Bring the Outdoors In: Biophilic Design and Porcelain Tile

Bring the Outdoors In: Biophilic Design and Porcelain Tile

Bring the Outdoors In: Biophilic Design and Porcelain Tile

As we assess upcoming design trends in 2021, biophilic design stands out as one of the major trends making an impact in commercial and residential interior and exterior design. This design style has become increasingly popular in recent years, and has taken on new life as consumers look to create environments that reflect the natural world – bringing with it a sense of calm and healing after the impact of the pandemic. While the rise of green architecture has aided in decreasing harsh environmental impacts, sustainable development was lacking in a way that reconnects society with nature. Biophilic design interprets this idea through the practice of connecting spaces and nature within built environments and communities through the innovative designing of the places we live, work, learn and play.This trend encompasses the idea of bringing nature indoors through the use of natural and organic materials – such as plants, stones, wood and other biological elements. Biophilic design can be incorporated in a number of ways, from introducing plants into a space, incorporating an outdoor garden that is visible through a window, or adding stone or wood look floor coverings that promote a feeling of nature. Whether you’re already familiar with this design style or just getting started, we’re here to update you on everything you need to know about biophilic design and how to incorporate it into your space with porcelain tile.

Health Benefits of Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is about more than just pleasing design aesthetics. Including elements of nature in a space is also beneficial to a consumer’s health – including a reduction of stress in interior environments, a reduction of blood pressure levels and heart rates and better mental well-being.

Promotes Mental Well-being

Bringing natural elements into interior spaces helps promote relaxation and anxiety-relief. A consumer’s mood, emotions, concentration and productivity can be boosted with the addition of greenery, flowers, stones, wood, natural light water features and more – thus creating a more harmonious space. Connecting with nature can also lower stress, blood pressure and help relax the muscular system.

Improved Physical Health

Introducing plants and other natural materials can improve the air quality of a space, since greenery helps absorb pollutants, toxins and airborne microbes. Plants can also help remove harmful volatile organic compounds found in buildings, particularly ones that may have sick-building syndrome. Using stone and wood look porcelain tiles are an ideal addition to biophilic design as they have several benefits including a material that is free of formaldehyde and VOCs, hypoallergenic, and is slip resistant and non-flammable.Read more about the health benefits of porcelain tile here.

Categories of Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is divided into three categories – nature in the space, natural analogues, and nature of the space. Each category features a variety of options on how to include this design style into any space.

Nature in the space focuses on design features that give direct contact with nature. This can be as simple as including a potted plant in a space or something more stimulating that includes use of the five senses.

Rich in fragments of various stones, The Chamonix collection is a beautiful stone effect porcelain tile that allows nature to indirectly enter living spaces.
Natural analogues are patterns that focus on real or implied elements of nature in a space. This can include the use of textiles, art, textures and surfaces that can promote a sense of well-being.

Nature of the space helps consumers relate to architectural surroundings. Interior designers can represent this with the addition of large windows, skylights, open floor plants, balconies and rooftop terraces.

Check out this incredible commercial rooftop terraceby Unilock. The rooftop of  the Bradley Business Center in Chicago, IL was  with DUE2 Gotham porcelain paver.

Using Porcelain Tile in Biophilic Design

Porcelain tile is the ideal application for biophilic design spaces due to its material benefits. These benefits include: Natural Material: Porcelain tile is made from naturally-occurring ingredients including clay, sand and feldspar. Health: Porcelain tile does not contain formaldehyde, VOCs or PVCs. It is also hypoallergenic and promotes better air quality.

Water Resistant: Porcelain tile has a moisture absorbency of less than 0.5% – making it suitable for fountains, waterfalls and plants. Fade Resistant: Porcelain tile is ideal for rooms with large windows and natural light. Indoor and Outdoor Use: Because porcelain tile is resistant to weather, water and the effects of the sun, it is perfect to use for both interior and exterior spaces. Our DUE2 porcelain paver collection is perfect for patios, pools, gardens and walkways. Need inspiration for your project? Check out our outdoor trend forecast for spring/summer 2021.


Stone Look Porcelain Tile

One of the reasons we love stone so much is because the material provides an immediate connection to nature. The earth-inspired look and texture of stone have made them staples in interior and exterior design If you are looking for bold, distinctive designs, stone look tile is the obvious choice as no two pieces are the same. Whether used as flooring or a backsplash, stone look tile offers unique composition.

The Chamonix collection derives from a speckled European stone. The look is timeless, with rich color and texture.

Gotham is a luxurious, rich stone look with subtle veins and shade variation. This material is suitable for any modern, architectural space that requires a dramatic covering.

Wood Look Porcelain Tile

Wood look tile is an ideal material for those looking to bring a modern, yet rustic natural feel to their design space. From adding wood materials on the floor to accenting walls, wood tile can turn any space into a cozy retreat.


The Woodscape collection is inspired by beech trees found in the Italian Alps. This European, rustic wood look porcelain tile is ideal for those looking for a versatile material that can easily be combined with delicate settings and pastel colors.⁠Soft yet durable, Hardin Valley is the perfect modern wood look tile for any residential or commercial application.


Porcelain pavers are an ideal application for outdoor settings. Our DUE2 collection has unparalleled technical performance, including a high resistance to wear, slip, mechanical actions and weathering. A refined aesthetic combined with a ide range of formats allows surfaces to integrate seamlessly with contemporary landscapes and architecture.

DUE2 Chamonix

DUE2 Chamonix is ideal for outdoor settings. The material is available in a 24″ x 24″ format and four colors – gray, dark gray, bianco and beige.

DUE2 Travstone is a beautiful travertine look paver. The material is richly pigmented and finished with light veins and stone texture.

New in 2021 – Monteverde is a refreshing take on the classic wood look paver. The rustic faces and refined wood grain detail are the perfect addition to any outdoor space.



Reading next

Outdoor Tile Ideas and Trends for 2021
March 24, 2021
5 Must-Know Summer 2021 Tile Trends
April 14, 2021