Living History: Taking in the Cement Tiles of Spain

Spain, like its neighbor to the north, France, has a long tradition of tile—both the ceramic and cement varieties. Add the Moorish influence, especially in the southern part of the country, and the result is a rich, beautiful legacy of tile design. On their travels around the globe, Granada Tile‘s Melanie and Marcos have made stops in Spain for inspiration and research. Today, we’ll show you some fabulous cement tile pictures from Spain and give you a few tips on how to the bring the look into your own home!

In Granada, Spain, home to the Alhambra, Melanie and Marcos ran across a stunning cement tile installation on a floor. It has a classic tile design that evokes the great, complex tile installations of Morocco and elsewhere, in a surprising palette of grays and yellows.

Spotted in Granada, Spain, a cement tile floor evokes classic Moroccan tile designs. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

A trip to Ronda, also in southern Spain, yielded several delightful cement tile discoveries. One tile installation Marcos and Melanie spied happened to be part of a shop floor—a blue and white checkerboard tile design broke up the expanse of reddish rectangle tiles. Our own checkerboard Alicante tile design would perfectly replicate the store’s cement tiles.

Inset into a shop’s floor, small checkerboard-pattern cement tiles are a visual treat. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Melanie and Marcos loved the coiled motif on a concrete tile door surround. It’s an ancient pattern that suggests Roman mosaic decoration (and fitting since the current city of Ronda traces its history back to Roman times).

Cement tile even pops up around doorways in Ronda, Spain. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

One of the cement tile high points on the trip to Ronda was a floor tile installation in a building’s small lobby. The tile design is traditional and makes a dramatic impact. It puts us in mind of our own tile design Bordeaux, which has a similar pattern and can be customized to match the gray and burgundy palette. It would be a lovely choice for kitchen tile or bathroom tile.

A classic cement tile design welcomes visitors to a lobby in Ronda, Spain. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

On your next trip to Spain, don’t forget to look up, down and around. You can be sure to spot some wonderful old concrete tiles around the country—a beautiful reminder of design traditions past, present and future.


 

 

Installation Equation: Seeing Stars in Cement Tile

In Los Angeles, you can’t help but see stars. Head down Hollywood Boulevard, and there’s the Walk of Fame. Pop in to a Starbucks in one of the more actor-centric precincts of the city, and more than likely, you’ll see someone who looks kinda familiar—you just can’t place her until that night when you get home and start watching a new show. The lightbulb goes off. That was the woman ordering the soy latte this morning. Stars figure prominently in Granada Tile‘s cement tile collections too. Of course our Echo Tile designs features plenty of the motif, but our other collections do too. Today, we’re taking you on a tile photo tour of some of our celestial cement tile designs.

First up is Salamanca, one of our 10-by-10 inch tile designs from our Echo Collection. It features a bold eight-point star at the center and quarter-round elements at each of the corners. For a floor tile installation, it would be outstanding. The tile design just begs to be featured in a wide-open space.

Salamanca features a bold eight-point star pattern at the center of the tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

We think La Rochelle, an eight-by-eight tile design also from the Echo Collection, would be a knockout for bathroom tile, maybe as a tile backsplash against a rustic stone basin. It’s a starry tile design too, featuring a four-point star surrounded by an elaborate strapwork pattern—bringing a touch of the medieval to any space it graces.

A tile design with a medieval flair, La Rochelle is a starry choice too. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

It’s not just the Echo Collection with the monopoly on starry tile designs. Our Minis Collection of zellige-like small tiles also features the motif. Star Cross features a classic Moroccan-inspired pattern of interlocking stars and crosses. It’s available in neutrals and bold colors and would be stunning as tile backsplash or as shower tiles or wall tiles pretty much anywhere.

Small scale stars steal the show in Granada Tile’s Star Cross tile design from our Minis Collection. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

You can also find a larger-scale interpretation of a star cross tile design in our Antique Collection, a group of tile designs that suggest the look of Old World tiles but are perfectly suited to modern life. The cement tiles withstand the elements and foot traffic and keep their stunning looks year after year.

From our Antique Collection, a stunning star cross tile design is a lovely choice for a floor tile installation. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Want to bring some stars home with you? Discover more star tile designs on our Web site. We’ve got a lot and are constantly thinking of new tile designs too.


 

Breaking News: Some New Looks from Granada Tile

The last few months have been busy here at Granada Tile. We relaunched our Web site—and added a the Cement Tile Blog! Our cement tiles have appeared lots of recent projects and have been featured in print and on the Web. Finally, we recently debuted our first-ever look book, featuring some of our brand new Echo Collection cement tile designs (along with some old favorites), and we’re already planning our next ones. Today, we thought we’d highlight some of those new concrete tiles featured in the 2012 look book by showing you some tile photos. They’re just waiting to be part of your kitchen tile installation or bathroom tile installation.

