tile, which makes the room look larger and is easier to clean, with fewer grout lines.
Bathroom by The Turett Collaborative

Kitchen by Archipelago Hawaii Luxury Home Designs
Copycat tiles

Wood-look (reclaimed, cross-grain, whitewashed, weathered), brick-look, cement-look, marble-look (especially Calacatta) tile; other materials are accurately mimicked in these tiles.

Bathroom by Southeastern Custom Homes

Bathroom by Paul Rice Architecture

Bathroom by Godden Sudik Architects Inc
The verdict: in. It’s cost-effective, and the technology used to create the tiles makes them practically indistinguishable from the real thing with lower maintenance.

Subway tile

Everyone has them; they’ve been in style for decades. But are they still trendy?

Bathroom by Carriage Lane Design-Build Inc.

Kitchen by Taste Design Inc

Bathroom by Urrutia Design
The verdict: hung jury. Classic subway will always be classic, but it’s definitely not the latest trend any more. If you like to play it safe, your best bet is subway or other classic tiles laid in creative patterns or in different colors, sizes, and textures.
Bathroom by Exactus Homes
Bathroom by Smarter Bathrooms
More current tile trends

Shiny metallics, fragmented/kaleidoscope layouts, and cool watery blues & greens top the tile trend charts for 2016.

Kitchen by ALLOY Solid Metal Tiles
Kitchen by Judy Cook Interiors, LLC
Image credit: BDC Network

Do you subscribe to current trends?