Get Inspired: What’s Happening on Share Designs This Month

It’s the end of March. Spring has officially been sprung for more than a week. Of course, big parts of the US are still digging out from late season snow storms. With that in mind, we thought we’d check in on Granada Tile‘s Share Designs site to see cement tile photos with an eye towards bright, spring-like patterns and colors to help us all shake off the the doldrums and get ready for warm months ahead. If you’re planning a spring tile installation project, we hope you’ll be inspired by our smashing cement tile designs.

Shiva Assef’s interpretation of our Santander cement tile design caught our attention immediately. It’s the perfect scale for any number of tile installations and has a simple, graphic pattern of wide diagonal stripes. We love how Shiva thought beyond basic black and white (a classic nonetheless) and went for a fun red and white. Place it for a tile backsplash or for bathroom wall tile. Lay it on the floor for a bright infusion of color.

Santander Shiva Assef

A bold cement tile pattern of diagonal stripes makes Santander a great choice wherever you need maximum visual impact. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Pivoting from geometry to flowers, we fell in love with this very springy take on Montalcino by Kacey Ma. The delicate floral tile design has a fresh-from-the-garden feel. It would be fantastic for a bathroom tiles in a country-inspired space. It could also look terrific outside since its palette is muted enough to blend perfectly with lush surroundings.

Montalcino KAcey Ma

Montalcino features a lovely floral pinwheel effect. In blues and neutrals, it has a wonderfully fresh feel. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Red seems to have been a popular choice to work with this month. We were particularly taken with Erika Smrtova’s interpretation of Athens. We usually see it in neutrals—there’s something about the sophisticated pattern of interlocking circles that seems to lend itself to those tones. Erika went a different direction and opted for red and pops of yellow on a white ground. This would make a bold yet still elegant statement as a kitchen tile backsplash, when you’re looking for something to pop!


Splashes of yellow add flair to Erika Smrtova’s take on our Athens tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Check back here next month for more fantastic concrete tile inspiration. In the meantime, head over to Share Designs and experiment with your own cement tile designs. You might just be featured here sometime soon!


Breaking News: Europa Tiles for Malibu Fish Grill

Maybe it’s because spring has finally sprung, and we’re all shaking off our winter doldrums. Maybe there’s something else in the air. Whatever the reason, it seems like Granada Tile‘s clients have been extra-busy these days—sharing tile photos of their most recent cement tile installations. As you can imagine, we couldn’t be more thrilled about all the wonderful projects we’ve seen featuring our tile designs.

Europa Main

Granada Tile’s Europa tile design defines the bustling service counter at Malibu Fish Grill in West Hollywood, California. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Today, we’re excited to share some tile pictures of a new cement tile installation featuring our Europa concrete tile design. Malibu FIsh Grill got its start in Orange County, California, a little less than a decade ago. Since then, it has expanded to include locations in the South Bay and Los Angeles area. The company’s newest outpost is in West Hollywood. There, just as its sister spots, the emphasis is on fresh fish, along with locally sourced produce.

There’s also an emphasis on fresh design. The new restaurant is open and airy and takes the idea of the seafood shack and turns it on its head. When you walk in to the new place, your eyes immediately go to the service counter and our playful Europa tile design. The cement tiles cover the soffit above, run up the pilasters and cover the counter’s front. For the space, the designers chose a custom-color combination of white circles on a bright blue ground. It’s the perfect choice for a seafood place, since it suggests bubbles in the sea.

More Europa

A closer look of our ebullient Europa tile design. The circles add an air of playfulness to the space. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Next time you find yourself in West Hollywood, be sure to stop by Malibu Fish Grill for a quick bite—and to check out some great cement tile.


Breaking News: Cement Tile for Your Laundry Room

Cement tile from Granada Tile is great for all of the usual suspects: kitchen tile backsplashes, bathroom wall tiles, patio floors, you name it. What if we told you that same versatility and durability that made our concrete tile such a great choice for those more obvious spaces also made it a fantastic choice for some—how shall we put this—unheralded spaces? If you’re thinking laundry and utility rooms, you’re thinking right. Two of our clients just shared new laundry rooms with us and both incorporate our Sofia tile design to create workaday spaces that are anything but. We’re so excited to share some tile photos of the projects with you!

