2021 Tile Flooring Trends: 25+ Contemporary Tile Ideas
Time to upgrade your home with unique, durable, and stylish tile floors! These top tile flooring trends will have your floor looking great anywhere, especially in kitchens, bathrooms, and other water-prone areas.
Over the last decade or so, tile has taken off, beautifully replicating the hottest wood looks and expanding into new frontiers with the most creative shapes, looks, and patterns in the world of flooring.
In 2021, things are getting even more exciting, and this trends roundup and hear to give you all the details. Get ready to see an emphasis on large wood-look planks, eye-catching patterns, shapes and designs, and lots of bright new looks.
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2021 Trending Tile Looks
As I mentioned, the coolest thing about this year’s tile flooring trends is the realistic looks manufacturers can accomplish. The detail with textures and color-variation is exceptional, making contemporary tile looks one of the hottest options on the flooring market
In 2021, you’ll see plenty of traditional wood and stone tile looks with some fun new options sneaking in, as well.
“Concrete looks have become popular, and the wood look is still strong. With inkjet technology, the tiles give a very realistic wood or stone or concrete looks with the durability and maintenance benefits of porcelain tiles.” – Donato Pompo, Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc.
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Previously, ceramic tile flooring was known for its sharp resemblance to natural stone. You see, tile has been mastering the art of disguise long before it was the cool or trendy thing in flooring.
So it’s no surprise that their current natural wood looks are just about the hottest thing on the flooring market. Manufacturers are now able to mimic all the biggest wood flooring trends with textured looks and everything.
In 2021, the hottest texture trends in both solid hardwood and wood lookalikes include wirebrushed, handscraped, and distressed wood surfaces. They are all similar and often confused with one another.
Each textured wood look comes with a unique style and character. No two textured wood planks should ever be exactly the same and each of these three options has a distinguishing quality.
- Wirebrushed wood-look tile shows the appearance of subtle, intentional wire scratches that leave the heart of the “wood” exposed to the surface. These imperfections are smoother and more consistent than handscraped or distressed wood looks.
- Rustic, handscraped wood-look tile features the appearance of long, ingrained scrapes with high variation between planks, making each plank appear handcrafted, unique, and rare.
- Distressed wood-look tile is often mistaken for handscraped looks. Distressed looks, however, appear as though they’ve been through a lot of wear and tear. You can expect to see the appearance of scrapes, burns, knots, wormholes, and more, giving it an aged, antique look.
These textured wood look tile floors make your home look warm, current, and expensive. Choosing an ultra-durable tile over finicky hardwood will offer you an equally elegant look with a fraction of the worry and maintenance.
Will the wood-look tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
One hundred percent, yes! Wood-look tile is a trend-turned-classic that will stay current for decades to come.
Stone-look tiles are extremely popular in kitchens and bathrooms. The continued demand for these natural looks in affordable tile is pushing manufacturers to go above and beyond, offering beautifully convincing stone looks in slate, travertine, limestone, and more.
To get the most timeless stone look, I suggest sticking to marble, limestone, or slate. They both look clean and elegant, and they will each hold up to the surge in wood-look competition.
Will the natural stone-look tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Yes. However, wood looks will likely dominate the market looking forward to the next 10-20 years. But natural looks of any sort will never fully go out of style.
Really, has the marble look ever been out of style?
Bright, clean, elegant marble floors have been one of the hottest gems on the flooring market for centuries. Unfortunately, most people can’t afford straight up marble flooring in their kitchen.
The truth is, there is a reason marble looks are immediately associated with refined elegance. They come with quite a bit of sticker shock.
Don’t worry; there’s good news! Ceramic tile manufacturers have mastered the marble look and they bring it to you in a less porous, more durable, less expensive, and more accessible material. It is the best of all worlds.
Marble looks are particularly trendy in bathrooms. They make your master bathroom look like a fancy hotel bathroom or something straight out of a palace and you can get them for a much lower cost than the real thing.
Will the marble-look tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
For sure. Marble is timeless. If you invest in a marble look, your home will always be in style.
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Concrete looks are making their way into contemporary interior design! Huge slabs of concrete tiles, concrete countertops, you name it. This modern, industrial look is in.
While warm, rustic looks are prominent in 2021, there is still a niche for a more cool, detached look. A rustic wood floor is perfect for your family home, while a concrete-look tile is an awesome touch to a trendy apartment.
It’s a more specific aesthetic, but a relevant one to look out for this year.
Will the concrete-look tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Eh, I don’t think so. It’s just so contradictory to all the other warm, natural trends we’re seeing. We expect the industrial concrete look to stay trendy for the next few years and then trail off when something new pops up.
