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Dress up floors with top tile trends

Homeowners, builders, designers and product developers are thinking outside the box when incorporating tile into remodeling projects and new homes.

From bringing tile flooring up the wall to using the same tile flooring across multiple rooms, flooring experts are working with tile in non-traditional ways.

If you’re looking to breathe new life into one room or your entire home, why not consider:

• The look of real wood with a rustic finish. Many of the larger-format faux wood tiles mimic the look of real hardwood floors. Less expensive and more durable than real wood, these tile floors are practical yet beautiful choices for active households, especially those with children and pets. Details evoke the character of real wood, right down to the nails.

• Longer tile planks. While standard square tile sizes will always have their place in home décor, rectangular tiles – also known as planks – are gaining popularity. New 12-by-24-inch tiles are a hot choice in bathrooms and 6-by-36-inch tiles or 8-inch by 8-feet planks (often in wood-grained looks) are a favorite for living areas.

• That poured concrete look. While concrete is a trendy design material right now, it’s not practical for every household or application. New tile styles create the look of poured or stained concrete at a fraction of the cost, and with all the durability, versatility and ease associated with tile. Options range from long rectangular 8-by-18-inch or 12-by-24-inch planks to 18-by-18-inch squares. Tiles are rectified – the edge is cut completely straight – and grout joints are very narrow to further create the look of seamless concrete.

• The warmth of heated floors. While heated floors were once a luxury option for homeowners, they’re becoming increasingly mainstream. Thermostats can control the heat in any floor, including both the shower floor and shower benches.

• Unconventional grout and tile design ideas. Using a high-contrast grout color can make the floor pop, and it’s a tactic that works well with mosaic designs. Choosing the right grout color is just as important as the tile you select. Also popular is the concept of mosaic designs that mimic an area rug within a larger section of tile flooring and create the look of custom art within the floor.

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