Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Patterned Hexagon Tile: 3 Ways to Create Style

Last week, I shared 3 Ways to Create Style with Plain Hexagon Tile. This week, I play with pattern on this powerful six-sided polygon. Here are three ways patterned hexagon tiles provide a stylish look using both ceramic and cement tiles - all available from Avente Tile.

Hexagon tile adorn an outdoor patio in Los Angeles
Our journey of creating style with hexagon tiles continues. 

Hexagon Style Tip #1: Use patterned cement tile in a hexagon format for a subtle design flair. At first glance, the pattern addict would say, "I've seen this pattern. That's not a Hexagon!" But take a closer look, and among the Escher-like tessellations, you'll see the hexagon outline in the grout line.

Patterned hexagon tile add subtle design flair
Patterned hexagon tiles add subtle design flair

Not only is the pattern playful, so is the tile shape and format; but, in a subtle way that draws attention by making you look twice. If you have trouble seeing the pattern, here's a view of the same tile placed together without any cuts.

Hexagon tiles with a pattern are a great choice for rooms that are odd-shaped or not square
Patterned hexagon tiles work well in rooms with odd angles or if the walls aren't square.

Design trick: Use a patterned hexagon tile for rooms that aren't square or rectangular, badly out of plumb or odd-shaped. The pattern and hexagon shape, when run to the edge of the room, hide all of the problems you'd have when using square or rectangular tile.

Hexagon Style Tip #2Emphasize the hexagon shape with outline patterns. Using cement tile from our Mission patterns, you can show your love for this shapely, equal-sided polygon by using three contrasting or complimentary colors that outline or frame the hexagon shape. Here's an 8-inch format in three colors.

Emphasize the hexagon shape with outline patterns
Emphasize the hexagon shape with outline patterns like this.

The design flexibility of cement tiles means you get to pick the color for a unique design that speaks to you. Consider blue, green and aqua for a bathroom. Choose red, orange and yellow for a bright, warm patio or sunroom, or opt for a more neutral palette, such as the one shown above for a wall.

Hexagon Style Tip #3. Create a mosaic with hexagon tile. The flexibility of tile and the geometry of a hexagon work well with creative designs. You can create one-of-a-kind mosaics for the floor or wall using either cement and ceramic tile.

Life of Riley by Artist Thimo Pimental is a modular mosaic hexagon cement tile.

Colorful hexagon tiles by David Shipley create one-of-a-kind mosaics
Colorful hexagon tiles by David Shipley create one-of-a-kind mosaics.

Moreover, thanks to the inherit advantages of geometry, patterned hexagon tiles can be create subtle or bold designs, or a playful yet sophisticated mosaic. At Avente Tile, we offer both encaustic cement tile and glazed ceramic tile designs that work on floors and walls, indoors and out. Want to explore more hexagon style and design options? Can't find the hexagon style that you want? Let us know what you need for your project, and we'll schedule a free design consultation to show you how we can help!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3 Ways to Create Style with Plain Hexagon Tile

With it's classic six-sided shape, the hexagon is gaining and maintaining it's elegant prowess in design circles (pun intended) once again. Here are three ways plain hexagon tiles lead to an overall stylish look. Our style guide below uses both ceramic, porcelain, and cement tiles - all available from Avente Tile.

Hexagon Style Tip #1. Create a simple pattern with plain hexagon tile in two or three colors.  The hexagon format was common in the 1920s. These small-format "penny hexagons" or the penny hex in white was typically used for kitchen and bath floors. It gained some notoriety again in the 1960s, and now, it is once again is a design staple that provides interest without being over-used.

Hexagon tile, the size of pennies, were popular in the 1920's.
Penny-sized hexagon tiles, popular in the 1920s, were typically used as flooring in the kitchen and bath.
A simple repeating pattern in black and white works great with hexagon tiles. Stylistic floral patterns and simple borders can also be used with this fun, interlocking shape.

Hexagon Style Tip #2. Use hexagon tile with hand-painted glazes or cement tile in the same color. Sound boring? Not really, use an interesting glaze that exhibits variation from tile to tile. Or, use hand-painted glazes or cement tile to achieve the look you're after. The natural variation in color provides an absolutely stunning look that hides dirt, provides a sense of texture or depth, and lots of interest. It's also a more straight-forward design approach for the DIY group.

Arabesque Hexagon Spanish Pavers in Cotto Dark, all in the same color, can create a rustic look similar to this.
Arabesque Hexagon Spanish Pavers in Cotto Dark, all in the same color, can create a rustic look similar to this.

Hexagon tile looks great with hand-painted glazes.
Hexagon tile looks great with hand-painted glazes. The variation of hand-applied glazes create a look that exudes depth, texture and interest.

Saltillo tile provide rustic charm because the terracotta has a lot of natural variation in color
Hexagon Saltillo tiles provide rustic charm with the natural color variations found in terracotta.