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Real encaustic tile first originated as ornate hand-crafted flooring. As you can imagine, it was pretty expensive. These days, you can get that same sense of artistry and craftsmanship with encaustic-look tile! It’s beautifully detailed and much more affordable than the real thing.
Here’s what another expert has to say:
“Encaustic decorative tiles have become more desirable. They are available in both the traditional concrete materials and are now becoming available in porcelain tiles that are thinner, more durable, and less expensive.” – Donato Pompo, Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc.
With encaustic-look tile, you can expect a bold, highly detailed style, with a lot of colors. Popular styles range from geometrics to florals, to old-world and Victorian. These gorgeous patterns are especially popular in kitchens and bathrooms.
Will the encaustic-look tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
A lot of people are just now discovering this trend, so it’s sure to continue growing in popularity. Thanks to the many color and pattern options, this trend will last for quite a while.
The terrazzo look is a trend that originated in commercial spaces. You’ve probably seen terrazzo tile flooring in grocery stores and shopping centers, and now you can bring it into your home! This look has become increasingly popular for residential use in the last year or so.
The original terrazzo tiles were made from recycled chips of marble, glass, and concrete, which created a unique speckled look. Now, you can get that sought-after terrazzo look in porcelain tile!
Will the terrazzo tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Probably for a little while. This trend is just starting, and it’s going to grow more popular among younger homeowners. However, it’s a very unique look, and it will likely look pretty dated if you try to sell you home in a few decades.
More and more people are using their floor to express their personalities, and nothing packs a punch quite like a decorative tile. This is a chance to get creative, with cutting edge, graphic styles that make your floor look like a work of art.
Decorative tile floors can be found in a wide range of styles that match the rest of your space. Here are a couple of decorative tile styles that are going to be huge in 2021:
- Art deco tile: The roaring ‘20s are back! Indulge in the glamor with the elegant geometric patterns of art deco tile. This style is all about polish, shine, and bold contrasts with a touch of gold. Just think of the styles from The Great Gatsby, and you’re on the right track.
- Moroccan tile: The look of Moroccan mosaic tiles emphasizes color, symmetry, intricacy. Also known as Zellij, this tile look originated as handcrafted tile, but now you can get those colorful contrasts and creative patterns without the hassle.
Will the decorative tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
For a while. This trend is bold, and while lots of people will love it, others might want something simpler. For that reason, if you’re planning to resell your home in the next few years, it’s a good idea to go with something more neutral.
2021 Tile Flooring Color Trends
This year’s colors are all about cool tones, grays, and light colors. The lights are getting even more extreme with more white-washed, beachy looks and bright white marble. You won’t see as many warm undertones like red, orange, or yellow.
Homeowners are increasingly using flooring to set the tone or feel of their home. That means, we need more options! And manufacturers are responding with more beautiful colors than ever before.
Black is back! Specifically matte black tile flooring.
We all know that black goes with everything, making it the perfect accent, especially in modern and Scandinavian styles. It’s a very chic and moody color that is becoming more popular with younger homeowners.
Because this is more common with modern styles, black floor tiles often come in more creative shapes, like hexagons and trapezoids, rather than the classic square grid.
Speaking of classic – vintage black and white tiles are also making a smaller comeback. Whether you want the retro black and white checkerboard tiles, or bold, dramatic chevrons, this contrasting combo is sure to make a big impression this year.
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Will the black tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Definitely! Black tile will be trending for the next few years. It won’t be quite as popular as gray, but you can still expect to see it around, especially in more modern-style homes.
Five years ago, you could have called the gray trend new or up-and-coming. But now? Is it even a trend anymore?
Well, if by “trend” you mean popular and relevant, then heck, yes! But it is definitely not a fad.
Gray flooring, particularly gray wood, has grown exponentially over the last decade. Although gray tiles, particularly in stone looks, are also very popular in the kitchen.
Gray has quickly become the most popular trend, not just for flooring, but for homes in general. Gray cabinets, gray doors, you name it. And every shade of gray is still hot and trendy in the home. For your floors and decor.
In addition to looking chic and trendy, gray floors set the tone of a cool, contemporary home. They give you a neutral backdrop for decorating in virtually any color. Aquas, greens, bright bold colors or even black and white – they will all go with your sleek gray flooring.
I like to use the neutral backdrop to accessorize with appliances, throw pillow and accent walls. You can choose bright, colorful appliances, decor, chairs, you name it.
Gray floors are the perfect backdrop for this kind of bold statement.
