2018 Tile and Design Trends

The Latest Trends in the Tile Industry

Size Trends

Large format tiles are continuing to be in high demand. Sizes such as 24″ x 48″, 18″ x 36″, and 24″ x 24″ can be found with cement, wood, and textile looks, as well as, patterned tile. According to Eddie Bedrosian, marketing director for the company Bedrosians , “Porcelain slabs allow consumers to achieve the look of timeless stone and contemporary design with durable, large porcelain panels.” Another great design aspect of large format tiles is the smaller amount of grout lines. As more tile installers become familiar with the installation process of the large format tiles, the more you will see this trend in commercial spaces, as well as, residential homes.

Wallpaper or Patterned Tile

“Pattern packs a heavy punch when it comes to design, so it may work better as an accent wall, rather than an entire room. Since it will be on the wall for decades to come, it’s best to choose a style and color scheme you know you enjoy verses something novel you’ve recently discovered.” –Snipet from the article Sales Trends for 2018 by Louis Iannaco of the NTCA Trends magazine. Patterned tiles are emerging as the new “it” tile. The styles vary from geometric and modern, to vintage and old world patterns. Every look is different and unique. A popular use of pattern tiles is to create a “rug” on the floor by using the pattern tiles in the center of the room with solid colored tiles around the edge. Another area that you can see pattern tiles would be as an accent on shower walls.

Nouveau Dark Grey Deco- Rug Pattern

Marazzi D_Segni (Patterned Tile)

Terra Mix – Geometric Patterns


Wood Look Tile Trends

We get many customers asking “Is the wood look tile going to stick around?” The answer is a resounding yes! Some distributors are saying that wood look tile accounts for 30%-40% of their total tile sales. With ink-jet technology, wood look tile designs are evolving to create richer grains, bold colors, and vintage etching effects. Typical plank sizes include 6″ x 36″, 8″ x 48″, and so on. Wood look tile is a beautiful, cost effective, and easy to maintain option when designing a “wood” floor.

Color Trends

Every year color trends vary from light and neutral colors, to bold and dark hues. Here are a couple of color trends that we expect to see in 2018 (excerpt from the NTCA Trends Magazine):

  • Warm Neutrals – taupe, cream, greige, and off white are go-to colors for any space.
  • Dark Navy Blue – provides a calm and soothing dark neutral or accent color.
  • Earth Tones – soft shades of grey and beige create a spa or rejuvenating feeling.
  • Bright Kitchen Colors – expect a rise in bold color kitchen accents, richer and warmer color cabinets, rugs, accents and patterned tiles on walls and backsplashes.
  • Black Matte – bold, contemporary look that complements a variety of materials and styles.
  • Blue and Soft Greens – typically seen in glass mosaics and accent tiles.
  • Metallic Finishes – create captivating effects when mixed with materials and textures.

Terrazzo an Emerging Trend

Terrazzo is typically view as “competition” in the tile industry, however, with ink-jet technology manufacturers can now produce porcelain tile with the look of real poured terrazzo. The visual of the mixed product modeling embedded marble, granite, quartz, or glass chip provides a unique look. This trend is starting to pick up steam in many areas of design.

Natural Stone

Never fear, natural stone is a trend that will not disappear anytime soon. Natural stone designs continue to evolve to design trends – currently favoring the warmer palettes of grey, white, black, and greige. From the NTCA Trends magazine article “Stone Trends” by Roy Viana, “The popularity of natural stone can be attributed to its innate uniqueness, as each cut is unlike any other. With no two pieces alike, natural stone inherently brings individuality to spaces.”


Look for more trends and advice in the NTCA Trends Magazine 2018


National Tile Contractors Association’s 70th Anniversary

NTCA Turns 70!

The National Tile Contractors Association is celebrating its 70th anniversary in September 2017. The NTCA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the professional installation of ceramic tile and natural stone. It is widely recognized as the largest and most respected tile contractors association in the world. The NTCA provides industry support through trade education and training, as well as, service to members with technical assistance and advice.

Memorable Moments Throughout the Years

1950s- The Southern Tile Contractors Association was established and the first director, Homer Panter, was hired. Annual conventions and local zone meetings were held focusing on member growth.

1960s- The association newsletter began (today known as TileLetter magazine), leadership changed, growth continued, and the annual conventions become the industry’s only exposition of tile and stone

1970s- Joe Tarver became the executive director and education became the one of the association’s main components.

1980s- In 1985, the association changed its name to the Association of Tile, Terrazzo, Marble Contractors and Affiliates to make a clear statement that it was a national association, and actually made that official with the National Tile Contractors Association name being approved in 1988. The NTCA Workshop, a traveling educational road show and the NTCA Reference Manual were developed. In 1987, NTCA, along with the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association and the Tile Council of America formed the Tile Expo show, which is now known as Coverings.

1990s- The NTCA was able to grow its influence with support from volunteer leaders and the name of the Tile and Stone Exposition was officially changed to Coverings.

