Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tile Backsplash Ideas for Modern Vanities


Maybe your bathroom is stuck in the 60s or maybe you just need to freshen things up a bit. The vanity backsplash serves both a functional and aesthetic purpose, adding decorative features to your bathroom while simultaneously protecting your walls from moisture. A backsplash allows you to personalize your bathroom with a style that mirrors your own taste, character, and lifestyle.


Red Bathroom Backsplash
Photography by highfithome

So how can we choose a backsplash for a modern vanity? By nature, modern design is chic, trendy, fashionable, and in vogue. Your options for backsplashes are wide-ranging, not only based on the materials available, but the orientation of the tiles, techniques used, and molding features. You can visit Trade Winds Imports to find unique, designer quality modern bathroom vanities.

Modern Bathroom Backsplash Ideas
There are many different types of backsplash ideas you can use in the bathroom.

Style of Decorative Tile Backsplash:
  • Handmade Cement Tile
  • Natural Stone Tile
  • Glass Tiles
  • Mosaic Tiles
  • Mirrored Backsplash Panels
  • Classic White Subway Tile
  • Metallic tiles
  • Themed Tiles
  • Classic White Subway Tiles
Matching Your Countertop
For vanities with travertine tops, you can match your counter with a travertine backsplash. Other materials, such as natural stone and synthetic stones like Phoenix stone, can also be complemented with a nice stone tile that matches the hues and patterns of your countertop. Dark Emperador, quartz, and marble are all ideal candidates for a gorgeous stone backsplash.


Modern Vanity with Cream Marble Top
The Corinth Vanity comes with an elegant cream marble counter top.
Handmade Cement Tile
Beautifully hand-crafted cement tile always creates a stunning effect. You can make your bathroom stand out by pulling together elements that mirror your personal preference. As an extra tip, tile to the ceiling to make your bathroom look bigger. This will accentuate the verticality of the room.

Glass Backsplash
Modern and contemporary vanities have an especially enticing visual appeal when paired with a glass backsplash. You can even have the back of the glass hand-painted to create a silky smooth finish that flickers with vibrant spectrums of light. Similarly, metallic tiles can bring in the same "flash" and eye-grabbing qualities.

Tiling Size & Patterns
As for shape and tile patterns, staying in line with modern design patterns will create a well-organized and uniform design. For modern applications, large tile typically creates the best effect. Less business and more simplistic and streamlined designs. Although you can experiment with laying tile diagonally in the shape of a diamond, a square tile pattern maintains the sharp edges that are characteristic of modern vanities. There are also a variety of techniques you can use including bullnose, cap, and cove.


White Subway Tile in the Bathroom
Classic White Subway Tiles. Photography by Urban Apartments

Conclusion: Tiling it All Together
Finding the right backsplash for a modern vanity adds the icing on the cake and can really help pull together the entire design. Remember to try these tips to keep tile costs down.

About the Author
Cheryl Khan is a Design Consultant at TradeWindsImports.com, a fellow community member of KBTribeChat. Cheryl is knowledgeable about all phases of home remodeling, including complete kitchen and bath renovations.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Support the Tile Heritage Foundation


"Tiles tell tales!" is the way Sheila A. Menzies, Executive Director of the Tile Heritage Foundation, explained it to me many years ago. As the year draws to a close and you consider year-end donations, don't forget about this amazing organization. They need your support and engagement!

Tile Heritage FoundationThe Tile Heritage Foundation (THF) is a well-run, non-profit organization that is benevolent and generous. The THF works tirelessly to validate both the art and craft of tile as a cultural treasure. As a national non-profit, THF is focused on keeping tile history, both past and present, publicly accessible in the THF Archives and with an online index. Since it was founded in 1987 by Sheila A. Menzies and Joe Taylor, this California-based non-profit has been supporting the preservation, history and appreciation of tile. This organization gives back to the tile community and works to preserve our tile heritage. Avente continues to proudly support their efforts and thanks the directors, staff and volunteers.


The Importance of Preserving our Tile Heritage

I admit, I love tile and it's one of the reasons I started Avente Tile. Tile can take you places and the story behind each tile is an important part of our culture. Shortly after I started Avente Tile, I remember Jorge Aguayo, of Aguayo Tile explaining that he had discovered many floors in disrepair while visiting Cuba. His goal was to preserve these amazing tile tapestries. He archived the Cuban tile patterns and colors found in homes and estates on the island. We are able to share that with you today with our Cuban Heritage line. If we don’t strive to preserve and record these amazing works of art, we lose so much in the collective history of who we are.


