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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s no secret: Customers are wanting more than just utilitarian solutions when they travel. They want an “experience” – something new, unique or memorable.
Not that long ago, standardization was key to just about anything. Think of it like the “McDonald’s” formula: a customer could walk into a McDonald’s anywhere from Spokane to Sarasota to Stockholm… and it would be the same experience. The customer would know exactly what to expect. The McDonald’s experience would always be the same.
While setting high standards is important, and there are operational benefits to standardizing, cookie-cutter approaches to the customer experience aren’t the answer.
Think about it: Even McDonald’s adapts its international menus to appeal to local markets. J
Today, customers are delighted by brands that can still maintain their own personality – and yet give a nod to the local environment or community.
Just as McDonald’s might serve pasta at its Italian locations, so too are hotels finding that they can still be part of a brand family, and yet be unique by being highly connected to the local community.
So what does that mean for your hotel? Here’s a few ideas for breathing some personality into your specific hotel location, yet while still honoring any branding concerns you may have as well.
The Ties That Bind: Creating a Community Connection
Not only are hotels are striving to be part of the local community, but they are also positioning themselves to be communities – destinations — themselves: Where the local bar or fabulous restaurant – the place to go – just might happen to be in a really cool hotel.
This sort of “presence” in a community means that even when you have empty rooms, you might still have locals coming to dinner, hanging out in your bar, or interested in a local weekend get away from home.
Another way hotels can honor their local roots – thus differentiating themselves from just being “yet another hotel” — is through art. Local art can infuse a hotel space with the culture and character than will entice visitors further into the community and bring guests back.
You don’t have to have a local artist like world renown glass artist Dale Chihuly in your backyard – or include large scale art installations into your hotel space.
An emphasis on a local art connection can be displayed on a smaller scale such as local art displayed in rooms or incorporating local artisans’ ceramic, glass or metal work in your fixtures, tile work, or furnishings in room.
It’s these little details that all add into creating a saturated branded experience for your customers that they will ever forget.
These connections and attention to detail reclassify your hotel from “a place to sleep,” to “THE place to go if you want to visit [a particular city.]”
When you’re rethinking interior designs for your hotel, take some sage advice from Chanel: “Fashions fade. Style is eternal.”
A foundation of high quality furnishings, rich textures, intensely saturated colors, and excellent lighting in your rooms and hotel space creates sensory and ephemeral luxury.
But don’t be afraid to set yourself apart: create your own fusion of classic style and local culture. Give a nod to your community’s local history, roots or influences.
A hotel by the shore could include sea glass inspired accent tiles into bathrooms. A heavily forested region might draw on ‘wood-like’ tiling that has a reclaimed, authentic feeling in baths or entryways. A statement color wall or textured wall materials (bamboo, rattan etc.) can make a huge impression.
Green Still Pays.
Consumers are more environmentally conscious and savvy than ever. They understand there are lot’s of ways to save the environment – and it doesn’t take a lot of money to do it either. Hotels are wise to incorporate these tactics into their operations in such a way that also publicly affirms the hotel’s commitment to the environment. Sustainability can be included through:
local sourcing of suite furniture,
locally grown food for your hotel restaurant,
conscientiously thinking of and designing rooms with oversized windows to capitalize on natural lighting,
The key is to create an identity for your hotel brand that shapes every element of the customer experience. Create a branded experience that resonates with both your own company values as well as honoring your local environment. Build that experience so that your customers will want to come back again and again.
Complementing your refinishing with a well planned floor is a very effective way to bring out the best of your new remodeled rooms, choose porcelain, ceramic, mosaic, all of them very affordable today more than ever.