Cement Tiles Around the World (Infographic)

Cement Tiles Around the World (Infographic)


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New Nicaragua Hotel Meson Nadi Includes Granada Tile Company’s Cement Tiles

Located in Playa Santana, just a short distance from Granada Tile Company’s cement tile factory, Meson Nadi, a boutique hotel, balances contemporary style and traditional Nicaraguan elements — including many examples of our striking cement tile patterns — to stunning effect:Alhambra-MesonNadi-bathroom-backsplash-Granada-Cement-TileAlhambra cement tile for a soothing backsplashFez-MesonNadi-bathroom-backsplash-Granada-Cement-TileFez cement tile pops against stark grey cementFez-MesonNadi-shower-niche-Granada-Cement-TileFez encaustic tile in the shower Fez-MesonNadi-sink-floor-Granada-Cement-Tile Serengeti-MesonNadi-bathroom-floor-Granada-Cement-TileA floor of Serengeti concrete tiles dazzles while, below, Toscano cement tile is a nod to old world styleToscano-MesonNadi-bathroom-backsplash-Granada-Cement-TileNo wonder Vogue.com named Meson Nadi of the top ten Instagrammable hotels in the world! The qualities that make Granada Tile’s cement tiles the choice of award-winning hotels, popular coffee shops and hot restaurants around the country — along with their beautiful designs and vivid colors, our concrete tile is long lasting, easy care and low maintenance — are the same ones that make it perfect for your home tile project, whether used as patio tile, porch tile, kitchen floor tile, kitchen backsplash tile, bathroom tile, shower tile or laundry room tile. Start by visiting our cement tile shop to peruse our large selection of in-stock handmade master-crafted cement tiles. Many of our most popular concrete tile designs, like the Fez encaustic tile and the Serengeti concrete tile pictured above, are in stock and ready to ship out to you immediately! Not sure which of our over 400 patterns to pick? We’d be delighted to help you chose the perfect design to accentuate the beauty of your project. Call us today at 213-788-4238 to discuss which of our encaustic tile designs would be best. We’re sure you’ll fall in love with them before the grout even dries!



Get the Look: Cement Tiles Inspired by Antique Cement Tiles of Nicaragua

Yesterday, we showed you some more incredible cement tile photos snapped while  Marcos and Melanie have traveled around Nicaragua. As you might expect, some of these antique tile designs have made their way into Granada Tile’s own tile designs. Today, we’re thrilled to show you how you can bring the look of of some Nicaraguan tile designs into your own tile installation project.

First up, Tangier. It’s a design that takes its cues in part from the tile design spotted in a Nicaragua hotel. It’s an abstract tile design that lends itself to a large palette of hues. You can play around indefinitely with it—try going for contrasting colors or mute its boldness by choosing a mix of similar shades. It’s a great concrete tile design for tile installations both large and small.

Tangier cement tile design

With its rich, abstract pattern, Tangier has an almost quilt-like effect. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

For a riff on the tile design found at the Gran Francia hotel in Granada, Nicaragua, look no further than our Montalcino tile design. It captures the same delicate beauty found in the antique tile design with its small sprigs of flowers dotting the central quatrefoils. There are echoes of Italy (hence its name) combined with the strong flavor of Central America.


A floral design fits inside the trellis pattern of Montalcino, which brings a bit of Italy—and Nicaragua—to cement tile. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Star-type patterns are a classic the world over, so it’s no surprise that Melanie and Marcos would come across one in Nicaragua, this time at the Hotel Dario. We’ve got several to choose from at Granada Tile, which incorporate a star design in various interpretations. A great choice would be Calais, an eight-by-eight cement tile design that’s simple and elegant. It uses just a star pattern with small squares at the corners. To amp up the look, try varying the colors of the star points or the corner squares. Try it, when you’re looking for something with a bit less pattern.


A simple star pattern is a great tile design choice when you’re looking for a simple, elegant tile installation.

For more tile installation ideas, visit our historic tile design pages. We’ve got plenty more lovely images of antique tile from Nicaragua, not to mention other stunning concrete tiles from all over the world.

Breaking News: Echo Collection Cement Tiles at Rancho Santana

Nicaragua has no shortage of amazing scenery. There’s the Pacific on one side. The Caribbean on the other. The two largest freshwater lakes in Central America in between. Not to mention stunning inland areas rich with plant and animal life. It’s in these magical surroundings where Granada Tile‘s president and co-founder, Marcos Cajina, grew up. Here, too amidst the glorious scenery, is a wonderful new concrete tile installation featuring some of our most recent cement tile designs.

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, the residential community of Rancho Santana offers an extraordinary experience. Residents can enjoy fishing, snorkeling and world-class surfing. There are nature trails and horseback tours. Even a market to stock up on essentials. The community’s planners didn’t overlook the social, though, with a sprawling clubhouse and restaurant that serves as a hub for residents and guests. That’s where our tile designs come in.

Your first glimpse of Granada Tile’s striking cement tiles comes outside. Lining a covered walkway is a tile installation featuring our Salamanca tile design (our Bursa Border, a fun, tile design of interlocking zigzags surrounds the tile carpet). It’s a pattern, with hints of classic Spanish design, that strikes just the right note against the round arches and brick and rough-hewn stone of the architecture.

The lively starburst pattern of our Salamanca tile design animates a covered walkway at Rancho Santana. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

One of our more recent tile designs finds a home at Rancho Santana’s clubhouse too. Santiago, a chic quatrefoil pattern stars as wall tiles in a clubhouse bathroom. In shades of green and yellow, it too echoes the stunning lanscape just outside. As with the the floor tiles outside, a strip of our Bursa Border tile design runs above the rest of the bathroom tiles. It’s a lively, bold effect for the small room.

The clubhouse’s designers chose one of our newer tile designs, Santiago, for the wall tiles in a bathroom at Rancho Santana. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

No matter where you are—a chic cafe in Los Angeles or a dazzling resort on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast—you never know where you’ll spot a Granada Tile installation. Stay tuned for more dazzling tile pictures coming soon!

Get the Look: Bringing Granada, Nicaragua, to You

Last week we showed you some amazing historical cement tile in Granada, Nicaragua—this week, we’ll share with you how to bring a little of that flavor into your own project. It’s not surprising, considering Granada Tile not only takes its name from the city but quite a bit of our concrete tile design inspiration comes from there too! We’ve rounded up a few of our cement tile designs below that show you how to capture the look of Granada.

Say you love the concrete tile pattern on the floor of the Granada Cultural Center. It’s the palette that grabs you, along with the geometry of the strapwork.

A sunburst and strapwork pattern at the Granada Cultural Center. Image, Granada Tile.

For your own project, try Granada Tile’s bold 10-by-10-inch Malaga-1022, a concrete tile pattern from our flagship Echo Collection. When rendered in silver, white, yellow and coral, it’s a perfect match for the cement tiles on the Cultural Center’s floor. Of course, you can customize it—selecting your own color scheme.

Capture the striking strapwork pattern at the Granada Cultural Center with our cement tile Malaga-1022. Image, Granada Tile.

Did you love the circles, flowers, and the soft, rosy tones of the covered arcade along Granada’s Central Plaza?

Rosy hues cover the floor of an outdoor arcade by the Central Plaza. Image, Granada Tile.

Choose our concrete tile pattern Bordeaux-20 offers a similar mix of circles and stylized flowers and then opt for reds and pinks.

In pink and red hues, Bordeaux echoes the design found in Granada. Image, Granada Tile.

In a more modern vein, you can recreate the dizzying, monochromatic effect found in a Granada sitting room.

A monochromatic palette creates a dizzying geometric effect. Image, Granada Tile.

Maldon-453 offers a similarly bold look when the triangles composing the pattern are done in a gray-scale.

The geometric beauty of Maldon. Image, Granada Tile.

Of course, you can always try out your own ideas with our interactive Echo Collection catalogue to see how you can get the look!

Living History: Granada, Nicaragua

At just 10 years old, Marcos Cajina set out to explore his native Nicaragua on his own. He wanted to see Lake Nicaragua, the world’s twentieth largest lake, and explore its many inlets. On his travels, he came across the brilliantly colored cement tiles that, since the 19th century, lined surfaces in spaces public and private all around the country. Fast forward to 2001. Marcos and his wife, Melanie Stephens, live in Los Angeles. Those concrete tiles he first saw all those years ago still stand out in his mind, so he builds his own hydraulic press in his basement and starts creating his own cement tiles. Experiments with processes and materials follow, and he and Melanie head to France for an intensive research trip. By 2004 they establish production facilities in Nicaragua, and Granada Tile (named after the city on the shores of Lake Nicaragua where Marcos learned about cement tile) begins rolling the Echo Collection off the presses.

The floor at the Granada Cultural Center that started it all! Image, Granada Tile.

With production facilities still located in Nicaragua, Marcos and Melanie return often to the country and get a chance to take in the amazing tiles that cover so many surfaces around the city. There’s the 19th-century floor at the Granada Cultural Center—the floor that planted the image of cement tile in Marcos’s mind as a child—with simple, elegant pattern of strap work and stars. The palette is limited, yet it pops against the creamy hues of the stone and masonry around it.

Cement tiles abound outdoors in Granada, Nicaragua. Image, Granada Tile.

Outside, too, boasts plenty of cement tile. Paving a walkway of an exterior arcade in the city’s Central Plaza, a vibrant mix of tiles of predominantly pink and deep red provide a zesty contrast with the bold yellow of the building next to it.

A geometric pattern in a Granada sitting room creates an Escher-like effect. Image, Granada Tile.

Surprising cement tile finds pop up around the city. In a sitting room, monochromatic concrete tiles laid in a complex pattern create a striking, dizzying three-dimensional effect. The look departs from the more traditional designs and palettes found elsewhere in the city, but the impact is just as strong.

It’s little wonder Marcos fell in love with cement tiles—in Granada, their lure is irresistible.

Breaking News: Rustico Takes Center Stage in Nicaragua

Have you heard about Granda Tile‘s Rustico Tile Collection? Just like our flagship Echo Collectionof cement tile, the Rustico Tile Collection is made of concrete, so it’s tough and beautiful—evoking the warm tones, rich textures and timeless beauty of terracotta. And, given our painstaking manufacturing process, each and every cement Rustico Collection tile is unique! The cement tiles come in a variety of shapes and colors, from simple squares to more complex picket combinations.

Our classic Hexagon pattern in a large size. Image, Granada Tile.

Recently, several clients in Nicaragua, where we have a manufacturing facility, have chosen concrete tiles from the Rustico Tile Collection as their go-to flooring—inside and out. Mixing color, shape and even installation style, the homes are a tribute to the Rustico Tile Collection’s amazing versatility.

For a contemporary residence in a Spanish-style vein, the clients opted for square cement tiles from the Rustico Collection. Lining a pathway around the house, the classic design suggests cobbled walks and complements the house’s traditional architecture, while at the same time being very much of the moment.

Square tiles from the Rustico Collection line a pathway. Image, Granda Tile.

Using two sizes of cement tile from the Rustico Tile Collection indoors creates an entirely different mood for another Nicaragua house. By alternating large reddish squares and small black squares of concrete tile, the contrasting effect adds a note of rustic charm to the space.

Rustico for a spectacular pool deck. Image, Granada Tile.

Now Nicaragua is rightly famed for it’s breathtaking landscapes. There are the jungles teeming with myriad plants and animals, along with two coasts’ worth of ocean views. We’re delighted that our concrete tile graces the deck around a pool overlooking the sea. The large-scale cement tiles frame the infinity-edge pool on two sides, helping to lend to the illusion of the water seamlessly dropping into blue depths below. Though understated, the size of the concrete tiles, their color and their sensuous texture enhance the drama of the space.

Rustico for a spectacular pool deck. Image, Granada Tile.

These are marvelous houses—made even better with cement tiles from Granada Tile! If you’ve recently used Granada Tiles in a project, please don’t forget to share your images with us.

Begin at the Beginning

Marcos building first hydraulic press

Marcos Cajina, Granada Tile's Founder and President, building his first hydraulic press

Welcome to the first ever Granada Tile blog. I have agonized about where to start. Should I show you pictures of the glorious floors of Granada, Nicaragua that inspired us to revive the fine art of cement tiles? Or should I regale you with exciting modern installations of our tiles in homes and restaurants and hotels? Should I profile the designers and architects and homeowners we have worked with? I finally realized that we would get to all of that in due course, but for now, I should begin at the beginning.

Marcos Cajina started Granada Tile in 2001 when he built a hydraulic press in his basement while living in Los Angeles and running an adult literacy organization. He spent several months learning how to replicate the tiles by experimenting with a variety of methods and materials. Soon, the ever-adventurous Marcos and his wife Melanie Stephens set off to France to further research the origins of the tiles. They visited public buildings and old estates to see the works of art in person and dug through specialty libraries to find texts about the origins of the cement tile production process. In 2004, Marcos set up production in Managua, Nicaragua with his nephew and hired skilled master craftsmen to create the Echo Collection.