Will the gray tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Heck, yes! Gray will be hot and trendy for decades to come. I wouldn’t give it a second thought!
You’ll see sparkling marble-look whites and beachy, white-washed wood looks.
White-Washed Wood-Look Tile
The whitewashed look is more of a west coast / California trend that is starting to spread across other parts of the country.
As that relaxed, California vibe is spreading, so are the floors that come with it. And white-washed wood looks are at the top of the list.
In addition to the coastal, beachy look, whitewashed tile floors are also excellent for the now-trending farmhouse style in homes, particularly in the kitchen.
Whitewashed wood-look tile floors typically show the appearance of wear with the darker colors peeking out from underneath. It fits right in with the aged and worn trends happening across all styles of flooring.
Whitewash will make your home look brighter, bigger, and more relaxed. It can give that “beachy” feel or also an upscale contemporary feel, depending on the rest of your decor.
Traditional White Tile
Bright white tiles are super hot in the home, and the marble-look tile trend is going to be huge in 2021, especially in kitchens, bathrooms, and commercial spaces.
White tiles instantly make your room look bigger, especially if you use large format tiles. Put these tiles in a room with lots of natural sunlight for a truly special look.
A great thing about choosing white tiles is you have so many options for furniture and decor. Is there anything that doesn’t go with white? I don’t think so.
Will the white tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Classic white tiles will always remain in style. The beachy, white-washed look, however, will probably be more short-lived.
Blue is almost like a neutral in how it’s so versatile in design spaces. I mean, it goes with practically everything, and it can be calm and cool, or bright and energetic. It’s all about how you use it.
For a cool, contemporary floor, go for a gray-blue, which will add drama without being too overwhelming. You’ll see a few cooler-toned stone looks, but the biggest place you’ll see this trend is with decorative tiles, like encaustic looks and more geometric patterns.
Cool tones will be trending across the flooring market in 2021 and, if you go the cool route, I would recommend gray-blue. To be frank, the trends often drift back and forth between warm and cool tones.
Will the blue tile trends last in 2021 and beyond?
I think the cool, muted tones are going to be around for a while. But specifically blue? It will hang around for a few years, probably more if it’s on the grayish side. Any bright blues are likely to go out of style faster.
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High color variation is trending in both wood and stone looks. Wood looks typically feature color variation between planks, whereas high variation in stone-look tile typically refers to the amount of color variation in each individual floor tile.
Homeowners love the natural, rustic look that higher color variation provides. In nature, stone and wood aren’t so uniform; there are all kinds of inconsistencies.
Now, with modern technology, you can achieve these more random, natural looks with ceramic and porcelain tile! This makes your floor more of a statement piece and tends to pair best with a simple but contemporary decor.
Will the high color variation tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
The challenge with something bold like high color variation is it’s a very specific aesthetic. Wood looks will likely be trendy for the next decade or so. Although, I predict high variation kitchen tiles will stay trendy significantly longer.
Some homeowners are steering towards a muted, neutral look for their flooring. Inspired by the color palette of nature, muted tones bring the browns and beiges of the outside world into your home.
The truth is, decor trends tend to change more rapidly than flooring trends. You want to choose a floor that can maintain its relevance for 15-20 years. And neutral, natural color tones do that.
Go gray, beige, brown, or white. These are the hottest neutral tones and will most likely stay popular over the next couple of decades.
Will the natural color tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Yes. But be mindful of which neutral tone you go with.
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2021 Tile Shape Trends
Bold geometrics and designer shapes are the name of the game this year. You’ll see plenty of fun shapes that will be especially popular amongst younger homeowners. Think hexagons, arabesques, fans, and more.
Hexagon tiles just look so pretty. They somehow look both classic and contemporary at the same time.
Hexagons first gained popularity in the early 20th century, typically used in kitchens accompanied by subway wall tiles. They can provide a similar classic, vintage look to subway tile floors.
However, you’ll also see ultra-modern, almost futuristic looks over the next several years. Imagine super clean, sharp lines, whites, blacks and grays, and very minimalist decor. That’s this new futuristic wave of hexagon floor tiles.
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Will the hexagon tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Sparingly. I do believe you’ll continue to see hexagon floor tiles over the next decade. But, the bigger trend will continue to be larger tiles and planks. This is more of a niche market.
If you’ve ever glanced at tile trends on Pinterest, you’ve seen the fan tile. Also known as the fish scale tile or scallop tile, fan mosaic tile is one of the biggest trends in floor tile as well as wall tile. Lots of people are choosing this for a bathroom flooring upgrade.
This is a unique look that’s sure to make a lasting impression. Fan tiles can look modern, retro, whimsical, or contemporary – it all depends on the colors and finish.
