Category Archives: Flooring

Bath Trends for 2016 (and Beyond)

As we’ve discussed before, here on Hotel Tubs Pro, consumers expect hotels to be at least as good as what they have at home (or what they aspire to.) While this list is primarily focused on the residential market, there are trends that hotels should pay attention to and consider for their upcoming renovation projects.


Blending Natural Materials

Photo by
Photo by

The natural, organic, clean look will continue.  Spice up your designs with continuing your tile work onto the walls, or reusing materials in other parts of the suite. Not only are these aesthetically pleasing designs but they can also be lower maintenance for your cleaning staff. While we might be hesitant to incorporate wood directly in line with water, consider wood-like tile products that incorporate the look, while still remaining durable for industrial, high-volume use.



White on White

Photo by:
Photo by:

There’s a big reason why white is so used: it’s clean, it’s elegant. It can help small rooms seem more light and airy… So why wouldn’t it be commonly used in the bath? Note in this photo, too, other smaller trends: the use of the trough-style sink, the freestanding soaking tub, and wood floors — all of which are ongoing trends for you to consider including in your hotel baths.



Bold Juxtapositions

Photo by
Photo by

As shared on, “When one uses a combination of modern and organic, it creates a dynamic atmosphere that evokes clean and stylish sensation. The juxtaposition of wood and stone to synthetics is very clever, combinative and suitable for many variations of design.” Take note of the mosaic, bold color tiled wall behind the free-standing soaking tub: these are continuing trends from 2016 to consider as well. (Note in the picture above the use of wood accents. The smooth cement flooring trend can also be incorporated here as well.)



Shower Benches/Grab Bars

Photo by:
Photo by:

With an aging population, it’s wise for hotels to at least consider adapting what they normally might look for in shower design.  Shower seats and safety bars can get a bad rep, with most thinking they’re clunky or awkward looking in the shower.  But they don’t have to be. Instead of thinking “chair size” – go big and think “bench.” The mental shift immediately changes your concepts in what is possible in designing the space. Also, draw in other design elements: the antiqued brass or mosaic patterns/graphical treatments.









Rethinking Water Spouts

Photo by
Photo by

Whether it’s a metal “fountain-like” faucet, or one out of clay materials with room for plantlife, your choice in faucetry can bring big personality to a small space.







Luscious Plantlife

Photo by:


We’ve talked about “living walls” here before, but now we’re seeing them included in bath areas. Also shown here: open shelving as storage to help your guests stay organized (and yet still within reach/sight so that guests aren’t as likely to leave personal items behind after checkout.)







Go Bold

Photo by:
Photo by:

At the other end of the spectrum, matted big, bold and dark colors can create drama in a counter-intuitive way.  Normally, we think small spaces should incorporate light colors to create a lighter feel of spaciousness. But dark colors can create drama, warmth, a feeling a relaxation and cocooning. Neutral colors can also go dark – think charcoal grey.  (Note here too: the continuation of tile on the walls and open shelving.) Also consider the shape of your tiles.  While the traditional, rectangular subway tiles are common, consider other standardized shapes like hexagons (see above).





Brass Accents


Photo by:
Photo by:


When most people think of “brass,” they think of the high-shine metal: but there’s more than one way to finish or treat brass. There’s just something about the classic elegance of the right treatment of brass with marble (another trend we’ve talked about.)








Dark Neutrals

Photo by:
Photo by:

As mentioned earlier, dark neutrals are in — especially when used in combination with one other color (ie: black, or a dark teal, etc). Also note here the use of a longer, trough style sink, and unique organizational method/open shelving — all of which helps your guests stay organized while on the road.



Water Efficient Fixtures

Shown above Moen’s Velocity Eight-Inch Multi-function Rainshower Showerhead. Photo by:
Shown above Moen’s Velocity Eight-Inch Multi-function Rainshower Showerhead. Photo by:

It seems like a contradiction in terms: the “luxury” feel evoked in rainshower showerheads, versus being “environmentally friendly.” The two trends couldn’t seem more in contrast. … Until now.

While the EPA required that manufacturers make showerheads that only used 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm) in 1992, (down from 5.5 gpm), they also have a “voluntary WaterSense” classification using only 2.0 gpm flow for certification. That might not sound like much:  it’s a 20% savings, which, added up over time — and in the volume hotels use it — can mean buckets of cost reduction.



Fog-Free Mirrors

Photo by:
Photo by:

Fog free mirrors work for both you and your staff:  low maintenance upgrade that gives your guests frustration free early morning routines.







Smart Showers with Added Health Benefits

Vitamin C infused showers reportedly neutralize chlorine and leave guests with healther skin, hair and nails. Photo from:
Vitamin C infused showers reportedly neutralize chlorine and leave guests with healther skin, hair and nails. Photo from:

Smart showers are another element of tech-infused hotel rooms.  Some smart showers can change shower stall glass from clear to opaque with the touch of a button. Others control temperature, water pressure and spray pattern preferences. Some stalls now include waterproof TV screens, while others have speakers that can play your favorite music from your iPhone.

While trends come and go, these are the ones we see as having “staying power” that you can include in various aspects of the design of your hotel rooms and baths as you begin renovating/refinishing your rooms.

