Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Geometric Tiles Create Style on any Budget


Geometric tiles in classic shapes, such as chevron, hexagon, stripes, honeycomb or octagon, are a great way to add style to your home's wall or floors. More intricate patterns reproduced on a single tile will always be more expensive than plain tiles. Here are a few tips to create style and accommodate just about any budget.

Tip #1. Create a pattern using plain or solid-color tiles using different standard formats. It's easy to create bold and unique patterns by mixing and matching less expensive plain or solid color tiles that would be less exciting on their own. Consider using field tiles from our Malibu and Yucatan lines. There are hundreds of glazes and the high-fired tiles can be used on walls and floors, inside and out - even in areas subjects to hard freeze thaws.  Grit can also be added if slip resistance is a concern for commercial and wet areas.


Plain tile can be used to create patterns and interest like this tile rug
Plain tile can be used to create patterns and interest like this tile rug

Tip #2. Make a mosaic. You can create a mosaic-like effect with cement tile using simple patterns like our Traditional Geo #3 shown here.

The Geo 3 cement tile pattern creates a mosaic-tile design
The Geo 3 cement tile pattern creates a mosaic tile effect at a fraction of the cost.
Shown here in Pearl Gray, Sky King, and Autumn Eve

For an accent strip in your bath or kitchen, consider our Fragments line of easy-to-install, face-tape mounted mosaics. Fragments are colorful mosaic accent strips made from patterned cement tile. Available in four colorways - spring, summer, fall and winter - and in three formats (Small Squares, Large Squares, and Bar). We use a standard grout thickness of 3-4 mm on all formats.

Fragments are an easy way to add a mosaic accent strip and come face-tape mounted
Fragments are an easy way to add a mosaic accent strip 
Thankfully, cement tile comes in a myriad of sizes and shapes, so it's not difficult to create a simple checkerboard in classic black and white, or any two tones you like. Cement tiles are also available in many more shapes than just square and rectangular formats. You can find hexagonal formats, colonial paver and arabesque formats, too.

Checkerboard pattern in Jet Black and Polk Gold provide color and style

Tip #3. Blend glazes or colors using tiles of the same shape. Create a more complex and rich look by blending three or four colors. For a more organic look, blend the colors randomly. For a bold, contemporary design, you can run the colors in stripes or rows. A great example of creating a blend can be seen below with our Clay Arabesque Leon pattern, which uses three colors from our Malibu Ceramic Field Tile collection: Sea Foam Matte (#5503u), Mushroom Matte (7504u), and Winter Grey (#405c).

Clay Arabesque tiles in three glazes provide a rich look and are perfect for a backsplash.
Clay Arabesque tiles in three glazes provide a rich look and are perfect for a backsplash.

A more contemporary look can be created using any Rustic Paver and Tile in a square or rectangular format in using the Metro Blend. The soft neutral colors and earth tones in this blend are easy to work with. Shown here in a 3"-square format, the blend consists of equal parts Charley Brown, Natural Gray, and Charcoal.

Metro Blend from our Rustic Paver line uses soft earth and neutral tones
Metro Blend from our Rustic Paver line uses soft, earthy neutral tones

Tip #4. Add texture to the color blend for a vintage look and lots of variation in color. Take it a notch further with our Rustic Pavers and Arabesque cement tiles by adding texture to the color blend. I love the look of these 6" Arabesque Hexagon tiles in Normandy Cream. This vintage look is created by blending both color and texture in these hand-crafted cement tiles. This classy color combination is created using equal parts Cotto Gold, Cotto Dark, Cafe, and Tuscan Mustard. Pieces are then finished with standard (smooth), Limestone, Travertine or Luna texture.



It's important to remember that the most cost-effective tips will be to use standard tile formats, existing colors and glazes without texture. Avente has the resources, experience and skill to make your dream a reality. Contact us via email with your project timing, budget and design requirements. We will schedule a time to discuss options that meets your goals and budget.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Vintage Tile Tour, Continued



As we conclude our tour of the Original Los Angeles Spec House, I'll pick up where we left off from last week's post.

First, a little background information! If you love tile, then you can't miss this rare opportunity to tour a house with tiles installed in nearly every room, including some Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tiles. Located in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, the home tour was arranged by Joe Taylor and Sheila Menzies of The Tile Heritage Foundation for a collector. As we finished walking through the kitchen area, we traced our way back from the utility room off the kitchen to the living room. That's when we spied a glazed mural in the kitchen that I had previously missed.

