DalTile’s Laura Grilli Gives Us A Cool Peek At Hot Tiles

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If you’re totally over it with subway tile and even the wood look is making you drowsy, there’s a cure for your tile blues. It’s the latest colors, textures and collections from DalTile.

We sat down with Laura Grilli, Lead Product Designer for DalTile, to find out what’s up. She’s Italian, so beauty and artistic expression are in her DNA, and she recently spent a week at CERSAIE, the ultimate tile tradeshow held in Italy, of course.

There, she not only finds inspiration, but also gets a sneak peek at the hottest and best and brightest looks and design trends in tile. What she sees at CERSAIE will  make an appearance in the US soon and the latest DalTile collections even sooner.

But before we go there, let’s take a look at what’s happening right here and now. Grilli whittled down the impressive DalTile line to five major trends, complete with examples and a generous Italian accent.

Trend One: Color

“Maximalism in design is in full swing.” Pictured Here: DalTile’s Confectionery

Grilli was quick to point out that grays are warming up and beiges are making a comeback, but there’s one trend she “cannot avoid talking about.” Color. Big, bold colors. Blues, greens and earthy clays. Blues have been here for a bit and greens are on their way, but “there are a lot of different kinds of colors which are now very, very popular.”

“Color has been one of the main focuses of Daltile this year including a metal-inspired color palette, psychedelic and bold color, the 80s, Memphis style and Portfolio Confetti.”


Trend Two: Patterns

“Geometric shapes and encaustic-look patterns continue to drive tile design. These trends exploded last year, and will continue to be hot.” Pictured Here: DalTile Choreo Vortex

“Another trend which is not new, but will still be extremely important is what we call patterns.”

Patterns include everything from cement look, art deco, marble inlays, wood inlays and geometrical shapes. With wood look, DalTile adds their own spin. Instead of just offering wood on planks like you see everywhere, they offer square tiles as well. It’s a fresh take on an established look.


Trend Three: Texture

“We are putting more structure into our products, thus, adding attractive dimension and authenticity to the design.” Pictured Here: DalTile Modulate

Grilli loves to talk about what she calls texture and dimension.

“The wall now has a tactile experience. It’s not just enough to see it, but now, there’s the possibility of touching it and feeling something.”

Texture literally adds another layer to the wall. Instead of flat surfaces that are solid and uniform in color, we can now create 3D art on walls, and give the illusion of 3D by playing with matte and gloss finishes. Imagine a monochrome wall, but when you add reflection and light with a variety of surfaces, the entire experience becomes richer and deeper.


Trend Four – Wall Tile

“Creating style and luxury through seamless, continuous design is currently one of the hottest trends in interior design.” Pictured Here: DalTile’s Diamond Mine

Grilli isn’t subtle. “Another trend, which is extremely important is wall tile.” In fact, it’s one area DalTile is investing in the most.

Why? There’s a new look that’s hot, hot, hot. Big, huge panoramics.

These panoramics can be achieved one of two ways. A traditional mosaic crafted with penny tile, small oval and half X. Or there’s the other way.

The big, expansive, seamless look. In the past this could only be achieved with one mega piece of marble. It was *a bit* cost prohibitive for most, but DalTile is on the case.

Their investment has gone to good use creating humongous “sheets” of porcelain tile that look like a slab of marble, but they’re much more affordable. And they’re popping up on accent walls, backsplashes and even countertops all over the place.


Trend Five – Outdoor

“Outdoor living is now as important as indoor space, so people are looking to create exterior entertainment areas such outdoor bars, fancy kitchens, and beautiful sitting areas.” Pictured Here: DalTile’s Emerson Wood

The final trend is outdoor. People are spending more time outdoors and that outdoor living space has become an extension of every home.

“It’s not just a place where you put the BBQ and a seat, it’s a place where you can meet your friends. It’s exactly what was happening before in the kitchen, but now it’s happening outdoors.”

And, of course, the tiles have to go outdoor and be anti-slippery but to create cohesion you want to use them indoors as well. That’s where DalTile’s new proprietary technology comes into play. It’s called StepWise and it’s available on some of their most popular looks. It’s anti-slippery but doesn’t change the look of your favorites.

Yep, there’s a reason DalTile is one of the most popular tile manufacturers in the world.


Nikki Barringer

Nikki Lott Barringer is a licensed real estate agent at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. She’s also a freelance writer that loves interior design and architecture. Though she will never remember if it’s Midcentury or mid-century and honestly, she’s okay with that. Other fun facts: Nikki loves cake for breakfast, shopping online, and powerwalking her pants off. She’s also much younger than her hobbies would lead you to believe.

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