Tile lasts a while, so avoid the trend trap
JUMPING head first into the latest bathroom tile trend runs the risk of falling out of vogue, leaving the bathroom looking dated. Since tile lasts 20 to 30 years — longer than bathtub surrounds or vinyl flooring — homeowners don’t need to update as often, says Carlos Martinez, first officer of C-Bek Tile & Stone Design in North Hollywood, Calif. So homeowners should consider a trend’s staying power when planning a bathroom remodel. “This can look like stone without the additional costs of installation, purchase price and maintenance,” he says, adding porcelain tile costs slightly more than ceramic tile. Porcelain faces no shortage of style either, Martinez says. Besides the stone look, manufacturers are creating contemporary and classic product lines in porcelain, which doesn’t stain as do other tile types, he says. “They’re getting so good at (manufacturing) porcelain,” Martinez says. “That’s why it’s popping right now.” McDaniel says the Tile Shop has seen increased demand for porcelain, and the company will release a line of Travertine Ivory porcelain tile early next year. However, with stone’s classic appeal and certain glazing techniques only possible with ceramic tile, those two won’t disappear, he says. options online before beginning a remodel to modernize her master bathroom, which features a large corner tub and shower with glass walls. She and her husband needed to replace mouldy, flaking-beyond-help slate tile in the shower, installed before they bought the house. “We have a transitional/modern style for the most part, so we wanted clean lines and a bit of a spa feel,” Weiss says. “Having done a lot of research online, we decided on a glass and porcelain look.” Weiss visited showrooms and consulted with the in-house designer for her contractor, Neighborhood Remodelers in Park Ridge, Ill. Not counting labour, the tile materials, including grout and caulk, cost US$1,775. Installing faux-wood tile on shower walls has recently grown into a popular bathroom tile trend, according to McDaniel. “The thought of having wood inside of a wet area is a completely novel idea, and homeowners and designers are widely embracing it,” he says. One trend McDaniel debunked is the death of multi-tile patterns. Patterns offer a classic, traditional look, he says, even if they don’t fit some homeowners’ modern tastes. “As some homeowners embrace a more contemporary look, designs have become cleaner, with more emphasis placed on the use of a single material throughout one or more spaces,” he said. “Accents, if used, tend to be limited to one dramatic focal point.