Hexagon Style Tip #3. Blend ceramic tile glaze colors or cement tile colors and texture to unique, one-of-kind designs. Feeling creative? Like to work with colors? Then this option is perfect for you. Create a colorful mosaic of hexagon tiles using three to five colors, then choose a size to accommodate the scale of the space.

6" Arabesque Hexagon Spanish Paver Tile in Normandy Cream and Vintage texture

Hexagonal cement tile from our Arabesque line.
Hexagonal cement tile from our Arabesque cement tile collection. Pictured above is a blend of red and brown tiles, our Duoro Blend, with a Vintage texture

It's easy to see why this classic shape never falls from grace. Hexagon tile, or hex tiles, are just a great way to add both style and grace to any design.

Next week get's really fun! I'll show you three ways to create style with patterned hexagon tile. Patterned  hexagon tiles can be very playful - the hexagon pattern can almost disappear or form truly unique modular mosaic patterns. If you haven't seen patterned hexagon tile at play, I think you'll be surprised!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tile Inspiration For Your Next Kitchen Remodel

Guest post by Jane Blanchard, Modernize

Kitchen Tile
Vibrant blue Arabesque tile adds visual interest. Image via Modernize.
Tile is a popular choice for kitchen floors and backsplashes, so popular that even the priciest and most custom options can seem bland. One tile company is changing that, one beautifully unique tile at a time.

One thing you'll never find at Avente Tile is tile that looks like, well, any other tile you've seen at home improvement stores or most flooring and tile warehouses when seeking inspiration for your kitchen remodel. Avente specializes in handcrafted tiles that are guaranteed to make your floors or backsplashes stand out from the subway tile and stone tile crowd.

Handmade Cement Tile

If you've never heard of handmade cement tiles, you will. Though they haven't gained widespread popularity in the U.S. yet, handmade cement tiles are used the world over for their bright, true colors and their intricate hand-painted designs. One of the most popular uses for cement tiles is the creation of "rugs" on floors by strategically laying coordinating tiles in a pattern that mimics Persian or other rugs. Perfect for kitchens, where fiber or synthetic rugs can be a hazard, a tile "rug" gives bold color and visual interest while remaining durable and easy to clean. The wide range of colors are perfect for adding a pop of color to an accent area of a kitchen floor, or for inspiring your remodel to new heights of glamour.

Kitchen Tile Backsplash
Relief tiles add depth and dimension to this kitchen's backsplash. Image via Modernize.

Hand Painted Relief Tile

As tiled backsplashes become an integral part of any kitchen remodel, so do the options for backsplash-ready tiles. You've no doubt seen glass, stone, and even pebble backsplashes, but you've likely seen nothing as classically beautiful as hand-painted relief tile. Marrying the lovely forms of sculpture to lightweight tiles, relief tiles are perfect for mixing with other ceramic tiles to create unforgettable backsplashes that are one of a kind. These tiles are the perfect inspiration for traditional, retro or transitional kitchens, but proceed with caution -- the designs are so alluring that they run the risk of taking your kitchen remodel in a whole new direction.

For more tile tips and tricks, please visit Modernize.com.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tiled Stair Riser Design Picks

Nothing adds more curb appeal, sense of personal style, and a real design punch than using decorative tiles on stair risers.

Decorative tiles used on stair risers showcase personal style and add curb appeal
Decorative tiles used on stair risers showcase personal style and add curb appeal. 

Tiles allow you to showcase your sense of style. However, most customers approach the use of tiled stair risers with caution. After finding a tile or two they love, I am used to being asked, "Can I do that?" or "Will that look OK?"

Rule #1: There are no rules when it comes to tiling stair risers. To prove that point, I'm dedicating this post to the many different ways you can tile stair risers, I'll show the most common ways tiles are used; but,, you'll also see many variations on a theme. You can choose to use the same bright, bold pattern on each row, alternate patterns on each rows, or only add an occasional decorative tile between plain tiles on each riser, With countless variations on these themes, they can all look good!

Stair risers tiled with different tile patterns on each step
Stair risers tiled with different tile patterns on each step.

Rule #2: Start with tiles you love!  The right colors are more important than a specific pattern. Just find a pattern that speaks to you or works with your home's style. Colors that contrast with the landscape will make the tiles really standout, such as the bright yellow tiles in the photo above. You can also use colors that complement the house or trim color. Remember, if working with your home's existing colors, the tile colors don't have to be a perfect match - just close. It's common to find tile patterns, like our Malibu ceramic tiles, that are available in one or more different colorways. For larger projects, the glaze color placement can be customized.

The same bright tile pattern is used on each riser of these stairs
The same bright tile pattern is used on each riser of these stairs.

A hand-painted tile border pattern is repeated on these risers
A hand-painted tile border pattern is repeated on each stair riser.
Notice the color variation typical of hand-painted tiles

Quarter-design patterns can be used to add geometric interest to the design.