Check out more bath trends:

From Around the Web – Tile Trend #5: Wall Tile Instead of Paper or Paint

Tile Trends in Hotel Bath Design
Think beyond the shower stall – as in this photo, you can use texturized wall tiles to create a multi-dimensional tile in other areas of the bath. Photo Credit:

Wall tile isn’t limited to a backsplash anymore.

While tile has always been a viable option for the bathroom walls, this is a trend that is growing – replacing paint and wallpaper as the favored wall covering–  in 2016.

Metallics as an accent make a design lean toward the dramatic. Even in small doses, metallic is a hit.

It will be everywhere this year, but it will play a supporting role. Tile will jump off the wall in all kinds of 3D designs this year. While trends will still favor neutral colors, textures will be anything but neutral.

Tile Trends in Hotel Bath Design
Wall tile can create dramatic visual interest in small spaces – like behind your mirrors above the sinks. Photo Credit


Look for geometric pattern, waves, handcrafted look, and high-low mosaic patterns. Tile on the wall is getting bigger and getting away from classic mosaic backsplash. It won’t be unusual to see large format tile, including planks. The new favorite will be tiles 24 inches or more in length.


Want More Tile Trends? Read:

From Around the Web – Tile Trend #4: The Luxury of Marble Without the Cost

Tile Trends in Hotel Bath Design
Think beyond the block tile. Marble-looking tiles come in a wide range of shapes and patterns – making a luxurious material just that much more engaging – and within reach. Photo Credit:

There is nothing quite so elegant and stately as marble.  The classic high-end look of marble is what everyone wants — and now you can have the look of marble in just about every conceivable format but in the affordability of  ceramic or porcelain.

Expect to see “marble” looking tiles on the walls, floor, in mosaics or mixed in with other types of tile media.   This enduring, classic marble look with its white background and grey veining is going to be huge in 2016. When it comes to tile, the marble look is more realistic than ever.


Interested in Other Tile Trends? Check Out:

From Around the Web – Tile Trend #3: Brick Makes a Comeback

Tile Trends in Hotel Bath Design
White subway tile as a wall covering makes a clean and elegant statement for your bath. Photo Credit:

Brick-look tile is an easier to maintain option than actual brick and you’ll get the same look and feel. Most brick installations are for the wall. But 2016 will see brick on the floor.


Brick-look tile on the floor is a great idea because porcelain is already a proven winner for floors. Just like wood, brick is getting a facelift with some paint. Painted brick has that retro look that is coming back into vogue but it still has a flair of the contemporary.

Tile Trends in Hotel Bath Design
Brick doesn’t have to be boring! Think in terms of color (such as grey or black) materials (such as slate-look) and pattern like this visually engaging herringbone. Photo Credit:




Look for tile with graphics, text, and highlights in metallic colors. Aged brick, like the kind you’d find in an old downtown loft, is available in tile and probably the most popular choice in brick-look for 2016.




Read More About Tile Trends:

From Around the Web: Tile TREND #2 Smooth Cement-looking Tile

Tile Trends in Hotel Bath Design
Cement Looking Tile is elevated from the industrial look to an elegant statement. Photo Credit:

Cement, like wood, isn’t a new idea for floors and walls. But this trend is going to hit its stride in 2016. It’s a look that doesn’t date itself so it’s here to stay. Cement-look tile in 2016 will be softer and warmer, making it suitable for all kinds of design. Concrete isn’t just for modern design anymore. Look for it in warm grey, taupe, and beiges. Concrete-look tiles will begin to be available in many different shapes and sizes in 2016. Mosaic, planks, hex, and large format will become popular. This upgrade elevates cement-looks in design.

Read About More Tile Trends:



What is Tile “Refinishing”?

Terminology, especially when starting a remodel or renovation, can often be confusing to customers. One common set of terms you will hear people use interchangeably are “refinishing” or “reglazing” in relation to tiles.

There really is no such thing as “reglazing” — it’s a misnomer.  As This Old House once shared in a Q&A, unless you’re planning to “crank up the heat in your bathroom to 2,300 degrees for several hours,” you really don’t “reglaze” bathroom tiles.

professional tile refinishing
A professional tile and bath refinisher can breathe life into your bathroom! Photo Credit:

The real term is a process called “refinishing,” but can also be called “resurfacing” or “surface restoration.”  Many customers will call it “re-glazing:” they think you are re-glazing because the tiles look so shiny and new after the refinishing process is complete. Yes, your tiles look amazing by the time we’re done, but really, we aren’t re-glazing your tiles.

Refinishing is an affordable and faster alternative to remodeling – especially when you are happy with your existing bathroom configuration and your tiles are in good shape. In short, refinishing is a multi-step process of applying layered coats of primer and pigmented acrylic urethane. Once that’s done, we buff the surface area until it shines like a freshly glazed tile.

You can refinish surface tiles as well as your bathroom fixtures – provided they are in good shape. Porcelain, fiberglass and cast iron items are usually good candidates for refinishing.

