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Best of 2011: Top 5 Tile Trends

As we approach the end of 2011, it is time to reminisce on the top trends of the year. And I’m not talking about the Royal Wedding or Jersey Shore. I’m talking about the tiles that we’ve seen all over the place, again and again in design magazines and online blogs.

Let’s break down 5 of the most popular trends in tile for this past year (in no particular order).

Calacatta marble flooring is a very popular choice for bathrooms. (

1. Marble anything.

Be it floors, backsplash, counters, etc. marble is still all over the place. Not just any marble though, calacatta and carrara are still vying for first place. They are beautiful natural materials that add elegance to every application: kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, flooring…it really doesn’t matter. A bit of marble takes a nice room up to a whole different level.

Subway tile reinvented with a silvery sheen. (LDa Architecture & Interiors via

2. Subway tile.

Ah, the classic 3×6 tile. This trend really has blown up everywhere. It is extremely versatile and can be really inexpensive, which is likely why it’s become so popular. It’s now manufactured in virtually any material under the sun, from glass to stone. Yes, even marble. While the trend is beginning to die down, I don’t think it’ll really be going anywhere for quite some time.

A mosaic comprised of recycled glass & slate. (Oceanside Glasstile)

3. Mixed materials.

Maybe you don’t just want stone on your backsplash…maybe you also want some glass? Or perhaps glass with travertine? Or slate? Or why not with marble? In 2011, these are all possibilities. Mixing materials has been a huge trend, with mosaic blends being offered comprising of virtually anything you could think of!

Large-format floor tile is extremely appealing for those who hate grout lines. (Veranda Estate Homes & Interiors via

4. Large-format floor tiles.

Gone are the days of the once-popular 12×12. Now, it’s 18×18 and up. 2011 was the year of 12×24 tiles, my guess is 2012 will be the year of 24×24 tiles. The bigger the better it seems. Why? My guess is that the minimal grout lines are quite appealing to the homeowner who prefers a more clean and contemporary look.

This bathroom actually utilizes almost every 2011 trend in one: subway tiles which happen to be made of marble, a glass border, and large-format flooring! (Niche Interiors via

5. Glass features.

The economy seems to have kept homeowners away from doing full walls in glass tile, instead, people have found creative ways to integrate glass into their design. This year, the waterfall feature has been extremely popular, as has the glass border in bathrooms. I think in the coming year more homeowners will opt out of horizontal features and go for more vertical lines for a more modern look.

So there you have it. Did you go for any of these trends this year? Which is your favorite? Any thoughts on next year’s big trends?

Happy Holidays,

-Tonino Patane’

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