First up is Astorga, named for the northern Spanish town along the medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. For our cement tile, we took our inspiration from the banners that groups of pilgrims would fly and added quarter-round corner elements. Installed, the cement tile has a great circle-and-medallion pattern. Sophisticated yet simple, it would be a fantastic choice for bathroom tiles

Astorga offers a riff on Santiago. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

For our new border and corner tiles, we turned eastward for inspiration. We dubbed the new cement tiles Bursa, after the Turkish city known for supplying sumptuous silks to Ottoman palaces until the 17th century. It’s still famed for its silks even now, and the motif of our Bursa tiles reflects a motif we found on silk scarves from the area. We love the interlocking zigzag patterns of the concrete tiles and think these would make a stunning fram around a tile backsplash or a tile carpet.

Our new Bursa Corner is a chic, geometric choice. Tile Photo, Granada Tile.

The interlocking zigzags complement many of our cement tile designs. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch this space, since we’ve got some more new designs! We’ve also got more exciting developments in the months ahead, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out our look book online to see more new tile photos and revisit some old favorites.


 

 

Get Inspired: Flower Power for Cement Tiles

Triangles, circles and squares, oh my! No matter what your style, Granda Tile has a cement tile design that’s perfect for you. If you tend toward the bold and geometric, we’ve got you covered. Prefer a traditional tile installation that exudes the solemn beauty of old French tile designs? We’ve got that too. Today we thought we’d show you some tile photos featuring some floral concrete tile designs from our Echo Collection. Delicate and charming, they’re a perfect choice just about anywhere you can think—from kitchen tiles to bathrooms tiles and beyond.

We love the soft, abstract floral forms of Segovia, an eight-by-eight inch cement tile design. It’s swooping curves and delicate floral accents at the outer corners of the tile put us in mind of some of the stunning Art Nouveau–style cement tile designs we’ve encountered on our travels to Brazil, France and elsewhere. The tile design would make stunning wall tile installation.

A swooping pattern defines our Segovia tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Some folks love a mix—a little floral, a little geometry, and our eight-by-eight inch Cambria tile design is just the ticket. It would be great as a kitchen backsplash tile installation (maybe in a traditional Spanish-style house) since it brings a bit of stylistic rigor along with lovely, stylized flowers.

With a balance of floral and geometric motifs, our Cambria tile design is a winner. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

For sheer floral punch, you can’t go wrong with Castelo, one of our 10 by 10 inch tile designs. It features stylized daisies front and center. They’re framed by roundels and strapwork, which adds a dash of formality. In blues, yellow and white, though, it’s playful and fun.

Castelo strikes a balance between playfulness and formality. It would be a great choice for kitchen tile. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

We’ve got plenty of other wonderful floral motifs to choose from. Just browse through our interactive catalogue. You can change colors and even experiment with layouts, using our layout tool. Happy looking.


 

Living History: On the Hunt for Cement Tile in Morocco

When you think of cement tile, you immediately think of Granada Tile, and when you think of historic tile design, we’re sure that the vivid colors and exciting patterns of Moroccan tile installations springs to mind. Did you know that Morocco has a rich tradition of cement tile too? Today, we’ll take you on a tile photo tour of the country and introduce you to some of the amazing concrete tiles found there.

Our intrepid cement tile–spotters spied this one on the floor of a bookstore in Rabat. It’s got the lively, intricate pattern that’s a hallmark of Moroccan tile design, but it’s rendered in concrete.

A classic Moroccan tile design rendered in cement tiles. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

As luck would have it, we’ve also got a wonderful cement tile design very similar to this. It’s Alhambra, and it’s fantastic. From our Echo Collection, the concrete tile pattern would make a stunning bathroom tile installation or kitchen tile installation.

Alhambra, inspired by traditional Moroccan tile designs, makes a lovely statement in a tile backsplash. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Another wonderful tile installation we ran across in Morocco popped up on a floor in Marrakech. It departs from the country’s traditional tile designs. Instead it’s reminiscent of fireworks, with the bright pops of red against the earthy green.

Bright cement tiles found on a floor in Marrakech, Morocco. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. Head over to our historic tile installation page for more tile pictures of Moroccan cement tile installations. Be sure to also check out our Minis Collection, which also takes its cues from traditional zelliges.