A Dutch-themed tile mural in the kitchen dates to 1920
A Dutch-themed mural in the kitchen dates back to the 1920s.
The glazed murals in this home are just amazing! Each mural looks like an oil painting, with the tile-maker's skills and understanding of glazes nothing short of exceptional.

Falling behind the group, I caught up with them in the main bath, where there were two large murals. The one above the bath was inspired by Maxwell Parish and the other, in the shower, was of Yosemite Falls.

The shower nook frames a handpainted waterfall tile mural
The shower nook frames a waterfall mural

Yosemite Falls is the subject of this hand-painted mural from the 1920's
Yosemite Falls is the subject of this hand-painted mural from the 1920s.

A playful Maxwell Parish inspired theme is found on the mural above the tub
A playful Maxwell Parish inspired theme is found on the mural above the tub.

The hand-painted tile murals in the master bath are certainly the focal points. However, the tile feast is made even more extraordinary with the use of Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tile accents placed around the room. Here are just a few:

Delft Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tile accent: swan in flight
Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tile accent: swan.

Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tile accent: swan
Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tile accent: swan.

Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tile accent: Columbus' Ships
Royal Delft cloisonné decorative tile accent: Columbus' Ships.

As you step back from the walls, you can't help but notice the quaint floor tile pattern created with plain tiles.

The master bath floor tiled floor pattern is made using plain tile
The master bath's tiled floor pattern

Finally, a peek at the small private bath off the main bedroom - as was the custom in houses of that era. The rich, cobalt blue field tile framed the bath beautifully, while the use of stained glass provided ample light and privacy in this small 1-3/4 bath. Playful water nymphs were the subject of the mural for this bathroom's hand-painted tile mural in the shower.

Fretwork trim tile frame rich cobalt blue tile in this bathroom
Fretwork trim frame rich cobalt blue tile in this bathroom.
Playful water nymphs adorn are the theme for this mural
Playful water nymphs are the theme for this mural.

Can you believe all of these tiles are in one home? I want to thank the Tile Heritage Foundation for making this possible. A special thank you to the home owner who so graciously opened his home for all of us to see. This is truly a gem and I'm so thrilled that the tiles have been preserved in their original condition. What a wonderful treat it was. Thank you all, again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vintage Tile Tour of Original Los Angeles Spec House


Recently, I had a rare opportunity to tour a house with tiles installed in almost every room including some stunning tile murals and Royal Delft decorative tiles. Located in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, the home tour was arranged by Joe Taylor and Sheila Menzies of The Tile Heritage Foundation for a collector. The small, unassuming corner lot house is a treasure trove of original Dutch cloisonné tiles and mural from the 1920s.

A resplendent Art Deco tile fountain
A resplendent Art Deco tile fountain

As soon as you pass the entry gate, you know this is no ordinary home. You are immediately greeted by an Art Deco fountain in the courtyard. Created entirely of tile on a concrete base, every detail is tiled including the spitting-fish fountain heads and intricate bead-work molding and trim.


Spitting-fish fountain tiles and exquisite beaded trim tiles are part of the tiled fountain design
Spitting-fish fountain tiles and exquisite beaded trim tiles are part of the Art Deco-tiled fountain design.

Open the mahogany door and dappled light spills onto this glazed tile mural in the entry. The mural exhibits rare craftsmanship because the glazing appears to have the same detail of a hand-painted oil painting.

Tile mural in the foyer of the 1927 Los Angeles spec house shows amazing craftsmanship
Tile mural in the foyer of the 1927 Los Angeles spec house.

Our host, and owner of the home, Robert Smaith, explains the home was originally the spec home for all the homes built in the area. It's where home owners would go to select tiles and other finishing details for their home. Once you enter the home, you can't help but notice the beautiful tiled fireplace.

Tile Fireplace with Royal-Delft cloisonné accents
Tile fireplace with Royal Delft cloisonné accents.

Hound and Stag cloisonné tile is the focal point of the fireplace.

Dutch cloisonné tile with trim and field tile
Dutch cloisonné tile is enveloped with trim and field tile.

