Living History: A Stroll through the Cement Tiles of Brazil


When you think of Brazil, the natural beauty of the Amazon and the man-made glamour of Carnival immediately spring to mind. They may be wholly different animals, but they have one thing in common: color. Lots of it. The vivid hues of the jungle and its flora and fauna. The bright shades of the floats and costumes. For us at Granada Tile, Brazil also means phenomenal cement tile, which captures the lively, bright spirit of the country. There’s a little something for every tile lover there—from lovely, traditional tile designs to more mod, contemporary styles. First up: a stop at Confeitaria Columbo, a pastry shop with a rich history located right in the middle of Rio de Janeiro. For well over a century, it has been the go-to spot for artists, writers and politicians who flock to it. Designed to rival the elegance of Parisian patisseries, its décor features elaborate concrete floor tiles.

 Established to rival the patisseries of Paris, with a design to match (featuring cement floor tiles), Confeitaria Columbo is in in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

More concrete tiles can be found at the Iglesia da Gloria, also in Rio. In a quiet color scheme befitting a church, the tile installation nonetheless add a lovely visual dimension to the neoclassical lines of the the building. The geometric design offers a treat for for the eyes.

 Iglesia da Gloria, also in Rio, also features cement tiles in a sober gray, white and red palette. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

While traveling in Brazil, we also ran across some really fantastic examples of patchwork cement tile designs, which seems to capture the essential spirit of the country. In the northeastern state of Bahia, we happened upon a carpet of cement tiles in Salvador laid out in a patchwork pattern. Mixed together, they’re an unexpected and joyful tile installation.

 Even outside Rio, cement tiles turn up, such as the fun patchwork floor in Salvadora. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

This has to be one of our favorite tile designs we discovered in Brazil: floor tiles in a pattern of alternating yellow and gray stripes and zigzags. It lines a sidewalk that stretches the length of a short street in São Paulo. Along it you’ll find chic restaurants and shops—the bold pattern makes it an even more fashionable destination.

 A pattern of alternating geometries lines a sidewalk in Sao Paulo. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

For more tile photos from Brazil, head over to our installation gallery, where you can take in more of the country’s outstanding cement tile. If you’re headed there yourself, don’t forget to pay special attention to the ground and the walls—you never know when you’ll see some fantastic concrete tile. Be sure to take some photos, too! We love to see tile pictures from your travels. 


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