In 2020, it’s just as important to wall tile trends as it is the latest looks for furniture and paint. Thanks to their wipe-clean finish, there’s no doubting they’re a practical choice. And with such a huge range of designs to choose from, they can also bring that sought-after splash of colour and pattern.
Not quite as easy as a simple coat of paint if you wanted to update, it’s important to get things right from the start. Here are a few things to bear in mind…
Firstly, tiles are not just for kitchens and bathrooms. Wall tiles can add drama to a period hallway or porch, lighten a living area or make a statement in the bedroom, too.
You can’t use them on the floor. Although floor tiles can generally be used on walls, the opposite isn’t true. Floor tiles tend to be made of porcelain, while wall tiles are usually ceramic, making them softer and not so hardy – therefore they won’t be able to withstand having things dropped on them.
- Ceramic designs are a lighter choice. The generally accepted guide is 20kg per sq m maximum weight on plaster walls and 32kg per sq m on plasterboard, something you may want to consider before investing in heavy or large format tile options.
- Grouting impacts the final look. A grout that matches the tiles creates a sleek, seamless surface, while white tiles look striking with a dark or coloured grout.
Right, now that’s been covered, on to some inspiration. Check out our favourite wall tile trends of the moment…
Wall tile trends 2020
1. New angles
Ditch uniform rows and neatly finished edges and try a standout tile treatment for a decorative splashback. Here, brick tiles in different patterns, textures and finishes have been laid on a slant.
As well as offering visual appeal, this formation is a clever way of working around tricky interior details such as shelves, windows or sockets, helping to define the space further. Stick to complementary shades and matching grout to stop it becoming too busy.
2. Seamless styles
Using an oversized tile in pale shades offers an elegant effect that creates the illusion of a larger space. They also result in fewer grout lines, which is a major plus on the cleaning front.
‘Our textured porcelain tiles feature a delicate lattice design that’s been hand-painted for an authentic finish – perfect for adding interest to a neutral scheme’, says Jane Addis, New Products and Design Manager at Original Style.
3. Statement splashbacks
A splash of colour is a wonderful way to add impact to a predominantly neutral kitchen. Source bold tile designs in striking colourways to make a focal point of an alcove or range cooker – and create a practical splashback in the process, too.
Patterns inspired by original encaustic designs are ideal for linking traditional architectural details with modern appliances.
4. Marble for everyone
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No longer the preserve of high-end hotels, marble is becoming increasingly accessible in everyday interiors. ‘The tones of natural stones may change, but it’s always classy – the perfect anchor material for a modern country bathroom’, says Rob Whitaker, Creative Director at Claybrook.
‘Combing smaller mosaic tiles with larger format designs on the wall and floor adds interest and breaks up the space visually, giving bijoux bathrooms a spacious and luxurious feel’.
5. Playing with pattern
Don’t shy away from mixing different tiles in one area. But do minimise a clash of patterns and colours by keeping to a limited palette throughout.
‘By twisting the orientation of these square tiles so they’re laid as diamonds, the visual impact is heightened’, says Joy Walton, product design manager at British Ceramic Tile. The patterns are taken from Ted Baker prints, but by harmonising the scale and shades, they’ve been given an antique feel’.
6. Mixing your metro tiles
The humble metro tile, associated with old underground stations in London and Paris, remain as popular as ever. Bevel options add texture, while flat styles are easier to clean. For classic country kitchens, cream, taupe and soft grey palettes work best.
‘Add eye-catching interest to a traditional brick formation by mixing matt and gloss finishes and incorporating different shades’, says Vanessa Richmond, Editor at Ideal Home magazine.
7. Moroccan influence
Often associated with bold pattern and bright jewel tones, Moroccan tiles can be a bold design choice. These handcrafted clay tiles in soft pastel tones (think ice blue and pastel pink) offer a subtler take on the trend without sacrificing on character.
‘The traditional handmade process and ancient glazing technique results in an intricate network of small hairline cracks and edge chipping, reminiscent of the original finish’, says Damla Turgut, Founder, Otto Tiles & Design. Perhaps not for the perfectionist, they bring rustic character and charm to interiors’.