A Reader Asks: What is the trend for tiles in a home?

What is the trend..matte, polished, semi-polished porcelain tiles? I like the look of glazed porcelain (travertine look), but I'm concerned it's not popular when we sell our home. – TZ


I often say that you don’t need to please everyone, you just need to please that one homebuyer who likes what you like.

I’ll add two caveats:

  • If you’re in a neighborhood where the perception that only “Brand X” is the mark of quality and you’re using “Brand Y” – you’ve got your work cut out for you to convince buyers (and real estate agents).
  • Trends vary from place to place. For my area, finishes are matte and partial sheen, primarily because we deal with a lot of dust that shows up on glossy finishes. For other areas of the continent, the glossy tiles are cool and sophisticated. In yet another area, no one would choose either one of those because sheen is the only way to go.

If the trend is for more contemporary, there is nothing to say that you can’t have a square-edged porcelain tile instead of chipped edges (which are considered more traditional), and vice-versa.

It’s all in the design. Here’s what I mean – two examples of bathrooms with porcelain/travertine looks:

I want to know where that door goes to...

A tad splashy -- look at the height of that faucet!

Any part of the world might argue for one or the other – all depends on where you live, but I say if you like it and you’ll be there for awhile, have it.

If others have thoughts, they’re welcome to chime in…

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  1. That’s true. You don’t have to please everyone, just the buyer. If a person enters your home and asks to look around, then that’s a potential buyer. You just have to be firm explaining every detail of your designs. Another thing, you have to believe in your home designs, and stick with your personality. This way, the buyer will feel that you are passionate with your designs and decisions. And from that, you can convince them to accept your designs, and consequently, buy your home.

  2. Thanks for backing me up. How does that saying go, “In trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one?”

  3. I do think you’re right about only needing to please one person. My father built a very elaborate backyard. He passed in 1989, and my mother kept the house a year, just to make sure she wasn’t rushing into a decision. She finally sold it, and what made it hardest to sell was that backyard, which we all thought would be the selling point. The problem was that people went back there and said, “It’s beautiful, but the upkeep!” It truthfully only took my father about two weeks to do the necessary work, but oh well. Eventually, though, a family walked through and immediately fell in love with that backyard. Sold!
    The people who sold this house to us told us it was on the market for over a year. I’ll never understand why. We got a sixty-second walkthrough (the wife had been showing it for a year!) and immediately decided to buy it!
    Also, people can change things. In our case there were some hideous veined mirror tiles in the living room that probably looked pretty slick twenty years earlier when that sort of thing was in vogue with the younger set. It was the work of an afternoon to remove them, repair the drywall damage and put down a coat of paint. If people like everything else, except for one thing, they’ll buy.