In Tustin, California, the house’s owners chose Sofia for their laundry room. It’s no ordinary space, however. Instead they’ve transformed a utilitarian room into a chic, inviting area that makes daily chores a pleasure. For starters, light floods into the room via a large window. Traditional Shaker-style cabinets are painted a cheery yellow—that suggests more sunshine—and feature sturdy Arts & Crafts–style hardware. They’re topped with marble for a sleek, finished look. For the tile installation, they opted for Sofia in a palette of bright hues that perfectly complement the cabinet color.

Sofia in Tustin

For the laundry room in their Tustin, California, house, the owners chose a tile installation featuring Granada Tile’s Sofia tile design. Tile photo courtesy owner.

Remarkably, another client also chose our Sofia tile design to brighten up a laundry and utility room. This time the house happens to be in Anchorage, Alaska, and, rather than a traditional vibe, the architecture firm Red House Workshop, aimed for a contemporary feel in a space that also gets plenty of light during the warmer months. The room is all clean lines and light-colored wood. Juxtaposed against the white walls, the Sofia cement tile installation brings stunning warmth and color to the space.

Anchorage Sofia

The warm shades Red House Workshop chose for the Sofia cement tiles they used in an Anchorage, Alaska, laundry and utility room bring warmth to a chilly locale. Tile photo courtesy Red House Workshop.

Have you installed Granada Tile somewhere unexpected? We’d love to hear about it. Send us photos and share your story!


Get Inspired: Square Deal

A couple of weeks back we gave you an in-depth look at some of Granada Tile‘s stunning circular tile designs (they take their names from characters from Greek mythology). We had so much fun sharing that with you that today we’re doing to take a thorough look at some of our Echo Collection‘s cement tile designs featuring square motifs.

First up is Alban, a cement tile design that features a pattern of squares and rectangles. When installed, the cement tiles form an almost argyle-like pattern, suggested classic Scottish designs. (Little wonder, really, since it takes its namefrom the Gaelic word for Scotland.) It’s a great tile design to play around with—changing up colors gives it an entirely different feel.


Alban has an almost Scottish feel. Try using warm shades such as reds and browns to lend it a clubby vibe. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

If something simpler is more your thing, but you still love the idea of the square, why not try a concrete tile installation using our Asturias tile design. It’s a lovely tile design featuring just two squares—one inset in the other—with a strongly modern presence.


Our Asturias concrete tile design is another geometric pattern that looks fantastic with a range of colors. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

If two squares are good, why not try for three? Jaen further deepens Granada Tile’s exploration of the decorative properties of the square. The tile design features three inset into one another. When you choose three shades of the same hue, the effect is a stunning three-dimensional cement tile installation.


With three similar shades, Jaen becomes a three-dimensional tile installation. Try using two shades for an entirely different look. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Love Jaen but want to mix things up just a little? Lorca is the tile design for you. Instead of placing the squares symmetrically, we knock them a bit askew for a playful take on the idea. Now the third and smallest sits in a corner of the cement tile design. This is a great pattern to with when it comes time to install—use our layout tool and let your imagination run wild.


Lorca’s playful take on the inset square would look fantastic as a tile backsplash or for bathroom tile in a contemporary house. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Last but not least, we present Marbella to you. A riff on Lorca, the smallest square gets turned on its head, so the cement tile design features a small diamond pattern. If you’re looking for something lively, yet subtle, this is the tile design for you—and it takes kindly to a range of shades.


Turned 45 degrees, the small squares in Marbella become diamonds. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Have we whetted your appetite for square tile designs? Head on over to our interactive Echo Collection catalogue to experiment with color choices. From there, you can visit our layout tool to explore tile installation ideas.  


Checking in: Choosing Cement Tile Means Choosing the Environment

For Marcos Cajina, Granada Tile‘s founder and president, the vibrant colors and rich textures of his native Nicaragua’s natural world provide a constant source of inspiration. His love of the landscape around him also means that he takes his company’s impact on the environment very seriously.

The lush landscape of Nicaragua inspired our stunning cement tiles. And informs our mission to protect the environment. Photo, Granada Tile

To begin with, we ensure that our cement tile production process uses as little energy as possible. Instead of using an energy-consuming kiln, all of our concrete tiles are sun-dried and -cured. We also make sure we use hydraulic energy sparingly.

