Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Avente Tile's Blog - Tile Talk - Moves to New Home


By Bill Buyok, Avente Tile

Welcome! I'm pleased to announce that today is our very first post of our blog, Avente Tile Talk, at its new location here on Avente Tile. I started the Avente Tile Talk blog at AventeTileTalk.com in 2008. Even though it's been a huge success; in recent years, it became disconnected at its own location - separate from our main site. So, after some work and changes, we are relaunching the blog here!

Avente Tile Talk - Our Blog's Mission Remains Unchanged
Even though the blog's location has changed, so that it's now "under the same roof" as our product catalog and shopping site, its primary mission remains unchanged. Avente's Tile Talk blog is dedicated to the use, design and understanding of hand-painted ceramic tile and cement tile. The blog's purpose has been to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation about hand-painted ceramic tiles and cement tiles. These hand-crafted products have some unique issues regarding their look, use and installation. I know that open, frank discussion about these products and the sharing of ideas about these tiles will result in more-informed consumers, smarter buying decisions, and satisfied customers. I believe honest communication is the core of any great relationship.


Tile Talk explores the unique issues with installing hand-crafted products, like cement tile.
Tile Talk explores unique issues, such as installing hand-crafted cement tile.

Having the blog in the same location as our product catalog and shopping site makes navigation and use easier. Our goal is to provide not only beautiful hand-crafted tile; but, excellent customer service with easy-to-use tools that will assist and guide the design process. Of course, we'll continue to share historical tile tours, customer installations, design tips, tile trends, and new products.

One of the great benefits of tile is the fact that you can customize and make it your own design. Given the exact same tiles, each customer can create a unique design that speaks to them. The blog will continue to explore pattern, design and tile layout considerations for any project. Having the blog in the same location allows us to seamlessly connect these detailed explanations with products, installation details, and design ideas.

Avente's blog, Tile Talk, provides insight on design and use of cement tile, like this tile rug.
Avente's Tile Talk provides insight on the many designs and uses of cement tile, such as this tile rug.

It's also a great time to thank those dedicated readers and followers of our blog that have contributed to our success. We hope that you will continue to support us in our new location and sign-up for monthly newsletter or RSS feed of these posts. Initially, our goal will be to post twice a week here.

Look for posts on new topics each Tuesday, during our weekly #TileTuesday celebration on Twitter. Then again on Thursday, we'll be sharing some of our most popular posts, like tiling stair risers, creating a tile rug, and how to use tile to finish an edge. We'll re-purpose these popular posts with fresh new design tips, the latest images, and a fresh approach that will provide greater insight. Of course, if you happen to miss, don't worry! Each post will be available through our archive and search tool. We welcome suggestions for other topics you'd like us to publish and discuss. Please send requests to info@aventetile.com with your contact information.


New products and tile trends, like these cement wall tiles in relief, are trends we'll share here.
New products and tile trends, like these cement wall tiles in relief, are trends we'll share here.
Did you enjoy today's post? I hope you return to learn and discover more about cement tile and our hand-crafted decorative ceramic tiles, as well as the hand-picked selection of field/solid color tiles we offer.

Lastly, you might want to subscribe to Avente Tile's mailing list to receive our monthly Tile Talk newsletter that features hand-painted ceramic and cement tile design ideas, tile tips, and information about new ceramic and cement tile products. We also explore historically significant tile installations, such as the Adamson House in Malibu, CA, exciting photos of tile installations and designs, and perspectives from designers and architects who have specified and installed our hand-painted ceramic and cement tiles. We think you'll find lots of inspiration!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hispaniola Relief Cement Tiles Offer Island-Like Feel

Hispaniola cement tiles
Colorful, dimensional Hispaniola cement tiles liven up a powder room.

The Hispaniola Collection from Avente Tile is an exclusive, made-to-order series of beautiful handmade cement tiles inspired by the climate, textures and surroundings of the Dominican Republic.

First created by renowned sculptor Patricia Feinman, the Hispaniola collection allows you to create a cement tile that reflects your signature taste and style. The slight irregularities and subtle color changes inherit to handmade cement tiles only contribute to the tile's beauty.

Hispaniola cement tiles
Hispaniola relief cement tiles not only add depth to this powder room, they also add much-needed light and openness.

