Contemporary Stone & Tile Design kicks off the New Year with a look at kitchen and bath design. Whether a renovation or new construction, stone and tile remain a consistent choice among homeowners for various applications in these living spaces. There are not only seemingly endless product options in colors, shapes, textures and sizes, but stone and tile also provide the necessary durability – especially in areas such as kitchens and baths that are prone to getting wet and staining.

I have been writing about stone and tile for more than two decades. Through the years, I have interviewed countless architects and designers, spoken with many countertop fabricators, builders, and stone and tile distributors, and visited numerous quarries. But although I have that under my belt, when it came to my own kitchen and bath renovation last year, I still found it a bit overwhelming when it came to making decisions on just about everything – including product selection. I’m fortunate that my husband and I had a reliable contractor that could answer our questions or point us in the direction of experts who could. And I also was able to seek the expertise of stone and tile industry professionals that I know.

For those homeowners who aren’t familiar with stone and tile products, they rely on their designers and/or kitchen and bath dealers to assist them in the process of choosing materials. With the size of tile formats continuing to grow and the rise in popularity of porcelain slabs for applications such as countertops and floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, it is important to be educated on these materials so you can assist your clients with any questions they have, and ultimately, help them make decisions in the selection process. Most tile manufacturers can share with you specifics on their products, as well as tips for installation.

As we enter 2020, I am excited to see what new products are in store for the design community. In our hospitality trend feature, beginning on page 24, a few leading tile and compact sintered stone manufacturers share their thoughts on popular colors, sizes, textures, etc. for the upcoming year.

With the start of the year also brings the beginning of “trade show” season. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be heading out to Las Vegas to attend The International Surface Event (TISE). This show is always a visual overload of a plethora of stone, tile and other flooring products. Exhibitions like TISE are a great way to learn about what’s new and speak with the manufacturers to learn if the product is right for your design. As the year moves on, look for the new products we find in the magazine, as well as on our website and our social media platforms.


Happy New Year!