Metallic Tiles Are Having a Moment

Here’s how to make a strong statement with these very special tiles in a powder room or entryway.

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The industry trend of combining metals with glass and stone on tiles and mosaics feels very modern right now. The new market offerings emerged last year at Coverings, one of the biggest trade events in the U.S. for tile and stone, and the demand for these surfaces has been growing steadily since. What accounts for this rise? “Breakthroughs in technology like new waterjet techniques allow for the combination of materials,” says David Meitus, owner of the Studium NYC surfaces showroom. “This treatment was extremely difficult and expensive to produce until very recently.”

Here are six from Studium NYC that will let you achieve the look. This one is a luxurious palette of soft silver, warm bronze and pewter.

Marble and brass “Athenee Petite” tile, $150/square foot

And there’s a bigger metallic moment happening across the entire design industry. “We are seeing gold everywhere, not only in surfaces but in accessories for the home, bath fixtures, tabletop and more,” says Meitus. “Clients are definitely more receptive to metallics than they’ve been in the past.” Gold used to connote tacky opulence, but with these new understated metallics there are many more options with which to experiment. The reappearance of gold in contemporary design is much more muted this time around (compared to the over-the-top glamour of the ‘80s and ‘90s). “Its luster adds a great deal of visual interest and instantly enriches a space with warmth,” says Jonathan Zakarya, a NYC-based interior designer with projects in Europe and Asia.

A black-and-gold art deco pairing.

Marble and brass “Colbert Petite” tile, $120/square foot

Precious metals and stones aren’t new in and of themselves, but their potential is being rediscovered. “The use of these inlays is a way to add embellishment and craftsmanship into spaces without sacrificing a contemporary, more streamlined aesthetic,” says Zakarya. Meitus suggests clients use a dramatic or intricate gold mosaic, often more costly, in a smaller way—say for a small bathroom, or on a single wall in the shower, or even as a backsplash. But what to do with the remainder of the room? “Fill in the rest with more affordable neutral surfaces like simple ceramic, porcelain, or glass tiles,” suggests Meitus. Zakarya agrees: “These tiles have many applications whether for creating a jewel box effect in a powder room or on foyer floors for a glittering entrance,” says Zakarya. They’re surprisingly understated and chic.

This muted metallic and marble combination is understated yet glamorous.

Marbled and brushed brass “Jeanne” tile, $180/square foot

These tiles create a texture and sheen that will make a statement in any installation.

Marble, gunmetal and brushed brass “Kenzo” tile, $240/square foot

A bold geometric pattern juxtaposing two sumptuous marbles.

Marbled and brushed brass “Lang” tile, $158/square foot

A rich Moroccan moment.

Marble and unlacquered brass “Marrakesh” tile, $336/square foot