Cuban Tiles found in Old Havana and Camaguey are in disrepair
Cuban tiles found in Old Havana and Camaguey were in disrepair and nearly lost.
Photo Credit: Aguayo Tile

The Preservation of our Tile Heritage

The Tile Heritage Foundation promotes an awareness and appreciation of tiles in the United States. It provides consultation and research services, leads preservation efforts, and shares information about tile. Its library and research facility also offer a wealth of knowledge, including books and slides about ceramic tile surfaces, by providing historical perspective and depth on all ceramic surfacing materials. Because of these efforts, the organization now plays a major role in the preservation of rare existing ceramic installations. They promote contemporary tile work as well.

Detail of Sunflower Tiles on stair risers in Beverly Hills circa 1925.
Detail of sunflower tiles on stair risers in Beverly Hills circa 1925.
THF works to preserve significant historical tile installations.

THF Member Benefits

As a member of Tile Heritage, you become an advocate for the preservation of significant tile installations throughout the United States. You become a part of an international network of tile enthusiasts from around the globe! I can tell you this, it's a great group of people that really support each other. THF's archive, which is publicly accessible, offers information and examples about U.S. tile makers, business records of dealers and installers, historic catalogs, periodicals, and photography from the last 150 years.

Additionally:
  • You support the continued development of a unique library of information and archival materials that are available to the public for purposes of research, restoration and preservation.
  • You protect the Tile Heritage archives. This rich archive of tiles and related materials represent one of the largest public collections in the country! The tiles are available to galleries and museums for display and exhibitions as well as to members for personal examination.
  • You receive a free listing in the THF Resource Directory, which is revised annually and distributed nationally.
  • You receive Member discounts on selected merchandise, services and events.
  • Tile Heritage keeps you connected with impartial tile news, multiple tile resources nationwide, information about new and old tile discoveries, as well as special tile-related events.
I could go on about the great folks at the THF and the membership benefit; but, just visit www.tileheritage.org and discover what a great resource they are. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information.

 Most importantly, I encourage you to join Avente Tile in supporting this great organization with a donation.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Custom Commercial Cement Tile Inspiration


Customizable cement tiles used in various commercial installations.
Customizable cement tiles, from clockwise (top right), include: Traditional Melilla;
Classic Serengeti; Traditional Gran Cordoba; and Geometric 02 Cement Tile.

Handmade cement tiles are a great choice for commercial, hospitality, and retail spaces. Not only do these tiles deliver an unforgettable decorative impact, but because they are handmade, they can be customized to fit the client's needs, thanks to an extensive palette of colors. If it's inspiration you're craving for your next commercial design project, then make sure to view the dozens of images we've assembled within our Cement Tile Design Ideas section.

Whether a bold Cuban tile pattern in contrasting colors is specified, or a classic cement pattern in harmonizing colors is chosen, you and your client can be assured of a lifetime of usage and viewing enjoyment.

A cement tile mold acts as a blank canvas
A cement tile mold acts as a blank canvas for applying your creativity with customization.

Remember, our handmade cement tiles, which are also called encaustic cement tiles, are made one tile at a time using a method that has been in use for more than a century. It's because of this handmade process that varying amounts of customization is even possible. Of course, whether used as floor tile or wall tile, the long-lasting benefits of cement tile will positively impact and transform any space.

In the meantime, for more information about cement tile selection, installation tips, customization services, or available sizes, shapes and more, please see our new Guide to Buying Handmade Cement Tile.



Avente's Pinterest Board of Fireplaces and Hearths

Designing with Tile

fireplaces hearths

Avente's Pinterest Board for Christmas and Winter
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." - Edith Sitwell


Cement tiles work well for a fireplace or hearth. The warmth they exude is further enhanced by their ability to be customized to fit any décor, or to complement surrounding materials (such as wood, carpet, concrete, etc.). Our fireplace tile design ideas include both cement and ceramic tile installations using Avente's hand-crafted tiles. There is no better choice than tile when creating a decorative and visually appealing fireplace design.

