Top 10 Tile Trends to Inspire Design in 2024

By Clare Tattersall

North America’s largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference has unveiled the dominant tile trends for 2024.

Coverings’ top 10 picks were identified by Alena Capra, owner of Alena Capra Designs and Coverings spokesperson, in collaboration with three international tile associations — Ceramics of Italy, Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain and Tile Council of North America.

With tile being a historically integral part of buildings, it is no surprise that architecture is a muse for tile manufacturers. Ceramic brands are partnering with industry designer heavyweights to put their own creative stamps on the classic material, while others are inspired by historic buildings and architectural details from stained glass to Byzantine cut mosaics.

Beyond Realism
When texture, sheen and reflectivity with colour can be digitally manipulated, it is not only possible to recreate anything through ceramics, it is also easy. Modern tile production is at a stage where artistic expression knows no bounds, even when taking on a natural reproduction. The layers of detail that are possible with printing techniques evokes truly visceral experiences. The ability to create fine variances in decorative adornments allows for a ceramicist to play with the characteristics of different substances or introduce other elements of interest in tile.

Thuy-hanois by Porcelanicos HDC

Contempo Concrete
To complement the raw beauty of contemporary architecture, designers are delivering fresh interpretations of modern cement in porcelain format. Exquisitely coloured and perfectly sized aggregates give these designs a handcrafted concrete look and feel. Beautifully brutalist and understatedly elegant, these creative concrete looks embody modernity, sophistication and the bustling tapestry of urban living.

Organic Grandeur
Innovative glazing technology paired with inspiration from rare natural materials give us surfaces so stunning you’ll lose your gaze in them. Enhancing effects of light and reflectivity are reproduced in luminous finishes, providing the beauty and depth of marble with the durability of porcelain in colour ranges wider than those of natural stone.

Onx² by Wonder Porcelain

Porcelain Panels Panache
The world is witnessing and embracing the availability of production-ready versions of full-body porcelain panels. This achievement signifies a momentous milestone as it fulfills a longstanding request from fabricators and specifiers since the mainstream adoption and installation of large-format tiles. These full-body pieces offer the remarkable qualities of heat, stain and scratch resistance, while being sustainable and free from toxic chemicals. What’s more, manufacturers are turning up the volume on this trend with the look, style and allure of natural stone, spanning many collections mimicking the world’s rarest marble and showcasing evocative amalgamations with bright colours and luminous veins. Distinguishing them from vying materials is their capacity to be worked with, using traditional fabrication techniques, making them a cost-effective and versatile choice for exceptional architecture and design applications.

Indah by Vitacer

Seeking Balance
When balance and complementary interactions are fleeting, tile makers look to the birthplace of yin-yang and wabi-sabi for inspiration. While we see ample textile designs translated into ceramic renditions, there is one standout repeated by many this year: stick mosaics. Manufacturers are offering their take on this classic Japanese porcelain style, enhancing new lines with gracefully flowing pottery glazes. The appeal of fragmented pieces lies in the delicate interplay between precise straight lines and a gracefully undulating imperfect charm of the coatings.

Set in Stone
These looks draw inspiration from the magnificent beauty of the Earth’s ancient geological past. Masterpieces of nature, like limestone, bluestone and slate, are represented with such precision and include characteristics like veining, coal lines and visible fossils. The visual richness of their textures, nuances and details are maintained and paired with the practicality of ceramic.

Norian by Portobello America

Tactile Renaissance
Tile manufacturers are wholeheartedly embracing the infusion of rich textures throughout new ceramic collections. As architects and designers explore a growing interest in outfitting built environments in raw and rugged materials, the incorporation of tangible surfaces enables one to adequately interact with and navigate a space. Tiles impressed with deep grooves, subtle fluting, billowing curves and scored strokes are meant to be experienced both visually and physically.

The Third Dimension
Ceramic tile companies are looking to the third dimension as the next frontier of design. New collections feature a plethora of 3-D tiles from fluted and protruding surfaces to reliefs with explosive patterns. As manufacturers work toward producing tiles that look and feel like natural stone, marble prints are now paired with low relief veining for an incredibly realistic appearance.

Trompe L’oeil
From misty forests to overlapping sheets of corrugated metal, tile manufacturers are producing a range of mind-blowing optical illusion effects on porcelain. Given the technical benefits of porcelain, designers can use these digitally printed tiles to their advantage, creating a shower that appears to be enclosed by billowy drapes or the floors of a spa covered in grooved wood-look planks.

The top 10 tile trends will be on display throughout Coverings 2024, April 22-25, at the Georgia World Congress Centre in Atlanta.

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