Living History: A Walk about the Cement Tile of Guatemala

On their trips around Latin America, Melanie and Marcos have the chance to see stunning cement tile pretty much everywhere they go—given the region’s embrace of the material in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Often, these trips turn into inspiration for new tile designs for Granada Tile, and the time they’ve spent in Guatamala is no exception. No matter where they turn on their visits there, they glimpse concrete tiles that suggest an element or an entire pattern for a tile.

In Guatemala, great historic concrete tiles seem to pop up everywhere, including at a chic furniture store in Antigua. There, the concrete tiles cover the floor of a colonnade setting the scene for the lovely wares. Melanie and Marcos loved the tile installation with its alternating squares of solid and patterned tile bordered by a fretwork tile design.

A historic tile installation in Antigua, Guatemala, features simple solid-colored cement tile squares punctuated by stylized floral tiles. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

A stately pattern of hexagons and squares leads to the altar at historic church in Antigua, Guatemala. The subtle color scheme strikes the right note and the pattern tile design is eye-catching and keeps up the visual interest across the large space.

church tile installation

The couple discovered a stately cement tile installation at an Antigua, Nicaragua, church. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

As stunning as these tile designs, are we feel like we saved the best tile for last. The floor tile installation in an Antigua, Guatemala, theater really knocked Melanie and Marcos for a loop. The contrasting blue seems almost as if it’s inlaid into the tile installation, but it’s really all of a piece. For sheer dynamism, this cement tile installation can’t be beat.

theater tile

In a theater in Antigua, Guatemala, Melanie and Marcos discovered a beyond-amazing tile installation. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Check back here soon for some ideas on how you can bring a little Guatemalan flair to your next cement tile installation be it for your kitchen tile, bathroom tile or somewhere else, using cement tiles from our Echo Collection.

 


 

Checking In: What’s Happening on Share Designs

Be honest. When you woke up New Year’s Day, your first thought was, “I really need to do something with my kitchen tile,” (or bathroom tile, or living room wall tile). It was, wasn’t it? Well, you’re not alone. Plenty of Granada Tile‘s Share Designs users were thinking the exact same thing and have spent the past month experimenting with our interactive Echo Collection catalogue. WIth so much happening on the site, we thought we’d bring you some of our favorites.

We’ve always had a soft spot for Estrella. It’s a bold cement tile design with a capital “B.” It’s the type of tile installation you undertake when you really want to make a statement, given its generous proportions and the way it just demands dramatic color combinations, such as the one Joseph Kozdra came up with in his rendition of the tile design.

Estrella

Joseph Kozdra went for a stunning, high-contrast color scheme in his take on our Estrella tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Emma Webb went in a different direction with her Share Designs idea. She chose Montalcino, a delicate tile design with a rustic feeling that takes its inspiration and name from the Tuscan countryside. With the pink ground Emma chose, we feel like this would make a lovely bathroom tile installation, especially in a dwelling with an informal feel.

Montalcino

As its name suggests, Montalcino evokes the Tuscan countryside. Emma Web”s interpretation incorporates pink, blue and gray  shades in an elegant way. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

If you’re looking for something more geometric, why not give our Rabat concrete tile design a spin. Steve Livigni experimented with it, coming up with a palette of red, gold and green that works perfectly with its simple trellis design. We see this tile design in a kitchen tile installation—maybe as a tile backsplash—where its small scale would be at home.

Rabat

Rabat, a simple trellis-style tile design, becomes more complex in the hands of Steve Livigni with the addition of contrasting colors. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

If you head over to Share Designs now, you can see there’s lots more cement tile–designing afoot! Take it for a spin yourself or enjoy others’ Echo Collection designs. The spark to refresh your own living space might be there!


 

Checking In: A Return Trip to Visit Terranea and Its Cement Tiles

For sheer beauty and luxury, few resorts top Terranea. Located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the hotel sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. There’s amazing dining, a nationally recognized par-three golf course, and plush, comfortable guest rooms and suites. Since this is the Cement Tile Blog, there is of course some extraordinary cement tile courtesy of Granada Tile. Over the last year, we’ve shared some fabulous Echo Collection tile photos from the resort—from an outdoor fireplace covered with our Cluny tile design and wall tiles in La Rochelle to floor tiles in St. Tropez and Serengeti. Practically everywhere you look in the hotel’s public spaces, you’re face to face with a tapestry of Granada Tile. Melanie and Marcos recently had a chance to revisit the property and snap some more tile pictures. This time, they visited Marea, a chic boutique featuring men and women’s clothing from top designers, jewelry, accessories and a floor tile installation of yet more Cluny!

