Today I am thrilled to introduce my first guest blogger, the charismatic Sophie Belanger, Vice President of Marketing for ICON Stone & Tile. I recently had the opportunity to tour their new showroom and it truly is stunning. As a precursor to the tour Sophie sent me a presentation she had put together following a series of Trade Shows attended in the United States and Italy featuring the best findings, trends and fashion-forward collections. I was so impressed with this wealth of information that I immediately contacted Sophie to see if I might run it as a guest spot on my blog.
With many thanks to Sophie Belanger I present her comprehensive look at the top 10 tile trends for 2015 complete with all her beautiful pictures.
Note: This presentation is lengthy but will save you hours of doing your own research so grab a glass of wine, sit back, and prepare to be educated and inspired.
Home of Cersaie – the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings
Trend #1 – Neu Wood
There’s an incredible range of sizes for floors and walls – from 6 foot long boards to super wide planks. (picture BLENDART collection)
Giant, rustic squares
Parquet and inlay
Patchwork patterns that look like planks of reclaimed lumber
And of course, chevron and herringbone which is an enduring interior design trend
Some companies are drawn to the charming imperfections of rustic wood, showing all of the knots, scratches, and stains
Others dress it up with glossy, marble-like finishes to create a stark contrast between worn and polished surfaces
Or focus on special techniques such as scraping or charring to add new textures
Or offer a completely different illustrative take on wood
Woodside collection offers 3D-planks among other original formats
Trend #2 – Hexagons
Here you can see you can see a whole range of designs in one collection
Time worn pavers for a vintage feel
Metallic stone for more modern spaces
Some companies are blending the characteristics of different materials to create a whole new look and feel. This collection mixes terracotta and cement and adds retro patterns that can be mixed and matched.
Hexagons are great because you can use them to create designated areas in a playful and fluid way
Or create interesting accent walls with patterns that add another layer of geometry
Or soften floors with a tactile carpet-like effect
Three dimensional baby hexagons
Oversized hexagons with minimal grout lines
This is an interesting line based on the hexagon with different sized tiles that can be studded into each other or configured into countless combinations
Trend #3 – Marble
One of the advantages of using porcelain is the ease of using different marble types in one setting. Here you can see field tiles that look like statuario with grey St. Laurent inserts.
Marble designs in a hexagon format with overlaid decorative patterns creating something completely new
Basket weave pattern
Rhombic effect in marble makes for a great accent wall
Here’s the same tile in a wavy three-dimensional effect
Tactile relief that adds a softness to marble
You can also clad an entire room in porcelain marble and not break the bank
Trend #4 – Boom.Pop.Wow!
A lot of companies introduced collections inspired by the world of comics and pop art.
Featuring Keith Haring
Lupin the 3rd
Trend #5 – Modern Mosaics
There are so many innovative mosaics – from playing with the dimensions of traditional penny, hexagon, and brick mosaics to introducing completely new formats.
Modern version of penny mosaics
Macro mosaic porcelain tile
Trend #6 – Black and White
which leads me to the next trend…
Trend #7 – Cementine
Concrete-inspired 8″x8″ porcelain tiles
Playful take on cementine with geometric patterns in a few faded colors
Trend #8 – Metallized
Corten steel with its characteristic rusty color and just-right patina
Here’s another collection where it’s used as exterior cladding
Oxidized copper look
Trend #9 – Customization
The one thing architects and designers want more and more is customization so tile companies are developing flexible systems to create tailor-made compositions
A new tailor-made production service on three-dimensional ceramic modules
Trend #10 – Installation Innovations
In the past 5 years we’ve seen an influx of products to make installation so much easier. These are a few new innovations from our Italian companies designed to make tile installations quick and easy which are especially useful for renovations and temporary installations.
If you go to the Coverings show every year you may have seen this in the Del Conca booth last year. It’s a quick-laying flooring system called Del Conca Fast that can be installed without joints, adhesives, or grouts. It uses a simple tongue-and-groove system with plastic connectors and comes in a few plank sizes in a wood or concrete look creating a new floor in a matter of hours.
This is another interesting floating system called SLIM/4+ from the Florim Group. Using a special layering process the ultra-thin 4mm porcelain tile is combined with a steel sheet and then pre-compressed creating an ultra impact-resistant tile. The system also comes with an underlay, spacers and sealers to create a removable and reusable floor that can also be used with underfloor heating.
This is a trend that has been gaining momentum in the last few of years: 2cm-thick pavers. They have the same benefits as regular porcelain – frost-proof, skid-resistant, and easy to clean – but being twice as thick they have incredibly high breakage loads (up to 2000 lbs). The tiles can be dry laid onto grass, gravel, dirt, and sand – or onto terraces using raised supports – without grout, adhesives, or specialized workers making installation incredibly easy. Italian companies are now offering these porcelain pavers in a variety of formats, designs, and trims offering a completely versatile system for designing outdoor spaces. (pictured Treverkhome by Marazzi)
Here you can see the tile with an adjustable raised support so it can even be used on a sloped surface
I’m sure you’ve all seen those super sized slim tiles but you may not know that they also come in a range of colors and can even be custom printed. This is an example from Lea Ceramiche called Pixel that’s the newest addition to the company’s Slimtech collection. The product comes in a range of sizes and colors inspired by Italy’s landscape.
Lastly this is a revolutionary new installation technology from ABK Group called Auto_Levelling. They’ve found a way to add a high level of plasticity to porcelain causing the tiles to automatically level under their own weight and resulting in a perfectly flat installation of large-format porcelain tiles. Made of 40% recycled materials it’s a cutting edge but also eco-friendly flooring solution and is currently available in a variety of wood looks and plank sizes from ABK. Flaviker, and Ariana.
Thank you Sophie! That was so insightful and I learned a great deal.
To contact Sophie Belanger at ICON Stone & Tile for more information…firstname.lastname@example.org 403-978-7002.