We caught up with Natalie Fryar, Interior Designer and consultant at Signorino Tile Gallery to talk about the latest trends in tiles and kitchen design in 2016, and to get some great advice on the best tiles to choose for your new kitchen.
In general, Natalie is seeing more colour come through as her clients become more adventurous and look to mix colour mediums and textures in tiles and in kitchen design .
“The move away from browns and the warmer palette generally to the cooler palette and greys is definitely continuing. Grey is a really popular colour choice in Melbourne – Melbourne loves its greys! The classic beige and cream palette still does have a place in timeless and traditional kitchen design though.”
When it comes to material choice anything concrete look is popular, as is stone, and both of those mixed with wood elements is increasingly popular. “We’re seeing people mix natural elements and materials together to achieve that layered organic feel.”
Best Colour Kitchen Tiles
One of the really big trends that Natalie is seeing is the increasing use of colour. “People are definitely becoming more adventurous in their use of colour” says Natalie. Pastels –whether they are pinks, blues or greens are popular, then there are those who are creating very moody kitchens with dark grey to black palette.
Overall people are definitely layering more colour, mixing their mediums and textures to create visually interesting but practical spaces.
Wood tiles are another great product to use in creating interesting and practical spaces. Over the past couple of years the variety of wood look tiles available has increased dramatically, and so has the interest in getting them installed. Natalie credits the rise in the popularity of wood tiles with how durable the products are.
"Wood look tiles are incredibly realistic, but unlike timber are less susceptible to the scratching, denting, warping and cracking that affects real wood floors from the foot traffic, pets and mishaps in homes." says Natalie. The wood look tile products at Signorino are very robust and versatile - they work well in kitchen floors, in bathrooms as well as outdoors. The best bit though, is that unlike timber flooring, you can install under floor heating with the tile product.
The wood look tiles come in a wide range of colours - lots of the natural timber tones varying from light through to much richer, as well as limed timber look tiles in the cooler grey colour palette.
Thin Porcelain Tiles as Benchtops
“One of the biggest trends that we are seeing in kitchen design is the use of really large format thin porcelain sheets for benchtops.” says Natalie.
“Thin porcelain is such a great material as there are no concerns re scorching or staining, unlike some other benchtop materials. Compressed porcelain is just such a durable material.”
The product is available in sheet sizes 3m x 1m and 3m x 1.5m. The colour palettes are on trend, and the concrete look is particularly popular currently.
There are now many Stonemasons who are experienced working with thin porcelain sheets, making the build of your new kitchen bench top a straightforward task.
“Depending on the kitchen design, we are also seeing these large sheets being used on walls and floors.”.
Subway Tiles for Kitchens
Subway Tiles are the rectangular tiles that are popular currently. Named because of their extensive use in the New York subway they work equally well in contemporary, vintage, industrial or provincial kitchens. Subway tiles are available at a variety of price points – the more expensive tend to be the handmade subway tiles. Semi-handmade subway tiles give the handmade look of movement through the inexact shape and unevenness of glaze at significantly less than the cost of handmade tiles.
Subway tiles are a popular choice for splashbacks, and like any porcelain tile they won’t be worried by the heat and are easy to clean.
Best Flooring Choices for Kitchens
Concrete look tiles are a popular choice in kitchens, as are porcelain tiles that mimic the appeal of natural limestone. Being porcelain they are easy to maintain but give the warmth and texture of a natural product.
When it comes to the finish of the tile, this is a very personal choice with high polish tiles and matte finish both continuing to be popular.
Tile Feature Walls for Kitchens
Tiled feature walls are gaining popularity with such an incredible range of textured, 3D and patterned tiles available. Natalie and the team at Signorino are seeing tiled feature walls being used in place of wallpaper or pieces of art to bring colour, texture and visual interest into kitchen spaces.
There are some 3D tiles that create a really point of visual interest when used as a feature wall. These hexagonal tiles are an example of what can be achieved.