Living History: A Stroll on Egypt

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Quick. Name the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Egypt. It was pyramids, right? Or maybe pharaohs? Cement tile, unless, of course, you’re us here at Granada Tile, didn’t make the top three, let alone the top 20. Concrete tile, though, has a long and rich tradition in Egypt. Today, we’ll take you on a tour in tile photos of another facet of Egyptian design. As is the case with historic cement tile found around the rest of the world, a vast amount of the concrete tile installations in Egypt date from the material’s salad days in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The tile designs themselves reflect decorative ideas popular throughout the world at the time rather than a particularly Egyptian look. Up first is a great tile installation from Cairo. At first glance, the tile design seems simple—just a pattern of vary triangles and squares in various colors. Look more closely, though, and you realize just how detailed the tile layout is and how sophisticated the palette. We love tile installations that ask you to study them in order to appreciate how marvelous they are.

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 A simple tile installation on closer inspection reveals layers of geometric complexity. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Often, the cement tile installations we share with you are decidedly geometric, but every once in a while we run across a few that are less abstract. That’s the case with a stunning tile installation also in Cairo—a lovely tile carpet just five tiles across. The design features stylized flowers bordered in with a vine design in a fresh, springy palette of greens, pinks and yellows.

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 A stunning floral carpet of cement tile rendered in fresh, spring-like colors. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Last but not least, we thought another Cairo cement tile design was especially lovely and unusual. Rather than having a tile installation featuring a central decorative tile design surrounded by a border, this particular example features five parallel courses of tile with daisy motifs. It’s unusual and unexpected and might make for a fantastic cement tile installation idea for your own project.

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 Long courses of a daisy-chain like pattern appear in a tile carpet in Cairo. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Check back in a few weeks, when we’ll show you how to get the look of Egyptian cement tiles in your own tile installations. If you can’t wait, visit our interactive Echo Collection catalogue to get some tile design ideas in the meantime. [subscribe2]

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