Claire O’Brien, Head of Design and Product at British Ceramic Tile discusses how the wood-effect tile trend will develop over the coming year and how to be creative with textures and materials. With their natural, organic colour palette and heavily textured surface design, wood effect tiles are firmly established within the market. A hardwearing, easy to maintain alternative to real timber, we’ve all embraced the wonder of wood effects realising their versatile design potential as well as unrivalled practical benefits. As with natural wood, the trends with ceramic and porcelain effect tiles continue to evolve with the latest style directions.
The rustic, painted wood effect will start to fade out. While these washed out designs work well in more coastal retreats and scandi inspired environments, we’re seeing a strong movement towards darker shades with warm undertones.
Dark oaks are filtering through alongside rich mahogany shades for a sophisticated space with a boutique feel. Tapping into the trend for tactile textures, wood grain will become more obvious and heavily stylised. Advanced printing techniques will deliver a new level of detail that offers texture and surface detail in abundance.
But it is not colour or shape where we’ll see the most innovation; it is the way in which wood effects are incorporated into overall design schemes that really brings the wow factor and sets the tone for the rest of the year. The mix and match trend that has made such an impact within the design world is influencing where wood effects are heading.
Rather than standalone collections, the evolving trend will see beautifully textured surfaces working harmoniously together to stylise spaces. Wood effects are being designed as a complement to different materials such as stone and concrete effects. Consumers are becoming bolder in their execution, experimenting with design schemes to create something that is personal to them. Retailers can tap into this movement by teaming wood effects with more industrial style designs in store to tap into the playful approach to surfaces.
Expect to see less of the popular chevron patterns that have adorned walls and floors over the last few years. Parquet flooring will still feature within the market as it’s a classic, but traditional designs will combine with industrial-style concrete to create an interesting contrast. Borders will be prevalent, becoming an essential part of floor decoration as consumers continue to zone areas and add a playful element.
Wood, real or fake, is a stunning choice for walls or floors. Whether pale and washed out or dark and glamorous, harness the power of wood grain to add texture and detail to surfaces. It’s a look that will stand the test of time.
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