COTE DE TEXAS: CEMENT TILES - DOs & DON'Ts

CEMENT TILES - DOs & DON'Ts


We are hosting a new giveaway today – be sure to read the information at the end of this blog story!!!

Without a doubt, the biggest trend in decorative tiles these days is the resurgence of encaustic or cement tiles.  This handmade tile has been around for ages and depending on the country in which it was made, the descriptive name used has varied.
image

In medieval times in England, these tiles were called “inlaid.”

image

One of the oldest examples of encaustic tiles from medieval times is found at Cleeve Abbey in Somerset, England.  This year, a protective,  contemporary building has been erected around this invaluable section of ancient tile.

  image 

The Cleeve Abbey tile, one of the largest sections of cement tile from Medieval times,  survived intact because it was buried for over 400 years before it was discovered.  But, the fact that the tile has survived all these hundreds of years is a testament to the durability of the cement tile.

 image

A pagoda in Viet Nam with an encaustic tile floor dating from 1744.

After the great popularity of the tiles in medieval times waned, the Victorians rediscovered the cement tiles and named them encaustic tiles – using a Greek term.  It is also called Cuban Tile, Mission Tile, Victorian Tile, Barcelona Tile and other various names around the world.

imageAn old mansion in Havana decorated with now-antique Cuban tiles.

The cement tiles are handmade and are not fired in a kiln.  There are 3 layers which are hydraulically pressed together and left to cure.  The tiles must be sealed after they are installed – and only after a 2 or 3 day wait can the field then be grouted.  After grouting, the field should be sealed again with a penetrating sealer.  

In other words, be sure your tile man has worked with cement tiles before so that these expensive beauties are not ruined. 

image

Victorian and Edwardian houses in England used the tiles to liven up their hallways.  The colors were often mostly browns and tans with blue accent tiles.

 image

Another example of a Victorian tiled floor.  Today, homeowners go to great expense to have these original tiled floors restored.

  image

The English also used the tiles to decorate their small entry courts.


image

Here is a rather larger entryway with a fireplace found in the English countryside.

When exactly did encaustic tiles take over the 21st century?


image

Was it this kitchen that started the current trend?  Kristen Buckingham’s kitchen caused a huge stir when it was first seen in Elle Decor in 2009.  Her cement tile came from Mission Tile Co., who have been manufacturing cement tile in California since 1900.  HERE.

image

Or was it the growing popularity of Marrakesh – where in 2008 in Elle Decor - the American owners of the cement tile Popham Design company showed their latest house?  Popham Designs’ cement tiles went far beyond the typical:

image

Three examples of trendy cement tiles by Popham Designs.

The tiles are everywhere these days – including this May cover of House Beautiful:

image

How is the best way to use these beautiful tiles?  Is a little just enough and too much, an overkill?Unless you live in a stucco house in Marrakesh or Mexico or California, the tiles are best used sparingly.


image

In St. Petersburg, Florida, this sunroom in an older house is the perfect space for a floor of cement tile – by the Cement Tile Co. 

Vintage houses, cottages, and Spanish style designs are good examples of when to use cement tiles in larger expanses.  In traditional houses like Georgians – the tiles should be used more sparingly.

 image

A house in Marrakesh – an entire floor of cement tiles is appropriate in the Riad.

 image

The other side of the room in Marrakesh.  Carpeting a house in tiles looks great in the Riad, probably not as great in a traditional house in the states.


 KITCHENS:

image

For some reason, an entire floor of graphic cement tiles looks wonderful in spaces that have been renovated.  I love this kitchen, with a wall of bricks, some natural, some painted, and steel windows.  The large black Smeg with a black sink and fabulous hardware adds even more interesting elements.  Without the floor of tiles, the room would not be quite as fabulous.

 image

Chateau Domingue sells antique cement tiles that are just the perfect element in a remodeled kitchen.  Not too much, but just enough. 

 image

A collection of antique cement tiles from Chateau Domingue in Houston.

 image

With the vivid island in green, only a vivid backsplash would look correct.   I love the shelves in wood against the black and white tiles.  Fabulous.

