Designer Spotlight: A Chat with Karen Vidal

Designer Karen Vidal, whose Los Angeles–based firm Design Vidal has over 70 projects to its credit, is a kindred spirit. She loves cement tile just as much as we do here at Granada Tile. In many of her projects, which range from apartments, to compact bungalows, to smashing Spanish-style homes, the material takes a starring role.

It all started about 10 years ago when she ran across some concrete tile and decided to inset it into the stucco exterior of a Spanish-style building. “I immediately loved it: the pattern, the format, the color,” she says. From that discovery, she began doing more research on cement tile, exploring it as a versatile, durable medium, and incorporating cement tile installations into many of her projects.


Karen Vidal chose our Cluny tile design for a period bathroom. Her firm is renowned for their way with vintage properties. Photo by Marcia Prentice/courtesy Design Vidal.

Eventually she found her way to Granada Tile, and it has been a match made in cement tile heaven. “After working with cement tile from different places, I began to see a big difference in the quality: how sharp the design is, how crisp the edges are, the color saturation,” she explains.

Besides the aesthetics and quality of Granada Tile’s cement tile, Vidal is thrilled by our Echo Collection‘s versatility. I love it because it works really well in surprising mediums,” says Vidal. “It doesn’t just have to be Spanish. I’ve used it in modern applications—if I’m going going for modern eclectic—and used it in Craftsmen and bungalows. I love it on backsplashes, showers, outside.”

St. Tropez

Our St. Tropez tile design adds a stunning burst of pattern and color in a bathroom designed by Design Vidal. Photo by Marcia Prentice/courtesy Design Vidal.

As for what’s cooking now, Vidal reports that their team has several projects in the works that include Granada Tile for bathroom tile, kitchen backsplash tile and tiles for a deck and courtyard. So be sure to check back here in the coming months for tile photos from Design Vidal’s newest projects!

Don’t forget to take a look at photographer Marcia Prentice’s work on her Web site and read her recent interview with CA Home + Design


Granada Goes Forth: A Trip to Cartagena, Colombia

Granada Tile‘s own Melanie and Marcos aren’t ones to let grass grow under their feet. They’re constantly on the move—talking to clients and seeking tile-design inspiration everywhere they go. Their latest trip has taken them to Cartagena, Colombia, the lush seaside resort town on the Caribbean, where they spent plenty of time searching out some stunning and unusual examples of cement tile. Looking through their tile photos, we were immediately drawn to the unique concrete tile designs that seem to flourish throughout the city.

While it may take its name from the Spanish town of Cartagena, we noticed that in addition to cement tiles with classic looks, some of the concrete tiles had anything but traditional feel to them. Today, we’ll share some of Melanie and Marcos’s great tile photos with you, and maybe you can bring some Caribbean flair to your next tile installation project. When you spend time in old cities where there’s a great regional legacy of cement tile, it stands to reason that there will be some stunning traditional tiles around every corner. That was exactly what Melanie and Marcos found in Cartagena: a rich assortment of tile installations featuring classic tile designs. One of the loveliest featured a pattern of strapwork in contrasting colors, pinwheels and a compass design—found in a Cartagena shop.

A stunning mix of traditional cement tile motifs appears on a floor in a Cartagena, Colombia, shop. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

One of the niftiest tile installations the pair happened to spot was a beauty in a Cartagena, Colombia, shop. It looks pretty traditional up to a point, but then take a closer look—it’s really a fun look and idea! The rows of cement tiles are off-set. And, half of the design is skipped on either side, giving the installation a truncated appearance. The result is sophisticated and chic.

Traditional at first glance, the tile design in a Cartagena, Colombia, shop takes liberties with its installation. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Elsewhere in Cartagena, Melanie and Marcos noticed tile installations that had a distinctly modern flair, such as the one in a café there, which features a big and bold pattern of white circles bordered by a pale green. The feel, we think, is very Sixties and looks stunning against the wood and rattan of the place’s furniture.