Cluny Tiles

A stunning cement tile installation featuring Granada Tile’s Cluny tile design welcomes visitors to Marea, an exquisite shop at the Terranea Resort near Los Angeles. TIle photo, Granada Tile.

Terranea’s designers installed Cluny around an outdoor fireplace in a warm palette that picks up the sun and suggests an informal Vibe. At Marea, the designers opted for a more sophisticated combination of shades befitting the swanky shop. It’s a high-contrast combination that also speaks to what a chameleon Cluny really is—formal, informal, indoors and out, it really works everywhere.

While they were exploring Marea, Melanie and Marcos couldn’t help noticing a really fantastic detail: Cluny’s quatrefoil pattern echoed in the design of the shop’s sales counters. It’s so subtle it could be missed, but look carefully.

Cluny Detail

Marea’s sales counters feature moldings that riff on Cluny’s quatrefoil design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

If in or near Los Angeles, take a page from Melanie and Marcos’s book and head to Terranea—for relaxing, dining, golfing, shopping, or tile-gazing, it has it all!


 

Get the Look: Bringing a Bit of Cuba to Your Own Home

With so much happening here at Granada Tile—new cement tile designs launching, new concrete tile installations to share—it has been a while since we’ve talked about global inspiration for your own tile projects. We’ve certainly got plenty of that for you, given that intrepid world travelers Melanie and Marcos are always snapping tile photos wherever they go.

With that in mind, we thought we’d revisit Cuba. (You might remember a  few months back we shared some tile pictures of Cuban cement tile.) During the early heyday of cement tile, Cuba was a particular hotspot and many of the historic tile installations still exist. We’ve got some more great tile photos to show you and some ideas from our own Echo Collection of cement tile for you to get the look yourself!

Here’s one particularly divine tile design spotted by Melanie and Marcos in Havana. We love the large, circular pattern, which makes a bold statement in the small hallway where it’s installed.

Havana tile

A large-scale cement tile design makes a big statement in a small entryway in Havana, Cuba. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

For a look inspired by the Cuban entryway, try using our Kiev tile design. It’s a large-scale tile design very similar to the pattern of circle found in the Havana entrance. It would look fantastic in a tile installation in bigger space, where the magnitude of the design could be showcased.

Kiev

A stunning, large-scale pattern, Granada Tile’s Kiev cement tile design echoes the tile installation found in a Havana hallway. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Another great cement tile design spied in Havana has to be the one from a Havana jewelry shop. It’s a high energy cement tile design that animates the floor.

jewelry store cement tile

With just a handful of colors, a concrete tile installation in Havana, Cuba, jewelry store animates the space. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

From Granada Tile’s own Echo Collection, incorporate Bucharest into your next tile installation. It has a similar animated quality, and its scale is small enough to look great in all sorts of spaces—from tile backsplashes to bathroom tile installations.

Bucharest

Our Bucharest cement tile design has a great scale that works well in many settings. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

As you might guess, this is just the tip of the Cuban cement tile iceberg. We’ve got plenty more stunning tile installations from across Cuba on our historic tile installation section. Take a moment to visit, and then check out our interactive catalogue for more great Cuban-inspired tile designs.


 

 

Get to Know: The Rustico Collection of Cement Tile

Do you have snow on the ground where you are? Or is it rainy and gloomy? Wouldn’t it be more fun to think, if only for a moment, of warm climates and sun-kissed patios? If you said yes, then we’ve got the cement tile collection for you! One look at Granada Tile‘s Rustico Collection of concrete tiles, and you’ll be transported, if only for a moment.

The Rustico Collection takes its inspiration from traditional terracotta tiles—the kind that have paved the floors of humble kitchens and grand entrances alike for centuries. Of course, as is the case with us, our tiles are rendered in sturdy cement.

We’ve got plenty of tile designs to choose from. You can go classic with a traditional hexagonal pattern, available in both 8.25″-by-9.5″ and 6.5″-by-7.5″ sizes.

hexagonal tile

The Rustico Collection from Granada Tile features a classic hexagonal tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Or you can go for a slightly different look with our Dulcimer tile design. It has a more sensuous shape to it.