Further enhancing their allure is the fact that cement tiles can be customized with any color from our Heritage Color Palette. After choosing colors, we recommend a "strike-off" or sample be made to verify the design on the tile before final production. Strike-offs can be shipped directly to you from the factory.

Remember, installing cement tile is a fairly simple process, but it must be done with care in order to achieve the best results. To fully enjoy the versatility of handmade cement tile, we recommend reading our Cement Tile Installation Guide. We are also proud to offer a complete line of Cement Tile Customization Services that will help you meet or exceed your design expectations. Our newly published Guide to Buying Handmade Cement Tile is an especially valuable resource to keep handy. Download a free copy here, and let the inspiration begin!

Let us know how we can assist you with your next project. Please feel free to call our offices at 888.739.4972 or email us at: info@AventeTile.com.



There is no better time than the Holidays to express our appreciation for your business and friendship. May all the joys of the season be yours.

Deer in Moonlight Mural - Rosewood
Deer in Moonlight Ceramic Tile Mural

Take 10% off any online order placed through January 2015. Use coupon code CHEERS.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cement Tile Patchwork Makes Kitchen Backsplash Sing


Patchwork tile floors and walls using encaustic cement tile are incredibly popular. Patchwork is a great way to add color and pattern to any room. The cheerful designs make you smile.

A cement tile patchwork design was used for this kitchen backsplash
A cement tile patchwork design was used for this kitchen backsplash.
Photo credit: Avente Customer, Laurie Suarez.

Last week, I received a call from our customer Laurie Suarez of in San Clemente, CA. She was interested in using our Bayahibe C for a powder room wall and wanted to know how much inventory we had. In February of this year, I worked with Laurie on a patchwork design for her kitchen backsplash. I couldn't help but ask her how the project came out. She told me she loved her kitchen. She explained, "The cement tile patchwork really provided the pop of color she wanted for her white kitchen." A few days later, she was kind enough to share these photos with me.

Cement tile patchwork designs provide a colorful focal point for this kitchen
Cement tile patchwork designs provide a colorful focal point for this kitchen
Image credit: Avente Customer, Laurie Saurez.

I have to agree, Laurie did a great job blending the different colors and patterns from our Traditional Cement Tile collection. While it may appear that a patchwork design is a random hodgepodge of tiles, it takes planning and smart choices to get the colors and patterns to make a design. Laurie admitted that she worked with several different layouts to achieve her design and that it took some time.

DESIGN TIP - Patchwork designs take planning to achieve a balanced layout with color and pattern. Try different layouts on paper. Print the layout you like best for your tile installer to use.

The use of quarter design patterns makes this cement tile patchwork unique
The use of quarter design patterns makes this cement tile patchwork unique.

You often seen patchworks in contemporary design. The large open space and clean lines of this architectural style allow a wall or floor to be the focal point for the spartan details. However, the use of complete quarter design patterns is rare for patchworks. Most often, only one of the four tiles in the quarter design is used so the pattern is not completed.

Laurie's kitchen has some contemporary design elements with its open layout. However, I think it offers a very traditional feel because of the details: the Quaker-style cabinetry with vintage steel pulls and pendant lights with reeded glass. What I love about Laurie's design and what makes it unique is that she almost exclusively uses quarter-design patterns. Additionally, she tastefully blends the colorful, eclectic look of patchwork with traditional details.

Cement tile patchwork designs take planning to achieve a balanced blending of color and pattern
Patchwork designs take planning to achieve a balanced blending of color and pattern
Photo credit: Avente Customer, Laurie Suarez.
When cement tile patchwork designs adorn a wainscot or backsplash, they provide a focal point that brightens the room. Laurie was also careful with her color palette. For the patterns, she used a blend of different blue and yellow shades on white backgrounds. To avoid a garish look, follow Laurie's cue and stick to a color palette. Kudos to Laurie for flawlessly executing her patchwork design. I love this kitchen!

You also should know that Laurie took the last of our Bayahibe C stock and will have it installed in her powder room wall. I can't wait to see the photos of that installation. Thank you Laurie for your business and sharing what you did. Nice job! Interested in using cement tile for next home improvement project? With a range of design possibilities, handmade cement tiles will transform any space. See our Guide to Buying Handmade Cement Tile to get started today!