Similarly, geometric patterns, border patterns, and Spanish tile patterns can work well with many different styles of architecture. I love how quarter-design patterns can be broken up to create additional interest and their own unique pattern. In the photo above, the  quarter-design pattern on the decorative tiles would create a square when placed together on a wall. However, the home owner spaced them differently to create a fun zig-zag or chevron as you go up the steps.

If you are "tile crazy" like I am, finding the right tile isn't the problem. The problem is finding too many tiles you love, which might force you to narrow your selection, or does it? In the image below, an assortment of tiles is used to create a repeating pattern on each stair riser. Alternatively, the pattern on each riser could be random. This method works well for wide stairs.

Finally, keep in mind that decorative tiles don't have to span the entire width of the riser. While the effect is usually less dramatic, it looks nice especially when the decorative tile on the riser is also used as an inset among the pavers.

Different tiles can be used on the same stair riser.

Decorative patterned tile don't have to span the entire riser.

So far, I've only shown you examples of glazed decorative ceramic tile, which is certainly more common. However, cement tile can be used for stair risers, too. Because the colors in cement tile can be easily changed, cement tile is a fine choice when you want to create a unique design, coordinate colors with the tread, or carry the design from the curb to the home. The tight grout line can also be used to create a very smooth, almost seamless look to the riser, as well.

Cement tile colors can be customized so the stair risers color match or coordinates with the tread
Cement tile colors can be customized so the risers match or coordinate with the tread.

An encaustic cement tile border pattern tiles these stair risers
An encaustic cement tile border pattern looks magnificent on these stair risers.

Regardless of the tile or design there is one very important thing to remember. Rule #3: Have fun! Choosing tiles for your stair risers should be fun and reflect your taste and style. Whether you need a Geometric pattern, want to define a Traditional Spanish or Portuguese look, or have a home that demands Spanish Revival, Avente has the stair riser tile (and tread) for you! If you need help finding the right pattern, ceramic tile design, or cement tile border, please let us know. We can help.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Conversations Art Tile by David Shipley

Southern California artist David Shipley has created a line of contemporary hand-painted ceramic art tile based upon his unique paintings and sculptures. According to the artist, he is fascinated by the emotions and reactions brought upon by the vibrant color contrasts.

David Shipley Conversation 5 Ceramic Tile Mural
David Shipley Conversation 5 | 12" x 18" Ceramic Tile Mural

Upon reflection of his painting technique and inspiration, Shipley says, "I maintain an ongoing inner dialog, a constant kaleidoscope of Conversations, using colors and shapes which unfold in a variety of constantly changing images. Their manifestations range from joyous and vibrant to dark and disturbing; but for me they also reflect myriad life experiences as I explore the many Conversations we experience with God, ourselves and the people around us."

With their stylish, abstract designs, the Conversation Series of decorative hand-painted ceramic tiles are high fired. As a result of this firing, they can be used indoors or outdoors, in freeze/thaw conditions, walls, floors, and wet areas, such as pools, fountains and ponds.

David Shipley Conversation 7 Ceramic Tile Mural
David Shipley Conversation 7 | 12" x 18" Ceramic Tile Mural

Further, the Conversation Series of hand-painted ceramic tiles can be used as a continuous mural or as individual pieces for creating a truly unique mosaic focal point. Each piece can be perfectly paired with our hand-painted ceramic Malibu Field Tiles and Ceramic Trims and Moldings. The solid-colored, high-fired Malibu Field tiles, created using classic red bisque, are offered in several sizes, including: 3"x3", 6"x6", 4"x4", 4"x5", 6"x6" and 4" hexagon sizes. A full line of trim and molding is also available. These tiles are made-to-order. Therefore, please allow four weeks for delivery.

David Shipley Hexagon Ceramic Tile Mural
David Shipley Hexagon Ceramic Tile Mural

Similar to art work, the contemporary tile patterns of the Conversation Series is made to order for a truly custom look and feel. Therefore, the 6- and 4-inch formats, as well as the six-piece ceramic tile mural, will ship approximately one week after your order is placed.

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.

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Designing with Tile

Artisan and Vintage Tile
"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." - Pablo Picasso, Artist

Creativity, art and geometrical shapes seem to go hand-in-hand. In this instance, instead of a pulled canvas, ceramic tile is the recipient of an artisan s brush stroke or hand-sculpted designs. For centuries, artisans have manipulated earthly components to reflect their will, inner feelings, or the world around them.

From linear sketches to curvaceous renditions, art and ceramic have flaunted their symbiotic relationship through their timeless appeal. Happily, these art works are enjoying a renaissance within the design world, too.

Moreover, despite ever-evolving trends, our tiles remain in vogue. In addition to the new David Shipley collection, we invite you to consider our Geometric Cement tiles, Arabesque Cement tiles, and Geometric Ceramic tiles.

Want to see more? Or, perhaps we should say "hear more" because of this month's featured tile murals? Get the Conversation going! Hear and see all seven of David Shipley's Conversations. These tiles are all about allowing you to make a statement. We show them in the standard mural format, but they can be mixed-and-matched to make a unique mosaic. What are you waiting for? Get talking!

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!