Along with their noticeable character and nuanced warmth, the Hispaniola Collection features more than 200 designs and 50 color options ranging from classic to modern. Because of their variety and customization capabilities, these tiles can be brought into almost any style of décor or setting.

Hispaniola relief tiles
In this powder room, Hispaniola relief tiles add texture, while complementing their surroundings.

The tiles in the Hispaniola Collection are made of white Portland cement, marble dust, and mineral pigments. To make each tile unique, the cement, marble and pigment mixture is poured into molds and then vibrated to remove air pockets ensuring a solid product. Also, because the colors are embedded within the tile rather than painted on, the colors will neither fade nor deteriorate over time.

For design ideas, take a look at a beautiful bathroom tiled with Hispaniola tiles, as well as a gorgeous Hispaniola kitchen backsplash.

To further complement our collection of handmade relief cement tiles, we recently introduced Elevations. Available in six shapes (Drop, Concave Rectangles, Petals, 3D Hexagon, Concave Hexagons, and Angles), this unique series is perfect for the design industry not only because it eloquently combines geometric shapes in both convex and concave relief, but it also offers an extensive color palette featuring more than 60 colors.

Elevations edgy, contemporary look of high relief geometric designs stand out for their architectural value.
Elevations edgy, contemporary look of high relief geometric designs stand out for their architectural value.

Elevations is well-suited suited for wall applications and can be installed with or without grout. Additionally, the tiles are available with a standard smooth surface or an optional waxed finish that provides a satin sheen. The tile come pre-sealed with a penetrating sealer and are ready to install.



If you are interested in incorporating Hispaniola or Elevations tiles in your design, then please contact Avente Tile for assistance.


Pinterest logo

Desination: Cuba

Destination: Cuba
"I feel we are all islands - in a common sea." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

As the realization of Cuban-U.S. relations warming hits home, we couldn't be more excited for the possibility of visiting this island nation. Closed off for many decades, Cuba offers a rare glimpse at vintage 1950s architectural and design elements, including cement and encaustic tile colors and patterns.

Imagine the treasure trove of new tile ideas and collections waiting to be discovered because of newly accessible areas, such as private homes, former mansions, business establishments, public spaces, and more.

As such, it reminds us all that using handmade cement tiles for remodeling/renovations, or new construction projects, will not only enhance the look of your home, it will also play a well-deserved role in retail and hospitality spaces. Rest assured the cement tile you choose will withstand the test of time and foot traffic. For whichever project you choose to conquer, Avente Tile is here to help you reach your design goal. Our extensive Cement Tile Design Ideas gallery features a large collection of projects dedicated to adding excitement in any space. How can we help inspire you today?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tile Tips for an Eye-Catching Backsplash


This post is a contribution to the Range Hoods Inc July Blog Hop & $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. As a blog hop participant, we've been asked to write about Summer DIY & Home Improvement. Check out the link to read other DIY contributions, learn more about the blog hop, and a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

A kitchen backsplash is one place you’ll be looking at a lot while you enjoy your home. It’s also one place that allows you to really emphasize your style. Creating an eye-catching backsplash that reflects your style and taste is easy with tile.

Patchwork designs create an eye-catching backsplash.
Patchwork designs create an eye-catching backsplash but take planning to achieve a balanced blend of color and pattern.

The choices and options are endless and range from a traditional fruit-themed mural, multi-colored mosaic, colorful Spanish tile patterns, or a muted bold pattern with cement tile. Consider the style and color palette of your cabinets, flooring, appliances and range hood. Then follow these three important tips that will point you in the right direction to create a winning kitchen backsplash. Don’t be afraid to splurge a little on the backsplash. It’s a small area and one you’ll enjoy almost every day!

  1. Decide on the countertop you want first. Then you can start talking tile and backsplash designs. Make sure the two complement each other. Don't draw attention away from a stunning counter with a busy tiled background. If the countertop is plain or simple, then let the backsplash be the focal point. Here are a few photos that show the "yen and yang" relationship of a counter and backsplash.  In the patchwork above, bold colors and strong patterns are placed next to clean white cabinets and counters with stainless steel appliances and hardware. The backsplash is both eye-catching and appealing because the cement tile patchwork is the dominant focal point.