Dulcimer

For a softer look, try our Dulcimer cement tile design, which evokes shapes from Middle Eastern design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

There are plenty of other tile designs in the Rustico Collection for you to choose from. Squares, rectangles, pickets, even small diamonds in several colors (a great addition when placed between hexagons)—you can find something for every tile installation in our Rustico Collection.

As an added bonus, you can incorporate concrete tiles from our other collections into your Rustico tile installation. We’re particularly fond of including patterned cement tiles from our Echo Collection to add color and graphic interest. Just let your imagination run wild!

Echo and Rustico

Small decorative squares of cement tiles from our Echo Collection add a jolt of color and pattern to a Rustico tile installation. Tile photo, Granada Tile

It’s never too early to start planning for outdoor living (or indoor living for that matter—our Rustico Collection works perfectly inside or out). In no time, you’ll be ready to lounge in your hammock, cool drink in hand and gaze upon your marvelous cement tile installation.


 

Breaking News: We Have a Winner and More!

Lots of things have been happening here at Granada Tile, and we wanted to take a moment to update you! First off, remember back in December when we told you about the contest running on thekitchn.com? It was your chance to enter to win 60 pieces of our signature Fez cement tile design, which has been used in everything from kitchen tile installations to bathroom tile installations and beyond. It has popped up in some truly stunning designs by leading architects and designers. Bold yet versatile, Fez is a great choice no matter the size, shape and location of your project.

Fez Bathroom

Bathroom tiles are just one of the ways you can use Granada Tile’s Fez cement tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

We’re excited to announce that Nicole Bell of Seattle, Washington, won the cement tiles. We’ll be checking in with Nicole soon to hear about her tile installation plans and to see where she has chosen to install her cement tiles. Keep checking here for updates!

In other news, Apartment Therapy has featured Beachwood Café on its site. As you probably remember, the café’s design is the work of Los Angeles architect Barbara Bestor and was honored with a AIA Los Angeles restaurant design award late last year.

Khufu tile design

Architect Barbara Bestor used Granada Tile’s Khufu cement tile design for Beachwood Café in Los Angeles. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Our Khufu cement tile design makes a big statement in the café, which also features Geoff McFetridge wallpaper and dioramas by Clare Crespo in Bestor’s reimagining of classic diner decor. Recently, Apartment Therapy’s Abigail Stone paid a visit to the place and came away inspired with ideas for her own house. Read about Abigail’s visit and see some additional photos and just maybe the design will inspire your next project—tile or otherwise.

We’ve got plenty of other exciting stuff planned for the new year, so keep checking back here for everything tile!

Installation Equation: It’s Vegas, Baby!

Maybe it’s the gloomy weather that’s making us long for places a little drier and a little warmer. Maybe it’s the January doldrums kicking in right on schedule. Whatever it is, today our thoughts have been turning to Vegas. Not the city (although a little glitz and glamour might go a long way to brightening up this Thursday morning). Nope—at Granada Tile, where we’ve always got cement tile on the brain, our thoughts are turning to our Vegas concrete tile design from our Echo Collection.

We love Vegas for some many reasons. It has a strong geometry that holds its own in any space, but it has a quiet sort of strength. Included in a cement tile installation, it won’t overpower things. Personalize Vegas with any number of color combinations and make it as bold or as simple as you’d like.

Vegas

A simple tile design of squares and rectangles, Granada Tile’s Vegas tile design is more than the sum of its parts. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

To dial down the contrast, try using multiple shades of the same color. Try the concrete tile with several blues, a few reddish tones or some greens.

Blue Vegas

Two shades of blue take the inherent contrast of our Vegas tile design down a few notches, but it still packs a graphic wallop. Tile design, Granada Tile.

As far as tile installation goes, Vegas world is your oyster. Using our palette tool, you can see what an amazing change you can make by switching up the placement of colors or adding more colors to the tile design.

Vegas 3D

Adding another shade of blue makes this take on our Vegas concrete tile seem three dimensional. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

You can install groups of four cement tiles at 90 degree angles from each other create discreet pinwheels that add up to a phenomenal kaleidoscope effect best showcased in a large wall tile installation (bathroom tiles, maybe).

