The tile industry has grown a sizeable chunk today. The key driver for the boom in this industry is the growth in the housing sector, which is fueled by government policies. Ceramic tiles and vitrified tiles, in particular, have become a preferable option for floors and walls, thanks to their eco-friendly quotient. Apart from aesthetics, tiles are used because they are durable and easy to maintain.
Seeing the developments in the last century, we wonder how the growth in the next 100 years would be. The floor tile industry would be completely different from what it is now. There would be many technological improvements that could change the entire process of manufacturing tiles. It could even be possible that all the tiles could be produced using recyclable materials. Some speculations we have for the future of the tile industry are listed down as follows:
The size of the tiles has been increasing throughout the years. We speculate that the development in technology will make large-format tiles a more popular option than it is right now. Normal floor tiles make the room look smaller, whereas, large-format tiles help create an impression of spaciousness. Large-format tiles have fewer joints and hence they maximize space and give an uncluttered look, club that in with good floor tile designs and it will become aesthetically charming. Large-format tiles can be mounted on walls too.
Ceramic tiles are a popular option for home renovations. They come in a variety of colours, shapes and finishes. However, producing them leads to a lot of carbon emissions due to a material used in tiles called kiln. 3-D printing can help eradicate this material and reduce carbon emissions. Tiles can be produced using additive manufacturing techniques to 'print' tiles out of recycled materials. Although we have designs that give a 3-D appearance to tiles, we don't have the technology to print 3-D tiles in bulk just yet. This could be possible in the future.
Tiles are classified into 5 main shapes. There is the penny tile, which is in a circular shape. It is available in a wide range of colours and finishes. The second type is the mosaic tiles, they are usually small and in a square shape. Square tile is the most common tile shape. Subway tiles are a subset of rectangular tiles that are frequently used for kitchens and bathrooms. Plank tiles are a variety of rectangular tiles that can be easily printed on. In the future tiles will be available in every shape you can think of. The customer will be able to install his own customized tiles in his home and office area. Customers will be able to make their own floor tile designs with any shape that they would like to incorporate.
Tiles in the future will be digitally modified. They would be like gadgets. They will interact with other gadgets in the house like an ecosystem. Digitally modified tiles would be able to project information, change designs and patterns! This will revolutionize the floor tile designs. Digitally modified tiles won't just act as regular tiles. They will have a lot more functionality. People won’t hesitate to use tiles for floors, walls or even the roof!
Tiles in the future will be much slimmer than tiles produced right now. The width of the tiles won't affect the durability because of the advancements in technology. This will also make the tiles cost-effective because the amount of raw material used will be less.
We believe that future tiles will be a major game-changer for the tile industry. One can’t be sure what the future will be like but we can speculate how the tiles in the future would be like and the functionality it will provide.