That’s right! This stunning shape lets you play with color. Make it an understated, classic white, or choose bold, contrasting color. It’s all up to you!
Will the fan tile shape trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Fan tiles are super popular right now, but that won’t last forever. Because it’s so distinct, my guess is that fan tile will date your home in a few decades.
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As traditional square tiles seem to be on their way out, manufacturers are getting more creative with tile shapes, offering eye-catching looks in unusual shapes.
Circular floor tiles are bringing some modern whimsy to your floors. Also known as penny tile or penny rounds, these mosaic tiles are patterned with small coin-sized circles. They’re often mixed with contrasting colors and finishes for a random, boutique look.
Will the round tile shape trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Don’t bet on it. Round tiles won’t be a forever trend for flooring. It will probably last longer as a backsplash trend.
Nothing says classic luxury quite like diamond-shaped floor tile. It’s adventurous enough to add a bit of personality to your space without being completely overwhelming.
A great thing about the diamond shape is that you can use it to create different patterns and looks. For a more traditional style, the diamond and dot layout creates an elegant and detailed look. You can also find diamond-shaped tiles arranged to create optical illusions like 3D cubes. Pretty cool!
Will the diamond tile shape trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Yes, for a few years. Diamonds are classic enough that they don’t get outdated quickly. A stone-look diamond tile floor will probably have even more longevity.
The arabesque is an intricate, showstopping tile shape that’s making waves this year. This curly shape adds elegance and flair to any room. Just picture this in your entryway or kitchen, making a huge impression when people walk in.
For a really bold look, use a contrasting grout color to emphasize the shape, or choose an option with a variety of high-variation colors. You can cover the whole floor with an arabesque mosaic if you want, or you can tone it down some by framing an accent section near entryways or other focal points.
Will the arabesque tile shape trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Arabesques have staying power for the next several years, and they could even become a permanent fixture in mosaic tile. This timeless shape isn’t likely to make your home look dated any time soon.
Subway tile has taken over, skyrocketing in popularity and finding its way into kitchens and bathrooms everywhere. While it’s most popular on walls, subway tile floors are on virtually every “dream bathroom floor” Pinterest board. There’s just something about these little rectangles that people can’t get enough of.
Subway tiles offer a sought-after vintage look, reminiscent of New York subways in the early 1900s. The great thing about them is that they’re also easy to modernize. You can pick from tons of colors beyond the traditional white, and even use them in more contemporary layouts, like herringbone patterns.
Will the subway tile shape trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Subway tiles will remain popular, but probably not the most popular tile for flooring. While they have been one of the biggest trends in tile for years, people are moving more toward creative designer shapes. It’s not a mistake to install subway tile, but if you want to be a trendsetter, focus more on newer tile shapes.
Linear floor tile is more likely to be an accent rather than a whole floor covering. These are really tiny tiles, often mixed with a lot of colors and materials to create high contrast. Designers are using this style to combine glass, stone, and even metal in eye-catching patterns.
You might see linear floor tile and part of a border area or an accent piece around entryways. It’s very modern and popular for creating certain abstract looks, such as “waterfall” or “bamboo” patterns. With the right color combinations, you can create the abstract look of bamboo or water cascading over your floor. Now that’s what I call a statement piece.
Will the linear tile shape trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Probably not! This is a fun, creative look, but it doesn’t have a lot of staying power. If you want to resell your house anytime soon, I would advise against it. If you still want a creative shaped tile, consider hexagons!
Like the diamond shape, triangle floor tiles are a versatile addition to your floor. You can have a classic triangle dot pattern with a marble look, or you can go bold with contrasting grout and a mix of colors.
With triangle tiles, there are lots of opportunities to build other eye-catching shapes as well, including diamonds and hexagons. Long story short, this is a very versatile option that allows you to go in a lot of different directions. More options are always better than fewer!
Will the triangle tile shape trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Maybe for a little while, but not forever. The triangle look is awesome now, but it will probably look dated in a few decades.
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2021 Tile Flooring Layout and Size Trends
Over the last several years, patterns and creative flooring layouts have made a comeback. You’ll see contemporary, updated versions of 1980s parquet flooring patterns, along with fun options playing with layouts.
Plus, bigger is better in 2021, particularly when it comes to ceramic tile planks. Longer, wider planks continue to steal the spotlight.
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Hexagon Tile Transitions
Hexagon tiles have paved the way for unique transitions between different rooms and types of flooring. A clean, straight line is no longer the only way to flow from one area to the next. Instead of that boring straight line, hexagon flooring slowly trickles into contrasting flooring types (like wood-look planks) so they meet in a one-of-a-kind geometric pattern.
