Tile Trends: Two Extremes

Recently I was browsing one of my favorite tile showrooms here in London, and found myself discussing tile trends with one of the salespeople. While that sentence might be enough to bore some of you to tears, bear with me: there's big news in the tile world. Well, big and little.

For a few seasons now, the trend in both kitchens and bathrooms has been for tile which appears as a single expanse of surface, with minimal breaks to disturb the effect. There are two ways this look can be achieved: by using small mosaic tiles over a large surface, or by using extra-large tiles.

Mosaics have been trending for years, but some of the newer micro mosaics put penny tile and the like to shame. Often only a few millimetres in size, these tiles are so small that once installed, you're left with a wall that's 50% tile, and 50% grout. Not a look for everyone, but the faceted effect of micro mosaics play with the light in a really interesting way, and when used over an entire wall, can really increase the sense of space in a room.

On the other end of the spectrum, recent technological advances in the tile world (basically, extra-large kilns and extra-thin porcelain) mean that tiles have also been getting big. Really big. With sizes up to 48" square, these days a kitchen backsplash can be constructed of only 2 or 3 tiles. When using these mega-tiles, a skilled tradesperson who can make extra-thin grout lines is a must; you don't want to ruin that smooth effect with an obvious line.

So, over to you - do you like the seamless trend? How would you choose to go about it, mini or mega?

(Image: Left Houzz, Right Solid frog)