Granada Tile’s Minis Collection has a Moroccan flavor. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

They come in a range of vibrant colors and some stunning neutrals and are a great choice for kitchen tiles or bathroom tiles. Happy looking!


 

Color Change: While We’re on the Subject

The other day we shared the wealth of amazing cement tile color palettes Granada Tile offers—everything from vivid blues and rich reds in our Echo Collection to a range of chic neutrals in our Milano Collection. Practically speaking, though, how do you start putting these together for your own tile installation? As an answer, we thought it might be a good idea to check in with the savvy concrete tile-philes over on our Share Designs page to see what they’ve been cooking up recently.

One of the newest tile designs we ran across was a fun take on Alicante by Sarah Tucker that takes full advantage of our enormous variety of hues. When we saw it, we immediately thought: kids’ bathroom.

Alicante becomes a fun riot of color as interpreted by Sarah Tucker. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

The multicolored checkerboard design would be a perfect graphic addition when installed as wall tiles or bathroom tiles elsewhere in the space. And, given out tiles’ durability, a perfect choice when contending with lots of little hands and feet.

There’s something about the greens, blues and yellows in our palette that really gets people excited. As we poke around Share Designs, it seems like a lot of folks are drawn to creating cement tiles in those shades. This version of Compostela by Liz Einwiller is a great example.

Liz Einwiller took full advantage of the complexity of our Compostela tile design, choosing a chic palette of blues, greens and yellows. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

It’s a complex, formal tile design and would be the perfect addition as floor tiles in a dramatic entryway or courtyard—or as wall tiles in a stunning library.

We want you to experiment with our wonderful, colorful concrete tiles, too. Start by visiting our interactive Echo Collection catalogue, then save your cement tile designs and share them with us (and others) on our Share Designs page. Maybe your tile design will make it on to this blog!

Get to Know: Living in Color with our Cement Tile Color Palettes

Color. At Granada Tile, we love it. That’s why all of our cement tile collections offer lots of it. Of course, the Echo Collection takes the cake with a selection of 32 shades. Put simply, it means you can let your mind run wild, creating nearly limitless concrete tile designs.

With 32 colors to choose from, you can let your imagination roam as you create the perfect cement tile design and color combination for your next project. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Say you were looking for something a little different, something maybe that captures the elegant look of traditional terrazzo but in a durable cement tile form for your bathroom tiles or kitchen tiles. You still wanted to add a little color to the mix, however. In that case, look no further than our Milano Collection, which, in addition to chic neutrals offers bold reds, greens and yellows.

Twelve elegant colors for our classic Milano Collection of terrazzo-like cement tiles. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Two of Granada Tile’s newer cement tile collections also give you some wonderful color options. Our Minis Collection of small-scale concrete tile has a jaw-droppingly lovely shade of blue that we call “Cerulean,” along with several neutral options and a warm, delicious brown dubbed “Chocolate.”

They may be small in size, but they pack some wonderful color—the Minis Collection of cement tiles. Tile photos Granada Tile.

Last but not least, our Mauresque Collection of French- and Moroccan-inspired concrete tiles has an amazing shade known as “Patina.” A greenish-blue, it reminds you exactly of the patina on weather-beaten metal and is just delicious, as are the other shades in the collection.

Warm neutrals and a stunning green are available for our Mauresque Collection of cement tiles. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

These wonderful colors are too good to resist, we think, so if you’re planning a new tile installation, be it a new tile backsplash or spicing up a space with some chic wall tiles, don’t forget to give us a call.

Please note: Since colors on computer monitors can vary widely, always contact us about getting a color palette sample or sample tiles to see the shades for yourself!


 

Nuts & Bolts: Why Cement Tiles?

Cement tiles are Granada Tile‘s raison d’être, and we talk a lot about their durability and beauty, not to mention their green cred. Why is that, though? What makes cement tiles so special—and a savvier choice than ceramic encaustic tiles for tile backsplashes, bathroom tiles, wall tiles, and the like? Today we’ll tell you.

French craftspeople first developed concrete tiles towards 1870s. To create the cement tiles, a mixture of cement, sand, color pigment and marble powder was poured into metal molds, backed with a dry concrete mixture and compressed under 2,000 pounds of pressure. The resulting concrete tiles are left to air cure, which allows them to harden and strengthen.

A French cement floor tile from the early 1900s. Tile photo, theantiquefloorcompany.com.

Around the same time, encaustic cement tiles were developed around the mid-1800s. Production of those, though, involved powdered glazes and clay, which were then fired in giant wood- and coal-fueled kilns.

