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Choosing tile for your Ortley Beach  kitchen and bath!

Choosing tile for your kitchen and bathrooms can be confusing. To make the process easier, we interviewed Matthew Crossken, owner of Beachwood, N.J.-based MAE Flooring by Crossken, for some tips. 

Q: What color trends are you seeing in tile?

A: In general, we’re seeing a lot less beige and a lot more blue since we’re by the water. Whites, off-whites and grays are still popular, too, particularly inland. We’ve done a lot of brick-look on laundry room and mudroom floors. 

Q: What should homeowners consider when they’re choosing a kitchen backsplash?

A: Generally, it’s good to have a color concept ahead of time. I recommend picking out your cabinets and the countertops first. Kitchen countertops are such a huge piece of your kitchen, while the backsplash is a pretty small section, except for the area above the stove. If you can’t get a sample of the countertop, take a video so we can see the true color. This will help you choose a backsplash that matches. 

Spend some time looking at kitchen tile online ahead of time to get some ideas. Many people do a decorative or unique style over the stove. For cleanability, we don’t normally recommend marble for a backslash because there’s maintenance involved. The most important thing is knowing the countertop color; then we can start to talk about patterns and styles.

Q: Are you seeing any trends in backsplashes? 

A: We’re still seeing a lot of whites. Glass tiles are also pretty popular for a backsplash because they provide some depth. Undulated tile, which has a waviness to it, is pretty popular because it gives a little texture instead of a tile that’s solid or plain. And, of course, doing something fun over the stove if you’re doing a simple tile under the cabinets.

Q: Is white subway tile still popular?

A: Yes, but not your traditional 3×6. Now, we’re doing a lot more 3×12 and 4×12 subway tiles. Having subway tile with undulated edging or an undulated face is also popular.

Q: What should customers consider when choosing bathroom tile?

A: Do you want warm or do you want cool or dark? Every now and then, someone wants black tile in the bathroom. I tell my customers to look online or in stores to narrow their color and material choices. Sometimes, people like the color variation and movement of marble, but in reality, it’s out of their budget. At least if we know the look you’re going for, we can point you to options that make sense for your budget. 

For bathrooms, plan for tile in the opposite way than in the kitchen. Because vanity colors are pretty standard, choose your tile first, then select the vanity and countertops. 

Q: What trends are you seeing in bathroom tile?

A: A lot of my customers are embracing color, whether on the floor or on the wall. Most of the time, they opt for something a little more colorful on the floor. Popular options for the how to choose kitchen and bathroom tile floor include hexagon tiles and wood-look tiles. For the walls, large-format subway tiles, like 8×24 or 12×24, are popular, as well as wave patterns in the shower walls. That old-school, linear row of deco tile is out of style.

Also popular is a waterfall effect, where we run the tile chosen for the shower pan in a 12-inch or 18-inch section from the ceiling down into the pan on the back wall of the shower. Pebble tile is pretty popular in shower pans, too, and some people use pebbles on the entire back wall of the shower or as part of the waterfall accent.

Q: What about installation trends? Are people doing more offset or vertical?

A: If it’s a 12×24 tile, most of the time, it’s installed offset unless it’s a pretty standardized pattern. Herringbone pattern is popular, but we don’t have a lot of requests for it. Achieving the full herringbone effect in a standard size or hallway bathroom is difficult. It’s too tight in most bathrooms to fit a toilet and a vanity and still see a herringbone pattern. It depends on the size of the tile, too. Sometimes we can get a 2×8 tile or even a brick-look tile to look good in a herringbone pattern.

In any room, think about color beforehand. What colors do you love? What colors do you hate? Once you have some ideas, we can help you with the rest. 

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