Finally, during this week of Thanksgiving, all of us at Avente Tile are thankful for our wonderful customers who support us, work with us, and allow us to do what we love! Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Custom Cement Tile Pattern Creates Contemporary Clubhouse Charm


Despite hundreds of existing cement tile patterns, sometimes you just have to literally "break the mold." In the commercial design of this golf clubhouse, a simple contemporary design was created specifically for this environment.

Custom cement tile patterns. like this one for a clubhouse, provide limitless possibilities for commercial design.
Custom cement tile patterns, like this one for a clubhouse, provide limitless possibilities for commercial design.

The designer hit a hole in one with a custom pattern that speaks volumes about the flexibility of cement tile and how well it works in contemporary design.  The simplicity of the repeating golf ball pattern on different shades of verdant green is a simple, fun metaphor.


A detailed look at the custom cement tile pattern created exclusively for this clubhouse
A detailed look at the custom cement tile pattern created exclusively for this clubhouse.

The design places large cement tile rugs in the lounge and dining area of the clubhouse. The clean lines of contemporary design are found everywhere in the details - from the furniture to the floor.   The decision to use a custom cement tile pattern strategically on the floor is a smart choice. It creates intimate areas in the open, expanse of the room. Notice how nicely it pairs with the neutral, large-format natural stone flooring.

Cement tile rugs create cozy, intimate dining areas in the expanse of the room.
Cement tile rugs create cozy, intimate dining areas in the expanse of the room.

Cement tiles are created by pouring pigmented cement into a mold that creates the pattern on each tile. If the pattern is not a available in the factories repertoire of molds, it has to be created from scratch. Of course, there is additional cost and time to create a custom mold; but, the design will certainly be unique!

Existing cement tile molds. Custom patterns require a new mold to be created.
Existing cement tile molds. Custom patterns require a new mold to be created.

Want to see more photos of this commercial clubhouse installation? View the slideshow below, or click to see Cement Tile area a Hole in One for Greens.



Cement tiles provide flexibility for commercial designs because they can be customized with your pattern, choice of colors and unique shapes. The tile adapt to any setting and work well in contemporary or traditional installations. Finally, you can't forget that cement tile are durable and will withstand decades of wear with little care. Designers in the hotel, hospitality, or restaurant industry use custom cement tile patterns and designs to create a look that stands out and is unique. Take a look at these commercial cement tile installations for inspiration on your next commercial design project.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cement Tile Creates Calming Resort Spa


In today's hectic 24/7 world, a quiet place to escape, relax, renew, and refresh is more important than ever before. Designers cleverly chose cement tile flooring for this resort spa to achieve a calm and peaceful atmosphere in a commercial setting.

River rock mimics the cement tile pattern in the spa corridor
River rock mimics the cement tile pattern in the spa corridor
Commercial flooring is often dismissed as unimportant and reduced to low-cost options. In this spa, the opposite approach was taken. The flooring is the design element that establishes the theme, creates the ambiance and sets the tone. The cement tile floor utilizes a simple interlocking circle pattern and two-tone color palette in soothing green to create tranquility. Other smart design choices were made to complement the theme; one of my favorite is the use of white river rock along the corridors and stacked white rock at the reception desk. The river rock mimics the tile pattern and provides the soothing effect of a flowing stream.

Cement tile in a soothing green create calm at this resort spa.
Cement tile in a soothing green and simple pattern create calm at this resort spa.

Cement tile and smart design choices like make this spa an oasis
Cement tile and smart design choices make this spa a soothing oasis
The Geometric Diamond Pattern uses two shades of light green on a white background to emphasize the interlocking circles. I love how the darker shade of green is used to help create the illusion of over-lapping circles.

Geometric patterns like Avente's Diamond are a great choice for contemporary commercial spaces
Patterns like Avente's Geometric Diamond cement tile are a great choice for contemporary commercial spaces

DESIGN TIP - To achieve a contemporary look with cement tile, use geometric patterns. Limit yourself to two or three colors. It's best to pair a neutral color with two tones of another color, such as tan coupled with a light green and dark green.

Geometric patterns in a straight-forward color palette with only a few colors are a great way to create a contemporary look in commercial applications. To achieve a contemporary look with cement tile, choose patterns that aren't too fussy, like our Geometric patterns.  Limit yourself to two or three colors, pairing a neutral with another color in different shades or lighter/darker saturation.

