It’s hard to imagine a category that offers you more choices for kitchen, bath or flooring design selections than tile. First, there’s the material it’s made of: ceramic, porcelain, glass, cement, metal and stone. Then there is the shape: subway, hexagonal, square, ogee and more. Then of course the one that really draws us in…that amazing array of colors. We’ve selected a few standouts that come with a bit of a contemporary flair. See if you have a favorite.
Generously oversized tiles can make a space feel larger and less busy. Fewer grout lines help create a sleek look, and a lower level of maintenance in applications such as a shower surround. Consider the Astral Plane Porcelain Stone from Crossville. It’s recommended for interior floors, walls, countertops, and exterior walls and is available in sizes 24×24, 12×24 and 6×24.
Glow with glass
While Americans primarily use tile in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and entry foyers, in other parts of the world, it is frequently used to add color and texture to different areas of the home. Consider creating a focal wall in a living room or study with tile like Luce Clipper from Lunada Bay. This glass tile reflects light like sunlight shimmering on water.
Add an accent
If an overall wash of color is a bit too much for your taste, consider a neutral field tile with just a vibrant accent piece scattered throughout your design. Charley Harper for Installation, Motawi’s 3×6 ceramic subway tile line, features 10 of Harper’s whimsical wildlife designs with his characteristic mid-century modern style.
See in 3D
Your walls and floors will come alive when you add a three-dimensional tile that gives the space an appealing visual texture with a raised, uneven look. A selection such as Herald by Original Style tricks the eye and makes you want to rub your hands across its surface before you convince yourself that it is actually flat.
Speak with stone
It’s hard to beat the statement you make when you add the look of natural stone—granite, marble, limestone or travertine—to a space, especially when it’s laid in large segments. Drawing inspiration from both nature and modernist architecture, Barcelona from Walker Zanger is a collection of glazed porcelain tiles that recreates the appearance of vein-cut onyx.
Go with a classic
Hexagonal tiles are a classic that have made their way, in a one-inch format, to bathroom floors since the early 1900s. In a stylish update, Fireclay Tile has introduced their Ombre Hexagon 6-inch wall tiles that can be used to create a fun and futuristic kitchen backsplash that celebrates a clean aesthetic and bold originality.
Go big with mosaics
You can make a very big statement with tiny tiles. Mosaic tiles, made of ceramic, porcelain, glass, natural stone or metal, typically come mounted on a mesh sheet. Instead of a random pattern, you might want to consider a more deliberate design, such as Kyoto Skies from New Ravenna which features inviting graphics made of hand-cut jewel glass.
Ride to Morocco
The ogee is a curved shape consisting of a concave arc and vertical ends. This shape is often referred to as Moroccan and its history can be traced back to ancient Persia. You might choose a ceramic tile such as Sofia Mosaic from Walker Zanger to showcase the graceful curves and bright hues that are indicative of this family.
crossvilleinc.com, available at Louisville Tile
lunadabaytile.com, available at Hamilton Parker
newravenna.com, available at Louisville Tile
originalstyle.com, available at Hamilton Parker
walkerzanger.com, available at Hamilton Parker and Louisville Tile