Vegas Tile Installation

Turning every other Vegas cement tile on a 90-degree angle creates a kaleidoscope effect—perfect for a wall tile installation. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

With Vegas, there’s really no limit to what you can create. So, if you’re in the market for a new tile backsplash or if your bathroom tile could stand to be replaced, why not Granada Tile’s Vegas tile design.

Breaking News: Cement Tile Statement in Costa Rica

Over the last year, Granada Tile‘s Cement Tile Blog has introduced you to some really amazing cement tile installations featuring our concrete tiles across the United States: bathroom tiles in Marin County, wall tiles in Los Angeles, kitchen tiles in Manhattan. We’ve also shared some historic concrete tile installations from around the world. Who can forget the incredible cement tile designs around Brazil and in Paris, to name just a few of our favorites? If you also remember, we’re particularly big fans of these European and Central and South American tile installations since they often feature concrete tiles on the exteriors of buildings. We adore how it gives the concrete tiles center stage and makes a graphic colorful statement for passers-by to see.

Today we’re pleased to share a new wall tile installation featuring Granada Tile’s cement tiles in an international setting—Costa Rica—where they get a starring role in the project.

Ronda in Costa Rica

A new development of 20 condominiums in Cartago, Costa Rica, built by the construction firm Brenes y Salas, features exteriors faced with Granada Tile’s lovely Ronda tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

The Villa de Castilla project is a complex of 20 condominiums located in Cartago, Costa Rica and is the product of the Costa Rican construction firm Brenes y Salas. Taking its cues from the country’s architectural past, the development features white stucco walls, tile roofs and wrought iron details in the form of railings, light fixtures and other decorative elements. Then there are the cement tiles. The folks at Brenes y Salas incorporated our Echo Collection‘s Ronda cement tile design (itself a pattern that evokes historic tile designs from Spain and Central and South America) into the buildings’ façade. It’s a treatment very much in keeping with the wall tiles found on the exteriors of buildings around the country and brings color and a vibrant rhythm to the otherwise neutral hues in the project.

Brenes y Salas’s use of Granada Tile’s concrete tiles point to just how many ways our products can be incorporated into a project. If you’re thinking of an exterior renovation or a new construction entirely, don’t forget to think about using cement tiles to enliven it.

Breaking News: Celebrating the Bounty of the Northwest (and Cement Tile) at Marché

At Marché, a bistro in Eugene, Oregon, the emphasis is on fresh, local fare. It almost couldn’t be any other way, given its location in the heart of the food-savvy Pacific Northwest—and its name, which is French for market. For a winter dinner you might order a simple, glorious bowl of roasted hazelnuts along with roasted steelhead. For your wine, you could choose from a list that boasts an intriguing selection from the region, as well as French ones, as befits an Oregon restaurant with a French soul.

Sofia Tile Design

Granada Tile’s Sofia tile design covers the floor at Marché, a new French-style bistro in Eugene, Oregon, where the emphasis is on fresh, seasonal food. Tile photo courtesy Marché.

Running a very close second to the compelling food is the bistro’s stunning design, with a look that immediately conjures classic French forms—the result of the efforts of the work of designers John Hurst and Brett Schiewe, of  Portland, Oregon–based John Hurst Design, who redesigned the restaurant in 2006 and who were responsible for the new bar in 2011.

It’s a great space, with a metal-topped bar, mirrors and vintage posters that immediately call to mind the best bistros of France. What really sets Marché apart, and delights us here at Granada Tile, is the emphasis on well-crafted materials from smaller producers. Several Northwest firms were called on to create custom work, including Alexander-Walker Fine Woodworking in Eugene for the cabinetry and 47 Productions Studio in Seattle supplied a range of metalwork, from the wine storage racks all the way down to the bar’s purse hooks.

We’re thrilled to be a part of this illustrious company. For much of the flooring, the restaurant features our Catalina cement tile design. In warm orange and muted olive tones, it warms up the space and adds rich color. It also contributes to the air of authenticity since many French bistros had and still have beautiful, durable cement tile floors. Elsewhere our Badajoz tile design livens things up, a spare pattern with a more medieval vibe.

If you find yourself in Eugene (just a short two-hour drive south from Portland and nestled in particularly lovely part of the Willamette Valley), take a moment and treat yourself at Marché. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you can take in some amazing cement tile while you’re at it.

This post has been edited to reflect the work of John Hurst and Brett Schiewe, of  Portland, Oregon–based John Hurst Design. An earlier version omitted their participation. We regret the error.