Tile of Spain, the association of over 100 Spanish tile manufacturers, like every year, forecasted macro trends for 2018. There is a reverence for clean, honest materials, they said. Collections are being designed with broad expanses of installations in mind. Tile is not just an accent, it’s literally everywhere indoors and out. The intentional hyper-distressed look of neglect is beginning to give way to a more refined and stately vintage look with a well-loved and maintained feel. 2018’s ceramics are all about the balance we are all struggling so hard to find in our daily 21st century lives. #SurfacesReporterDotCom is glad to present some of the trends as follows:
1. ENCAUSTIC MASHUPS
The strongest look by far remains to be the encaustic cement look and other riffs on the style where multiple patterns are mashed together to create a layered cohesive look. Most of these looks are offered in the traditional 8x8” format but many are printed as decos in a larger format field.
2. WOOD IN ALL FORMS & DESIGNS
Wood is the unbeatable love for ages and still reigns the heart of designers and home makers. Transformations in wood are interesting, ranging from pure wood look, to merging it with rustic, vintage touch, to adding colours from blue to greenish. With ultra violet as colour of the year we are wondering if wood will also be seen wearing that colour soon.
Grey, White, Black remain the top 3 colors in that order for both floors and walls with Greige (gray-beige) following as a close 4th, depending on the collection’s design inspiration. Classic wood tones still reign supreme. Denim blues and deep wine bottle or British racing greens replace oceanic blues, teals and turquoise that were solidly in place for the past 2 years as accent.
4. PLANKS ARE EVERYWHERE
Almost without exception, manufacturers are reporting their top sellers to be planks. Stone, metal and even cotto are finding great success in the plank formats. Small formats continue to be a strong choice for wall tile, aided by the ongoing popularity of subway tile.
5. DECLINE OF WEATHERED, VINTAGE IS BACK
Heavy rustication and weathering are on the decline this year to make way for more of a vintage, worked by hand look. In looks ranging from woods and stones to glazed ceramics and cottos, the overall impression is one of a long life with care and consideration rather than one of neglect and hardship.
6. DELICATE TEXTURES
Other directions in deco this year are favoring delicate textures in damask or lace patterns, as well as a strong influence from paper and textiles in all styles.
7. GAUGED OR THIN TILE
This relatively new market segment continues to gather a head of steam – especially to reduce grouting in bathrooms and kitchen countertops. The market is steadily adjusting to this material, and it is becoming more commonplace at point of sale.
8. GEOMETRICS ARE BACK
Geometrics are also back in many minimalist collections this year either as overlays or in tone-on-tone versions.
9. PAVERS CEMENT THEIR POSITION
One of the key components to the rapid growth of this 2cm thick category is that they are lighter and more consistent to cut than traditional cement pavers. Because of this, the contractor base is actively promoting the switch to porcelain in projects.
Previous years saw almost exclusively 24x24” formats, but this year there was a cornucopia of 16x32” and 24x48” pavers, with some even being cut down to 12 or 8” planks as well. Some of the paver offerings, especially in flagstone or cobblestone looks, featured the softly weathered edge also seen in cottos and French limestone looks in traditional thickness.
10. SUBTLE METALLICS AND GLAZES
The stripped and painted woods have mellowed to a burnished sand-blasted look and the ceramics have multiple effects of lustered glazes, subtle metallics and varied finishes to deepen their overall aesthetic.
This article was first published in SURFACES REPORTER MAGAZINE, March 2018. Print copy can be Subscribed at: http://www.surfacesreporter.com/subscription
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