Design trends: style with tiles

Six new trends prove tiles are making a comeback.
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Tiles are back on top as the perfect way to combine practicality with long-lasting good looks. New print techniques create fabulous patterns and realistic wood and stone effects. We take a look at six hot new trends.

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1. Subway
Known as either metro or subway, this oblong tile shape has replaced the square for simple but striking walls, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramica Elias's red gloss version starts from £102 a square metre (0116 276 2532;
2. Patterns
Patterned floors are back. Inspired by handsome and hard-wearing Victorian encaustic tiles, these give a modern twist and are easier to care for. Refin's FRAME collection starts at £80 a square metre (020 3603 1884;
3. Wood looks
Wood-look ceramics such as these Larix tiles in Sun, which come in the shape of floorboards from Refin at £104 a square metre (, are incredibly realistic and available in a wide range of finishes — think smart, wide "boards" for your hall and a rustic, distressed parquet look in the kitchen.
4. Cement
Concrete and cement tiles are perfect for the raw textures of the rough-luxe trend. Ann Sacks stocks these cement Paccha tiles, made in Morocco by Popham Design, priced at £119.39 a square metre (020 3055 0802;
5. Geometrics
When it comes to geometrics, be bold. Try contrasting colours, with grout as well as tiles. Mosaics, 3D textures and printed patterns all add to the dazzling array of options. This monochrome waterwheel (£750 a square metre) works equally well on walls and floors (020 7371 7778;
6. Metallics
Metallic tiled surfaces look fabulous, especially with the burnished patinas and textures that are hot this year. What could be more decadent than quilted gold walls? Rombos by Adex costs from £475 a square metre (020 7376 5820;
How to get the look
A good place to start your search, to browse a wide range of tiles and to take away advice and samples, is Surface Tiles, which has branches in Battersea (020 7819 2300) and Islington (020 7354 7000). Visit for more details.

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