An Ode to Glossy Tiles: 13 Examples That Make Me Rethink Matte

by Grace Bonney

Matte tiles have had a monopoly on the design world for a while. Everywhere I look, I see matte or semi-matte subway tiles gracing kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms from coast to coast. And as much as I love the look of those modern tiles, there’s a part of me that swoons every time I see a lush spread of glossy, glossy tiles. My love for these tiles started with Justina Blakeney’s kitchen reveal back in 2015 and has continued with spaces like the glossy green exterior of Labour & Wait in England and these gleaming black tiles from an incredible bathroom makeover. There’s something about glossy tiles next to a space that will have running water that feels so lush. And after a sea of matte sweeping the design world for years now, I’m ready for that type of refreshing change. So today I’m sharing 13 of my favorite examples to inspire your next project. If you have any favorites that I missed, I’d love to see them! xo, Grace

*Photo above by deVOL Kitchens, from our story on their showroom

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  • I redid my kitchen with no backsplash because I could not decide what kind of tiles I wanted – I needed something really thin because there was only very little space between the sink and the wall. Then I fell in love with Justina Blakeney’s kitchen tiles and I wanted them so badly. I looked everywhere and I even (briefly) considered having them shipped from California to Canada. Then I returned to my senses. Financially, it was not doable and I also reminded myself that several months out of each year we live in darkness. I found very glossy 1 inch hex tiles (thin) and some of them have a very sparkly finish. Four years later, I am still madly in love with them. I installed them myself (including the endless cutting) and they make me smile every time I look at them.

  • Wow! I love, love, love, love the glossy tile!! I never thought I would choose glossy over matte until this moment. Thanks for sharing!

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