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Tiles just seem to be getting larger and larger.  There are varieties of ceramic tile, porcelain, glass metal natural stone, and mosaics— even handcrafted concrete—come in sizes from one to 24 inches. The trend continues toward greater formats, for both large homes and smaller homes.

Larger format tiles will make any room look greater.   Another innovation is precision-edged “rectified” tile for installations featuring tight, grout-free installation.

Crossville, a manufacturer of porcelain tile, has come out with a “game changer” called Laminam. The product is a large-format panel, size 1 x 3 meters (which is 39.5″ x 118.5″). They can also be cut “in-house “into various sizes such as 40″ x 40″ and/or 20″ x 60″ (perfect for a back-splash or bathtub surrounds).  The smaller sheets are still very large for pieces of porcelain but much simpler to handle in the field. This trend is something that provides an exciting addition to the A and D community as well as our consumer.

No telling what will happen next when the consumer starts to see what’s possible.

Tiling and flooring design forecasters are already seeing a major movement in tile toward the translucence and transparency of glass, enhancing the play of light within and across, the living spaces. Glass tile is particularly suitable  for modern kitchens influenced by stainless steel.

Glamorous 30’s Deco is also resurgent with its distinct, black and white punctuated with lipstick red! Depending on the mood you hope to achieve, colors can be crisp and bold or soft and mellow. It’s all about imagination and personal choice. We are seeing bright, shiny red from lips to fingernails. Red is still considered the color of love and the sexiest color when painted on your lips.

Trim pieces are important because they coordinate or complement your tile décor. There are listellos for creating any border, including frames and chair rails. Border tiles come in different widest and shapes for unique design needs—like mitered corners or transitions between surfaces (walls, floors, sinks, countertops, back splashes). Listellos can even accentuate specific architectural detail like an archway.

When designing with tile, consider the whole surface (with an eye toward coordinating with adjacent surfaces like countertops, walls and back splashes).). Different sizes, patterns and textures can complement and personalize a space from floor to floor and room to room. And remember, ceramic and porcelain tile blends beautifully with other design materials—metal, glass, wood, stone, etc. Some designers have even blended richly colored tile with glass and metallic effects, including subtle and striking wool, fabric or copper yarn details.

Lisbeth Calandrino is Associate Publisher for Fabulous Floors Magazine and helps businesses build loyal customers. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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