“Tiles are no longer only used for their functional benefits and durability but play an important role in enhancing the aesthetic and design value of any project. Therefore, industry players and manufacturers are innovating constantly, to provide an array of options and styles in a variety of designs, shapes, textures, and colours for homeowners and designers alike,” Disha Bhavsar & Shivani Ajmera, Founding Partners and Principal Designers, Quirk Studio, rightly point out.
According to them, Terrazzo tiles have come back in a big way and can be a beautiful addition to any space. They come in various colours and can be used as flooring, countertops, bathrooms and indoor swimming pools. Metallic tiles are also in trend. From brushed to matt to shiny, metallic hues can make any space look elegant and stylish.
According to Prashant Kulshreshtha, Director, Ogling Inches Design Architects, “In the age of Instagram and Tumblr, light, subtle elements with low texture volume will rule the eyes! With the upcoming time and with gain in knowledge, I feel tiles are trending towards colours and shapes rather than textures.”
Opt for a subtler version, or go bold – designers internationally have said a big yes to this aquatic hue for this year at least.
Reminding you of the clear water of the Pacific Ocean, the spaces using blue coloured tiles emerge to be ultra classic, warm yet very exotic at the very first glance. The best bet for open/small living halls, studios, bedrooms – or any other room that demands to look spacious than its actual size. Spa Oscar Blue + Ranger Blue Tile by Nitco is a popular choice when it comes to blue tiles.
According to Subrata Basu, VP - Design, Nitco Tiles, “While many of our customers prefer minimal, contemporary looks with a hint of statement walls to accentuate a part of their space, there is a huge demand for our legacy collection – like the Cotto Terracotta, that gives a perfect vintage charm to any space. 'Floral patterns' is another trend that is taking centre stage because a certain percentage of customers are willing to experiment with colour and bring in some vibrancy to their spaces.”
Tiles large as 18x18 inches are seen adorning both indoors and outdoors. Laminam large-size ceramic slabs from Kajaria with minimum thickness are becoming a rage in Europe’s architecture, as external cladding in façade systems, and in interiors, as wall cladding and flooring. Trailing on the similar lines are Maximus UNI Megaslabs by RAK Ceramics – a unique combination of the same solid colour of the top decorative surface and the body of the tile – giving a uniform look to the tile from top to bottom.
As Anil K Beejawat, Chief Executive Officer, RAK Ceramics India rightly points out, “India is a stone loving country. Our Architects always preferred marble, granite and other stones for interiors and exterior usages. Modern ceramic technology has made it possible to recreate these stones in lab conditions. Large slabs with decors ranging from Italian Marbles, exotic Gemstones, Granites, metallic, wood finishes, cement finishes, all in polished, silk, lapato and rustic surface finishes are being manufactured and made available at affordable prices. Definitely these slabs can be a better substitute for any surface covering imaginable.”
According to Abhishek Somany, MD, Somany Ceramics, “For years, the tile was known as the affordable alternative to natural stone. It was a flooring staple largely restricted to kitchens, bathrooms and other water-sensitive areas. Over the last decade or so, tiles have totally taken off entering into all living spaces in the house, beautifully replicating the natural finishes and even expanding into new textures, larger formats, and varied shapes. The general perception towards home aesthetic has changed and people have started looking at tiles (floor and wall) as an important element of their home decor. With the introduction of bigger sizes, digital design-tiles have now started offering both aesthetic value and durability.”
In the words of Disha & Shivani of Quirk Studio, “Ceramic finish tiles that give the look and warmth of the actual stone and marble and other natural finishes, add that rich look, without looking like tiles and being easy on the pocket!” According to Dinesh Vyas, Senior VP and Head - Marketing, H & R Johnson, “Current trends in interiors are skewed towards minimalist, modern and contemporary styles. To suit these interior styling, non-shiny (matte and soft-matte), lesser joints (meaning large sizes), earthen shades and subtle graphics in flooring tiles are more popular now than conventionally high glossy Italian marble replications.”
Being bold is the key to fame.
As an obvious consequence, the manufacturers are seen experimenting with a variety of textures and designs in tiles. The outcome is something called millennial-friendly, gen-Z surfaces.
As Firdaus Variava, Vice Chairman, Bharat Flooring puts it, “Uber cool designers have started using a lot and concrete materials, including patterned cement tiles and micro-toppings. Heritage™ tiles have become the rage, and the patterns used have started reflecting modern sensibilities with pastel colours, lots of geometric and minimalist designs, and some funky use of tile design to create Ikats. With virtually unlimited design options and quick installation time, micro cement floors can turn any space into a vibrant and beautifully designed area.”
Contemporaneo is a mosaic-inspired tile range by Friul Mosaic which impeccably exemplifies neo surfaces. Natural stone, marble and gold in different essences and finishes are the protagonists of the range. It contains mosaic compositions with a geometric character, including the bold and strong lines.
In the words of Keith Menon, Co-founder, Spiro Spero, “The latest tile trend is expressed through the Japanese Wabi-sabi philosophy, an approach that celebrates the imperfect. Tiles that recreate raw surface textures, terracotta and unglazed ceramic are good examples.”
Of what may sound as more mechanical, grouting these days have become a technique to unleash a designer’s creativity. Moreover, with the advent of brand new technologies and the introduction of advanced materials like advanced performance cement, epoxy, premixed grout material etc. – ace architects are loving the way tiles are being ‘joined-together’ in this era.
The story got originally published in the November Issue of Surfaces Reporter Magazine.
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