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2021’s Top 10 Tile Trends to Look for While Celebrating National Tile Day

February 23, 2021

In celebration of the fifth National Tile Day, Coverings—the largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference in North America—has announced its top 10 tile trends for 2021.

Alena Capra, certified master kitchen and bath designer and Coverings spokesperson, has collaborated with Coverings’ sponsors, including leading international tile associations Ceramics of Italy, Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain (ASCER)/Tile of Spain and Tile Council of North America (TCNA), to gather and forecast annual top tile trends to not only commemorate the material’s holiday, but also highlight the key benefits and applications of ceramic tile.

This age-old material offers numerous advantages for interior environments, including durability, sustainability, safety, versatility, affordability, aesthetic appeal and hygienic traits. Coverings founded National Tile Day in 2017 to honor these traits. To help celebrate each year, Capra releases an exciting trends forecast that highlights the patterns, colors, sizes and textures that continue to shape the industry.

She, along with a panel of tile industry insiders, presented this year’s new and unique trends from around the globe during the Feb. 23 Coverings Connected webinar session, “2021 Tile Trends".

“As the fifth National Tile Day approaches, we look forward to celebrating the many benefits of specifying and designing with ceramic tile, as well as continuing to provide insights about the elements of tile that make it the safe, sustainable and stylish surface option for residential and commercial projects,” Capra said. “The ‘2021 Tile Trends’ webinar will showcase this year’s most important and inspirational tile innovations.”

Top 10 tile trends for 2021:

1. Flecked Effect

This trend features a kaleidoscope of colors or floating fragments of shapes, where the patterns lend a burst of energy to floors and walls. From chunky to fine flecks, and large slabs to smaller tiles, the flecked effect offers endless, unique style options.

Flecked tile
Venice Villa, Iris US – Tile Council of North America

2. Gorgeous Greens

Using shades of green with tile textures reminiscent of nature will be a popular approach to bring the outdoors inside during 2021.

Gorgeous Greens
Metallica, Viva (Color: Green Lux) – Ceramics of Italy
 

3. Soft Textures

With a growing preference for toned-down designs, look to trending tile options that offer softer and more natural looks as people yearn for a connection to nature.

soft tile
Metropoli, Vives – Tile of Spain
 

4. High Gloss

Glossy tiles offer eye-catching shine and durability for areas that need to be cleaned often, which is why the high gloss trend is expected to make a big comeback this year.

gloss tile
Lyon, Porcelanite Dos – Tile of Spain
 

5. In Vein

Expect to see large-scale veining in 2021. Marble-look designs are evolving; some have fewer wide, riverlike veins with flowing movement and clean edges, while others have more angular, frenetic looks.

In vein tile
Marmi Maximum, Fiandre (Color: Invisible) – Tile Council of North America
 

6. XXL

Extra-large ceramic tiles are increasing in popularity this year. This trend enables countless applications and design possibilities, with large-format tiles that come in sizes up to 5.25-by-10.5-feet, and thicknesses ranging from 3.5 millimeters to 2 centimeters.

xxl tile
Keynote, Fondovalle – Ceramics of Italy
 

7. Biophilia

​​​​Thanks to advancements in high-definition printing, ceramic tile can be used to achieve biophilic design, which has been found to support cognitive function, physical health and psychological well-being. Ceramic tile designs are moving to more natural and untreated wood looks, as the timber elements evoke calm environments and a sense of nature.

biophilia tile
Berlin Collection, Dune – Tile of Spain
 

8. Large Hexes

​​​​​​Non-rectangular tile styles, specifically hexagons, are growing to monumental sizes in 2021. Hexagons as large as two feet in diameter can add plenty of drama to a space.

large tile
Construct, Interceramic – Tile Council of North America
 

9. Patterned Tile Concrete Lookalikes

Concrete-look tiles will continue to serve as a muse for architects and manufacturers this year, with playful patterns and infinite laying schemes that add a dramatic impact on any indoor or outdoor space.

patterned tile
Materica, Ceramiche Caesar – Ceramics of Italy
 

10. Muted Tones

​2021 will see a strong rise in muted tile tones, such as soft blues and greens, that create soothing and relaxing spaces.

muted tile
Cement Block, Portobello America (Color: Aquamarine) – Tile Council of North America
 

These tile trends are a preview of the newest styles to be discovered during the Feb. 23 Coverings Connected webinar.

They can also be discovered in person at Coverings 2021, taking place July 7-9, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The in-person show offers tile, stone and design industry professionals the opportunity to network with industry peers, attend educational sessions and live demonstrations, earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and more. Complimentary registration is open and available at coverings.com.

Have tile trends changed in the last three years? Read for yourself to find out!

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About the author
Adrian Schley | Associate Editor

Adrian Schley is an Associate Editor for i+s, where she has been covering the commercial interior design industry since 2018. Her work can also be found in BUILDINGS and Meetings Today.