Installation Equation: Cement Tile Sets the Bar High

No matter where you live (or where your clients might live for that matter), Granada Tile‘s sensational cement tile is right at home. Have a Spanish-style place in Southern California? Well, your tile back splash would look terrific in one of our Echo Collection favorites. What about a contemporary pad in Colorado? Echo Collection favorites would certainly be a jazzy bathroom tile choice. Krista Schwartz, the principal designer and co-founder of Indicia Interior Design and Furnishings, a Saint Paul, Minnesota–based firm, thought our concrete tiles would be a great match for a recent project too.

Krista initially discovered the cement tiles after a colleague had run across an image  and shared the photo with her. “I jumped online and ordered samples,” she says. Samples procured, she was ready the moment the perfect project came along, which it recently did—in the bar area of a Minnesota house.

Krista Schwartz bar area

Cluny’s bold pattern is a great foil for the other strong materials and furnishings in a bar area of a Minnesota house. Image courtesy Krista Schwartz/Indicia Interior Design and Furnishings.

“We wanted a bold pattern to set off the bar area—something to make a statement,” says Krista, who describes her clients as a fun couple who wanted to strike a balance with a tile design that leaned neither too masculine or too feminine. She found it with our Cluny concrete tile design. For Krista and her clients, it was the perfect match to cover a wall in the transitional style space.  Not to mention, “The scale of pattern was wowza with what we needed,” she delightedly adds.

We’re delighted to report that Krista and her clients couldn’t be happier with the results—not to mention their guests, who single out the cement tile as a favorite. We’re also thrilled that she’s considering cement tile for future projects too!


Short History of Cement Tiles

In 711 the Moors invaded Spain and several decades later they managed to conquer not only Spain, but also southern Portugal. They soon introduce Islam, and in time a Moorish-Spanish culture develops. The domination of the Moor culture, especially in architecture, is clearly seen even today. Visit the Alhambra Palace and witness the walls of beautifully decorated multi-colored tile.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the use of cement tile has become extremely popular among the wealthiest citizens of Barcelona. It is at a time when Art Nouveau is at its peak. Architects and designers alike created unique cement tiles that become increasingly more popular throughout other southern European countries.

The beginning of the twentieth century marks the time when cement tiles begin being utilized throughout Europe and eventually throughout the world. The heyday of the cement tile comes to a sad end in the 1950s as more industrial and cheaper products become available. This marks the age of granite, ceramic and plastic.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we have seen a resurgence of demand for the cement tile. The demand for authentic and sustainable tiles continues to rise. This renewed enthusiasm came about, in part, due to the concern about the strain on the environment caused by the production of industrially produced products. That is, people were looking for ways to go greener. The materials used in cement tiles are both environmentally sustainable and friendly. More and more designers and consumers alike are utilizing cement tiles with their high quality and decorative elements.

Installation Equation: Fez for a Bathroom Tile Installation

We love Fez and so do Granada Tile‘s clients (not to mention editors, given some of our most recent press coverage). From the beginning, it has been one of our Echo Collection‘s perennial favorites because it looks right at home in so many settings. Got a contemporary kitchen? Fez looks fabulous in the back splash. Got a Spanish-style kitchen? Fez looks great there too!

It’s no surprise, then, that Fez looks great in bathroom tile installations too. Today, we’re thrilled to share a project from one of our favorite collaborators—Barbara Bestor. Longtime cement tile-philes will immediately recognize her name, since she’s the mind behind the fabulous cement tile installation at Intelligentsia in Silver Lake, featuring, you guessed it, Fez.

This time around, she used Fez in a bathroom tile installation. For the project, she created a seamless transition from floor to shower with a walk-in stall so nothing breaks up the continuous run of cement tiles. Using a blue-and-white color combination, the floor tiles pick up the blue of the vanity, which is topped with marble. The overall effect, with the wood beam ceiling and sleek finish on the vanity is one of rich texture.

Bestor Fez bathroom

Barbara Bestor incorporated our Fez cement tile design into a bathroom, creating a seamless look. Tile photo courtesy Bestor Architecture.

And speaking of Fez, we’re delighted that a tile installation featuring our sensational cement tiles has been generating lots of buzz! The bar and floor tiles—in our beloved Fez pattern—at the new Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, which we showed you a while back, got a shout-out in the Desert Sun this week. Spoiler alert: They love our fabulous concrete tile! Be sure to read the article and see why more and more folks are falling in love with our cement tiles.


Breaking News: Sensational Cement Tile Makes a Debut

Over the past several years, Granada Tile‘s sensational cement tiles have graced the pages of some of the top design magazines in the United States (and the world for that matter). Now, we’re delighted to announce that our concrete tiles have made yet another appearance in print. This time they’re featured in Traditional Home—marking the first time Granada Tile’s cement tile has appeared there. As you can imagine, we couldn’t be happier!

For the magazine’s 2014 issue, the New + Next column includes our flagship Echo Collection cement tile design, Fez, one of 25 items picked as “bucket list” design ideas.You know, the things you can’t live without—and make your life just a little bit more stylish and beautiful? We’re in great company, among fabulous chandeliers and heirloom-worthy tea sets. In our case, Traditional Home‘s editors singled out Granada Tile’s amazing cement tile as a great way to create a distinctive look for your back splash or floor—not to mention your walls.

Fez Traditional Home

Granada Tile’s Fez cement tile design appears in the May 2014 of Traditional Home. It’s our first appearance in their pages and we couldn’t be happier!

We’re thrilled that they chose a custom colorway (creams and greens) to feature, because it highlights just how much you can make our cement tile designs uniquely yours. If you’re interested in customizing your own concrete tile design, we’ve got lots of tools to do it. For starters, experiment with our interactive Echo Collection catalogue to find just the right cement tile for your tile installation. Then, play around with your palette: go neutral, go monochromatic or go wild. It’s up to you—for us, it’s all about helping you realize your unique vision for your next tile installation, be it a kitchen back splash, bathroom floor tile installation or a dramatic wall tile installation.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


While Backsplash Materials Can Consist of Marble and Metal, Cement Tile Backsplashes are Popular Due to the Many Benefits

A backsplash is a feature seen in bathrooms and kitchens that serve as both functional and decorative. And while backsplash materials can consist of marble and metal, cement tile backsplashes are popular due to the many benefits.

The tile backsplash creates a protective shield over the wall in your kitchen or bathroom that prevents damage from spills and food splatterings. Just think about the activities that occur in your kitchen. The sheer amount of time people spend hovering over the kitchen sink splashing water or straining pasta is too much to keep track. Then someone comes along and smears a dirty sponge on the wall behind the sink in a naive, but goodwill gesture attempting to clean it. How many times have you utilized a greasy or dirty sponge in an impossible attempt to clean your walls? Tile is so much easier to clean and keep clean. Even that dirty sponge is enough to remove food spatter from tile. A clean kitchen is indeed a healthy kitchen.

Tiles come in a handy size for relatively simple installation. Our point is that you really don’t need an advanced degree or years of contracting skills to install tile. After all, anybody can do it after a watching a few “how to’s” on YouTube.

Backsplash tiles are available in a wide range of colors and styles. Turn that dull, boring kitchen into something exciting by just installing a colorful backsplash. Martha Stewart would be proud. Now pat yourself on the back and grab a beer in celebration.


Breaking News: See Sensational Cement Tile in Food & Wine

Food & Wine

It’s true! Granada Tile‘s cement tile is part of the zeitgeist! We started noticing it at the beginning of the year, when Apartment Therapy called cement tile one of the top bathroom trends for 2014, and the love hasn’t stopped. Add the editors of Food & Wine Magazine to the list of folks who’ve noticed concrete tile and say it’s an exciting thread in contemporary design.

This time around, Food & Wine singled out our sensational cement tile in one of our all-time favorite cement tile installations (and one that we figure has probably launched dozen of projects by now, if you hear our clients tell it)—Intelligentsia Coffee in Silver Lake, which features our flagship cement tile design, Fez, from our Echo Collection. Now open for over five years, the chic spot, designed by our dear client Barbara Bestor, continues to win fans because of its incredible design.

Food & Wine Fez

Granada Tile’s Fez cement tile design, from our flagship Echo Collection, continues to win fans as seen in the May 2014 issue of Food & Wine.

Food & Wine was taken in particular with our  stunning blue-and-white tile in their “Trendspotting” feature, noting that cement tiles are gaining popularity in restaurant and cafés, as designers and clients move away from bland and basic poured concrete. Instead, cement floor tiles add vibrance, color and pattern to the spaces, making what’s under your feet as compelling as what’s on the walls or being served. Add to their great looks, amazing durability and superior quality, and you’ve got a product that will hold up in busy dining spots.

Of course, Fez isn’t just great for restaurants and cafés. Longtime fans of Granada Tile will know that Fez is a fabulous option for those kitchen floors or backsplashes and, of course, is absolutely aces in bathroom tile installations. Any where you want to bring a little pattern and color, next time consider cement tile.


Installation Equation: Cement Tile Makes a Graphic Statement in a Portland Kitchen

At Granada Tile, we love love love it when you share your completed cement tile installations with us. We have to admit it makes us feel a bit like proud parents watching our children make a splash. A big reason why we love it so much is because of how incredibly diverse the projects are. From chicly traditional to smartly contemporary, the range of our clients’ creativity is mind boggling. Recently, our client Jessica Helgerson Interior Design shared an absolutely sensational kitchen with us that we’re thrilled to show you.

Located in an historic 1926 Portland, Oregon, condominium building, the project involved a major re-imagining of the space. The firm, with project manager Em Shephard leading the way, removed a wall between a narrow galley kitchen, with just one window, and an adjacent family room, to create an expansive and dynamic room.

Badajoz kitchen

In a kitchen remodel in a Portland, Oregon, condominium, project manager Em Shephard and her colleagues at Jessica Helgerson Interior Design conceived a bold, graphic space with a knockout cement tile floor composed of Granada Tile’s Badajoz cement tile design. Photograph, Lincoln Barbour/courtesy Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.

We’re absolutely dazzled by the transformation. The expanded space is light and airy even with a big dose of black in the mix. It all works because sun floods in from the generous windows and the walls are a crisp white, while the ceilings are high, furthering the feeling of openness. Grounding the kitchen and bringing smashing pattern to the space is our Badajoz cement tile design from the Echo Collection for the floor tiles, laid out in a stunning cross pattern. While the elements are traditional, the entire room feels fresh and contemporary.

Love Badajoz? You won’t be surprised to hear that it’s incredibly versatile as are all of Granada Tile‘s concrete tile designs. Change up the palette and experiment cement tile layout designs using our interactive tools on our Web site.