The rumor among backsplash tiles is that the 3” x 6” rectangle has gotten way too popular and squares, parallelograms and mosaic shapes feel it is time for their voice to be heard. From its lonely beginnings as tile for transportation tunnels in London manufactured by the Minton-Hollis Company the ubiquitous “Subway Tile” has found its way across the pond and in some of the swankiest addresses.
Perhaps we should start paying attention to the plethora of tile shapes available for a fresh and new approach to backsplash and bath tile design. Exotic and complicated geometric shapes thanks to water jet technology have been able to fashion tiles into such concise patterns that they look more like wallpaper than individual tile components.
The concept of backslash tile that looks like wallpaper is the next trend we will see in the kitchen design industry. Companies like Walker Zanger, Artistic Tile, Soho Studio and AKDO have taken this water jet technology and created some of the most beautiful tile in the market today.
Recently I have found my clients shying away from that subway tile look as they know so many friends and neighbors that have done the same thing and they want to know if that is their only choice. I am always happy to say there are so many other choices for backsplash and bath tile layouts and I enjoy exploring the other options. Now I have nothing against the poor rectangle and in fact love other proportions like 3 x 12 or 4 x 8 as they change the dynamic and call for less grout—always a good thing.
Perhaps we have had enough of a good thing and need to expand our horizons and look to other more exotic and playful tile shapes as our next design trend.