Hot Tile Design Trends!


Photography by Michael Woodall

This contemporary master bathroom remodel, designed and built by Erik Koss, Koss Design+Build illustrates how using scale, materials, and color results in a uniquely streamlined and textural environment.  Not only that, the materials used in this installation are sustainable and environmentally conscious.  Here are some of the hot trends we see in tile now:

1.  Large format porcelain tile.  Porcelain tile has come a long way, and is no longer simply considered as the ‘utilitarian’ option.  Having said that, if low maintenance is a priority, this is a perfect material selection.  Large format tiles, like the 6″ x 24″ white wall tiles in this shower/tub surround are easy to clean, allow for a very small grout joint and give the room clean and crisp brightness.   One thing to consider when selecting porcelain tiles:  too much porcelain can veer towards ‘institutional’ if it isn’t thoughtfully paired with other materials and textures as Erik has done here.


2. Glass Mosaic feature walls.  We like to use glass mosaics, like this Oceanside Glasstile product from their brand new recycled tile line ‘BLUE’,  as a feature wall because in this application the material is appreciated for exactly what it is: Shimmering, watery and translucent glass.  No need to complicate design with liners and borders when the mosaics are paired with a large format porcelain.  Juxtaposition of scale is the design element.













3. Linear Drains.  Linear drains allow for the bathroom floor tile to extend into the shower, creating a monolithic effect.  An important note, make sure the tile in the shower is slip resistant, otherwise, the large areas of glazed tile will be very slippery when wet, and could be a hazard.  There are products on the market available that will create a slip-resistant surface – if you fall in love with a tile that is slippery when wet – it could be worthwhile to look into these coatings.  Often times, the porcelain manufacturer will offer the same color, in different finishes and a matte or flamed surface is a good option.


Luke prepares the curbless pan

4. Curbless Showers.   Eliminating the curb visually opens up the space.  It is also a great way to prepare for future use by anyone who may have mobility issues.  It is important to know that eliminating the curb of the shower is no small task.  The subfloor must be lowered, and drain height lowered, so that the shower pan can still maintain the proper slope for good drainage. (1/4″ per foot).  Furthermore, it is important to consider the direction and volume of water from the shower head(s).  If the pressure is high, with multiple heads/rainshowers/body sprays,  it is possible for the water to push out of the shower and into the bathroom, even when the pan slope meets industry standards.

5. Smart, Selective Color.  Our understanding about the impact color has on our emotional state has grown.  The fear of using color has diminished, and here at Alpentile, and we often find ourselves discussing color selection with our clients.  We find they want to use color to create a specific mood or feeling.  They also want to be sure that they can easily change the color down the road as they update their environment.



Tile Installation:  Luke Denny, Alpentile

Bathroom Design/Build: Erik Koss, Koss Design + Build

Glass Mosaics: Oceanside Glasstile, Blue “Oasis” 1×1

Porcelain and Glass Tiles: Contact Paul Kelly, Facings of America

Photography: Michael Woodall

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