Big circles make a big statement in a Cartagena, Colombia, café’s tile installation. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Check back here in a few weeks, when we’ll give you some suggestions on how to get the look of Cartagena in your own tile installation. Of course, you can also experiment with tile designs of your own using our Echo Collection interactive catalogue. And, you never know, but some of these great cement tiles in Cartagena, Colombia, might inspire new tiles from Granada Tile.


Breaking News: Granada Tiles Make an Appearance on a Recent Apartment Therapy House Tour

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, we love Apartment Therapy here at Granada Tile. When it comes down to it, it just really can’t be beat as the go-to source for home design ideas and inspiration. So we were especially thrilled with a recent House Tour that they featured recently. You see the owners of the Boulder, Colorado, house the site covered happened to use Granada Tile in the project in a surprising and innovative way.

Now, when you think of houses in Colorado, more than likely your mind might conjure up something with a mountain-cabin type vibe. And you’d probably be right a lot of the time. In the case of the place featured by Apartment Therapy, the design roots come from a little bit further south.

Apartment Therapy

Many of Granada Tile’s cement tile designs cover a dining nook in a Boulder, Colorado, home. Cement tiles from Granada TileImage via Ashley Posking & Apartment Therapy.

The story goes like this: Kristy Socarras Bigelow  spent her childhood in Miami and the Bahamas moves to Colorado. After a few years, nostalgia for the culture and flavors of her roots prompted her and husband, Brian, to open a restaurant featuring Cuban specialties far above sea level. Their house, not surprisingly also takes on a bit of Caribbean flair.

We might be a little biased, but maybe nowhere is the island appeal more apparent than in a sweet dining nook in the kitchen. One of the walls is covered in a huge patchwork selection of cement tiles from Granada Tile’s Echo Collection. It takes other patchwork cement tile installations we’ve seen featuring our tiles and kicks them up several degrees. The tile wall is a vibrant mix of both our geometric concrete tile designs and some of our floral tile designs—you can see Sofia, Fez, and Copenhagen to name just a few. We love how the wall tile installation features a rainbow of colors and squares of four of the same cement tiles interspersed with single, double or triple concrete tiles in other patterns.

If you love the Socarras Bigelow family’s wall tile installation and want to create a stunning tile quilt of your own, head over to our interactive Echo Collection catalogue and then experiment with layouts using our layout tool. You can bring a tropical rhythm to your own tile design project.



Living History: A Stroll on Egypt’s Cement Tile

Quick. Name the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Egypt. It was pyramids, right? Or maybe pharaohs? Cement tile, unless, of course, you’re us here at Granada Tile, didn’t make the top three, let alone the top 20. Concrete tile, though, has a long and rich tradition in Egypt. Today, we’ll take you on a tour in tile photos of another facet of Egyptian design.

As is the case with historic cement tile found around the rest of the world, a vast amount of the concrete tile installations in Egypt date from the material’s salad days in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The tile designs themselves reflect decorative ideas popular throughout the world at the time rather than a particularly Egyptian look.

Up first is a great tile installation from Cairo. At first glance, the tile design seems simple—just a pattern of vary triangles and squares in various colors. Look more closely, though, and you realize just how detailed the tile layout is and how sophisticated the palette. We love tile installations that ask you to study them in order to appreciate how marvelous they are.

Egyptian tile

A simple tile installation on closer inspection reveals layers of geometric complexity. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Often, the cement tile installations we share with you are decidedly geometric, but every once in a while we run across a few that are less abstract. That’s the case with a stunning tile installation also in Cairo—a lovely tile carpet just five tiles across. The design features stylized flowers bordered in with a vine design in a fresh, springy palette of greens, pinks and yellows.

Egypt 2

A stunning floral carpet of cement tile rendered in fresh, spring-like colors. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Last but not least, we thought another Cairo cement tile design was especially lovely and unusual. Rather than having a tile installation featuring a central decorative tile design surrounded by a border, this particular example features five parallel courses of tile with daisy motifs. It’s unusual and unexpected and might make for a fantastic cement tile installation idea for your own project.

