If you look in the United States you’ll see the trend for interior finishes in many cities is quite different from here in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Why? Extensive influence from European designers, especially from Italy. I’m not just biased, it’s the truth. You can buy tiles made in other countries and they may be of decent quality but what they majorly lack (and always will lack) is the designers, who happen to be Italian. The best manufacturers who adhere to this forward moving industry are in Italy with some in Spain. They are always pushing boundaries while holding true to the history and roots of floors.
So where is the flooring industry heading in 2017? This answer gets broken down into pattern, size and colours.
PATTERN While straight-lay was the standard for decades it took a hiatus when other patterns became en vogue. Today it is coming back to life by using it in contemporary settings and because of rectified tiles. Still in use is off-set and the iconic classic herringbone, which was first created in Brunelleschi’s Dome, Florence Italy. Also now very popular are 3D tiles which is a fairly new concept. They not only feel amazing but the completed job looks fantastic.
SIZE – BIG This trend began with 2’x2′ tiles. No, not two inches, two feet. From there it has gone up in size; 32″x 32″, 2’x4′, 3’x 3′, 8″x 6′ all the way up to 5′ x 10′
Combined with this size is obvious weight. Today’s boxes of these particular tiles, containing only 3 tiles, weighs in at 110 lbs or aprox 37 lbs each. Yeah! That’s monstrous! This also requires new machines to cut these tiles and an installer who can install them properly. These rectified tiles are installed with a 1 mm grout joint, so any tile off by 1 mm you’ll see it and feel it.
COLOURS – Hues of grey, creams and ivories. Glass tile, Stone Wood (porcelain that looks like wood) and old classic styles inspired by Paris. Black, whites and metallics are also back in demand.
And one last thing to add to this article. Installation. I will talk about it constantly because knowing when to use a different installation pattern and when to use a standard install is also key. This is coupled with knowing what adhesives to use to when installing your tile and how to prep your floor before installation, how wide your grout joints should be, how to grout and how to clean-up after an install. No matter if your install in on a 45 degree, brick pattern, or straight-lay, this all requires patience and a keen eye.
Author Makú Kemiko – Photos are compliments of Sarana Tile unless otherwise specified