Geometric cement tiles work well in contemporary commercial designs
Geometric cement tiles work well in contemporary commercial designs

To see more photos of this commercial resort spa installation view the slideshow below, or click to view Cement Tile Spa.



Cement tiles provide flexibility for commercial designs with their choice of patterns, colors and shapes. They work equally well in contemporary installations or traditional settings. Additionally, they are durable and will withstand decades of wear with little care. Designers in the hotel, hospitality, or restaurant industry use cement tile to create a look that stands out or speak to a special need. Take a look at these commercial cement tile installations to start getting inspiration for your next commercial design project.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pre-Sealing Cement Tile: An Important Step


How to Apply a Grout Release - Cement Tile Install Tips
How to Apply a Grout Release - Cement Tile Install Tips

When you see a finished cement tile installation (or any tile installation), it's hard to visualize just how bad it looked when grout was first applied. The only way to get grout into the joints is by spreading it with a tile trowel. With glazed ceramic tile, grout removal and clean-up can be difficult. The task becomes more arduous when a porous material, such as cement tile, needs to be cleaned up. That's where pre-sealing comes in.

Commercial cement tile installations collage
Handmade cement tile offers a range of design possibilities for any commercial, hospitality, or retail space.

The benefit of a pre-sealer, or "grout release" product, is to make sure the grout can be easily removed after spreading it onto the tile and into the joints. By applying a grout release prior to installing the tile, you get the added benefit of inspecting each tile, as well as the opportunity to cull any tile that might be damaged or off-color prior to the actual installation.

While preparing to pre-seal your cement tile, take the opportunity to inspect each tile.
While preparing to pre-seal your cement tile, take the opportunity to inspect each tile.

Handmade cement tile offers a range of design possibilities - bold Cuban tile patterns in contrasting colors, or classic cement patterns in harmonizing colors. Whether used as floor tile or wall tile, the result will transform any space. We've assembled dozens of images filled with cement tile design ideas to help you get started on your next project.

To learn more about cement tile and to see how a pre-sealer is applied, watch our latest video, How to Apply a Grout Release - Cement Tile Install Tips. This short video shows how to apply grout release to cement tiles in an easy-to-understand format. Making time for this additional step will protect your tile from the hazards of even the most skilled of installers, while making sure the grout is easily removed.

In the coming months, we'll provide more tips on how to successfully install cement tiles. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, for more information about cement tile selection, installation tips, customization services, or available sizes, shapes and more, please see our new Guide to Buying Handmade Cement Tile.




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Designing with Tile

Commercial Spaces Design

Saltillo Tile Pin Board

"Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated." — Paul Rand

Once a building has been erected, or is in the process of an overhaul, it's up to the designers to translate and transform the vision of the commercial, retail or hospitality space into a sensory-pleasing experience. Whether it's a grand lobby, a spectacular lounge or bar area, or even the common areas such as hallways and corridors, the designer is tasked with giving these spaces character and interest.

Therefore, it's no surprise that tile is the perfect component in making these visions come to life, specifically, cement tile. With cement tile, these spaces are given a historic feel from a material that has been used for centuries, with the added benefit of being able to customize patterns and colors.

Saltillo tiles also fall into the same timeless category as cement tiles. Because of their deep, rich hues, Saltillo tiles have the ability of transporting us to the colorful, refined grandeur of sun-kissed Spanish villas and haciendas of the Mediterranean.

With their inherit versatility and durability, it's for these reasons that designers and specifiers overwhelmingly choose the always stylish looks of handmade cement tiles and Saltillo tiles.



Fall for our In-Stock Cement Tile & $ave

What's better than cement tile that are in-stock and ready to ship NOW? Saving on those same tile! Mention coupon code THANKS and we'll thank you with 10% off any order of cement tile that is in stock. Limited to quantities on hand, so don't delay. Plenty of tile for that residential project you want completed before the holidays!


Cathedral
8x8 Cement Tile
In Stock! 395 Pieces



Fleur-de-Lis in Clover
8x8 Cement Tile
In Stock! 497 Pieces



Fragments Mosaic - Fall
12x12 Cement Tile Mosaic Sheets
In Stock! 40 Sheets



Cuban Heritage 140-1A Field
8x8 Cement Tile
In Stock! 347 Pieces