2000s- Bart Bettiga became the NTCA executive director and  additional staff in education, training, and association management were hired. Association volunteer leaders helped the NTCA to grow from 400 members to 1,000 members by the end of the decade. Credentialing and certification became a driving force at the end of the decade. Programs like the Certified Tile Installer program were implemented.

2010s- Since 2010 the Association has experience significant member growth expecting to pass 1,400 members at the end of 2017. Also, the NTCA added annual TRENDS and TECH issues to its 13 annual issues of TileLetter. More programs were developed, such as, The State Ambassador network, The Five Star Program, Apprenticeship Program, and more.

2017- The NTCA celebrates the past 70 years as the leading tile industry association.

Information provided by TileLetter September 2017 issue and the NTCA website www.tile-assn.com.

Coverings 2017

Excerpts from TILE Magazine March/April 2017 Issue

Coverings is the annual international trade fair and expo dedicated to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. This year it was held in Orlando, Florida. Coverings will be filled with seemingly endless rows of exhibits, displaying the newest in aesthetics and technology in both the stone and tile industries.

Installation Design Showcase

In a collaborative effort between leading designers and contractors, “tiny” houses will be built on the show floor. The live-action demonstration and exhibit will feature three tiny homes being installed with tile over the course of the show by master installers. These homes will incorporate material from industry-leading tile and stone manufacturers. “The Installation Design Showcase is continually praised by show attendees for exemplifying design trends and the importance of proper installation techniques,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ Industry Ambassador. Materials sponsored by Ceramics of Italy, Crossville, Florim USA, Ardex, Laticrete, and Mapei will be used for the project.

Educational Opportunities

Complementing the exhibition floor will be an extensive education program, including 70+ seminars on a diverse range of topics to meet everyone’s interests and area of expertise. Coverings will provide cutting-edge sessions which are free of charge to both attendees and exhibitors.

Crossville, Inc. Celebrates 30th Anniversary this year!

Crossville, Inc. was the first American-based tile manufacturer to produce tile in Crossville, Tennessee beginning in 1986. The company has had many firsts which include: first to produce large format tile onsite, manufacture tile with recycled content, develop the ability to recycle fired porcelain, achieve certification of its waste recycling program and the TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all U.S. produced tile collections, and much more.

Crossville, Inc provides many different porcelain and ceramic tiles that vary in style and color. You can find many of their looks on their website: www.crossvilleinc.com.

Fun fact: They have used recycled porcelain toilets in their tile production!

To read the full article about Crossville, Inc. view Tile Magazine September/October 2016 titled “Three decades of hard work and dedication” by Heather Fiore.

Trends from International Event Cevisama 2016

Trends – Cevisama 2016

In March of 2016, Cevisama conference held in Castellon, Spain showcased new trends and updates for the tile industry. New tile formats in size and thickness, basic and neutral colors, combinations of rustic and elegant styles, and a mixture of designs and textures are some of the trends that were introduced. Styles and design ideas for you to keep in mind this year:

Single colors- continual color between walls and floors make furniture and decor stand out.

Subtle designs- slight contrasts, faded, randomly arranged finer details add a harmonious sense of rhythm and texture.

Natural Beauty- tiles that reproduce the beauty of nature- wood look tiles

Different Designs- floral, abstract, and geometrical patterns

Mix and Match- mix traditional motifs with different textures, colors, formats, etc

We feature many of these designs and ideas in our showroom. Many of these trends will become long lasting styles that you will see for years to come.

Schluter Launches a New Website!

Schluter System’s New Website

Schluter Systems is a company that makes installing shower systems a breeze. They have launched a completely new website with many interactive tools such as videos, product lists, educational tools, and inspirational photos. The site has features that will satisfy anyone working on a project with tile–installers, builders, architects, designers, and homeowners. Check out their new website today!

Popular Schluter products include the Jolly, Schiene, Kerdi, Kerdi Band, Ditra membrane, Ditra Heat, and complete shower systems. Schluter shower systems provide every material needed to waterproof any shower installation, including linear drains. Easy to learn, use, and apply to your installations.



Committed to Innovation, Cambria continues the trend of developing new looks in quartz surfaces!

Cambria has recently added two more designs to what was already the industry’s largest and most diverse palette of more than 100 unique designs. The first of these new designs, Berkeley – from the Waterstone Collection – Features hints of copper and a smattering of bronze against a backdrop of sandy hues. Rosslyn, the other latest addition, joins the Jewel Collection, and is marked by striking metallic golds shimmering against a background of taupe and chocolate. Peter Martin, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Partner Services at Cambria, explains “These looks, once thought impossible in quartz, are changing today’s stone industry and area  big part of making Cambria the number one quartz provider in North America Today.”

Crossville products honored with Green GOOD DESIGN Award! CONGRATS!

Crossville’s Bluestone and Mixology tile collections have been named winners of 2012 Green GOOD DESIGN Awards bestowed by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. The annual awards recognize 120 products from across the globe that are leading examples of sustainable design.