Joe Taylor, whose encyclopedic knowledge of tile and tile history is impressive, explains that Royal Dutch cloisonné tiles were only made by one factory in The Netherlands. The process, which uses a mold to keep the glaze colors from mixing, is not all that different than how cement tiles are made. Of course, cloisonné tiles must be fired; but, the mold forms the patterns and maintains the colors in the decorative tiles you see.

Moving along to the sunny south-facing breakfast nook, I was amazed by the small format mosaic on the floor and the stunning murals of Montserrat. According to our host, the owner's of the tile factory had a home on the Caribbean island.

Breakfast nook mosaic floor and tile walls include a mural
Breakfast nook mosaic floor and tile walls include a mural.

One of two murals in the breakfast nook featuring a landscape of Montserrat
One of two murals in the breakfast nook featuring a landscape of Montserrat.

The floor-to-ceiling tiled kitchen includes some amazing tile work that I have never seen before, including a tiled pantry, bread-making pull-out, and a California cooler.

The kitchen includes floor-to-ceiling tile
The kitchen includes floor-to-ceiling tile.


A tile pantry with pull-out bread-making counter
A tile pantry with pull-out bread-making counter.


Tiled California Cooler
Tiled California Cooler


A tiled mural from a Dutch painting the laundry room above sink
A tiled mural from a Dutch painting graces the area above the sink in the laundry room.

Next week, I'll finish this fantastic tour with a glimpse of the  master and guest bathrooms, more Royal Delft cloisonné tile, and a tiled telephone niche. If you love historic tiles, then this is a rare chance to see some of the most well-preserved tile trends from 1920s vintage Los Angeles.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Geometrical Ceramic Tiles Offer Everlasting Design


Geometrical Glazed Ceramic tile
Our new Geometrical Glazed Ceramic tile collection was used to create this appealing kitchen backsplash.

Our Geometrical line of ceramic tile mixes classic hand-painted glaze techniques with modern, geometric patterns to achieve an absolutely stunning look. They are ideal for backsplashes, accent strips or anywhere a splash of design is needed.


Modern geometrical patterns
The Geometrical Ceramic Tile collection features hand-glazed, modern patterns.

Hand-painted in the USA using the traditional Cuerda Seca (dry cord) technique, this latest addition to our ceramic tile collection is available in 6-, 5-, 4-, and 3-inch square formats, with each pattern offered in at least four colorways. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, these high-fired ceramic tiles are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Because they are hand-painted, variations in glaze colors, aswell as a slight relief from pooled glazes, should be expected.

Adding to their versatility is the fact that the Geometrical ceramic tile collection can be used in submerged/wet applications (such as pools, ponds and fountains) by applying a clear overglaze. For floor applications, grit can be added to the glaze to reduce slippage.

Moreover, the Geometrical tile pattern glazes coincide with our Malibu Field Tile palette. With this added flexibility in design, the patterns and colors within the Geometrical deco line perfectly complement the 50+ glaze colors available from our Malibu Field Tile collection. To make things even easier, the glaze colors used on the Geometrical collection are individually identified on the Avente Tile site.

Malibu Field Tile
A sampling of the ceramic glaze colors available with our Malibu Field tiles.

Also of note is that the solid-colored, high-fired Malibu Field tiles are created using classic red bisque. Available in 3"x3", 6"x6", 4"x4", 4"x5", 6"x6" and 4" Hexagon sizes, as well as a full line of trim and molding, these tiles are made-to-order so please allow four weeks for delivery.

Lastly, visit our dedicated Ceramic Tile FAQs page for any questions you may have. Of course, you can also call our office at 888.739.4972, and we would be more than happy to help with your purchasing decisions.

Pinterest logo

Designing with Tile

Tile Shapes: Hexagons
"One geometry cannot be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Geometry is not true, it is advantageous." - Robert M. Pirsig, Philosopher

Geometrical shapes have made a comeback in the design world. Everything from wallpaper to fashion accessories, and of course tile, are now proudly touting the angular allure of hexagons, octagons, and more.

Thankfully, our tiles have always been in vogue, despite changing trends. In addition to the Geometric Cement tiles and Arabesque Cement tiles we offer, our new Geometric Ceramic tiles will continue to add to the centuries-old appeal of handmade and hand-painted tiles in any design environment.

