24 January 2012

2012 Trends Post: Tiles (Guest Post by Paul Anater of Kitchen and Residential Design)

When I decided that no 2012 trends series would be complete without a tile post, my go-to guy was Paul Anater, editor and publisher of the incomparable Kitchen and Residential Design blog, also a friend and Blogger 19 "godfather."

I knew that Paul had his finger on the pulse of this dynamic specialty, and that he was working with the top trade show for that industry, Coverings, to keep us designers and design writers informed.

I attended Coverings a few years ago and found it to be well worth the time. If I can squeeze it into my schedule this April, you'll see me there again. (The fact that my stepdaughter attends college in Orlando makes it even more appealing!)

There are so many incredible new innovations in tile, beyond just the great-looking designs. It's truly an ancient medium that is ideal for our new era, too. But please let Paul inform you in his own words and share some great images with you, too!


The last few years have brought with them something close to a revolution when it comes to what’s available in the world of tile. The ability of tile manufacturers to print more and more different patterns has led to a great variety of products. These can lend any room a distinctive and long-lasting feel that will be in style for years to come.

Stone looks

The first big trend to come out of Europe and be picked up by manufacturers in North America is tile that looks like stone.

Whether it’s the look of slate, granite, onyx or the grey-green marble shown here from Aparici, the same look can be had in tile. In tile however, you’ll get the maintenance-free characteristics of ceramic tile without the hassles of natural stone.

Wood looks

One of the other big trends is the idea of tile standing in for wood planks. Stand ins for true planks still abound, but tile designers are starting to theme the wood they’re imitating.

This series from Peronda invokes repurposed shipping crates and pallets. The result is an interesting and edgy take on green design.

Format changes

Recent years have seen a move to tiles that are larger, thinner and less likely to be square. Using these large formats brings with it a completely different appearance as this room from Grespania shows. It would be a different room all together if there were 12-inch squares on the walls and floors.

In keeping with that different format approach, some manufacturers are introducing wall tile that dispenses with right angles like this series from Apavisa.

The same manufacturer, Apavisa, has been experimenting with the idea of dispensing with wall tiles that are flat. The effect is spectacular and is about the last thing anybody would expect a tile wall to look like.

Artisinal tile

And through all this modernity, at the same time there’s been an explosion in artisanal tile, such as these hand-cut mosaics from New Ravenna.

And how about these Art Nouveau beauties from DuQuella Tile?

Still more

The world of tile is exploding. Tile’s showing up not just on floors but on building facades, interior walls and structural elements.

Though North America tends to lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to innovations in ceramics, that’s beginning to change as more international brands come into the markets on this side of the Atlantic. North American manufacturers, too, are climbing onboard when it comes to the innovations we’re seeing coming out of Europe.

Get there!

One of the best places to see what’s new in the world of North American tile is the trade show Coverings [JG: Industry professionals only; free admission] Coverings is an international showcase of North American tile and stone and this year it’s being held in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The show runs from April 17th through the 21st.


  1. Thanks so much for including us in your post! Paul, you've always been such a great cheerleader for our tile!!

  2. He was def the right guy for this post, wasn't he, Cyra? Though I'm still trying to clear the image of Paul shaking pom poms from my brain!

  3. The coverings are very awesome. I really like the selections. The best tile I've ever seen.

  4. I agree! Looks like this Year's show will be the best yet!

  5. Paul hit all the latest trends (as usual) that we are seeing here. The revolution that is going on in the tile industry is helping create sustainable products with the look of a less sustainable material like wood. I can't wait to see what the manufacturers have in store for us at Coverings 2012 my first trip to this show!

  6. He always does, Jeremy! I got a bit of a preview this week at Cevisama. Be sure to visit the Tile of Spain booth at Coverings when you go... There are some Incredible new innovations and styles coming our way that you'll see there, I'm sure. I'll also be blogging about them in the next weeks, so check back here, too!

  7. Eclectic tiles, metallics, large-format floor tiles, graphic tiles and gray ceramic tiles - these are showing up as very hot trending tiles in the year 2012, Jamie. As the years pass by, tiles also become more glamorous and artistic. And as long as people find amazement in these, manufacturers will continue to produce even better products in the future.

    Kathy Carbone

  8. That's definitely something to look forward to, Kathy. Thanks for your feedback.

  9. There's a lot of new trend and style when it comes to beautification.And so if we want the best for our home make necessary things to look better.

  10. Paul did a great job sharing those new trends and styles, didn't he! Thanks for your comment.


Found Gold: Popular Posts from the Past!

Don't miss out on any gold -- subscribe by email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner