Consumers today are presented with a myriad of choices when they walk into a tile showroom. Marble or ceramic? White tiles or colored tiles? The choices have evolved and so is the knowledge. Consumers are more aware today, and they actively spend time and resources in selecting the best tile for their home. Of course, the choice also depends on the budget, the overall style of the home, and the functionality of the space.
Tiles are a big part of a new home project or even a renovation project. They are available in a variety of colors and materials and the recent advancements in digital printing technology in the tile industry have also opened vast opportunities for customization. These technologies can replicate the look and feel of natural materials like wood, different types of natural stones, etc.
But, what do the consumers actually buy at the end of the day? Is there a particular favorite? Over the past decade, consumer preferences have seen a classic shift. Some of the interesting trends that have gained prominence are the popularity of glazed vitrified tiles, specific colored tiles for aesthetics, or tiles were chosen basis advanced color theory (mix and match/ contrast and match).
Today, consumers are inclined more towards personalization and are even open to spending more than usual. For instance, glazed vitrified tiles are in great demand this year. And this shift has impacted the tile retail segment, which has evolved a lot over the past few years. Let’s take a deep dive into what is shaping the shift in the tile retail segment and the key aspects that consumers are looking into:
Material is Important: As more and more people migrate to urban areas and apartments get more compact, it becomes imperative to choose the right material that fits the cost, functionality as well as aesthetics of a space. The most popular choice, or the glazed vitrified tiles (GVT) off late, has taken the market by storm. GVT tiles are not only pocket-friendly but are also a much more sustainable option maintenance-wise. They are easy to install and are durable. Due to their highly customizable nature, and their wide range of colors and designs can spruce up the look and feel of a place. These tiles can withstand a lot of foot traffic due to their abrasion resistance. The best part is that GVT is everything elegant about marble minus the hassle of chipping or cracking.
When it comes to material aspects like roughness or smoothness are also taken into consideration. Slippery tiles are always a big no. The problem with some tiles is that they get slippery as they get wet, and this can be potentially dangerous, especially in houses that have children and the elderly. There are certain areas in a house that demands anti-slippery tiles, like the bathrooms and the kitchens. Most consumers today specifically ask for tiles that are anti-skid. The best bet as considered by some would be to install different kinds of vitrified tiles as they are all anti-skid, resistant to stains and scratches, and dirt.
A Color that Just Feels Right: Color choices and trends evolve with time, and choosing the right color for the tiles is important to ensure that it matches the overall theme of the home. Interestingly, for a consumer today, the choice of colors also depends on how the color makes them feel.
For instance, blue shaded floor tiles were found to be in demand for flooring in workspaces because the color blue builds an atmosphere of productivity and serenity and represents emotions of trustworthiness. Using off-white or white makes an area feel more spacious and open. White is a balanced color that induces feelings of purity and positivity. Black or grey on the other hand, if used strategically and correctly, gives an air of sophistication that is seldom found in several spaces.
To Hop on a Trend or to be a Trendsetter: Thanks to social media and the internet communities, there is never really a dearth of trends. The tile patterns that are trending in Italy for instance, could eventually find their way to India. While there is obviously a lot of demand for the materials and colors that are on-trend, there is also a large section of the consumers who choose to not follow a trend and be a trendsetter in their own way.
White or off-white is always a color that stays in vogue and it will never really go out of style. One way to stay current would be to adopt the trends that are everlasting. No matter what the preference for trends is, be it retro or futuristic, an important point to keep in mind would be to choose a long-lasting tile in terms of the materials or colors.
Ultimately the choice boils down to individual preferences. Tile shopping if done properly, can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a new home/ renovation project. Finding the right tile is not an exhausting job, but the overwhelming choices available in the market today can make it a difficult decision. It is important to ensure that the tiles chosen are both functional and aesthetic. Always remember; do your research, and never make your choices in haste.