Timeless Tile Trends in Central Coast California

Central Coast Tile Trends, Photo Credit: Michelle Pelech Interiors

Kitchen and Bath Tile Trends in San Luis Obispo County

Are you researching the latest tile trends for your home renovation or new construction project? Do you live in the San Luis Obispo County area? Then you have come to the right place. 

Copher Tile & Stone makes a point to keep up with the latest trends and provide detailed information to readers. That’s why we like working with Michelle Pelech, Owner and Principal Designer of Michelle Pelech Interiors. Based in Arroyo Grande, this reputable design team has created countless custom interiors across California’s Central Coast. 

Do you want the inside story on floors, walls, showers, backsplashes, and other kitchen and bath tile surfaces? Read on to discover how to make your space as inviting as this area’s scenic landscapes and diverse culture. 

Popularity of Tile in Central Coast California

The climate in California’s Central Coast is similar to Spain and the Mediterranean region. Cool and wet in the winter. Dry and warm in the summer. Homes in this area are Mediterranean-inspired.

Over the last 20 years or so the architecture has been heavily inspired by Tuscan influences with the growth of the wine industry.”

Adam Copher, owner of Copher Tile & Stone

However, California is the most diverse state in America. So when it comes to what is trending in tile in this area, there isn’t just one popular trend. Pelach prefers recommending trends that incorporate natural, timeless options. 

Not only do they leave a smaller footprint on the planet from the manufacturing/low-emissions perspective, but also the timelessness of the design means it’s not a trend that will look dated in 10 years, so we’ll keep more materials out of our landfills.

Michelle Pelech, Owner and Principle Designer of Michelle Pelech Interiors

Copher has observed that in the past few years, a diverse range of styles have merged together. This is driven by factors such as coastal living, laid-back attitudes, concerns about the environment, the desire to use eco-friendly materials, and global influences. As a result, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of tile and stone that highlights the beauty and variety of the region.

Pelech agrees.

I’m definitely seeing a resurgence of natural materials and timeless classic design. I believe people are craving warm, comfortable, natural spaces, and looking toward history and nature to find that. One centuries-old example is Zellige tile. 

Michelle Pelech

Zellige: a “Quietly Dramatic” Tile

What is Zellige? We’re glad you asked.

“Zellige is made from a clay mixture from Morocco. It’s handmade, glazed, imperfect, and has various shades and thicknesses. Can something be quietly dramatic? If so, this is it. It works well in both traditional and modern settings. Typically, we choose one color, set square tiles in a stacked pattern, and it evokes this natural, subtle beauty that’s not too busy and not too bland.”

Michelle Pelech

Handmade, imported tiles like Zellige are truly a unique and exquisite material choice for those who have the budget for it. Aside from cost, here are a few things you will want to consider: 

  • You’ll need an experienced installer who understands how to work with the material.
  • You’ll want to order 15-25% more tile to account for cuts, variation, and breakage during transport.
  • If you have specific concerns about color tones and variations, then you may need to be intimately involved in the layout planning process.
  • Unglazed tiles must be sealed periodically.

Unfortunately, sometimes handmade, imported tiles are too expensive for some projects. Pelech suggests a workaround.

There are knock-offs out there now as well that are more cost effective. They’re ceramic and don’t typically have the variation that’s desired, but it’s a good option for a budget.

Michelle Pelech
Authentic Zellige tiles (left) and faux Zellige tiles (right).

Copher Tile & Stone recommends and works closely with Tileco Distribution for Zellige and similar tile materials. Set an appointment to visit their San Luis Obispo showroom so you can touch and see for yourself the difference between authentic Zellige tiles and attractive alternative tiles.