    Here’s another example of a bold, colorful backsplash that uses traditional hand-painted Spanish decorative ceramic tiles that really catch your eye. A plain counter, in a similar color that is dominant in the tile pattern, doesn’t take your attention away from the backsplash.

    Balance decorative pattern tiles in a backsplash with plain colors on the counter and floor.
    Above, a Spanish-inspired tile creates a bright and bold backsplash using Barcelona San Jose 6" x 6".  The tile pairs nicely with a simple solid-color counter.

    Alternatively, the pattern in the cement tile backsplash below gets your attention while integrating a bold pattern that works flawlessly with the counter. Bold patterns can often be “toned down” with similar colors, neutral colors or colors without high contrast.

    A bold cement tile pattern is muted with neutral colors and hues similar to the counter and cabinets.

    Below, the Indian Teal brown granite countertop takes center stage. The decorative dots of hand-painted Spanish tile and plain field tile are the supporting cast.

    Small decorative accent tile or dots keep the backsplash interesting and don't detract from the handsome counter.

    The French cement tile backsplash pattern behind the stove below was customized to complement the colors in the granite counter and floor.  The backsplash tiles provide the eye-catching focal point; but, the porcelain flooring and granite counter really support the overall color palette, style and feel of the design.

    Consistent color choice with the decorative tile, counter, and floor make this design work.


  2. Work with the available space. You can't fit 10 pounds of gold into a 5-pound sack. Large tiles with big patterns just don't work in that tiny wall space behind the sink with a big picture window - no matter how much you love that tile. It sounds obvious; but pictures make it very clear.

    Find the right scale of patterned tile to fit your space.

    Above, Cuban Heritage Design 110 2B 8″ x 8″ cement tiles require eight tiles to complete both the cross and medallion pattern. It works well for a large wall with no cabinets. The same impact could not be achieved below. There is only 18” between the cabinets and counter. However, decorative tile placed randomly throughout the backsplash and grouped to form a medallion create a warm, Tuscan feel.

    Olive tiles on a rustic ceramic body give this kitchen a Tuscan feel.
    Smaller tiles can be used randomly or grouped to create a medallion.

    Consider creating a mural with smaller, decorative tiles and frame with a lavish, textured molding if you don't have space for large pattern tiles.

    A framed tile murals below the range-hood accommodates the space perfectly.


  3. Define your style. A kitchen designer can really help. First, though, try to define the experience you want to achieve, the importance of aesthetics versus “ease of maintenance.” What colors do you like? Do you like clean lines and contemporary designs or classic patterns? Bright colors or muted colors? Vivid colors or earth tones? Here's a few examples of classic and contemporary styles that use tiles to define the design.

    Fruit, vegetable and flowers are a classic kitchen theme for a kitchen backsplash.
    Fruit, vegetable and flowers are a classic kitchen theme for a kitchen backsplash.

    Traditional cement tile patterns in hip colors work with this updated contemporary kitchen.
    Traditional cement tile patterns in hip colors work with this updated contemporary kitchen.

    If too much pattern scares you, consider "blocking tiles" to create one or two interest areas.

    Consider using Pinterest to collect ideas you like. Not only will you discover a theme that works, you’ll also be able to share your vision with your designer or friend who is helping with the design.


As you find your style and look for tile, keep these three rules in mind and you will end up with an eye-catching backsplash that you’ll love for years to come.  Don't miss the other posts that are part of Range Hoods Inc July Blog Hop & $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway.


Here's links to the other Blog Hop posts:

  1. July Blog Hop Post #1: 5 Elements of an Artful Kitchen by Artful Kitchens
  2. July Blog Hop Post #2: Budget Outdoor Décor Hacks… By Snazzy Little Things


What are you waiting for?  Get your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tile and Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture at the Homestead Museum


The hot, humid weather we've been experiencing in Southern California since last week has taken a toll on me. I am not used to the tropical weather, so I find my mind wandering.

The entry gates to La Casa Nueva at the Homestead Museum
The entry gates to La Casa Nueva at the Homestead Museum

However, with the stifling and oppressive heat, there is great news! We received some much-needed rain for our parched California lands. Also, as my mind continues to wander, I couldn't help but think of a getaway or vacation, so I thought I would share one of my favorite tile haunts here in California, The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum.

