Latest Trends in Tiles

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Amazing advances in inkjet printing technology over the last 10 years have allowed porcelain tile manufacturers to let their imaginations run wild, producing all sorts of fantastic patterns and previously impossible colours.  While many of the more 'out there' designs don't make it to the conservative NZ market, we have still benefited from the more refined patterns and subtle colour tones that are now available.  Here's a round-up of our interpretations of the latest floor and wall tile trends, now available from stock, or on special order:

 

Brick Tiles

district

Although brick shapes have been around for years, convincing imitations of brick cladding are a relatively new entry to the tile market, usually used as a wall tile.  Some suppliers have produced a range of colours, but our favourite (and now in stock!) is District Track Brick.  Painted white matt look, with an aged appearance, it's available in super long tile format to make installation easy.  What's not to like?

 

Concrete Tiles

baltimore

Baltimore Natural

A popular look, concrete patterned tiles get better every year.  Design Industry and Baltimore are stylishly sleek options for contemporary homes.  For a more random, aged appearance, newcomers Rhin and Newport are great choices - and both have matching wall and textured feature tiles.

 

Metallic & Industrial Chic Tiles

plantPlant Ash

Our biggest selling floor tile for many years has been Venis Ferroker, mainly in the Ferroker colour (a unique blue, brown, rust combo that seems to work with everything).  Wide is a new range inspired by brushed stainless steel, for making great statements on the floor! For the newest in Industrial Chic style (the 'aged' look), try out Plant, which is available in a great range of colours suited to the NZ market.  

 

Wood Tiles

deck

Deck Day

Wood look tiles are everywhere, and keep on growing in popularity.  Like most tiles, quality varies from budget to designer.  Wood is one pattern that you'll probably want to spend more money on though - there's nothing worse than fake looking wood with noticeable pattern repeat and a nasty texture.  For a natural, modern look, you can't go past Montana/Canada for longer lengths and Deck for shorter (and therefore cheaper) lengths. There's an extensive range of rustic looks available now - try Montreal, Rotterdam and Houston for a more varied, rustic look.

 

Natural Stone Tiles

petrae

Petrae Pacific Grey

Natural stone was the original floor and wall covering of choice, bestowing a luxurious feel on any space.  As porcelain tiles have developed over time their imitations of natural stone have improved immensely, and within the last few years many manufacturers have started to put their own twist on stone appearances, changing the colours or texture of the original stone to create a more attractive range from porcelain tiles.   Poesia is an example of this twist - originally modelled off a French limestone, the manufacturer has added another four toning colours to expand the appeal of the range.  Petrae is a stunning collection of different types of stone looks in different colours; Landscape has good indoor/outdoor options.

 

3D textured Tiles (for walls)

cubica

Cubica Blanco

While 3D texture has been around for many years in the exterior stone look (split stone etc), over the last few years it has come indoors - the edges have softened, colours are subtler and now set on tiles, it's much cheaper to achieve a textured look (without compromising on quality).  Commonly used as feature walls, in both commercial and residential property, textures vary enormously - tiny metallic squared Cubica is our most popular wall tile, closely followed by soft wavy Ona.  Geometric shapes like Diamond and Zoe are great for providing modern flair to villas and other older spaces.  Street has been around for a while, but along with Irish, continues to be a very popular clean linear look, or for a more stone-like linear appearance, check out Laja.   

 

What makes a tile more expensive?

Slightly off topic, but still relevant - I can hear some of you thinking, what's the difference between a 'budget conscious' tile and a 'designer' tile?  Apart from price that is - 'budget' floor tiles retail for around $50 /m², 'designer' floor tiles are usually just slightly less than $100 /m² (although up to $150 /m² still fits in this category, and depending on size and finish they can be considerably more). 

The difference often shows in the depth, colours and quality of the printing on the tile.  A cheaper tile will look flat, use fewer colours and often have a lower pixel count on the printed image, which can make it look blurred.  There may also be a noticeable pattern repeat across the tiles.  A more expensive tile will look more realistic, have better colour depth and a crisp pattern. 

 

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