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01 Mar 2017

Top tips on tile trends for your self-build


Jess Piddock, in-house Interior Designer at Domus, offers her top tips on tile trends for your self-build.

It’s an exciting time for surfaces in the home as the general trend is for a more eclectic, bolder look and there are so many colours, patterns and textures to choose from.

Patterns including random and organic shapes, as well as geometrics, are a continuing trend and, as well as being printed onto the tiles, are being created from the tile shapes themselves. Patterns will also be created by mixing matt and gloss finishes.

Stones are becoming more opulent with coloured marbles and strong markings, like travertine and onyx. Blue is a big colour for 2017, in stronger hues like indigo and denim. Greens will also become more popular, influenced by last year’s jungle themes. These colours have become familiar in wallpaper and paints, so it’s a natural progression. Paint effects such as ombre are also coming into tiles. Coloured grout is stepping into the limelight as a design feature too.

To achieve an on-trend look that you won’t tire of, think carefully about where to position bold accents, e.g. keeping the bolder colours and patterns on the floor in a bathroom will retain a tranquil view from the bath.


Wood-effect tiles

Advances in recent technology now allow tile manufacturers to challenge traditional timber merchants. As a result, UK homeowners are decorating their homes with an array of ceramic and porcelain tiles which replicate natural wood flooring.

All the major genus of natural wood can be replicated in exacting detail. Each tile can now differ from the next in a batch. The texture of these tiles is such that, to the touch, they exhibit the same subtle undulations inherent in real planks. It is now very difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference between wood and wood-effect tiles with the naked eye.

Recognising this trend in UK home decor, Tile Devil, an online retailer of floor and wall tiles, has just expanded its range of wood-effect tiles. Graham Grumley, Tile Devil’s Director, comments: “Demand for wood-effect tiles has been exceptional. They were going out the door so quick we had to contact the manufacturers to speed up delivery. Homeowners have recognised that tiles require little to no care, unlike timber floors.”

On the broader macro picture, he continues: “We were worried that recent political events and a slide in the pound might have dampened consumer confidence. So far, it seems there was no reason to be concerned.”


Waterproof your wetroom

Here, Shirley Holland, Marketing Manager at Gemini Tiles, advises on what to look out for when specifying tiles for wetrooms.


When choosing tiles for wetroom walls and floors, it is important to check their suitability with your tile supplier. Porous bodied tiles with translucent or semi-transparent glazes may be stained by water penetration and should not be used in a wetroom.

Glazed or unglazed porcelain/fully vitrified tiles and mosaics are best suited to use in wetrooms as they are impervious and will not accept water penetration. For mosaics that have been assembled with water-resistant backing fabric, it is essential that the backing and its water-resistant glue does not cover more than 25% of the area of each mosaic. Waterproof tile backer boards should be used to line the walls and floors of the wetroom before fixing tiles or a suitable tanking system which will also waterproof the walls and floors. A C2 cement-based tile adhesive should be used to fix both wall and floor tiles. A CG2 water-resistant grout or a hybrid epoxy grout should be used and a high-quality silicone should be used for internal wall and floor joints. Regular cleaning of the tiles and adequate ventilation should prevent mould occurring.

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