Consumer Tile Trends on Countertops and Backsplashes from Tempe

Posted on Mar 14, 2013
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Mark Gershman, Outside Sales Representative for Arizona Tile in the Phoenix Area took the time to share the interior design trends that he’s seen recently in his region.

Natural Stone Finishes

Shiny is out, matte is in. Customers are asking for countertops that are matte/satin/brushed finished. There are many requests for soapstone, marble, and granite that are not polished—especially for higher-end homes. Higher-end clients do not want what everyone else has—they’re looking for more unique, original materials and surfaces.

Clients are requesting marble countertops for their kitchens though the material requires special care and maintenance. Clients have also been selecting two different colors for their kitchens; one for the perimeter and one for the island; the result is a custom-look piece of furniture in the center of the kitchen.

Stacked stone and Fibra stacked are popular choices right now. Linear looks are doing well. The fact that many of our stacked stones and glass mosaic sheets can be cut into three equal bands for listelles and bands, has helped drive sales; especially for backsplashes, tub decks, and shower surrounds. We have several series of stacked stone to choose from including:

  • 3-D Mesh Mount Stack – available in honed or split travertine, in 11 combinations
  • Stackstone Mosaics – made of slate, marble, and quartzite, available in 6 colors
  • Soh Glass / Stone Stack – glass/stone combinations profiled in a recent On the Surface post
  • Fibra Series Stack – easy maintenance and value-priced stacked tile made of Rectified Color Body Porcelain

Color Body Porcelain Tiles

Speaking of color body porcelain, the broad assortment of porcelain tile series we have means we have something for everyone. Customers who had stone/marble in their previous homes are opting for porcelain because it’s easy to clean and maintain, and is more resistant to scratches and cracks than natural stone, wood or other materials.  Updated technology in tile production has resulted in outstanding color, shading, and design never seen before.

  • Nu Travertine sells well in our region because the variation and detail is excellent.
  • Wood-looks are doing very well—Over Series will be a home-run for us. There is no other wood-look like Over on the market and our clients are amazed by its striking clarity, color, and variation. The ability to offer this series with pattern options make this a best-seller. Our clients continue  to order Misingi in large volume; the texture and color tones offer a warm and inviting wood look without the challenges of maintaining real wood—scratching, fading, warping, ability to use in wet areas (especially kitchens and baths) and the scourge of termites.
  • Large-format tile is a big trend—we’re getting many requests for 24×24 and even larger. Clients are finally comfortable putting large format tile in small spaces, including baths. 12x24s in showers has been doing well.
  • Tile as wainscoting has done well.
  • Subway-style porcelain tile is very popular. The Subway-look is considered ‘classic’ and not a trend which gives this look longevity.
  • The cool earth tones—grey, taupe, moss, anything subtle that isn’t a primary or earth-tone color is frequently requested.

Cabinet Colors & Natural Stone Countertops

Cabinet choices are trending much lighter. White or off-white are more popular choices now. Dark espresso is another popular cabinet color choice and coordinates well with today’s color palette. Customers request marble or granite countertops to complement that look. For residential projects, the following granite slabs are preferred:

Many production homebuilders offer customers granite colors that are warm and easy to colorize with including Venetian Gold, Juparana St. Cecilia, Giallo Santo, Giallo Cream, Café Cream, Giallo Portofino, and Tahoe Brown.

Glass Tile

Glass and glass blends sales continue to be strong though some clients express concern that glass tile is trendy and could go out of style quickly. Glass is popular when applied strategically or subtly. Clients use glass as ‘jewelry’ to dress up other materials; the results are pleasing and tasteful.

Customers are more comfortable now mixing man-made materials with natural stones. Installing porcelain and glass with tumbled or honed natural stone enhance each other’s beauty; the results are a custom look that not is only original but is also budget and design-friendly.

This opens up new and limitless possibilities in decorating that have yet to be discovered. For more ideas and to learn about what trends will stand the test of time, as well as how to make your decorating budget accomplish more, stop into an Arizona Tile showroom near you.

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