A similar tile design, also French from the early 1900s, but on an encaustic ceramic tile. Note how closely the ceramic and concrete tiles resemble each other. Tile photo, theantiquefloorcompany.com.

These two photos of antique tiles bring us back to our original question: why cement tiles for your tile installation. If they look virtually identical, what gives cement tiles the edge? For one thing, take a look at some French floor tile installations. Up first is a cement tile installation from a Paris stationary shop. While it may be antique, it still looks incredible, keeping its great looks despite thousands, if not millions, of feet pounding it over the years.

Many decades on, a cement tile floor in Paris retains its beauty. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Now check out a floor of a similar vintage, this time covered with ceramic tiles. Located in a flower shop, it also has taken a beating over the years—and looks it. You can see a lot more wear and tear and can even spot the clay underneath the pattern.

Decades of use have degraded the ceramic tile floor in a Paris flower shop. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Concrete tiles keep their looks, because the tile design becomes part of the tile; it doesn’t just sit on the surface as does the pattern on a ceramic tile. Add to that the way cement tiles are produced. We’re not burning fuels to power kilns. Our cement tiles are cured outside.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, or wall tiles, think Granada Tile’s cement tiles. Not only will they stand up to years of use, you’ll be choosing a material that is easy on the earth. You’ll win, you’re wallet will win, and so will the earth!

Granada Goes Forth: Cement Tiles in Minas Gerais and Beyond

Looking at the photos from Melanie and Marcos’s Brazil trip, it’s amazing to see all the wonderful varieties of cement tile that seem to pop up everywhere they looked. The historic town of Tiradentes brimmed with phenomenal concrete tile installations—it doesn’t have the monopoly on fantastic cement tile in Minais Gerais state, though. Today we’ll show you some tile photos from Ouro Preto and Itatiaia, and we’ll head on down to Rio to check out some scrumptious cement tiles there, too!

Breakfast at Pousada do Ouvridor in Ouro Preto, also in Minais Gerais, features a fabulous buffet and some mouthwatering tile design. The floor at the charming inn located in the heart of the historic city there has a chic, mustard-and-dark red strapwork tile design that works perfectly set against the rusticated stone of the walls.

Two-color cement tiles cover the floor at the Pousada do Ouvridor in Ouro Preto, Brazil. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Unexpected cement tile gems also popped up in the village of Itatiaia, near Ouro Branco. The Villa Itatiaia Restaurante prides itself on its local, traditional food presented in a stunning restaurant that was painstakingly crafted by its owners to capture the beauty of its surroundings. Cement tiles surround the wood-burning stove, where most of the food is prepared (some of the dishes are even begun days before they’re served). The warm hues and simple, abstract pattern of the concrete tiles work perfectly together.

An abstract cement tile installation surrounds the wood stove at Villa Itatiaia Restaurante, near Ouro Branco. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Villa Itatiaia’s owners carried cement tile throughout their restaurant. A few create a charming tile backsplash in a bathroom. It’s only four tiles, but it proves just how effective even a handful of cement tiles can be in adding personality, color and fun to a space, no matter the size.

A sweet cement tile backsplash in a bathroom at Villa Itatiaia Restaurant near Ouro Branco. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

No trip to Brazil, though, would be complete without at least a little time in Rio, and Marcos and Melanie happily paid a visit. Out and about, they spotted a fun tile carpet beckoning shoppers into a clothing store. It’s an elaborate tile installation with six different tile designs, not to mention a wide border made up of multicolored cement tiles.

Outside a Rio de Janeiro clothing store, an elaborate tile carpet welcomes shoppers. Tile photo, Fabrício Alves Vieira.

That wasn’t the only concrete tile installation at the shop. Wall tiles in an equally elaborate pattern lined the exterior. It’s one of the more exciting ones we’ve seen. Not only are there the usual mix of floral and geometric tile designs, but there’s an unusual numeric tile there as well. See if you can spot it!

Patchwork wall tiles outside the same Rio clothing store. Tile photo, Fabrício Alves Vieir.

If no trip to Brazil isn’t complete without a trip to Rio, then no trip to Rio is complete without a trip to Confeitaria Colombo in the city’s downtown. Modeled on the great early 20th-century Parisian patisseries, it’s a must-see and taste. Not to mention, it features some wonderful antique cement tiles.

A birds-eye view reveals delicious cement tiles at Confeitaria Colombo, a historic patisserie in Rio. Tile photo, Fabrício Alves Vieira.

Needless to say, Marcos and Melanie returned from their trip to Brazil exhausted but brimming with fantastic ideas. Check back to see what their trip inspired and be sure to share your own tile pictures with us.