Tile Trends

Our celebration of National Tile Day and countdown to Coverings continues with a second 2023 tile trend we’re calling “Cobbled.”

This trend represents any tile design that appears to be pieced together. With the same intrigue of a mosaic, we are drawn to cobbled looks for their unique configurations and casual elegance.

Here’s why we love it: Aggregate looks ranging from time-worn terrazzo to Byzantine mosaics can visually ground a space with a foundation of history, but also with the modern material technology of porcelain panels.

It’s the best of both worlds: You can enjoy the old-world charm of cobblestone — without posing a threat to your stilettoed guests.

To show you what we mean, let’s take a look at some of our favorite “cobbled” tile options.

Small-Scale Terrazzo-Look Tile

Two-tone gray terrazzo-look tile 

First up is terrazzo-look tile.

Terrazzo was popular in the late-mid 20th century, and has recently seen a comeback with the resurgence of postmodern design. It was a featured tile trend in both 2020 and 2021 and continues to inspire creative new tile designs.

One great aspect of terrazzo-inspired tile is its versatility. Depending on the size and color of its “chips,” terrazzo-look tile can be natural or contemporary, understated or striking.

Above, two-toned gray terrazzo-look tile complements the space’s cohesive blend of the  indoor-outdoor environments.

Large-Scale Terrazzo-Look Tile

Large-scale white terrazzo-look tile on a patio floor, walls, and outdoor shower 

Larger aggregates give terrazzo-look tile such a different look.

The larger rocks and chips inevitably add drama to the design. However, you can temper the impact based on the boldness of your color choice. (Your options will span the spectrum.)

Depending on the size and regularity of the aggregate, large-scale terrazzo looks can border on cobblestone territory.

Large-scale terrazzo-look tile with a more organic aggregate

With all these different cobbled-together looks, you may be wondering — what about actual cobblestone looks?

Cobblestone Tile

Bathroom backsplash with cobblestone tile in multiple colors
Cobblestone tile shower wall

Cobblestone tile — often composed of ceramic or natural stone — is a great option when you want to create a peaceful, spa-like environment, be it indoors or out. The organic shapes and tactile surface of the pebbles are soothing to all the senses.

Large-Scale Agglomerations

Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs with multiple large-scale stone looks

Massive terrazzo? A multi-stone look? Whatever you call this fractured design, the agglomeration of different large-scale stone looks is quite striking.

We love how the different stone types give the surfaces visual depth — and how the bookmatched tile panels above the fireplace give a kind of kaleidoscopic effect.

Mosaic Looks

Gauged porcelain tile with a mosaic look 

Our last cobbled tile design harkens way back to the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages. During this time, small pieces of ceramic, stone, glass and other materials were used to create mosaics.

While the ceramic tile above resembles ancient Byzantine mosaics, it has all the 21st-century durability and functionality of gauged porcelain tile!

Fun fact: Byzantine mosaics can be traced back to Greek road-building, which involved organizing small pebbles into patterns. Sound familiar? They’re just a (slightly more) modern version of cobblestones!

Fix Up Your Space With One of These Fractured Tile Designs

We hope one of these tile looks has charmed you. After all, who’s to argue with designs that have endured centuries?

Explore additional 2023 tile trends by visiting our blog next week. Five trends remain as we count down to Coverings!

Are you part of the tile and stone industry? Come see these and more tile looks on display at Coverings 2023 from April 18-21 in Orlando, Florida.

Planning on using a tile like this in your own home? Explore more cobbled tile designs on our Pinterest board. Then be sure to share your project with us on Instagram using #WhyTileStyle!