Published on December 21, 2018

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Courtesy of Artistic Tile

Tiles are one of few design elements of a home that have the ability to completely transform a space. The versatility of the design staple allows them the leniency of a wide variety of decorative opportunities. Whether used on the floors, lining the walls of the bathroom, or as a backsplash in the kitchen, it’s safe to say that a high-impact finish will almost always ensue.

While we have our standard collection of tried-and-true tiles to work with (subway tile, we’re looking at you), going beyond the expected is something we can definitely get behind.

Enter the tiles that will be taking 2019 by storm. We sought out the help of a few industry leaders and designers to get the complete lowdown on the tile trends every design lover needs on their radar. Each, with their unique quality and methods of application, as well as design-forward palettes, promise a refreshing upgrade that will result in a transformative quality, regardless of where it’s used in your home.

Read on to get the scoop.

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Photography by Claire Esparros

Terrazzo

If we had to single out one standout material for this year, terrazzo would undoubtedly be it. Having rapidly risen in the design ranks, the speckled composite became one of the more recognizable materials used in design, being incorporated in everything from glassware and wallpaper to artful furnishings and more.

“The use of terrazzo in both tile and furniture design is on the rise, as is using natural stones and materials consisting of embedded rock and concrete,” says Brigitte Coleman, design director of Pembrooke & Ives. “The juxtaposition makes for a stunning piece that becomes a functional work of art.”

Naturally, it shouldn’t be all too surprising that the motif is replicated in the form of a tile, especially when used in the bathroom in a dramatic a wall-to-wall display.

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Courtesy of Artistic Tile

Colorful Tiles

Could 2019 finally signal the end of the long-standing reign of subway tile? According to Nancy Epstein, founder of Artistic Tile, it’s a possibility. “You’re going to see color coming into cabinetry, details, and definitely into backsplashes. People are tired of only white and gray.”

But this isn’t your typical monochrome look. The trend takes on the color wheel with an artful combination of complementary or high-contrast hues, resulting in a dynamic finish that’s a far cry from the standard subway tile.

To further accentuate the effect of the colorful tile trend, you’ll find the integration of a creative mix of shapes, often in the form of abstract or geometric shapes.

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Patterned Concrete

We instantly coined this as the tile of the moment, and you can be sure that it will only be gaining popularity in the New Year. From Popham Design, the cutout-inspired motif of the handmade tile comes in a high-contrast finish with an artful two-tone finish, which provides a fresh take on decorating with colorful tiles.

“I think handmade tiles are going to be big in 2019,” says Decorist celebrity designer Max Humphrey. “The difference between handmade and machine made is that tiles made by hand have a more unique shape, with jagged edges that aren’t 100% uniform, so each one is unique.”

Its decorative versatility aside, the contemporary-abstract pattern results in a statement-worthy effect that can be just as impactful on the bathroom floor as on a 3×7 kitchen backsplash display. Design bonus: Blue is the hue you’ll want to stick to with this one.  

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Photography by Priscilla Cader

Chameleon Tile

Multidimensional tiles that boast a visually dynamic finish will be a major trend in 2019. Think antiqued mirror or smoke-tinted tiles, where the emphasis is placed on the design of the surface.

“This type of tile has the ability to be a chameleon and can change with the room as the light changes,” says Decorist design team Massucco Warner Miller.  “It has a dull luster during daylight hours (and will nicely reflect whatever other colors are in the space) and feels really seductive in the evening hours with the lights on low.”

The duo suggests utilizing these finishes to visually expand an otherwise cramped space, sans risking the harsh reflection that can result from a clean mirrored tile.

Keeping in line with the chameleon theme—without the reflective element—tiles that bear an illusionary effect are among the trend category as well. Made+39’s Cube tile is a modern take on the classic mosaic, inspiring a bold dose of texture and personality.  

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Photography by Jennifer Hughes

Large-Scale Marble

While there may not be anything revolutionary about a marble backsplash in the kitchen, we have been seeing an increasing number of homes where the stone is displayed in a grand and all-encompassing manner. In lieu of just living in a thin line along the walls of the kitchen, there has been an uptick in spaces where the marble is extended from the walls to the counters and even all the way down to the floors in a sweeping effect.

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