 image

One of the best looking tiles is Tulum from Cement Tile Co.  Again, a remodeled kitchen, a stucco look, wood shelves, an accent color – elements that cement tiles look best with.  I love this kitchen and this is my favorite tile too.  Ignoring the pretty ceiling, this could be any kitchen – by painting the cabinets, removing a section of uppers, installing the cement tiles – you could change any hum-drum kitchen into a fabulous one!! 

 image

White walls, black steel windows, brass, black cabinets, and a floor of cement tiles.   In this non traditional kitchen, it’s hard to imagine another floor looking as good as this one does.

 image

The other side of the kitchen.   This kitchen has become THE cement tile kitchen.  Pictures of it are everywhere.   But it is the perfect use of the tile.

 image

By contrast – I’m not sure the same tile is the best choice for this kitchen.  I would have used one with pinks and greens and blues instead of such a graphic pattern. 

 image

Dark countertops with light cabinetry mixes well with the graphic black and white cement tiles.  Brass is also a great look to mix with in.


 image

A traditional kitchen with a large accent wall of black and white cement tiles.  Just beautiful!

 image

Another traditional kitchen with black accents.

 image

Here’s a different look – a more traditional kitchen, with a blue and white tile – a softer look, less graphic than black and white.

 image

Again, in a more traditional kitchen, with gray marble countertops – a gray and white cement tile gives a softer look than the more graphic black and white.
  
 image

In a vintage cottage, this fun wall of tiles looks good. 

 image

Don’t:   While I love this kitchen, I think the floor tile should have been a darker gray.  This looks washed out – so why bother?

 image

Don’t:  This is just a little too much with the vivid green repeated in the backsplash and with the black walls. 

 image

Well, this is personal.  I’m not a lover of the patchwork tile look.  Especially here.  It looks good on stair risers, but not mixed with a contemporary kitchen.

 Screenshot (4394).png

Do:   The patchwork tile looks good here, in a vintage looking kitchen.

 image

But, this is the best – the kitchen itself is a patchwork and the floor is a perfect match.

 imageimageimageimageimageimage

Here are Cement Tile’s patchworks by color.   They come in either 4” or 8” sizes.

 image

Don’t:   This is a little cute.  The backsplash is enough of an accent, but a faux rug looks so matchy-matchy and Interior Design 101. 

 FIREPLACES:

image

The mantel is a great place to add a bit of an accent.  These contemporary tiles look good in a restored vintage house.   Not sure they would look as good in a contemporary setting.

 image

I love this in a cottage or a family room. 

image

A more traditional look in a traditional setting.

 image

I love the bold contrast in the Spanish style stucco.

 image

Don’t.   This tiles are so light, you barely notice them – so why bother?

 BATHROOMS:

image

I love the mix of this large bathroom with the black tile floor, brown stained cabinets, and antique rug.  It all works together and the tiles are the perfect addition.

 image

Love this modern tile mixed with the shiplap walls.  But the mirror and sconces need to be more of an accent.

   image

Should the tile go into the shower floor?   I’ve seen it both ways, but here – I like the white shower floor.  It is a nice break.  Love the stool in the shower. 

 image

A European bathroom mixes light wood and white subway tiles.  Why don’t we use urinals in the states??!!?

  image

A contemporary bathroom set in a vintage building.  Love!

 image

This is an iconic bathroom, seen all over the internet.  I love the sink with the shelves.  This tile is a classic.


image

The rest of the large bathroom – with its fabulous shower room!!  Notice the shower has a white tile floor.

 image

Using subway tile with a black and white cement tile?  Use dark grout to tie it in together.

 image

This beautiful bathroom used the lighter tile mixed with more cream walls.  This tile color looks so great with the brass accents.

 image

The other side of the bathroom.  Notice the white shower floor.  And notice how she ran the tile up the sides.  Not sure that is a good look.  I would square off the tile instead of running it up like this because it looks a bit crooked.

 image

Want to save a little money?   I pulled these tiles off the Home Depot web site.  Great prices.

 image

The same tile in reverse.

