Splashes of jewel tones, floral and other patterns inspired by nature, and exotic quartzite countertops are to name a few of the current trends in tile and stone that are driving today’s designs. Contemporary Stone & Tile Design asked several leading experts to share their observations on the latest influences and styles. Here is what they had to say.

CSTD: In terms of colors, patterns, textures and shapes of tile, what do you find people are currently gravitating towards for their home designs?

AS: While neutrals colors are still popular, the shift is to the warmer-toned neutrals. Nature-toned colors like greens and blues in small decorative tiles. Veined marble porcelains, especially those that emulate natural marble like Carrara, Calacatta, or Statuario, are seeing a surge. Textured and sculptural tiles for wall applications, looks that mimic natural stone mosaics, are still at the top.

CSTD: When it comes to tile size is bigger still better?

AS: The trend is still moving in that direction. Larger tile sizes can make a room feel spacious with the reduction of grout lines.

CSTD: Have these trends shifted at all compared to a few years ago? If so, what do you think are some reasons for this?

AS: Trend directions haven’t changed much in the past couple years. Colors are becoming more sought-after compared to white.

CSTD: Grays and beiges have been a popular choice for quite some time when it comes to stone countertops. Are you seeing any recent variation from these colors?

AS: While we see warm tones increasing in demand, the majority of the market is still demanding a lighter/white design aesthetic. We have also seen an increase in bold and vibrant colors in residential settings for countertop designs. Bold bathrooms, for example. People like a statement piece. We are also seeing statement pieces on a kitchen island, while the rest of the kitchen is a calmer color/design.

CSTD: What would you say are a few of the top stone choices for home design these days?

AS: Within the natural stones, we have seen a very large demand for quartzite. This is due to the beautiful rich aesthetic of this stone, along with its performance attributes. Quartzite has an enhanced/elegant look due to its composition versus granite. And it also performs really well. Typically, quartzites are harder than granite making it very durable for countertop use.

CSTD: For what applications do you find tile and stone being used the most?

AS: For natural stone and quartz slabs this still remains primarily residential and commercial countertop applications. With the introduction of larger-format porcelain slabs to the market, these are being used more for countertop applications. For tile, it is mostly flooring, kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms wall applications, showers and shower pans (floors). It is more of the complete bathroom package.

CSTD: It seems like tile applications are being used more now for outdoor applications than ever before. Why do you think this is?

AS: Most people have spent the past 18 months in their homes – working, living, cooking, etc. I think people have thought more about the spaces they live in and how the space functions for them, and there has been a focus on indoor to outdoor living spaces. It seems natural that tile was going to flow to outdoor uses for its versatility, durability and design tie-in with indoor designs.

CSTD: Overall, what do you see on the horizon in regards to stone and tile trends in the near future?

AS: For tile, we are seeing patterned flooring, large hexagon shapes, terrazzo and aggregates. For stone, quartzite continues to gain in popularity. We think there will still be a predominantly white color palette, but with a slight turn toward warmer tones. Residential projects will continue to select vibrant colors for statement accents. People are tired of “sterile” looking all-white kitchens, and we have seen a shift with folks wanting more “excitement” from their countertop and tile selections.