Living History: Taking in the Cement Tiles of Spain


Spain, like its neighbor to the north, France, has a long tradition of tile—both the ceramic and cement varieties. Add the Moorish influence, especially in the southern part of the country, and the result is a rich, beautiful legacy of tile design. On their travels around the globe, Granada Tile‘s Melanie and Marcos have made stops in Spain for inspiration and research. Today, we’ll show you some fabulous cement tile pictures from Spain and give you a few tips on how to the bring the look into your own home! In Granada, Spain, home to the Alhambra, Melanie and Marcos ran across a stunning cement tile installation on a floor. It has a classic tile design that evokes the great, complex tile installations of Morocco and elsewhere, in a surprising palette of grays and yellows.

A trip to Ronda, also in southern Spain, yielded several delightful cement tile discoveries. One tile installation Marcos and Melanie spied happened to be part of a shop floor—a blue and white checkerboard tile design broke up the expanse of reddish rectangle tiles. Our own checkerboard Alicante tile design would perfectly replicate the store’s cement tiles.

Melanie and Marcos loved the coiled motif on a concrete tile door surround. It’s an ancient pattern that suggests Roman mosaic decoration (and fitting since the current city of Ronda traces its history back to Roman times).

One of the cement tile high points on the trip to Ronda was a floor tile installation in a building’s small lobby. The tile design is traditional and makes a dramatic impact. It puts us in mind of our own tile design Bordeaux, which has a similar pattern and can be customized to match the gray and burgundy palette. It would be a lovely choice for kitchen tile or bathroom tile.

On your next trip to Spain, don’t forget to look up, down and around. You can be sure to spot some wonderful old concrete tiles around the country—a beautiful reminder of design traditions past, present and future. [subscribe2]


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