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The popularity of stone-effect wall and floor tiles

Kamila Swiatecka, Tile Giant’s marketing and brand manager, comments on the beauty of stone-effect wall and floor tiles, and why consumers are making the switch from real materials to these stunning imitations.

Natural stone like marble and granite is well known for bringing a natural feeling of luxury and opulence to the home, but they can be a big investment especially at the top end of the market. While these natural materials offer a premium, beautiful look, they also require special installation and maintenance which makes them a more labour intense option.

In recent years, stone-effect tiles have risen in popularity with sales soaring across different channels from retail through to specification. A durable, hard wearing option, they come at a lower price point and are now available in a huge range of styles too across ceramic and porcelain. Delivering the same stunning finish but without the extra hassle of specialist installation, it’s easy to see why they are a hit with tilers too. The latest designs on the market continue to push the boundaries of design offering an option for all rooms and spaces, with constant innovation coming in the form of structure, texture and shade variation to create tiles that are incredibly close to the real thing.

Halley Silver 60x60cm

Benefits of using stone-effect tiles

One of the main benefits of stone-effect tiles is the durability of the material. Natural stone like marble can mark easily, especially in high traffic areas like the kitchen and bathroom, which means it won’t take long for them to start looking worn. Stone-effect tiles made from high-quality porcelain are made to last and extremely hard wearing, ideal for use in high traffic areas.

Natural stone requires a lot of maintenance including sealing and filling, whereas stone-effects require minimal upkeep, proving to be the perfect option for busy family homes and interior commercial spaces.

Thanks to advances in inkjet printing technology, the effects that can be created are incredibly realistic. From modern concrete through to luxe marble and stunning travertine style tiles, the evolving technology achieves a look so close to natural stone it’s often hard to tell the difference. Even intricate details such as the veining of marble can be replicated, offering a beautiful alternative to the real thing.

Urbino Night Matt 90x90cm

Stone-effect tile trends

It’s the larger sizes that work well when it comes to stone-effects with many design schemes incorporating the same size tile on both the wall and floor. Softer, muted shades with subtle prints are very much in demand at the moment, for example soft grey with a concrete texture, but we are also seeing a movement toward bold marble-effect designs in black, white, green and blue with a gloss finish for something completely different. Colours were usually exclusive to small formats and patterned tiles, but we are seeing braver choices with stunning emeralds and deep blues in large format stone-effects now making an impact.

Slate Rock Black 30x60cm

Beige and soft cream natural shades are also making a strong come back. These shades work wonderfully with wood and crisp white accessories for a spa-style bathroom, or welcoming kitchen.

Stone-effect tiles will continue to evolve and adapt to market trends and lifestyle changes. Some changes will be big, others will be small, but there will be a wide range of designs for homeowners to choose from with constant design innovation.

For more information, please visit www.tilegiant.co.uk

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Cremona Polished 90x90cm

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