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Trend edit: Lust-have bathroom tiles


If 2018 was the year of the subway tile, then 2019 and beyond all about terrazzo.

According to Metricon Senior Interior Designer Jacinta Evans, the marble mosaic design, which made its mark in flooring in the art deco era of the 1920s, is seeing a serious style renaissance, with the polished pattern now adding a natural, timeless charm to everything from bathroom floors and walls to splashbacks and shower recesses.

But while picking the right tile is important, Jacinta says emerging bathroom trends are all about positioning. It’s a case of back to the future when it comes to tiled feature walls, with block ceiling-to-floor tiles making way for horizontal features to all walls. And feature walls aren’t the only things changing direction. This season has seen a shift back to vertically laid tiles, taking the modern aesthetic to the next level. We're also bringing back bold colour and statement accessories.

From fish scales and feature grout to terracotta and terrazzo, here’s how to make a splash with the hottest bathroom tile trends.


Patchwork patterns

If you love a mismatched, boho aesthetic, 2018s pretty patchwork trend is the one for you. With our new-found interest and renewed focus on artisan, we are seeing a love for handcrafted, patchwork tile floors using muted and matte colour tones. Keep it classic with monochrome or Mediterranean patterns.

The new subway

Instead of the classic 100x200mm subway tile, this year we are seeing long and narrow tiles, such as 75x300mm, appearing in bathrooms as a sleek alternative.

Vertical horizon

For years, we have been running rectangular tiles horizontally to give bathrooms that contemporary feel. This year; however, we will start to see a move back to running feature tiles and mosaics vertically. It’s unexpected and is now creating an even more modern aesthetic. The only way is up!


Instead of applying feature tiles as a block to an entire wall, 2018 is seeing a shift away from single-wall feature tiles to a split tile combination to the entire room. Floor and wall tiles are used together on the wall creating a horizontal dado or band-like feeling. It’s creating a really interesting aesthetic, yet still giving a nod to past, traditional eras.

Feature grout

Coloured grouts are becoming popular and are a really simple way to add a graphic aesthetic to a basic white, matte or pale grey tile. Contrast white tiles with charcoal grout for a clean, contemporary aesthetic, or go for gold or copper inlays if you want a more luxe look. 

Au Naturale

This year is also seeing a move towards embracing imperfections and natural colour variations in tiles. Instead of uniformity in terms of colour and shape, we are seeing more handmade, pottery-style glazes that highlight the natural variances in colour. Edges are more organic and irregular, instead of razor sharp, which lends itself to a more raw, artisan style.


On the other end of the mosaic scale, oversized stone panels in bathrooms (as feature walls) are becoming more prominent, with large forms of natural stones creating a more high-end, luxury feel.


Scaling up

Fish scales and penny round tiles will continue to be a slow-burn trend, only this year they will be all about muted colours and neutral mattes offset with contrasting grouts, such as blacks, greys and even terracotta tones. 


This pattern is popular year-in year-out for a reason: it’s classic. The herringbone love affair is set to continue this year but, as well as its signature wall tile design, we’ll also start to see it implemented with larger tiles (think 300x600cm or 100x600mm), as well increasingly used for flooring, too.


Chevron-laid tiles are still extremely popular, but we are also seeing new patterns such as a “picket fence” shape gaining momentum. Architectural geometrics of rectangles and squares, in matte tones, are also having another moment.


You know a trend is here to stay when it is being featured in the new-season decor from Kmart. Terrazzo tiles are everywhere at the moment, taking the place of the ever-refreshing Carrara tiles. Pair them with plain ceramics such as matte whites and greys, or pastel tones, for a contemporary take on a 20s style.


While white bathrooms will never go out of style, this year’s colour forecast is all about lush hues and rich palettes; think deep emeralds, muted moss and sage greens, as well as blush pinks and burnt oranges. Use feature tiles to incorporate pops of rich colour and offset them with matte, light grey ceramics, timber accents and linen towels. For a more coastal vibe, get into the blue by incorporating soft pastels teamed with white marbles and concrete tones. Meanwhile, if earthier tones are more your style, the white Carrara and bluestone look is making way for warmer, chocolate browns, mushrooms and marbles – which is perfect for those who prefer a neutral palette.

Tile candy

No bathroom is complete without the finishing touches. This year, black, white and brass tapware is still very dominant and we are also seeing a focus on handles, in a mix of colours and textures such as brass, black and even leather, being used as decorative features, too. On the opposite end of the scale, people are going for that clean, sleek look and opting for cabinetry that is handle free. Basins are becoming more of a statement and we're seeing more feature pieces in different colours such as muted greys and pastel tones such as blue, green and pink. We are also increasingly seeing coloured marbles being used as accessory features, particularly when it comes to basins.

Featured display homes

For more interior design or style inspiration, visit one of our award-winning display homes, or check out our style gallery, where you can save and organise all your favourite Metricon home designs.