Installation Equation: A Patchwork of Santander in San Francisco

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Have we got an amazing cement tile installation for you today! It’s the work of Tim Balon, a San Francisco–based multi-hyphenate (he trained as an architect and has created amazing spaces that blend pattern and color in fresh, unexpected ways). The project was a gut renovation of a San Francisco Victorian that happened to include an addition of a new kitchen and dining room. Balon, it should be note here, is always on the look out for tile having developed a particular affinity for cement tile on travel abroad (he also collects the stuff). He ran across Granada Tile‘s cement tiles the way a lot of our clients do. “I went to Intellgentsia and saw the tile.” he says, recalling our Fez tile design in the Barbara Bestor–designed LA cafe.

Santander San Francisco
Granada Tile’s Santander cement tile design lends pattern and texture to a kitchen addition in a San Francisco Victorian. Tile photo, Tim Balon.

After being a fan, he got a chance to use them in the Bay Area project. The new kitchen is deeply contemporary, belying its Victorian roots, with sleek, bright white cabinets and a center island covered with a pale, minty green stone top. “It was clean and stark, so I wanted something bold and graphic to break it up,” he says. That’s where our concrete tiles come in. He opted for our Santander tile design, a pattern of wide diagonal stripes. However, he did not opt to install them with a rigorous geometry. Instead, the tile backsplash features the concrete tiles installed in a dynamic patchwork. They even reflect against the stainless steel countertop below so the pattern repeats, contributing still more visual interest to the space as well lending a layer of more rustic texture in contrast to the smooth surfaces elsewhere. Balon’s experience points to the versatility of our cement tile designs. “You can get so much out of one simple pattern,” he says.

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