Recycling plays a big role in our philosophy—both as a way to conserve precious natural resources and as a way of doing our part to avoid clogging landfills. For starters, that means that we have devised a manufacturing process that creates very little waste. Every drop of water we use in our production process gets re-used. We salvage and recycle our metal molds. Loose cement gets swept up and reused too, and any concrete tiles that don’t pass our rigorous quality standards get broken up and used elsewhere. Sand leftover from production gets incorporated to construction projects on site. Even the boxes we pack our finished tiles in are recyclable.

More of Nicaragua. Photo, Granada Tile.

We also avoid releasing toxins into the world around us. To cut down on our footprint, we use materials (sand, limestone and soapstone) from local sources, thereby limiting the amount of cardon dioxide released into the air from transport. We achieve slip resistance without the use of acid chemicals and use pigments from naturally occurring iron oxides. And our products never contain lead.

Finally, because we hold our cement tiles to such high quality standards, they last for decades. Should they ever be removed, our concrete tiles can be broken up and reused for paving.

So when you’re considering a tile installation of your own, consider Granada Tile’s cement tiles. Not only are they beautiful and versatile, they’re also made with the best interests of our natural world in mind.





Nuts & Bolts: What to Look for When Choosing Cement Tile?

Let’s talk about the nitty gritty of concrete tiles. Every week, we share with you Granada Tile‘s cement tiles—giving you tile installation ideas and tile design tips and showing you some truly stunning tile photos. Doing this, we often point out why cement tiles are a great long-lasting choice for your next tile installation. But what makes concrete tiles so tough—and maybe more importantly—what should you look for when choosing cement tiles for your next tile project?

solid tiles

Cement tiles are a great choice for high-traffic spots such as shops and restaurants, such as the Bedhead Pajamas store in Manhattan designed by Hope Alexander. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

To begin with, it’s always best to see the concrete tiles you’re interested in up close and personal. It gives you the best possible sense of the look and feel of the product. (Don’t forget, you can order samples of some of our bestselling tile designs, as well as an Echo Collection color palette box.) When looking it, be sure to check and see if the tile’s thickness is uniform. Uneven tiles stem from inconsistencies during production and create uneven surfaces once installed. The design should be clear too—no smudging between areas of pattern, which happens when pigment is poured sloppily or into an improperly calibrated mold.

Bad tile

Inconsistencies in the production process can lead to design and structural flaws in cement tiles. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Colors should be consistent from tile to tile. Given their handmade nature, some slight variation is normal, but big differences aren’t. Major differences come from using poor-quality pigments or measuring the pigments inaccurately. The color layer should also be thick. If it’s not, it means that not enough color paste was poured into the mold. Uneven or chipped edges means the mixture was weak or quality control was poor—to keep the grout where it belongs (between the tiles not on top of them) the edges should be straight and clean. Finally, the cement tile should feel strong and solid. If it feels crumbly, it probably is, due to too much sand in the mixture or inconsistent hydraulic pressure.

high-quality cement tile

High-quality cement tiles will have crisp edges and an equally crisp design; the color layer will be thick. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

A couple of factors are hard to determine on sight. The wrong ratio of sand to cement will result in weaker cement tiles that won’t be nearly as durable, and cheap pigments may cause colors to fade.

If you’re in doubt, be sure to request engineering test reports, including Abrasion Resistance, Absorption, and Coefficient of friction. These are performed by outside companies and are based on uniform standards.

Of course it pays to bear in mind that cement tiles are handmade and not mass-produced. As a result, there will be slight variations from tile to tile and from high-quality producer to high-quality producer. That’s what makes handcrafted cement tiles so special and so unique.


Get Inspired: Perfect Circles

Spend a few minutes on Granada Tile‘s interactive Echo Collection Web site, and you’ll see that we love pattern and we love color in our tile designs. Spend a little more time, and you’ll see that we really love concrete tiles with abstract and geometric forms too. There are the bold triangles of Khufu, the varied squares of our flagship Fez or our Rabat tile design. Today, though, we wanted to draw your attention to Io, Leda, Metis, Europa and Athens. If you’re up on your Greek mythology and history, you’ll see they all have names inspired by the country. You’ll also notice that they share a similar round sensibility.

