August 1st, 2013

By Sean Cilona, Marketing Director, Florida Tile

An executive office with chairs table and view over the city of London

Texture describes the visual and/or tactile nature of something.

Texture has two components: “image texture” (the look of something) and “physical texture” (the feel of something).

To designers, architects, builders and decorators, texture is important because it reflects the nuances of personal style, establishes environmental interest and engenders specific moods such as warm or cool and settings from formal to casual.

That’s why in design circles right now, TEXTURE IS TRENDING.

Going back hundreds of years and in any culture, regardless of the design concept, texture is automatically a critical interior design component, and tile is a major contributor.

At one end of the design spectrum are products like Florida Tile’s new wood looks such as Magnolia HDP high definition porcelain tile. The other is represented by the urban look of Aventis, for example. Each is a very different look, but each shares the commonality of texture, both visual and actual, and each needs a bit of explanation by exploration.

Magnolia’s 8×36-inch pressed plank wood format size is consistent with the grand scale of wood and also with current trends in natural hardwood flooring. Magnolia HDP projects the traditional visual graining of magnolia wood and a relatively smooth but slightly textured surface reminiscent of its Southern plantation heritage.

Aventis, on the other hand, is a striking contemporary urban design, a cool, minimalist look for modern residential or commercial spaces. Inspired by the coarse, weathered urban landscape, Aventis uses strong Greys, Cream, Black and Olive tones for that clean, cool, metro, “gritty city” look. A unique blending of a base color plus a stain for contrast makes for a slight shimmer of reflection, another form of texture.

Tile is ideal in meeting the challenge of a designer whose job it is to see the large picture by taking into account other surfaces, accessories and transitions to other rooms and bring it all together.

Even the installation, the very way a tile is set in place, contributes to texture. Even trim pieces and listellos which coordinate or complement a tile décor and are uniquely called on for creating borders, frames and chair rails, become part of the texture of a tile installation.

Designers working with tile will consider the size of the surface and its surroundings, coordinating with adjacent features like countertops, walls and backsplashes.  Different sizes, patterns and textures can complement and personalize a space and create perfect transitions in texture from room to room. Since tile blends well texturally with other design materials—metal, glass, wood, etc., designers can blend diverse elements in their designs.

Texture is one reason designer-quality tile is very different from versions found in bulk home good stores. The color, style and texture are greater and far more compelling in the final installation.

Next time you hold a piece of tile in hour hands, think of it as “texture by design.”



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