Ask the Expert

Tile selections

Q: We're planning kitchen and bathroom renovations and need to make tile selections. What are the most important considerations in selecting tile? Also, are there any trends you see emerging?

When making tile selections, homeowners need to consider where the material will be used, i.e. shower, countertops, exterior use, etc. In most residential applications porcelain and glass tiles are selected because they are non-absorbing materials and require very little maintenance.

Porcelain, for example, is a very popular material because of its high strength and plethora of styles, shapes and colors. Hexagon and octagon patterns are very popular and are available in multiple sizes. By selecting the appropriate materials to use including the tile material and grout, homeowners are able to minimize cleaning time. Another technique for minimizing the cleaning time is to reduce the amount of grout lines – this is done by choosing large scale tiles that are available in multiple sizes up to
24” x 48”.

One of the emerging trends is the use of extra large porcelain panels made in Spain, with sizes varying from 39.5” x 98.5” to 60” x 120”. Another trend is the frequent use of cement encaustic tiles as accents – these products are reminiscent of an age-old time, often in bold patterns that have been used in Europe for centuries. Fish scale pattern tiles are also very popular right now.

Gray continues to be the trending color followed by aqua blue. The orange family is also popular, ranging from coral to terracotta.

Deb Tanis is the design sales representative at Pacific Tile in Anchorage. She is professionally certified by the National Council of Interior Design demonstrating expertise in understanding and applying current codes established to protect public health, safety and welfare. Visit