Move Over, Subway Tiles: These Kitchen Tile Trends Are on Their Way in (and Out) for 2024

published Jan 6, 2024
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an industrial style kitchen with a gray and white hexagonal backsplash

It may sound like a platitude, but 2024 kitchen design trends — when it comes to tiles, at least — are all about embracing imperfections. Several designers and decorators say that tiles like the hand-cut zellige ones, which are glossy, textured, and rebel when it comes to uniformity, are becoming favored — even over the straight-edge, perfectly symmetrical subway tiles that have reigned supreme in kitchens for years.

“Zellige tiles are so popular because of the beautiful texture, subtle color variation, and handmade look that they bring to a space,” says interior decorator Vivianne Chow of Viv and Tim Home. Similarly, Floss Kelly, the co-founder of TileCloud, says ultra-polished, high-gloss finishes are losing popularity in favor of matte and natural finishes. “The design world is gravitating towards authenticity and materials that evoke warmth and organic charm,” Kelly says. 

Whether you’re planning a kitchen renovation or just want the inside scoop on the design world’s forecasts, here’s more on what tile trends are in for 2024 when it comes to tiles, floors, and backsplashes, and which ones are on their way out, according to experts. 

What Kitchen Tile Trends Are in for 2024? 

Credit: Andreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

 1. Natural Stones and Earthy Tones

Kelly says she’s seeing a significant shift this year towards natural stone materials and earthy tones in kitchen tiles, floors, and backsplashes. “This trend is all about bringing the outside in, creating a connection with nature right in your kitchen,” she says. 

The earthy tones range from soft beiges to rich browns and complement a natural aesthetic, she says, contributing to a warm, inviting kitchen. Materials like marble, slate, and terracotta, with their inherent textures and colors, are becoming increasingly popular. “These natural stone options not only add a timeless elegance to the kitchen, but also offer durability and uniqueness, as no two pieces are exactly alike,” she says. 

Credit: Lula Poggi

2. Zellige Tile 

It’s early, but zellige is looking to be the darling tile of 2024. “We are so obsessed with the hand-crafted artisan quality of zellige tile,” says Jennifer Verruto, founder and CEO of Blythe Interiors. “Made from a clay mix found in Morocco and hand-crafted, glazed, and fired, each tile has its own unique quality.”

Varying thickness, shape, and glaze only adds to the perfectly imperfect vibe of this tile, she says. One thing Verruto notes: Because these tiles aren’t uniform, it makes for a tough DIY makeover and typically requires expert installation.

Credit: Natalia Robert

3. 3D Tiles

Verruto notes that heavily textured tiles are a simple way to add organic movement to a room. “3D tiles easily become a conversation piece and bring character,” she says. Specifically, using them on a dining room wall or an entry wall can pack a big punch. 

4. Variations on Subway Tile

Subway tile will likely always be around — but that doesn’t mean it’s got to be the same old white brick-lay pattern (more on that below!), Verruto says. 

“We’re seeing a creative influx of hand-pressed looks in varying sizes, colors, and shapes of the classic tile, and people are getting more playful with layouts,” she says. Whether it be a vertical stack offset, a double herringbone, or basketweave, subway tiles can be classic, yet elevated with a fresh arrangement.

What Kitchen Tile Trends Are Out in 2024? 

Credit: Joseph Hendrickson/Shutterstock

1. All White Tiles 

White, monochromatic, and minimal designs were all the rage a few years ago, and understandably so as we entered the pandemic and were craving peaceful and visually calming spaces, Verutto says. Now, bolder tiles are coming back. Color-drenching, rich textures, and invigorating patterns on bold tiles, she says, are taking center stage. 

“While bold design choices are being made, they’re still being balanced with simplicity and a dose of minimalism that creates harmonious and exciting spaces,” she says.

Credit: Mint Images/Getty Images

2.  Busy Backsplashes

Those shiny, busy backsplashes such as metallics and glass that have long been popular in new builds are officially on their way out, says Kelly Marohl, interior designer at Neutral Home Design

More homeowners, she says, are choosing to use marble slabs as a backsplash instead. It’s softer on the eye, and you can get the look in your kitchen by extending the marble halfway up to the ledge or all the way up to the ceiling, she says. (Or, you could even use marble contact paper for a budget- and rental-friendly solution.)

Credit: Luoxi/Shutterstock

3. Subway Tile Backsplashes

Subway tile backsplashes, known for their classic and versatile appeal, are becoming less popular as homeowners seek more distinctive and personalized design elements for their kitchens, says Mariya Snisar, the head of interior design at Renowell. Hexagonal tiles or larger-format tiles feel more contemporary, she says. Although some people are loving variations of subway tiles, like colored or gradient ones.

Which tile trends of 2024 are you most (and least) excited about? Let us know in the comments below!