 image

A more colorful Spanish looking tile from Home Depot.

 image

This one would look good mixed with Carrera marble.

 image

Tulum is probably one of the most popular black and white tiles of 2015-2016.  From Cement Tile Co. 


image

And it is a stunner.  Black grout on white subway tile.  Brass hardware.

 image

The tile looks great mixed with dark wood stain.

 image

A contemporary remodeled bath.

 image

Love this!

 image

A floating counter.  Love the wainscot of tile.  This is a good idea.

 image

Perfect.  Love the dark grout and the black ceiling, which is a great idea with this tile.

 image

From the HGTV show that I blogged about.  This tile was one of the reasons I really liked the house so much!

 image

A large European bathroom with cement tiles.  Love the fireplace in the bathroom.  Can’t imagine the luxury.

 image

Love this accent wall in the bathroom that is actually a part of the bedroom too.  By removing the door and replacing with curtains – the room is expanded.  Great idea.

 image

Don’t.  Too much of a great thing.  This is just blinding.  This particular tile looks really great in blue & white, but not so great in black & white.


image

Don’t:   The niche ruins the smooth look of the tile wall.  It looks like there is a magnifying glass placed over it.  Avoid this look.

 image

DO:  This niche looks so much better and is actually attractive. 

image

Don’t:  Don’t run tile up the side of the tub.  This just looks bad, no other way to say it.  The side should have been finished in white tiles.  Also, notice how gray the tiles are – nothing really makes sense here.  There is a black & white tile and a gray tile mixed with cream paint with a pink undertone.  Nothing really matches or makes sense.  And, further, using an antique for a cabinet is a great idea.  But, this looks like a big office desk.

 image

Colorful tiles are a good choice instead of the graphic black and white.     This bathroom is so charming with the yellow and blue tile.  The oil painting is a great choice to pick up the same color in the tile.  Her hair color picks up the color of the tile used as a baseboard.  And notice, the base of the colors all match – the white walls, the white tiles, the white tub.  Compare these choices with the bathroom above where pink walls, gray tiles, and black & white graphic tiles are all disastrously mixed together.  


 image

Two different tiles that exactly match the tub.  A good look for a child’s bathroom.

 image

Blue and white.

 image

Beige and white.  So pretty.

 image

The other side of the bathroom.  Notice the shower floor – the tile stops at the door, a much better look than running the tile up.

 image

For a contemporary house.

  image

A contemporary design in this shower.

 Screenshot (4372).png 

A vintage look in green tiles.

 image

Golden yellow and white.

 image

A vintage bathroom with a colorful tile.  That sink is fabulous!


 image

Beautiful dark blue and white tiles and paint mixed with brass.  Notice the white tile that separates the shower without running up the tile.

 PORCHES: image

A new take on Spanish design.

 image

Contemporary Marrakesh porch – by Popham Designs.

 image

Blue and white tiles look great on a terrace in a sunny climate.  For northern locales, other colors would probably be a better choice.

  
HOUSE STORIES: 

image

This house owned by Adrianna and Paul was featured in Apartment Therapy HERE.  Tiles by Granada Tile.  Adrianna decorated the house – it was her first job! 

 image

he entry hall sets the tone with this carpet of cement tile. 

 image

The beams are incredible.  This vintage Spanish house is located on Long Beach in California.

 image

The original kitchen – freshened up with tile floor.

 image

The range and refrigerator came with the house.  But, want the look?  Try Smeg HERE.

 image

The master bathroom is off the bedroom  - with no door.

 image

The bathroom is filled with plants – helped along by the skylights.

 image

The walls and floors are tiled in cement tile.  Beautiful sink and antique chest and mirror.

 image

No shower door – makes this a “wet room.”  This house – a renovated vintage Spanish house is exactly the kind of space where the more cement tiles you use, the better.

In a Georgian house, use the tiles sparingly – in the kid’s baths or as a backsplash in the kitchen or bar.