Egyptian photos 3

Long courses of a daisy-chain like pattern appear in a tile carpet in Cairo. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Check back in a few weeks, when we’ll show you how to get the look of Egyptian cement tiles in your own tile installations. If you can’t wait, visit our interactive Echo Collection catalogue to get some tile design ideas in the meantime.


Get to Know: Cement Tiles Inspired by Japan

It’s not surprising, of course, that much of the inspiration for Granada Tile’s cement tile designs comes from Central and South America and Europe. The tradition of concrete tiles is strong across those regions to say the least. Did you know, though, that Granada Tile’s Echo Collection has an assortment of tiles whose design inspiration springs from the arts of Japan? Nara, Kyoto, Kitami and Hokkaido all take their cues from 200-year-old embroidery patterns and offer our customers yet another beautiful, versatile way to create a cement tile installation.


Kitami, named for the Japanese city, features a classic Japanese decorative motif. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Specifically the tile designs come from Japanese sashiko embroidery patterns. For the non-needle-worker (maybe many of us), sashiko is a type of folk embroidery that creates geometrically patterned backgrounds of curved or straight lines. The word sashiko literally means “little stabs”—a nod to the very small stitches employed in creating the artful needlework.


While it comes from centuries-old embroidery patterns, our Hokkaido tile design has a modern feel. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Though the source material might be centuries old, the cement tile designs seem anything but antique. Instead they are bold, lively, and thoroughly modern—at home in a variety of tile installations from wall tiles in a bathroom to backsplash tiles in a kitchen. Depending on the colors chosen for the tiles’ palette, the design can be either muted or played-up, depending on the role you want your cement tiles to have in your tile installation.


We think our Kyoto tile design would make a great choice, if you’re looking for a herringbone pattern with a twist. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

See something that strikes your fancy? Visit our Echo Collection catalogue and play with palettes and then head over to our layout tool and experiment with your tile installation ideas. If you’re looking for some real world tile pictures, visit our installation pages and see how clients have used some of these tile designs in their own projects. Maybe you can bring some Japanese spirit into your own home.


Get Inspired: The Echo Collection’s Amazing Four-by-Four Cement Tiles

Why should Granada Tile‘s eight-by-eight Echo Collection cement tiles get all the glory? Sure, they’re stunning, versatile and beautiful, but they’re just one part of the Echo Collection story. Today, we’d like to introduce you to some of our smaller, but just as mighty, concrete tiles from the collection. We’re talking, of course, about the six-by-six, four-by-four and four-by-eight decorative tiles.

Despite their more diminutive size, you can do a lot with them. For instance, maybe you love the look of cement tiles, but feel like the scale of an eight-by-eight tile might be too much for your space—say a small bathroom tile installation or a kitchen tile project in a little galley-style set-up. If that’s your story, we can help. Our smaller tile designs come in a range of patterns, including Fez and Cluny, two of our most popular.

Smaller Fez

If you love Fez, but want a slightly smaller-scale tile design, the pattern comes in a six-by-six inch size as well. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

The medallion-like forms of some of the other tile designs in the range are also fantastic. We love them as a solid field in a wall tile installation or as accents. You can choose from the same assortment of colors as the rest of the Echo Collection, allowing you to exercise your creative muscles any which way.


Santiago is one of several tile designs specific to its size range. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Of course, our smaller cement tiles look fabulous when paired with our larger Echo Collection tiles or with tiles from our Rustico, Antique and Mauresque collections. One of our clients sent along a tile picture featuring 12-by-12 squares of orange-red Rustico Collection interspersed with six-by-six Toulon and Santa Fe squares from our Echo Collection. It adds just the right note of playful color to what would otherwise be a vast solid-color expanse.