While refinishing may seem like it can work miracles – and in the right situations we can – it is not a miracle worker. The raw materials – tiles, baths, etc – themselves need to be in good shape. If your fixtures are cracked or severely pitted, you may want to replace your items.  *See our decision-making guide article on how to determine if refinishing is a viable alternative for your situation.


Read More About It:

Refinish or Remodel Your Guest Baths?

From Around the Web: Tile Trend #1 – The Look of Wood with the Convenience of Tile

Wood Tile
Wood tile is going to be everywhere! Photo Credit:

The Wood-looking tile trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, the trend is going to get bigger as the products available improve. Look for these variations in the trend:

  • Layout – not only in planking but also in patterns such as herringbone
  • Reclaimed wood – the weathered, distressed “authentic look” is bigger than ever.
  • Painted – coming up on the horizon, look for whitewashing!
  • Cross Grain – rather than showing a wood grain running length-wise, think of seeing the rings of grained wood in your tiles.


Want to Read More About Tile Trends?



Eight Hot Flooring Trends That Don’t Have to Break Your Budget

Trends come, and trends go.

As designers, we might look at trends, ooh and ahhh over them, but then relegate those images to “gee, wouldn’t be nice,” or “great ideas if I ever have a bottomless budget.”

But the following eight trends are ones worth noting. These industry-wide trends can be seen in a myriad of ways. They’re not today, but with creative thinking and planning, they can be extended and blended into future design and remodeling projects 5-7 years from now.

  • Oversized, big format tiles. Move over standard 6×6 or 12×12-inch tiles… flooring tile is also going large – and we mean “LARGE”: 5’x10’ anyone? Tiles that have the look of real wood can come in 6×24 or even 12×24-inch formats. Why the oversize look? Think luxury. Oversized tiles can visually communicate a sense of luxury in just a glance. And don’t just think it’s for the floor: 24” length wall tiles are becoming popular too.
  • 50 Shades of Grey.
    Grey Flooring Hotel Tile Trend
    All shades of grey can create the perfect backdrop to your room designs. Photo Credit: #4067

    While deep, super saturated tones are trending right now, it pays have a counter-balance in your rooms. And Grey is in. Take a page from our fashion friends: grey is a great backdrop to build on. It’s a staple color that looks great on its own AND can let the rest of your color palate stand out. Grey – a whole range of greys – is at your fingertips to blend in with your luxurious furnishings. Even wood-like flooring materials are coming in exotic and striking shades of grey: something that creates visual interest, and yet will be a solid foundational design element for your rooms for years.

  • Reclaimed, weathered and distressed. The “reclaimed” wood trend isn’t going to go away anytime soon. The image speaks to the recycling/“green” movement. It evokes a sense of uniqueness – of authenticity – something that is particularly appealing to Millennials and Generation Z. Obviously, it’s great if you have a relationship with a local reclamation company to supply your hotel or business with enough reclaimed wood you need for your guest room redesign. But most firms don’t – and often there’s just not enough “reclaimed material” for the project on the time schedule it’s needed. A good alternative to this – getting the “reclaimed wood look” which evokes a rustic, authentic feeling – and yet in a tile format (which is better for baths) is a great option for hoteliers.
  • Metallic Tiles.
    Metallic tile hotel flooring tile trend
    Metallic tile – copper, pewter, iron — can make a room pop. Photo Credit: Discount Mosaic Supply,

    Even if just used as small accents, metallic tiles can bring drama and life to a “standard” bathroom. One truly “hot” tone tip? Think copper! Think rose gold! There’s a reason why Apple uses these colors in their product designs. Metallics are hot. They speak of luxury. …Of durability. …Of quality.

  • Marble tile – without the marble. Luxurious marble is so distinctive. But the costs – including to the environment – can be off-putting. Fortunately, today’s porcelain tiles are so amazingly realistic it’s hard to tell the difference! Get creative with this luxury style icon: look for marble-like tiling on not just floors but walls and counters too.
  • Brick isn’t boring. Who says rectangular shapes have to be dull? Brick shapes – like the ubiquitous subway tiles — are making a splash in all sorts of bath and flooring designs. And why not? There’s so much flexibility and they can be so affordable!
  • Tile textures. When you’re thinking of ways to create a lot of “punch” or impact in a space, texture is a go-to strategy that works wonders. Textures come in all sorts of forms: From faux wood or poured concrete to tiles that quite literally have a texture – even ones with three dimensional effects! For those on a budget, using texturized tiles can be a great way to add visual interest in a small space.
  • Tile patterns.
    Area Rug Tiles Hotel Flooring Trend
    Imagine creating the luxurious look of an area rug with the durability of porcelain. Photo Credit:
    Laying out tiles in engaging patters isn’t dead. Far from it! Think through your patters, however. Chevrons and linear formats are “in” – and a unique way to create movement and drama to a room. There are even ceramic tile manufacturers who are “softening” the hard-look of tile and creating patterns more reminiscent of area rugs or carpet!


Trends can come and go. But these design ideas can create a dramatic impact by updating the look in your guest rooms and baths — without your rooms looking dated too quickly. And with the right planning and forethought, each is also adaptable enough to “morph” into future room renovations.


Want to Read About More Trends? Check out: