Tile has played a crucial role in design for centuries, dating back to the ancient gilded mosaics of the Byzantine era. Gone are the days of ordinary monochromatic tiles: technological and mathematical advances have transformed designs from dated to inspired, producing ceramics in every shape and size imaginable. From honeycomb to scalloped, tiledesign has evolved far beyond simple rectangles and squares.
Though there are few tile designs that take advantage of the 15 different types of tessellating pentagon, Madrid-based DSIGNIO created an asymmetrical pentagon for Harmony-Peronda reminiscent of the surface of the Watercube swimming centre in Beijing. Smooth to the touch but swollen in appearance, the tiles shatter the plane to create a curious tactile experience.
Currently one of the most popular styles, honeycomb tile comes in many forms. Formed of a perfect hexagon, the motif has endless applications and a simple, pleasing aesthetic. And, by using a variety of surface heights, the tiles can eliminate the grid effect to enhance visual stimulation. The Portland tiles by Land Porcelanico in honeycomb add a three dimensional element to the mosaic, eliminating visual monotony.
Let's not forget decorated tile, of course. Beyond shape, a patterned motif can add stimulation to a space quite simply. Here, the honeycomb is taken to a new level as seen on the popular Instagram account I Have This Thing With Floors:
Scalloped tile is also quickly becoming one of the most popular styles. California-basedFireclay Tile has been producing unorthodox tile designs since 1986, including the highly-sought after scalloped motif in dozens of colours. The whimsical style can be applied in a variety of directions to varied effects:
Now to the exciting tiles. Home to a serious collection of curious patterns, Fireclay Tile has options for the wildest of imaginations. Roam free, tile lovers: