365 Objects Of Design

Patterned Tiles are Big for 2018

10th January 2018

It started, as it so often does, on Instagram. A couple of people – Sian Astley and Alex Steadman of The Frugality to be precise – included these tiles on their instastories and, as a long-time fan of patterned tiles, I was immediately keen to know where they came from. I was also intrigued to see more people adopting pattern in their tiles. The subway, while classic, has reigned supreme for too long.

lilypad hex encaustic tile from ca pietra

lilypad hex encaustic tile from ca pietra

As I said the other day, when I predicted that wallpaper was going to be huge in 2018, pattern has been under-rated for the last few years and it’s making its way back now. Patterned tiles are a great way to add character and personality to rooms that are traditionally full of hard surfaces and straight lines – our kitchens and bathrooms.

Illusion Tile from ca pietra

Illusion Tile from ca pietra

Injecting a bit of pattern – and it doesn’t have to be colourful as you can see from the ones I’ve selected here – immediately make a space more interesting. And, as I’ve said, before plain grey floor tiles in a kitchen have a tendency to look like a pavement so pattern will liven things up a little.

Patterned tiles in hallway from ca pietra

Patterned tiles in hallway from ca pietra

But you don’t have to use pattern all over the wall or floor as shown in these first few pictures which might feel a little too much in both large and small spaces. Take inspiration from the pictures below and mix it up a little. Why not use pattern in a stripe down the wall? Or lay them in a rug formation under a table and put plain ones around the edge? You can also do that by a bath so it looks like a bathmat. Or a runner down a hallway – tiles are practical and easy to clean in that high traffic area and you can have underfloor heating then as well.

baroque tiles in blue black from mandarin stone

baroque tiles in blue black from mandarin stone

Using fewer in a more imaginative layout is a cheaper way to do it too as the patterned ones can be expensive. Here I have included some images – at different price points – of tiles used in more interesting ways. The picture below is Topps Tiles, for example, and I love the way they have created stripes of varying widths.

bakula tiles from topps tiles

bakula tiles from topps tiles

Or this – which is a riot of clashing patterns but all in black and white so that it doesn’t clash. It’s quite busy but you don’t have to copy this exactly. Just take it as inspiration. I’m now looking at my plain marble shower that I created last year and thinking I wish I’d been bolder. What do you think – fancy including some pattern in your home this year?

mix those patterns from the baked tile company

mix those patterns- karaja from the baked tile company

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  • Manal 14th January 2018 at 2:43 am

    When I grew up we had patterned tiles that resemble a rug in a room with templates similar to the baroque image. It makes me feel nostalgic and I miss that vintage look.
    From the comments I read, it’s true that you need to almost think twice before placing patterns especially on a floor as people may feel bored with it after a while.

  • Paula 12th January 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Kate,
    What do you think of the 3d patterned tiles? I feel they look best in monocrome and fgive such a clean and airy feel to smaller bathrooms. However I am afraid that in the end it might feel a little too boring. Have you looked at this style?

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 12th January 2018 at 3:32 pm

      I can’t make my mind up. I see a lot of the same cube pattern and it’s a bit all over the place now so I wouldn’t have it. Perhaps if I saw a different pattern I might be tempted but I’ve seen too much of that particular one.

  • Corinne Twining 10th January 2018 at 2:12 pm

    True, patterned tiles aren’t to everyone’s taste- or their pocket if used in quantity. But look at those Karaja tiles from the baked tile company – they will be absolutely gorgeous forever, and worth every penny! My Persian Glazes (yes, designed with some teal and orange – but last year!) are indoor/outdoor wall tiles meant to be used as a ‘lovely hit of pattern’ – with thanks to Jade for that comment above.

  • Shruti 10th January 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I have lovely blue patterned tiles as the floor in my walk-in shower and the same pattern repeated on the basin counter top. Looks lovely with a plain blue-grey floor and shower wall area.

  • Sophia Shirley-Beavan 10th January 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I’ve always loved patterned tiles but find it so hard to choose!! POPHAM DESIGN have beautiful ones, so many colours and possibilities. I also love BERT & MAY. Both pricey tho.

  • Jade 10th January 2018 at 10:04 am

    I absolutely love patterned tiles and was desperate for blue geometric cube effect ones in my kitchen, but couldn’t justify the cost. I tried to think of ways to just frame the table or do only half of the too but the layout meant it wouldn’t work. Thinking of putting them on the floor of the porch instead for a lovely hit of pattern,

  • Judy 10th January 2018 at 9:58 am

    Hi Kate,

    It’s refreshing to see patternwork being incorporated this way. I’m afraid my house is very contemporary monochrome. However, if I had a little cottage getaway I would definitely be more adventurous with tiles to give it a quirky charm 🙂

    Nice to see Topps Tiles being mentioned as I used their tiles for my bathroom. You don’t need to break the bank to get the effect!

  • Sam 10th January 2018 at 7:23 am

    We going with vinyl in our kitchen because I’m scared to spend lots of money on patterned tiles… It’s less of a financial risk!

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