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Time for a cover up?

Muddy's on the tiles this month, and no, not in that way. I'm on a mission to bring you the latest trends in walls and floors (obviously).

Splashing out on a new bathroom this autumn, or planning to zhuzh up your kitchen? I can help! Choosing how to cover walls and floors is always a ‘mare: the choice, the expense, the ‘will I still like it in two years’ time?’. Mr M and I have been trying to decide how to pave our terrace for almost that long (or maybe it’s just a clever way of putting off what he calls DIWoe).

In desperation, I tottered down to La Fabrico’s uber-stylish showroom in Exeter’s city centre to get the latest hot tips from in-house designer, Ashton Snow. When it comes to tile trends, Ashton is super-savvy.  Things have come on a LOT since I last went tile shopping, I can tell you.



Big is now officially beautiful. According to Ashton, sales of smaller square tiles – your traditional 60x60cm slab – are falling while large format tiles – 80x80cm, metre-plus and above – are on the rise. Not only do they look chic, there is less grout breaking up the flow, and contrary to what you make expect, biggering works better in a confined space than going small which just makes everything look busy.



I thought porcelain was what posh people drink tea out of but no. Far from being delicate, porcelain (a manmade mix of compressed clay fired at a high temperature) is very durable, and it can even go outside. No need to worry about kids, puppies and parties – the only thing that can damage it is porcelain itself. Techy advances have produced Coverlam, a thin-cut version you can use to clad walls, pillars, planters and kitchen tops, and the marble effect versions are so good even the experts are fooled. The reduced weight and workabiltity means you can even lay it directly onto existing tiles which saves the faff of lifting everything up first. And once it’s laid, unlike natural materials it doesn’t need annual cleaning and sealing.



These days tiles don’t always look like tiles: they mimic wood, including outdoor decking and stylish parquet, as well as industrial-looking metals. The bonus is you get the looks without the maintenance. There’s also a move towards grouping patterned tiles together under tables and as centrepieces instead of a rug. Less trippy I guess, too.



Grey is still on trend, but the fashion is moving towards teaming up with warmer earthy colours, rather than white which can look and feel a tad clinical, and can make a space feel colder in winter. Ashton recommends mixing with wood effects and large tiles, for that contemporary ‘yup, I could have an interior designer’ feel.



If you want to cut the fiddle for a splash-back behind an AGA or bathroom sink, how about a single large feature tile? Tiles are usually priced by the metre but you can buy this shimmering Saloni Foundry Forge Iris tile as a single 45x90cm unit. How simple is that? And it’s durable enough to go outdoors. A nice change from orange trellis, eh?

Want to see more, more, more? Pop into La Fabrico’s showroom opposite St Mary Arches car park or call to book a free home visit.


La Fabrico, 1 Mitre Lane, Exeter, Devon, England EX4 3BB Tel: 01392 848487


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