A new style for tile has emerged—one that could possibly be on a rising trend or headed for a quick flop. The tile industry’s latest craze for large-format porcelain wall tiles, have been all the rage in the last year or so. Even many tile haters, have reconsidered the product over costly slabs or cheap pre-made shower inserts. In the last few months, the industry has taken these large-format wall tiles and manufactured tiles that have a very close likeness to any high-end wallpaper or even textiles. We’ve aptly named these fabric-like tiles, tex-tiles.
a general take on wall decor
Selecting the appropriate wall surfaces for your home can be both challenging and costly. Historically, when considering wall elements for any given room in your home, tile is primarily used on walls where there are heavy moisture areas, such as kitchens or baths. Where as wallpaper, wood panels, or bead board are installed to create dimension and texture in most interior spaces such as bedrooms or general living spaces. Like tile, wallpaper is the only other manmade element to create dimension in a home and attempt to substitute the natural materials used for décor. Both elements take on many colors, styles, and dimensions. While technology certainly presents a lot of mediums and choices for your home, we believe that Tex-tiles could be another popular contender to enter the general wall-décor scene due to their zero-maintenance, durable and sleek appearance.
wallpaper as a history
Wallpaper intrinsically planted itself in design when it became popular as the only cost-affordable substitute to wall tapestries and painted murals during the 18th and 19th centuries. The low cost and speed of production in large factories took a large turn during the industrial revolution, where large manufacturing and newly opened trade routes brought wallpaper to every fashionable home throughout the western and eastern worlds. While wallpaper was initially only intended to be an inexpensive substitute to tapestries and murals, today it has progressed to become just as expensive to manmade durable porcelain and ceramic tiles. Depending on the kind of design you are looking for, a single role of quality wallpaper can cost as much as 600 dollars (plus installation). On average you need three to five rolls to cover a room. Different chemical agents in the paper itself can help increase the durability, wash-ability and length of time that the paper lasts, the temporary nature or culture surrounding paper use encourages frequent replacement at an expensive price tag.
Tiles range in all different styles colors, and textures. Like wallpaper, high definition printing technology that fabricates text-tiles not only perfectly emulates in color and image contemporary fabrics like chevron print or abstract forms. These new tex-tiles are imprinted to generate a fabric-like texture, with the fade-proof, water-proof durability of any porcelain tile. A zero-wear tile is something wallpaper or any fabric could never match.
tex-tiles here to stay?
The opportunity for tex-tiles to dominate over wallpaper is there. But currently the options to choose from for tex-tiles are still limited and in no way replace the intricate hunting scenes or murals that wallpaper gained its popularity for over 200 years ago. In the world of interior design styles come and go, and yet they often remain and repeat themselves. Once installed most commonly due to renovation expenses, if you are like the majority of consumers designing on a budget, when it comes time to redo your wall decor, it might be time to consider tiles over wallpaper. The low maintenance appeal of a porcelain tile with the appearance of wallpaper might be just the thing that your home needs. Whether the tex-tile style is a trend or a flop we leave it to you.