Cover up

03 Sep, 14

Kitchens & Bathrooms News takes a look at the trends for coverings for floors and walls and pinpoints the fashions affecting bathrooms

As the economic market begins to recover, and consumers have once again turned to refurbishing their bathrooms, the market for wall and floor coverings has picked up. Certainly sales are looking healthier for one of the most popular wall coverings, tiles. However, alternative materials seem to have grown in parallel alongside this trend, as designers can now choose from laminates, glass, composite and even natural timber. But whether designers are using tiles or tiling alternatives, there seems to be a common factor, that walls are the bigger sales market. So perhaps these should be higher on the design consideration list for the bathroom? 

Tiling still tops

Of all the hard-wearing surfaces, tiling with its resilient and waterproof surface still seems to be the most popular choice. Not only can they be cost-effective, but are available in an array of designs and, in the case of flooring, are arguably the most likely surface to be teamed with underfloor heating. It is the variety of tile that has enabled – what dates back to Ancient civilisations – to remain an up-to-date material for the most modern of homes. Large scale format tiles are a must, and bring this traditional material bang up to date, particularly in rectangular brick or planked offers. 

Sponsored Video

Fade to grey

The most popular colours of tiles remain white and beige. But there has been a move towards  a more warmer, natural grey as a tiling trend. Natural influences, such as wood, have been responsible for decors from dove grey through to deeper shades of charcoal and even the crossover “griege”, which combines grey with beige. And improvements in inkjet technology have allowed tiles to even take on the realistic look of wood, brick and stone. Ironically, the ability to mimic natural materials has also enabled the erstwhile rival of tiles to take off, such as laminate and vinyl. Digital printing now allows laminates and vinyl flooring to more closely replicate colours and textures of natural materials.

But what will be the design fashion cues for wall and floor covering in the future for the bathroom? Certainly with this increase in printing technology, we can expect to see a wider choice of patterns, colours and textures, such as statement stones. In  a combination of materials, could be the answer for wall decoration in the future. Certainly with more materials entering the wall and floor covering market, bathroom designers will have to get up to speed with the impact they can have on room design.