Claire O'Brien

Claire O’Brien is head of design at British Ceramic Tile, the UK’s largest manufacturer of ceramic and glass tiles.

The hottest tile trends to watch out for in 2017

Posted 16th Feb 2017

The fashion and interior decor industries have long been intrinsically linked. Each year as fashions evolve, so do the latest trends influencing interiors. Head of design at British Ceramic Tile, Claire O’Brien, is one of many creative minds leading the way when it comes to predicting and interpreting the trends, turning them into innovative tile collections for the retail market. Here, she gives us an insight into the latest trends retailers should be watching out for this year.

Luxurious marble
From the kitchen to the bathroom, marble is definitely a material to watch in 2017. Offering a sense of opulence and luxury, real marble tiles come with a hefty price tag, making ceramic tiles a go-to choice for consumers. Delivering the same stunning aesthetics as the real thing, stone-effect ceramic tiles are not only more cost effective, they are easy to maintain and install. Oily marbles will be a key look for this year, featuring intricate details in smoky tones, and flowing veining within a monochromatic colour scheme.


2017 will see Terrazzo return to design schemes. Re-mastered to blend with modern-day interiors, the look amplifies the trend for artisan spaces. Traditionally a sustainable, composite material of quartz, marble, glass and metal encased within cement, Terrazzo is known for being incredibly hard-wearing and available in an unlimited colour palette, often found on the floors of historic buildings throughout the world. Terrazzo-effect ceramic tiles will be a trend to watch, bringing to life the reclaimed look while adding an element of natural decoration.

Metallic moments
This was a strong trend for 2016, and one to keep an eye on this year. The high-shine lustre of last year has been replaced with an aged, distressed appearance to create a lived-in, homely look. Copper continues to be coveted, together with some flashes of rose gold and stainless steel. Using metallic tiles in the kitchen can be a bold choice, so it’s always wise for retailers to demonstrate how they can be teamed with plain ceramic tiles in store to appeal to a wide customer base. Imagery, catalogues and inspirational displays for the consumer are essential.

Mix and match
Large and small-format tiles will be mixed together to create interesting and unusual patterns on floors and walls. Consumers these days are looking to be more eclectic with their home design and surface coverings. Our advice to retailers would be to demonstrate one collection in store that offers a multitude of sizes or co-ordinating tiles, so that consumers can shop easily from one range and colour palette.

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