Show-Stopping Showers and Baths

Traditionally, bathrooms have been small, no-nonsense rooms. Once the warm shower ended or the plug was pulled from the tub, people tended to go on their way without lingering. However, that has changed in recent times. People now want their bathrooms to feel like a calming getaway with spa-like features to help them relax and relieve stress. They want to linger in the bathroom. Copher Tile & Stone can create this kind of ambience in your bathroom by personalizing it in the following ways:

  • Heated tile floors and shower benches. Bring warmth and comfort to your bathroom during colder months with heated flooring and shower benches. You’ll be able to sit and apply lotion or clip your toenails without losing your balance. You’ll want to stay a while longer. Heated tile comes with a wide range of convenient features like programmable thermostats, customized zone heating, quick warm up, and the ability to control all of this and more using wifi and Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. To learn more, read our article, The Benefits of Radiant Heated Tile Floors
  • Large format tiles. If you want to make your bathroom feel more spacious, large format tiles are a great option. Warm, moist environments and porous grout lines pose cleaning challenges. As mentioned earlier, large format tiles reduce the number of grout lines. Consider large format tiles for your shower and bathroom.
  • Natural stone tiles. Marble, granite, travertine, and other natural stone can add luxury to your bathroom. This visually appealing material is truly one of a kind, because it comes straight from the earth. Each piece is uniquely patterned and colored, adding depth and dimension to your shower and bath design. Since natural stone and can be repaired and restored, it can retain its just-installed elegance for a lifetime.
  • Shower niches and built-in storage spaces. In the past, people associated shower niches with leaks and moisture damage, but tile installation technologies and materials are not what they used to be. Now there are waterproofing membranes, prefabricated shower niches made of waterproof materials, and specialized tools. In the hands of a skilled tile installer, these improvements can result in leak-proof niches that look fabulous. Give your shampoo, soap, conditioner, razors, candles, and whatever else a beautiful and easily accessible space in the shower. Display your soft, plush towels, candles, framed artwork, and little plants in custom tile wall niches.

Other trending yet no-fail, timeless options are Calacatta or Carrara marble. We’re still using tons of marble in bathrooms.

Michelle Pelech

Fashionable Floors

Porcelain tile is a practical flooring option in general, but it is an especially sensible material choice in Central California coastal areas where salty air and beach sand tend to cause premature wear on less durable types of flooring. The trend in tile flooring in this area is as so much about material choice as it is tile shapes and sizes.

We’re still seeing porcelain on floors for durability, although in larger formats. Beefing up the dimensions whenever possible and using large format tiles, like 30″ squares and 36″ x 48″ rectangles is popular for good reason—they require less grout and therefore, less maintenance.

Michelle Pelech

One of the main reasons traditional 12″ x 12″ tiles are not as popular is that home layouts have become more open, which makes tiles look smaller. Larger format tiles provide a more monolithic appearance.

For people who want the look of wood floors but the durability and comfort of underfloor-heated tile, wood look porcelain tiles are a great option. Unlike real wood floors, they are very easy to clean. Your long-term maintenance plan will not require sanding and refinishing, just a quick professional deep cleaning.

Buzzworthy Backsplashes and Walls

When it comes to designing walls and backsplashes in a kitchen or bathroom, it is important to get the balance between bold and subdued elements right. 

Central Coast Tile Trends, Photo Credit: Michelle Pelech Interiors

Personally, I believe Zellige is here for quite some time, and I love to pair it with a beautiful quartzite (not quartz) countertop and a light to medium-toned wood cabinet.

Michelle Pelech

You have the option to make a backsplash or wall the main focal point of the room or a subtle background element in the overall design.

According to a study by the National Home Builders Association, 69% of home buyers rated a customized backsplash as either essential or desirable.

By incorporating timeless tile and stone trends into your decor, you can create a space that reflects the natural beauty of Central Coast California and enjoy it for a lifetime.

Copher Tile & Stone proudly stays up to date on tile installation technologies with ongoing education with Mapei Technical Institute, Ardex Academy, the National Tile Contractors Association, Laticrete, and Schluter. Copher is a Certified Tile Installer (#1644).

by Alice Dean

Do you want a quote for a tile installation? Contact us online or call 805-286-7460. We are San Luis Obispo County’s preferred tile installation company, serving Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, and Grover Beach.
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