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Top Tile Trends for 2016

7 of the most intriguing tile trends from Italy revealed

Top Tile Trends for 2016Wondering what kinds of looks will emerge as the top tile trends of 2016? Judging by the tiles on display at the Cersaie ceramic tile exhibition in Bologna, Italy a few months ago, here are some of the looks we can expect to be embraced by top designers in 2016.


If you keep up with design trends at all, you’ve no doubt already noticed chevrons making an appearance. Laying rectangular tile in a chevron pattern is an excellent way to add a bit of extra visual interest to a tiled wall, floor, or backsplash—especially when the tile itself is something unassuming like a white subway tile. Manufacturers are also making more herringbone tiles that also create a chevron-like pattern.


Many of the Italian designers at the show have been experimenting with tile that creates a fragmented look. Don’t worry—we’re not talking about covering walls with tile shards in a haphazard mosaic. Instead designers are creating a fragmented, kaleidoscopic look with patterned tiles that are actually square or rectangular.

Linear Motifs

Another emerging trend is an increased focus on one of the most basic elements of design, namely the line. At the show, the linear element was embraced with long, skinny tiles as well as decorative tiles featuring patterns of lines.

A Softer Look

Sometimes, a large expense of glossy tile can look a bit cold and uninviting, especially if a cool tone like white or gray is used. With some new tile offerings featuring distressed finishes and watercolor-like washes of neutral colors, we’re starting to see a trend towards a softer look.

Bold Texture

Texture is often incorporated into tiled walls with the use of raised edge tiles or decorative tiles with raised designs. Now we are seeing texture taken to a whole new level with tiles featuring 3D folds, waves, ridges, and asymmetrical profiles.

Large-Format Tile

Large-format tile continues to be very popular, with some companies showing off slabs of tile up to 5×10 feet. These huge tiles can be used on walls and floors and seem especially suited to commercial applications.

Marine Tones

One final trend that emerged from the recent show was a focus on a marine palette of greens and blues. These colors appeared both on traditional tile shapes and on newer offerings with more modern surface effects.

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