Tile can have virtually any visual that one can imagine, making the design possibilities truly endless. Colors, patterns, textures, sheen — the variety of visuals available to tile users is unlimited.

What is it about tile that makes it so design-oriented? According to Mercedes Austin, owner and CEO of Mercury Mosaics, tile is a way for designers and homeowners to truly express themselves.

“Tile is a product that can convey expression because our process is guided first and foremost by design and the craftsman touch,” said Austin. “Using the simplicity of geometric patterns and the marriage of the wall as a canvas, we’ve built a process that allows our clients to dream up unique combinations of our colors and shapes in their space. It’s the difference of buying something off the shelf compared to tailoring a suit just for you.”

With the product’s versatility, tile can bring experimental style to several different spaces in the home. “Tile and other surfaces really are at the center of every space around which many design decisions revolve,” said Tim Hanno, vice president of sales for Unique Design Solutions (UDS). “Unlike wood flooring, vinyl or carpet, which are primarily used just for flooring, tile is a more versatile product also regularly used as backsplash, feature walls, shower surrounds and countertops.”

Laura Grilli, senior manager, product development, Dal-Tile Corporation, agreed that tile can be used to express one’s own design preferences and personality. “Consumers treat their room designs as a way to express their personal style and taste, so we see a variety of materials, textures and colors being used in spaces,” she said of recent trends. “People are able to create a look that matches their personality and allows their creativity to shine through.”

Austin added that with all the options available on the tile market, users can choose to be as experimental as they want. There are even bold choices for those looking to make a fashion statement. “For me, it was about taking risks and I think that’s what fashion is all about. The best designers — we all have a rebellious side that never fit in, are a little misunderstood and always searching.”

For UDS, Hanno shared that the company looks to the world of interior design for inspiration and to keep up-to-date with the latest trends. “Being a company deeply rooted in design, being connected into what designers out there are doing is important,” he told FCW. “We think in order to have a pulse on the design trends we need to do our best to have a pulse on the interior design industry. This really is the audience that drives and has an eye for what will work for consumer spaces.”

Since tile is known as a reliable option for floors, walls and other spaces, the familiarity of tile makes consumers more open to experimenting with tile’s infinite design options, explained Hanno. And whether well-established in the market, or a customized oneof-a-kind design, tile can be taken to heights beyond surface — it can truly be a work of art.


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