You’ve probably seen this trend on Pinterest. These “trickling” hexagon floor transitions are the hottest new craze and for a good reason. It looks super cool!
While this pattern is often achieved with hexagons, any tile shape will work to create a one-of-a-kind look as you transition from the kitchen to other rooms in your home. It’s the ultimate way to express your creativity.
Will the hexagon transition trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Maybe! This bold design is not for everyone, but it does add a unique modern touch to any space. My guess is that the trickling floors trend will grow more in the coming years, but never become the go-to option for flooring.
Herringbone Tile Floors
You’ve probably seen the herringbone pattern before. It was really popular for wood flooring, and now that wood looks are everywhere in floor tile, the pattern has traveled over too. These days you’ll see herringbone patterns with other tile looks as well, including stone looks and more decorative styles. It’s a decorative, geometric pattern that is classic and modern all at once.
For many homeowners, the herringbone pattern is an accessible way to lay out your tile that is also bold and unique. Long-plank herringbone patterns are going to be super hot this year, especially among young homeowners. But I suspect you’ll also see a surge in chevron tiles, as well, particularly in kitchens and hallways.
Here’s what another expert has to say about the herringbone pattern:
“The way you lay a flooring pattern can spice up whether it is trendy or not. You can pick a very classic floor but lay it in a herringbone pattern to add drama to any room. Herringbone and Chevron patterns are showing up everywhere.” – Courtney Greger, My Flipping Job
Also, let me clear up a little misconception. Chevron and herringbone patterns are similar, but each has its distinction.
Chevron floors require flooring to be angled and come together to a point. Some ceramic tiles are producing products with the chevron pattern in the tile itself, which is pretty darn cool if you ask me.
Herringbone achieves a similar look by connecting two planks at a 90-degree angle as seen below.
Will the herringbone and chevron tile trends last in 2021 and beyond?
This trend isn’t likely to last forever, but it sure looks pretty while it’s here.
And, it will probably stay trendy in the kitchen the longest.
Chevron Tile Floors
Chic, sleek, and modern, the chevron is similar to herringbone in that they both have a v-shaped or arrow-shaped design. However, chevrons are cut at an angle to get a cleaner look. Don’t worry about doing any of the cutting yourself, by the way. These days, the tiles are all set into easily-installed pre-made sheets.
The sharp, clean lines and angles of chevron tiles are trendy and timeless all at once. Plus, chevrons are oh-so-versatile. Not satisfied with the angular awesomeness all on its own? Mix tile colors, textures, and finishes to add even more detail. Contrasting colors easily create a dramatic look.
Will the chevron tile pattern trend last in 2021 and beyond?
You betcha! Chevrons are similar enough to herringbone tiles that you can expect them to stick together through the changing fads and trends. So if herringbone is still around, the chevron is right there, too.
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This is one trend you can expect to see every year in every style for the foreseeable future. Longer, wider planks make your floors look larger, more open, and less busy.
Soon, short, thin planks will be seen as outdated. I would venture to guess that going with smaller planks could significantly reduce your home’s resale value. And also, they just won’t look as good.
Now, I do think we’ll get to a point where enough is enough already and we will maintain these new traditional sizes. But, I recommend getting on board with the large plank trend!
Will the large tile plank trend last in 2021 and beyond?
Manufacturers are only trending towards even wider and longer planks. This trend will soon become a classic staple and will likely last the test of time.
Extra-large tiles have been trending for quite some time with manufacturers continuing to create larger and larger individual tiles. Large-format tiles make your room look bigger, especially if you choose a light color. Additionally, larger tiles = fewer grout lines. Win, win.
Grout is the one thing that makes cleaning tile kind of a pain. It stains more easily than the tile and, because it’s sunken a bit from the tile, it’s harder to get in there and give it a good scrub.
So, this is kind of a trend. Why do I say ‘kind of’? Well, square tiles are kind of on their way out. I mean, they’ll never be totally out, but the trend is moving toward wood-look planks.
The exception to this is the bathroom, where large format tile is still super trendy and probably will be for a good, long time.
Will the large format tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?
As you may have guessed, I wouldn’t count on it. Stick to the large planks.
Did we miss anything? Leave it in the comments – we’d love to hear your thoughts!
As you can see, there’s a lot going on in the tile flooring industry right now. There are plenty of different, unique options trending that will likely stick around for years to come, which means your possibilities are endless.
If you’re looking to get started with new trendy tile flooring, you can start with free samples here: