Kitchen & Bath Design News

MAR 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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TEXTURE AND DIMENSION Texture can often be a way to add interest to a space, and the increased availability of three-dimensional tile and tile that re- sembles natural materials – especially wood and natural stone – can offer a unique way to accomplish that goal. "You almost wouldn't be able to tell the difference because these tiles are so realistic and elegant," says Diaz-Velasco, in reference to natural stone lookalikes. The designer has also seen more interest in tile that em- ulates metals such as copper, silver and oxidized platinum as well as fiberglass 'wallpaper,' the latter of which can be printed with any color or image and installed on any surface, includ- ing floors, ceilings or even shower walls. "This type of surface reimagines the role of tile and allows designers to truly explore their creativity," she says. In addition, Diaz-Velasco has noticed a growing trend of in- corporating metal inserts, either those that are flat or those that offer a three-dimensional effect. "They give a special character to the space, almost like a sculptural feature," she says, adding that she used gold mosaic in a recent master bath vanity area. "These types of tiles, along with stone hues, geometric figures, retro colors and 3D textured tile, have a playful, retro aesthetic and ultimately contribute to a compelling modern look." Tile that resembles stone has generated interest from Steinberg's clients. Recently the designer created a focal-point wall of texture via porcelain tile that resembles rough-hewn stone in the shower of a bathroom where she complemented it with a pebble floor and juxtaposed them both against smooth, large-format tile on the walls. "It looks and feels like a natu- rally occurring stone wall in nature, but it's all manmade," she explains. "I also have clients who like marble and quartzite. A lot of times I am able to achieve the look and feel of those materials with manmade products as well." Steinberg is currently designing a bathroom where wood- look tile will sheath one wall of the shower as well as serve as an accent behind the vanity and around the toilet. "The tile resembles reclaimed barn boards," she says. "It's really interesting to mix something like these tiles that look and feel Like Cuadra, Steinberg wonders about the longevity of this style. "They are fun for clients who want to be super on-trend," she says, adding that she has scheduled a visit to a tile show- room with a client who will likely go the graphic route. "They are beautiful accents and they create a wonderful effect that people love. But I'm a little worried about them holding up to the test of time. Will they still be as well liked five years from now? I'm a little concerned. Yes, it's just the nature of the tile, whereas something like a penny round, which we sometimes use on shower floors, has its roots in a historical look, which is less likely to go out of style." SIZES AND SHAPES Large-format tiles continue to be the 'it' size for many design- ers, in part because of their minimization of grout lines, which simplifies cleaning and promotes a sleek, modern look that so many clients gravitate toward. Diaz-Velasco sees slabs as large as 48"x96", or larger, being placed on walls and floors. So does Cuadra, who adds that full slabs, of white marble in particular, can provide a lot of drama. "It's beautiful and timeless," she says. Tyler's clients gravitate towards 12"x24" tiles – which can offer a directional design – or even 24"x24" tile if the space is large enough. For Vanderhovel, the go-to size for floor tile is 12"x24", although small hexagons are trending for those who want to step a bit outside the box. "Just this morning I ordered some hexagons for a client," he says, adding that mosaics are also becoming more popular for smaller spaces. Hernandez adds that while most smaller tile has gone out of favor in his area, penny rounds are trending. "I think people want to be a bit more playful," he says. And classic subway tile, which he often mixes with colorful geometric patterns, has remained popular as well, although the designer notes a modernization of its dimensions to a larger 4"x10" format. Vanderhovel has noticed interest in elongated subway tile as well, such as the 3"x12" tile he used in a shower where he stacked it on thirds to offset the grout lines. Blue glass tile extends floor to ceiling behind the floating vanity in this bathroom designed by Sarah Steinberg. She accented the large-format gray tile in the shower with a vein of smaller white mosaics, giving the illusion of water running down the wall. Textured tile is a popular choice for many of Sarah Steinberg's clients, such as in this bath where the focal-point shower wall resembles rough-hewn stone. She complemented it with a pebble floor and juxtaposed both against smooth, large-format tile on the remaining walls. Photo: Kristina O'Brien Photography Photo: Kristina O'Brien Photography March 2019 • 65

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