News & Information

Latest Trends in Kitchen and Bathroom Tile

February 2, 2017

When you're building a new home, it helps to know the latest trends in kitchen and bathroom tile. Some people prefer a timeless look, while others prefer a more modern feel. Tile can be composed of various materials, and the room in which you are using the tile will often determine the kind of tile you select. When you work with Dunbar Builders, you'll be able to select tile that fits your preferences.

There are many different options which are trending for tile from natural stone (marble, granite, slate) to manufactured tiles (ceramic, porcelain). For floor tiles, porcelain, marble, pebbles and stones, and slate are used most often. Marble, ceramic, and porcelain tile continue to reign as the go-to choice for backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms, and for shower walls.

Natural Stone Tiles

Since the look of natural materials is coming back, tiles made of natural stones like marble and slate are trending. Marble is what comes to mind when we want a timeless and classic look. Marble is a rock that can have delicate veining or rich veining and is available in a variety of colors. A current trend we are seeing is large marble slabs as backsplashes in kitchens. Some people like this seamless look rather than rows of tiles. Carrera Marble continues to trend as the most sought after choice in marble for tiles used in both bathrooms and kitchens. People are drawn to its pure, white color, grey veining, clean look, and timelessness. Time has proven it is difficult to beat the beautiful aesthetic that marble provides.


Slate is an extremely dense and durable rock which can be used in tiling. Slate is available in darker, earthy tones such as rust, dark blues and greens. Slate has a natural finish, and many love it it for its texture. Slate is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas (think kitchen floors, mudrooms, the outdoors). A current trend is slate tiles used for flooring in mudrooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. We will see more natural elements and materials such as slate begin to trend. Trending also is more uniformity in color than slate provides, so many people choose porcelain tile in their bathrooms and kitchens manufactured to look like slate so the color is consistent throughout the tile.

Subway Tile

Subway tile has been a staple of both kitchen and bath design for decades. Subway tile can be glazed or unglazed. Glazed subway tiles are available in matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes. Not only are glazed subway tiles clean and beautiful, they provide stain-resistance, scratch-resistance, and repel water - all reasons they continue to trend.

Michelle Gabbard of The Tile Center says “subway tile never goes out of style. Now there are many updated types of subway tile in different sizes and finishes. These tiles can be bevelled or crackled. Subway tile is timeless and basketweave tile is very popular.”

Subway tile was first used on the walls of a New York subway station built in 1904, hence the name subway tile. Subway tile continues to ride the wave of enormous popularity largely due to the the clean-lined look and rectangular shape it provides. A current trend is the preference for larger sized subway tiles over the traditional 3X6” size. Larger 12X24” subway tiles are currently being used in bathrooms and kitchens all over the world. People like the look of planks these large sized tiles give.


Big Tiles

Not only are subway tiles getting bigger, big tiles in general will make a huge comeback and begin a new trend, so don’t just focus on small tiles. Examples of tile shapes trending in larger sizes are hexagon, subway, square, and mosaic. The appeal of big tiles is not only the scale, but fewer grout lines which means less interruption of the tile selected.

large tiles

Metallic Tiles

Metallic tiles are sleek, modern, and create a sophisticated look for walls. Metallic tiles are available in glass, stone, and metal. They are made to look like metals such as silver, gold, and copper. Since richer paint colors are trending, metallic tiles have become another popular choice, as they are available in dark, rich colors. Metallic tiles are trending not only because they add contemporary flair to rooms, but they look like a work of art on walls and floors. Because metallic tiles reflect light, people are drawn to their shiny finish and the character they add to a room.


Wood Tile

Tile made to look like wood is trending because of its warmth and durability, perfect qualities for kitchens and bathrooms. These tiles can be laid in various patterns, the most popular pattern is laying them like planks in order to mimic hardwood floors. They are available in many different colors and tones - from deep, rich wood tones, to much lighter tones like ash and pale oak. You can choose the amount of graining in wood tile you prefer, from lighter to heavier graining. Because wood tile resembles real wood and provides the warmth of wood with the durability of porcelain, we will see it continue to trend.


If you would like to build a home in the Midlands of South Carolina that is custom to your preferences, contact Dunbar Builders. We'll work with you to find just the right tile for your kitchen and bathrooms!