The European Center’s International Advisory Committee selects products based on design processes that emphasize overall environmental responsibility.

Bluestone is a popular porcelain tile collection manufactured at Crossville’s U.S. manufacturing facilities through processes certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). The line holds Green Squared certification and contains a minimum of 20% recycled content. Mixology, designed by Mikeal Jensen, residential design director for Crossville, replicates cast metal with 50% SCS-certified, post-consumer recycled content.

Jury members of The European Center’s International Advisory Committee are designed industry leaders from across the globe who review products, programs, people, government, environmental planning and architecture to determine the outstanding achievers. The European Centre and Chicago Athenaeum’s environmental conference will exhibit the 2012 Green GOOD DESIGN products throughout the U.S. for a year, beginning at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in September 2012.

For more information about Crossville’s green initiatives, visit crossvilleinc.com or stop into our showroom!

LVT is H-O-T: The Next Step for Luxury Vinyl Tile

Few flooring materials have stormed the industry rapid like luxury vinyl tile. At home in commercial as well as residential settings, LVT is expanding options for designers and specifiers.

As a relatively newcomer to the floor covering scene, LVT is the fastest growing category in flooring – it’s popular across a wide variety of commercial segments, from healthcare to retail, from corporate to education and high education, and even hospitality. This interest has been driven first by styling and the opportunity for new looks, whether it’s a look inspired by natural materials, textiles or abstract concepts.

Interest has only grown as designers and facilities managers have discovered LVT’s quality, durability, superior performance, low maintenance, lower lifecycle cost, and ease of installation, including Mannington’s LockSolid glueless locking system. Residentially, LVT has enjoyed strong double-digit growth, even throughout these past few economically challenging years. Like the commercial segment, consumers are drawn to LVT for its incredibly realistic designs, ease of maintenance, superior performance characteristics and installation options.

LVT’s popularity can be attributed to the same elements that made laminate successful such as appeal to the DIY market: its modular composition and realistic visuals. Where LVT eclipses laminate is in durability and flexibility. Because LVT’s composition includes PVC, the product is much more resistant to damages in addition to being water and scratch resistant. Plus, improved embossed techniques give LVT a much more realistic look than laminate.

In commercial, the same general trends are happening in LVT as in other hard surfaces. Wider, more rustic woods with character are important as are exotic woods. Reclaimed woods in a variety of widths give the space a feeling of authenticity. Grays continue to be important in addition to the established warm yellow and red based hues. In stones, it’s about larger formats in squares as well as offset rectangular designs. Realism in stone comes from patina and irregularity. Colors are complex neutrals that work with cool metals but have a hint of inner warmth. LVT build momentum in gaining market share through a realistic mimicking of wood, stone and other natural materials. Rather than replicating natural materials, manufacturers are using new technologies to give a textile-like texture, and modular shapes – circles, diamonds and squares – that provide truly customizable installations and patterns.

Today’s LVT products are being inspired by the beauty of raindrops on glass, of linens, and much more. Also very popular are the variety to treatments that include beveled, grouted, spare, tumbled and sculpted.

Mannington has launched Intaglio, the first sculpted LVT. They’ve also recently launched travertine, and slate decors that resemble the original looks of stone, and their hottest look of the year is High Definition Carpet Tile. Customers thought that they were getting into the carpet tile business at first, until they felt it. You cannot tell the tiles are vinyl! The high definition decor show the fibers of the yarn, twists of the fiber and surface texture that mimic a tufted carpet tile.

Here are a few key reasons to consider LVT for your next project:

  • Ease of installation.
  • A wide variety of aesthetics, without any compromise of performance
  • Green properties (LEED Credits)
  • Durability
  • Ease of installation and maintenance
  • Design flexibility through modular sizes and shapes

TEC Introduces Power Grout

H.B. Fuller Construction Products, maker of TEC brand products, introduces the new high-performance Power Grout ultimate performance grout. The Power Grout product is designed to provide installations with permanent stain resistance, crack resistance and superior color uniformity.

Excellent for both interior and exterior installations — in residential or commercial applications – the product allows for grout joints ranging from 1/16 to 1/2 inch with a single floor and wall formula. Its fast-setting feature accommodates foot traffic within four hours of completion and shower usage in as little as 24 hours.

Designed to offer consistent, uniform color across the installation, Power Grout includes a limited lifetime warranty against efflorescence and color fading. In addition, Power Grout ultimate performance grout is permanently stain resistant and never requires sealing, so it can keep its “like new” appearance with simple routine maintenance.

“We developed the Power Grout product to offer the ultimate in grout performance, ” stated Kristin Cattaneo, Senior Brand Manager for H. B. Fuller Construction.

Available in a total of 19 colors, the new TEC Power Grout is offered in 25-pound and 10-pound plastic bags. Twelve of the most popular colors are also available in 5-pound jars.

For more information, visit www.tecpowergrout.com or stop into the showroom to talk to one of our installation pros. TileCraft is currently stocking TEC products in the Traverse City Showroom Warehouse.