In-Stock Cement Tile
Looking for cement tile? Need it now? Take a look at what's in-stock and ready to ship NOW! These in-stock patterns move fast, so don't delay! Place your order today.


Cathedral
8x8 Cement Tile
In Stock! 300 Pieces (130 sq. ft.)


Fleur-de-Lis in Clover
8x8 Polished Cement Tile
In Stock! 180 Pieces (78 sq. ft.)


Fragments Mosaic - Fall
12x12 Cement Tile Mosaic Sheets
In Stock! 40 Sheets (40 sq. ft.)


Bayahibe C
8x8 Polished Cement Tile
In Stock! 800 Pieces (348 sq. ft.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Decorative Geometrical Tile Coda


Two weeks ago I introduced our new decorative glazed ceramic tiles. In that post, Geometrical Ceramic Tiles Ring in the New Year,  I explained how two popular cement tile patterns, our Geo 10 and Traditional Anillos, are now available in a glazed ceramic tile format.  I also promised to to share some additional forthcoming patterns and I'm excited to unveil them now.

Geometrical Ellipse A Wainscot Concept
Geometrical Ellipse A - Wainscot Concept

Ellipse is one of my favorite new motifs that works great as single or double row accent strip for a kitchen backsplash or bathroom wainscot. The simple, soothing inter-connected ellipse pattern is slightly contemporary but takes its design cue from Art Deco styles.

Geometrical Ellipse B is a new glazed ceramic tile pattern
Geometrical Ellipse B is a new glazed ceramic tile pattern

Further, the hand-painted glazes provide traditional artisan craftsmanship and variation. The patterns are all more contemporary than our traditional Spanish and Malibu lines.

Geometrical tile pattern glazes are from the Malibu Field Tile palette and make designing easy and fun. In fact, the flexibility in the Geometrical deco line lies in  the ability to pair and complement the patterns with colors from the 50+ available glazes from our Malibu Field Tile collection. To make it easy, all the colors used in the pattern are identified on the site. Malibu Field Tile are available in 3"x3", 6"x6", 4"x4", 4"x5", 6"x6" and 4" Hexagon. You'll also find a full line of trim and molding.

Aragon is another new pattern using a classic cross and quatrefoil motif.  It's available in four standard colorways.  I love the simplicity in this classic black and gray colorway.

Argon is a Moorish-inspired pattern shown here in classic black and grey
Geometrical Aragon is a Moorish-inspired pattern shown here in classic black and grey

The colors and pattern motif can really change the mood. Look what happens when the same pattern has soothing earth tones juxtaposed to charcoal to create a checkerboard. The cherry red glaze outlines each cross and makes it really pop.

Geometrical Aragon 2CD is a new decorative ceramic tile pattern
Geometrical Aragon is new pattern. Colorway 2CD is shown here.

Malibu Cherry Red is a stunning glaze with lots of natural variation. I can't wait to see a fireplace or pool sideboard adorned in the color. I'll let the color segue into another new pattern, Weave. Here, the Geometrical Weave pattern uses that bright red and white to really add a pop of color and bold design.

Weave is pattern in the new Geometrical line.
Weave is pattern in the new Geometrical line.
Shown here in Cherry Red and White.

Red not your color? Want to mix up the pattern? Look at how playful and sophisticated, this pattern can be when a mix of colors is used.

A mix of colors in the Weave pattern break all the rules
A mix of colors in the Geometrical Weave B pattern breaks all the rules

Remember, the Geometric glazed ceramic tile patterns are available in 6-, 5-, 4-, and 3-inch square formats. Each pattern is offered in at least four colorways. These high-fired, quality tiles are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. The tiles are hand-painted in the USA using the traditional "Cuerda Seca" (dry cord) technique. Expect variation in the glaze colors, as well as a slight relief from pooled glazes. These tiles can also be made for submerged wet applications, such as pools, by applying a clear overglaze. For floor applications, grit can be added to the glaze to reduce slippage. Tiles are made-to-order so please allow about four weeks, including transit times, for delivery.

Want to see more? Take a look at all of our glazed decorative Geometrical tiles. These tiles offer the prefect decorative solution.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Arabesque Cement Tile Pattern Repertoire Grows


For January, I continue to welcome 2015 with our newest tiles. Today I showcase three new patterns in our ever-popular Arabesque cement tile line which is part of our curated Spanish tiles honoring traditional tile-making techniques, patterns, and colors.