Rustico and Echo

Tiles from Granada Tile’s Echo and Rustico Collections look fantastic when mixed together on a patio floor. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Visit our Echo Collection’s interactive catalogue today, and pay special attention to our  smaller-scale tile designs. Inspiration might just strike.


Get the Look: Bringing a Bit of Guatemala Home with Cement Tiles

Recently, we shared some stunning tile photos of cement tile installations in Guatemala. As is the case with the rest of its Central American neighbors, Guatemala has a long and glorious history with concrete tiles. As you saw, they appear on floors around the country—from shops, to restaurants, theaters, even churches. We can imagine you love the tile designs from Guatemala as much as we do here at Granada Tile, so we’ve put together some tile photos of some of our own Echo Collection tile designs to show you how to get the look yourself!

If you loved the stately tile design from a church in Antigua, Gautemala, our Salamanca tile design might be just the ticket for you. The cement tile has a similar layout, with stars surrounded by clipped squares rather than hexagons. Play around with it using different colors to add some zest or keep it neutral for an elegant tile installation.


Salamanca’s elegant pattern of stars echoes the tile design found in an Antigua, Guatemala, church. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

We think it was pretty easy to fall in love with the tile installation spotted at an Antigua theater. What made it so special was the incredible pop of blue. It gave an amazing depth to the cement tiles and really made the floor stand out. To get a similar look, try our Segovia cement tile design. Our tile photo below has it in a palette of mainly blues and pinks, but you could experiment with all sorts of contrasts.


Ribbons of blue pop against a palette of pinks and whites in a take on our Segovia tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

We can’t tell you how taken we are with the tile floor at a hotel restaurant in Antigua. The cement tile design itself, coupled with the smashing orange-and-red color scheme is simply luscious. If this tile installation strikes your fancy, we suggest going for our Kiev tile design (a very Russian name, we know) and jazzing it up with some of the warm shades from our huge palette. It’s fun and vibrant—just the kind of thing that would look stunning in a kitchen tile installation and would brighten every morning.


It’s name might be Russian, but Kiev can bring flair just as a similar pattern did in Antigua, Guatemala. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Of course, these are just suggestions. We’ve got plenty of other ideas where these came from. Take a spin on our Echo Collection‘s interactive catalogue and see what you can come up with for yourself.


Toolbox: A Sampling of Our Cement Tile Samples

So you’ve discovered Granada Tile or are a returning client. You’ve experimented with our interactive Echo Collection catalogue, or perused our Milano and Rustico catalogues online. You’ve spent some time on Share Designs. You’ve fallen in love with cement tile and are just about ready to make the leap and order something for your own concrete tile installation, but you’re still not sure of a few things. Fear not, we’re here to help!

Probably the best way to make a decision about anything having to do with home design is to live with whatever it is you’re thinking about. Painting the kitchen? Why not paint a cabinet so you can see how it looks in natural daylight and in artificial light in the evening. Same goes for tile, and we’ve made it easy for you. We offer several different sample options so you can live with some cement tile before committing to a new kitchen tile backsplash or bathroom tile installation.

To get a sense of our colors, why not order a set of eight four by four tiles with 32 colors on them. You can set them up wherever you’re thinking of doing your tile installation and live with the colors for a bit. You might discover a new combination you never thought of or confirm your first impulse.

Echo Color Samples

Order eight four by four cement tiles with a total palette of 32 colors. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

If you’re trying to choose between cement tiles from different collections for a tile installation, we have sample tiles from our Rustico and Milano collections. While both are concrete tiles, the effect of each is very different. Order both to see if a sleek look is what you’re going for, or if something more rough-hewn is more your style.

Have you fallen in love with something from the Echo Collection, maybe two have caught your fancy, and you’re trying to choose? We also have several of our most popular cement tiles from that collection available as samples too. Whether you love the geometry of Fez or Serengeti, or are trying to pick between Sofia and Copenhagen, just order a sample to be sure.

Have we piqued your curiosity? Just head over to our catalogues and then peruse our samples! Happy looking.