The Moorish-inspired, Spanish door and entry of La Casa Nueva is meant to impress.

The Homestead Museum is a hidden gem that resides in the most unlikely of areas, the City of Industry, just outside of Los Angeles. The museum is a place to explore the history of the Los Angeles region from 1830 to 1930 through the hopes and dashed aspirations of two families. The six-acre site features the Workman House, an 1870s country home constructed around an 1840s adobe built by William and Nicolasa Workman.

Additionally, La Casa Nueva, a 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival mansion noted for its architectural crafts, was built by the Workmans' grandson Walter Temple and his wife, Laura. Additionally, El Campo Santo, one of the region's oldest private cemeteries, contains the remains of Pío Pico (the last governor of Mexican California), and other prominent pioneer families. Being a huge fan of Spanish and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, I'll share some of the highlights of La Casa Nueva or the New House.

The main entry with its central, open plan is impressive and filled with hand-crafted details like carved vegas, wood floors, and tiled stair risers.

La Casa Nueva is filled with bespoke details of Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture
The main entry is filled with bespoke details of Spanish colonial revival architecture.


A grand staircase with Spanish tile and tile floor molding in La Casa Nueva
A grand staircase with Spanish tile and tile floor molding in La Casa Nueva.

As you discover the grounds, with your guide, you'll also find some unique rooms like this barbershop embellished with cement tiles. Cement tile such as this remind me of Cuban tile barbershops found in Havana during the same time period.

Cement tile in the Barber Shop reminds me of Cuban Tile
Cement tile in the Barber Shop reminds me of handmade Cuban Heritage tile.

A close-up detailing the cement tile pattern found in the Barber Shop
A close-up detailing the cement tile pattern found in the Barber Shop.

I'll continue with this amazing tour of La Casa Nueva in August. It's a feast of design details and tile - everywhere you go.

Feeling inspired? Want to learn more about how to use tile that create the style and feel of Spanish and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture? This is one of our passions and we can help. Visit our Spanish Tile Design Center today!



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cement Tile Patterns for Patios and Floors


Cement tile floors for outdoor patios or indoor living spaces allow you to create unparalleled visual appeal using patterns together with the colors of your choice. Here are a few recent projects that I've been working on with customers. Each project shows how cement tile is being used to create flooring that is both personal and unique.

Celebrate summer and be reminded of the cool water at the seashore with the Wave pattern by Tania Marmolejo from our Artist Series.

Cement tile floor pattern using Wave in Stormy Blue and White
Cement tile floor pattern using Wave in Stormy Blue and White
Desiring a casual look for their floor, one of our Southern California customers chose the hip, contemporary and stylistic Wave pattern. Selecting their own colors, Stormy Blue and White from the Heritage Palette, they customized the pattern for their design at no additional cost. Durable and easy-to-maintain, cement tile is a great choice for floors. Not only is the look cool, casual and comfortable; but, the silky feel of polished cement tile on bare feet is a perfect choice for an outdoor patio or bathroom. The larger 10" x 10" cement tile format laid from wall to wall without a border. provides eye-catching appeal for contemporary homes.


Capitalizing on California's great year-round weather, many of the state's homes wrap around a backyard patio that can be accessed from the bedroom, kitchen and living areas. A customer in Santa Monica has a traditional Spanish-style home with a central back patio. She wanted to tile the back patio and establish a casual, contemporary look that would work with the home's traditional architecture. She achieved her vision by using the Union 1A pattern by Tania Marmolejo, also from our Artist Series.  

Union 1A pattern from Avente's Artist Series of Cement Tile
Union 1A pattern from Avente's Artist Series of Cement Tile

To achieve a slightly more traditional feel for this outdoor patio, the pattern was framed to make a rug using Ash Grey. The area outside the rug will be filled with Dark Shadow. Both Ash Grey and Dark Shadow are colors from within the pattern. The interlocking circle pattern plays well with the classic Moorish-inspired, Spanish theme of the home's architecture. The soft and dark grey color palette is easy to work with and complements the existing design.

Another Avente customer wanted to maintain a traditional, slightly more formal look for their entry hall. Working with patterns and colors from our Mission cement tile collection, they created a complex tile rug pattern with a border. However, since the rug will be laid in a polished, cut, poured concrete slab, only two colors from the grey-scale were used.

