When putting together that dream home, one of the most crucial decisions is choosing the right tile. The floor ultimately bears the brunt and burden of the entire building and the people living in the home. It is also the first thing that people notice when they walk into a home. Here are some tiling trends that are making waves right now. Indian homeowners, it is normally believed, go by factors such as utility, sturdiness, maintenance and costs when making this big decision. However, in the recent years, with access to global trends through Pinterest and Instagram, a raised consciousness of image and travels abroad, Indians have become highly aware of the latest styles and looks.Utility firstThe utility of the floor area still determines the type of tile to be used. For example, people prefer having anti-skid vitrified tiles in the bathroom. They might prefer pure marble for the puja room, but they may like to go with marble-like vitrified tiles for the main living area to give a rich and ornate look, while still keeping it cost-effective. While deciding on the areas more exposed to weather and other external elements, people prefer cement tiles or concrete flake tiles for gardens and exterior areas such as parking, garage, large balconies and sometimes, even terrace seating areas. Double-charged tiles are normally used in heavy-usage areas such as the kitchen and living room. There is a growing preference for ceramic and porcelain tiles for the kitchen because of its luxurious feel.Worldwide, warm materials and colours have dominated floor tile patterns this year, and India is not very far behind. Terracotta tiles have replaced the otherwise popular cool and white tones in individual bungalows and farmhouse spaces. The earthy look, seen as eco-friendly and eco-conscious, often acts also as a throwback to the rustic style and has made a huge comeback.Wood lookalike tiles, with glazed or vitrified finishes, have dominated this year’s trends too. The advantage of the wood-like tile is that it gives the same look as wooden panels, yet has the added advantage — that it is water and spillage resistant, unlike real wood. This particular trend has also given rise to another trend — of new-age thinner, longer tiles, that look much like original wooden panels, to give the same effect. Larger tile sizes continue to be used where floor spaces are huge, especially in commercial buildings rather than in residential ones, to reduce grout lines. Our Indian obsession with stone continues. Apart from white marble, flamed or rough granite stone tiles are an evergreen trend. With the kind of colours available, ranging from light slate grey to shades of brown, green and black, there is no dearth of possibilities while playing around with this material. All kinds of limestone also qualify as eco-friendly materials, because they are sourced locally, and help keep temperatures in the home cool. Colours & texturesMosaic flooring is another never-fading fad, with terrazzo tiles being he latest rage in this category. It is prefabricated as a tile in a factory and sent to the location to be laid out, rather than the traditional mosaic, which is poured and created on site. While monochrome colours have been trending, people are not shying away from using apt contrasts and highlights in the right spaces and quantities. A more contemporary design aesthetic is the hexagon-shaped tile or the thin and long tile instead of the standard square. The way tiles are laid has also broken away from the norm, to give way to interesting patterns such as the herringbone or chevron, with improved tile spacer joints also available.As far as finishes go, there have been extremes in the market — while homes prefer the grainier matte finish or sugar finish, sleek corporate office spaces may prefer the extra-glazed look that’s almost of reflective glass-like quality, to match the predominantly glass facade office complexes that dominate the landscape in larger cities.The Indian market is flooded with numerous types of tiles. With newer technologies such as laser cutting available in the market, the marble tiles have risen in demand, allowing for precise size and shape specifications.
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