What I like about the first two lines is you'll find both a large format appropriate for floors or large walls, as well as a smaller, mini-format that scales down well for a backsplash, small entry or hearth. These two new patterns are called Varona and Villatoro. Their names pay homage to Medieval Spanish castles. Can't you just imagine kneeling down in front of Queen Isabella on one of these patterns?

Varona is a new Arabesque pattern. Shown here in Normandy Cream.
Varona is a new Arabesque pattern. Shown here in Normandy Cream.

Villatoro in Tuscan Mustard with a textured, limestone finish.

These scaled line drawings show the full-size Villatoro compared to the mini.

Villatoro Mini pattern uses 5"x8" and 5"x7" pieces
Villatoro Mini pattern uses 5"x8" and 5"x7" pieces

Villatoro pattern uses 7"x11" and 7"x10" pieces
Villatoro pattern uses 7"x11" and 7"x10" pieces

Finally, the last new Arabesque pattern is Zafra. This large format measures nominally 8"x10" and is ideal for adding pattern to a master bath, larger powder room or living room floor.

Zafra is a new Arabesque pattern, shown here in Charcoal Gray
Zafra is a new Arabesque pattern, shown here in Charcoal Gray

Quick Reference to Spanish Arabesque Tiles

The Arabesque collection pays homage to a deeply rooted and rich heritage of traditional Moorish and Spanish tiles that feature interlaced geometric patterns. With their nuanced curves and unusual geometric shapes, these Spanish tiles are sophisticated and charming. Choose from traditional bisque colors to create Old World charm, or use a contemporary shade such as off-white and grey. Spanish Arabesque Pavers are made to order and hand-crafted from cement in the USA. To start, select a shape, then choose a color from the Paver Color Palette. Blends and textures are also available.

Our Rustic Pavers are a unique line of Spanish floor tiles that can also be used on the wall. Look to our Rustic Paver collection if you desire square and rectangular formats (from 2"x2" to 16"x16") with a rustic feel. Not all tiles will be the exact same shape, as color variation is part of this collection's allure. Exquisitely designed and manufactured in the USA, Avente's made-to-order Spanish Pavers are hand-crafted using cement.

These Spanish Floor Tiles in classic shapes create a rustic look similar to what you'd find in traditional clay bisque tiles and pavers from Spain and Mexico. Once you've selected the size, then choose a color from the Paver Color Palette that offers classic clay bisque colors, as well as softer, contemporary shades. Blends and textures are also available.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Geometrical Ceramic Tiles Ring in the New Year


As the new year starts with full force, I think it only fitting to share some of our new tile patterns and lines. This week, I share our new glazed ceramic line. It's a small line that carriers a large, and very popular, design punch. Our Geometric Geo 10 and Traditional Anillos, or Ring pattern, has been very popular in cement, so it's with great pleasure that we are now offering both patterns in a glazed ceramic tile format.

Transition Geo 10 in Glazed Ceramic Mimics Our Geo 10 Cement Tile
Geometrical Circles B in Glazed Ceramic mimics our Geo 10 Cement Tile
The new line, Geometrical Ceramic Tile, melds classic, hand-painted glaze techniques with modern, geometric patterns to achieve an absolutely stunning look. Ideal for kitchen backsplashes, accent strips or anywhere a splash of color, pattern and more modern design is wanted.

 Transition Rings pattern mimics our Anillos cement tile
Our Geometrical Rings A pattern mimics our Anillos cement tile
The glazed ceramic tile patterns are available in 6-, 5-, 4-, and 3-inch square formats. Each pattern will be offered in four colorways, and several new patterns will be released by the end of the month. You can complement these decorative tiles with field tile and trim from from our Malibu Field Tile.

Transition Geo 10E is one of the new patterns and colors available in glazed ceramic tile
Geometrical Ceramic Tile 10E is one of the new patterns and colors available in a glazed ceramic tile format

If you have a small backsplash area where a large pattern or cement tile in an 8"x8" format is hard to fit, we recommend using our Geometrical Ceramic Tile line. Or, if you want to carry the same geometric motif with a different look, these tiles offer the prefect decorative solution!