#Ihavethisthingwithtiles, and it’s sort of unfortunate because I’ve never actually picked any of my own. I fell in love with subway tiles nearly a decade ago, and I was crushing hard on those matte patterned cement tiles that popped up a couple years ago. I’m even into faux “wood” larger scale ceramic tiles and teeny tiny, mesh-backed penny tiles. And I’m not mad at a fish scale or arabesque shape either. So right now, I’m thinking it’s not such a bad thing that I don’t have a tile decision—or three—to make. Because honestly what would I choose? That’s a lot of pressure.
Lately though, I’ve been gravitating towards field tiles in all shapes, colors, and sizes that look almost ombre—darker around the edges, lighter in the middle, and on further inspection, slightly mottled in appearance as opposed to perfectly smooth. It’s the crackle glaze, people, and it’s popping up on kitchen backsplashes, shower and tub surrounds, and bathroom walls and floors everywhere.
This new trend is definitely a take on “old world” style. By definition, the “crackle” finish is a glass glaze on a ceramic tile, fired at a specific temperature to create an antiqued crackled finish on the surface. It can be pronounced or subtle, and all the “it” designers and tile makers are definitely up on this game.
A natural place to try the crackle glaze out is in a kitchen, where the white glossy subway tile has become so mainstream that, well, even my parents have them. And yes, subways are classic and will never go out of style, and you can play around with the grout colors or size to switch things up a bit. But why not try crackle glaze, or better yet, crackle glaze in a cool color? This Pratt & Larson kitchen backsplash above is not for the faint of heart, but you can’t really say you’ve seen it a hundred times before. You’ve got to be a color lover, sure, though I’d argue the crackle glaze actually softens the boldness a bit.
But this finish doesn’t just work on stronger hued tiles. It can add extra texture, depth, and dimension to a neutral color, too. Just look at this greige bar backsplash by Anaber Design. I’m loving that she laid the tiles vertically and chose what looks like a crackle glaze for the finish. It’s more of a shimmer with a crackle glaze, versus a super shiny gloss finish, so the tile looks like it has been there forever in a good way.
Apparently, that’s not the only bar area getting the crackle glaze treatment. Designer Rachel Berger posted this shot of a project, and it’s pretty darn stunning. You don’t often see open shelving that’s also covered in the same tiles as a wall. The crackle glaze is just the icing on the cake. It’s also unclear whether there are actually two colors of tile being used here, but I think it’s just the way the sun is shining in.