Take Io, for example. The tile design takes its name from the story of the priestess of Hera, who was changed into a heifer by her seducer, Zeus. Our version of Io is anything but bovine. Instead, it’s a lovely tile design that features a single circle within a circle on each tile. It’s a simple pattern that would make a lovely kitchen tile installation for a tile backsplash in a contemporary house.


Simple circles within circles mark our Io tile design, part of the Echo Collection of cement tiles. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Leda (the name’s derived from yet another Zeus/animal seduction story) features a similar circle-within-a-circle tile concept, but the cement tile design tweaks the idea just a bit. Instead of being squarely in the center of the concrete tile, the circles are placed off-center. it adds just a bit of extra visual flair perhaps in a bathroom tile installation.


Try changing the orientation of the tiles in your tile installation for an even more dynamic look. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Further building on the theme of inset circles is the tile design dubbed Metis, after one of Zeus’s wives. The tile design includes four small circles-within-circles. To add some extra interest to your tile design, varying or alternating the colors in the pattern would be an effective tool.


Our Metis tile design packs four inset circles into each tile for an elegant look. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

With an all-over pattern of open circles, our Europa tile design has a distintive, animated quality that’s thoroughly modern. We love how the circles just barely touch each other and that they’re laid out in an off-set pattern, giving it a fun sense of motion. This is a tile design, though, that could be totally re-imagined and reinterpreted by playing around with our custom palettes.


The all-over circles off-set from each other in our Europa tile design make for an animated tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Last but not least is our Athens tile design. The only one named for a city and not a mythological character, the the pattern is also the only one to incorporate another design element besides the circle. In the tile design, the circle interlock with one another and at the corners, square elements appear. If you look closely, the interlocking circles also form these square elements, making for a very visually complex tile design.


For a stunning and unusual tile installation, try including our Athens tile design with one or two or more of our other tile designs to create quilt-like tile installation. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Their names might be inspired by ancient Greece, but these tile designs are anything but stodgy. Instead the range captures a fun, playful spirit that would work well in a host of tile installations and in environments that lean modern or contemporary. Experiment with them, and see what you can make of these wonderful tile designs.

Checking In: A Busy February of Cement Tile on Share Designs

If it’s the beginning of the month so that can mean only one thing: a quick check in with our fellow tile-lovers over on Granada Tile‘s Share Designs page, our social site for tile-philes. We’re always surprised and delighted by what we find there—your tile design skills are truly remarkable, and we can’t get enough of your experiments with the patterns, shapes and colors of our Echo Collection of cement tiles.

First up, a really stunning interpretation of our Parla tile design. In two colors, Parla looks a bit like a checkerboard knocked askew with its pattern of squares set just slightly at angles. William Rabe’s take on the design gives it a whole new look, because he incorporates three colors: a neutral hue and two shades of blue. The result is a remarkable tile design that has depth, visual complexity and an almost three-dimensional quality.


In William Rabe’s take on Parla, the tile design goes from angular to sinuous with the use of three colors. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

We seem to be especially smitten with blue tile designs this month, so it stands to reason that Cathleen Davidson’s really phenomenal take on St. Tropez would catch our eye. Often, we see it interpreted with a light ground, but Cathleen went the other direction, instead choosing a dark blue. It makes the delicate floral elements really pop.

By adding a dark blue ground to our St. Tropez tile design, Cathleen Davidson creates a strong, elegant statement. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

February definitely saw people playing around with some of our more geometric designs. Case in point: the provocatively named used Black Moon had a fantastic interpretation of Burgos. It’s a favorite of ours in large part because it has an M.C. Escher–like quality that can’t be beat. It’s also frequently used in just two shades, but Black Moon opted for three—a couple neutrals and then a pop of green for a really interesting exploration of the tile design.


Color brings another dimension to our Burgos tile design. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Be sure to experiment with Granada Tile’s interactive Echo Collection catalogue, and be sure to browse the tile installation ideas on Share Designs before you start your next tile installation project—be it for kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles or wall tiles. It’s a great place for inspiration. And, don’t forget to create your own Share Designs account. Your tile designs might get featured here someday soon.