HOSPITALITY:

image

This beautiful tile in pinks and green by Cement Tile Co. was used in a classic New Orleans restaurant.

 image

Designer Richard Keith Langham completely redesigned the iconic Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans.   For this new room, he used the pastel tiles from Cement Tile Co.   Love this so much, especially the curtains and the chandeliers!

 image

Around the paintings, Langham used antique oyster plates, which is the perfect touch.  My mouth is watering!!!!

It’s hard to know where to stop!  There are so many tiles, in so many different colors and patterns.  There are the traditional tiles and the fun contemporary ones and there are so many choices – too many!! 


Here are some of the bigger and better places to order cement tiles from.  This is just a tiny sample of their tiles.  Be sure to click on the link to see their entire collections!!!

 image

Brothers Cement Tile HERE


 image

Cement Tile Shop HERE


 image

Chateau Domingue has a beautiful selection of antique cement tiles.  HERE.



 image

Granada Tile HERE


 image

Original Mission Tile HERE


 image

Popham Design HERE


 image

Rustico Tile HERE

 image

Not from the United States?  Try Encaustic Tiles HERE


AND….

image

In honor of the 7th Anniversary of The Cross Bottle Guy, Artie is having a sale AND is hosting a giveaway!!!

 image

All his beautiful handmade bottles are now on sale – 25% off for Cote de Texas readers!!!

 image

Be sure to look at all the new merchandise – click “OLDER POSTS” to see even more!!!

To see all the bottles, go HERE.

To see jewelry Artie is now designing, go HERE.

One lucky winner will get the bottle of her choice!

To enter – go to The Crossbottle Guy’s site, look around, and pick out your favorite bottle.  Come back here and leave me a comment telling me which one you love!

That’s all!!

Contest ends this Saturday, July 9th at 11:59 pm.

Remember – 25% off all merchandise!!!!!!   Good luck to all!!! 


image

50 comments :

  1. As always an informative post filled with eye candy. I love Artie's bottles and would love to have another to add to my collection. I like SIMCB although it was a tough choice. Thank you Joni and Artie for this generous give away.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another deeply researched post. I wish I'd seen it before putting cement tiles in our renovations. But I avoided your don'ts!
    It can be hard to get the big picture when looking at tiles. If the design is complete on one tile, it will be busier on the wall or the floor. It may resemble an old-fashioned wallpaper. Example: fireplaces #3 and #4.
    If it takes four tiles to complete the design, it will feel more open, like the Brennan's restaurant example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. right. that's a great point. the bigger the design, the better. brennans is gorgeous.

      Delete
  3. It amazes me how much time and effort you spend researching your posts. Bravo! The encaustic tile craze is not for me. I find the designs, even the light colored ones, to be too busy for my eye. You've shown some great examples, and they are executed perfectly, but I can't bring myself to like the look. Even the antique versions I don't like. I'll gladly sit this trend out

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, Artie has really stepped up his game on the bottles! There are so many that I love. I have two of his and I'd love to add to the collection. I would choose CTD1 because of the uniqueness of the bottle. He described it as a possible old bud vase, but I particularly love the banding at the bottom too! I'm also partial to the ones with the "rosary ring" on the top. We gave these out at my mother's funeral :(

    Joni, I love the post on the tiles. I have a friend in the Heights who has the most beautiful home on her street! She would show it to you in a minute if you asked...let me know and I'll put you in touch. She and her husband bought the home from a lady who was a designer from New Orleans, and in 2 or 3 of the bathrooms, the floors have encaustic tiles. She recently remodeled the master bath and closets, but kept the tiles, thank goodness! You would love her style...she has a great eye for modern art and mixes it well with traditional furnishings. Her kitchen is a knockout!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i would love to see it. !!! call or email me. 7138989312

      Delete
  5. Artie's pieces are absolutely stunning. I would love to own one, LFan1 or FDWO, or RR10 are my favorites! I loved this article on the cement tiles.. Wow. So many beautiful designs. Something to think about for our bathroom reno. Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. His bottle art is fabulous! My favorite is LTSO but there were others that were a close second! PJKINATL@HOTMAIL.COM

    ReplyDelete
  7. CTD1 is my favorite but I love them all! Great giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Joni,

    A very interesting post which most people should take as a cautionary tale. While the tiles themselves cost about the same as marble or granite tiles, the cost of installation is probably more. The surface on which they are laid must be absolutely level so the tiles will be level.

    That said, I noticed that the good looking rooms employed the design principle of repeating colors in various parts of the room. All the kitchens with busy floors looked best when the most dominant color on the floor was repeated on the ceiling and / or on some of the upper cabinets. The lime green kitchen is an example of bad because it is such an intense color AND all the action is on one side of the room. If the walls opposite the cement tile wall were painted a matching green and the counter top was black (or possibly white), the room would look so much better.

    As Mario Buatta commented in your Skirted Roundtable interview, paint is a decorators best friend.

    A really great follow up post would be for you (or someone with great photo shop skills) to take a few of the "bad" rooms and photo shop them to look better. You know we all love Before-and-After posts!

    Smiles from Charlotte Des Fleurs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! photoshopping is so hard!!!! Im so bad at it. but i love your idea.

      Delete
  9. RR10 for sure is my favorite because I remember my father carrying a pocket rosary for years and those sacramentals are to be treasured, remembered and USED! raptee@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am happily surprised to see my St. Petersburg sun room featured here. It was a bold move for me, but they look like they have been there forever and tied in the new sunroom to the 1935 house so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wow! Love that room!!!!! love what you did with the daybeds. i would love to see the rest of your house.

      Delete
  11. Joni, I have been a silent fan of your posts for a long time. While I love your historic research pieces, this posting with the variety of beautiful visuals, was a great study. Being the second owner of a 90 year old Liebenberg Tudor style home, with all its lovely character still in tact, I have always pondered why the outdoor porch floor is just a slab of colored concrete. Thanks to you, I know how to renovate and actually improve the look. Oh the bottles! Like Angeldog, CTD1 is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  12. FCCL is a favorite of mine but also the SISB. I also love the bottles with the rosary that are shown on the older posts....so many beautiful ones to choose from.. loved your comments on ceramic tile too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. SISB for me! It looks like it's standing so proud and stately! I love all his work and I'm glad you introduced us to him! I'm also partial to some of the small ones and have 3 of them on my list to purchase!
    konni_brown@oxy.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love them all but the ICEAQ is perfect for my aqua blue collection of bottles! Fingers crossed!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello! I don't know anyone can choose from these magnificent bottles but I narrowed mine down to CTD1 --
    it has a perfect mix of elements with the chosen uniqueness of the bottle and cross design. The combination is just beautiful. Thank you so much!! glmtbowenb@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Joni,
    Enjoyed your researched post! Wow! I just finished my powder bath and used italian cement tiles. I haven'r revealed it yet! Now I'm inspired to take the photos & get them on my blog, Come by and see me, give me a week to get it on there...
    Happy Summer
    xo,
    Gail
    Casual Loves Elegance

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am a pattern junky. However I am going to pass on this trend because it's just to permanent for me. Now blue and white portuguese tiles I could live with forever.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, my, it is so hard to choose, but I would love the LTSO. It is the perfect height for my needs in my bookcase for that pop of excitement. I love the color and the size. Thanks Joni for making this available with Artie.

    ReplyDelete
  19. They are all so gorgeous, so hard to choose! However, LFAN1 speaks to our hearts! Artie is so talented and generous!

    ~Margaret

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would love to be the proud owner of the LGRCR - but I would be happy with any of them. He does lovely work. I own several and have given them as gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  21. All the bottles are so pretty. But I really love the cross on CRWP.
    I really enjoyed your posts!

    ReplyDelete
  22. love 4PSC4 and CTDI..never won a thing...boo hoo. Is it because I live in NC? ok. sounds like I'm begging. sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So many beauties! I am a big fan of the gorgeous amethyst colored bottle topped with the perfect cross, and also the blues. Especially the three grouped together. So pretty! But if I must pick only one, I keep going back to the antique French perfume bottle with the stunning tear drop cross. Yep, I must be a " wreath and floral inspired collector" because I love FDWO the best!

    ReplyDelete
  24. mlk8 - site wont let me sign in under wordpress

    ReplyDelete
  25. Amazing post as usual!! Very informative with endless pics Joni how do you do it? xo Maria

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love the tiles in moderation. I prefer the antique looking ones. Gorgeous cross bottles. My favorite is LTSO. cwilhill at icloud dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Joni
    Another great post from you and although the tiles are not my thing your comments about shower risers etc added to my education.
    Loving Artie's blog and seeing his change of style is great. Seems a lot of us are also evolving. My favourite bottle is RR10, the Basque soldier's rosary. Strikes a note to me.
    Hope I am a winner and you post to Western Australia.
    Lesley

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Joni. Thanks for this educational post! The in-depth education and coverage is really nice. And as a sidebar, even before Kristen Buckingham's 2009 kitchen, designer Jackie Terrell, in 2008, designed an idea house for the now defunct Cottage Living using cement tiles in the entry and kitchen. Images of Jackie's staircase are still in circulation on the current cover of Exquisite Surfaces tile catalogue. If you want to see Jackie's mix and match perfection just do a google search or click here for a quick overview: http://www.myhomeideas.com/idea-houses/favorite-ideas/cottage-living-stairwell
    All the best, Alixe

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love BLMJ1 -- so original and stunning!
    Thanks for this wonderful post. I have been a fan of encaustic tiles after many years in the Middle East. But, alas, the Georgian dilemma.... You are so correct that they have to be used sparingly, but my dream is a spectacular wine cellar with tile floor. My uncle had a wonderful old Georgian with encaustic tiles in the main bathroom, but a very subtle pattern, and the beauty of it has stayed with me all these years.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The LTSO... beautiful! And thanks for all the eye candy! I have LOVED cement tiles since before they were popular again and hope to use them soon in a reno.

    Olivia
    Livvie365@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi! Love reading your blog and this tile post is so interesting!! I love bottle STB8A! Thank you for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  32. The Cleeve Abbey and other medieval tile was an inlaid(or encaustic) tile made of clay. Cement tile came much later in XIX century. Anyway I'm really happy to see those old styles return and flourish.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Artie's fabulous art bottle labeled FCCL is a stunner. I have been a fan of cobalt blue forever and this piece deserves center stage in my collection.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great post as always! I love the stb8a bottle, but it was hard to pick just one! Artie does fabulous work!
    -Miranda from hannashill.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wonderful post. I favor the Mission and Moroccan tiles.
    Choose a favorite bottle. That's almost impossible. At the top of my list is BLMJ1
    Thanks for the opportunity

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Joni. I love Artie's blog as well as his art. My favorite is STB8A because it reminds me of a starburst mirror.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello! Love them all, but, CEWP is calling my name..."Kathryn"

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great post on titles. So agree with your assessment of title choice for one of the kitchens.
    Thank You to you and Artie on this wonderful giveaway. I chose FRTD - beautiful, clean and a perfect start for my collection!
    I have just the right spot in which the sun will caught it.

    Jennifer C

    ReplyDelete
  39. LFAN1 all bottles are beautiful, very nice, love this post. jeanne

    ReplyDelete
  40. They're all terrific, but the cobalt bottle of FCCL made me stare for a long time - the color makes the detail of the cross even better.

    This was a lovely, informative post as always. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love encaustic tiles and really want to use the black and white Tulum in a small bathroom. As a kitchen backsplash and bathroom floor, are my favorites...so beautiful! Such a wonderful and informative post, Joni!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Wow! I love the tile. I have a small powder room, have needed an idea for the wall behind the mirror, over the sink.....this may be the ticket.

    I love the RR bottles & would love to win!
    Karen W.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Amazing work! You see artistic things through such creative and modernistic eyes, that most of us can't even dream of. Fantastic work!Best Interior Designers in Bangalore|Top 10 Interior Designers in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  44. Saw your excellent article on tile... I happened upon fabulous floral tile this past April; bought it and had it put in the bath... Would love to share it with you. Meg S

    ReplyDelete