New Castle pattern with Queen Border in Charcoal and Grey
Cement tile rug created using New Castle pattern with Queen Border in Charcoal and Grey

Moreover, our same customer also liked our Cuban Heritage CH110-2B and choose the pattern for a different area of their home. The popular CH110-2B Cuban Heritage cement tile pattern uses shades of blues, grays, and dark brown. Unfortunately, the customer didn't have any blue in their existing design, so they changed the pattern colors and substituted Cana Green for Royal blue in the pattern.

Cuban Heritage Design 110-2B Cement Tile. Cana Green has been substituted for Royal Blue

As you can see, designing with cement tile is fun and personable. I can't wait to see the installation photos from these customers after their tile is delivered and installed. These recent projects from our customers illustrate how flexible cement tile is with any decor or environment. You can create flooring designs for outdoor spaces, such as patios and walks, or interior spaces such as entries and kitchen floors. Cement tile works with the existing architectural elements from traditional to contemporary. You can use our existing designs and colors in the catalog, modify the colors in the pattern, or mix or match patterns and borders to make your home your castle. The choice is yours!

Feeling inspired? Want to learn more about cement tile design, cement tile flooring, cement tile patterns, and see installations? Let us help! Visit our Cement Tile Information Center.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Malibu with Terracotta Ceramic Tiles: A Historical Perspective

Stunning view of the Malibu coast from the historic Adamson House.
Stunning view of the Malibu coast from the historic Adamson House.

Situated in one of the most sought after coastal locations on the West Coast in Southern California, and perhaps the nation, is the Adamson House. Now a museum, the Adamson House occupies land that was previously home to the Chumash Indians until the 18th century. Later, according to Malibu Adamson House Foundation (MAHF) records, “the Rindge family owned 17,000 acres and 20 miles of coastline.” With the coast on one side and the Santa Monica mountains on the other, “the Rindge family’s daughter, Rhoda, and her husband, Merritt Huntley Adamson, used the site to construct a beach house, now the historic Adamson House museum.

A closer look at the blue-glazed Malibu with terracotta tiles at the Adamson House.
A closer look at the blue-glazed Malibu with terracotta tiles at the Adamson House.

Moreover, the Spanish Colonial Revival style home, built in 1929, enjoys the designation of being a National Historic Site, California Historical Landmark, and a California State Park. “Situated near the Malibu Pier between popular Surfrider Beach and the Malibu Lagoon, the house boasts an exotic mix of Spanish and Moorish influences with dazzling displays of decorative tiles and one-of-a-kind craftsmanship including hand-carved doors, hand-painted frescoes, molded ceilings, distinctive cast ironwork and lead-framed bottle glass windows,” the museum added.


Malibu glazed ceramic tiles meld beautifully with terracotta tiles along the walkways of the Adamson House.
Malibu glazed ceramic tiles meld beautifully with terracotta tiles along the walkways of the Adamson House. 

Interestingly, California was inundated with tile-producing companies in the 1920s, including Malibu Potteries, the company founded by May Rindge. “Filled with an entrepreneurial spirit, May Rindge started the firm after discovering her land was rich in the natural resources needed to manufacture ceramic tile. She wisely hired Rufus Keeler—a ceramist and draftsman whom many considered a ceramic genius for his secret glazes known for their color and clarity—as her plant manager,” according to the MAHF.

Thankfully, the tradition of creating colorful, decorative and long-lasting tiles similar to those found in the Adamson House remain strong with our latest introduction, Malibu with Terracotta Ceramic Tile.

Vibrant colors coupled with Spanish- and Moorish-inspired patterns make our Malibu with Terracotta Ceramic Tile collection a feast for the eyes.
Vibrant colors coupled with Spanish- and Moorish-inspired patterns make our Malibu with Terracotta Ceramic Tile collection a feast for the eyes.

This line of hand-painted ceramic tile pays homage to the Malibu and Catalina Potteries of California of the 1920s. Using classic patterns, these tiles are created using the cuerda seca technique to produce a slight relief and outline around each pattern color where the glazes pool. These tiles differ from our decorative ceramic Malibu tile line because the design utilizes unglazed terracotta or bisque for the background for a traditional Spanish look. Mix and match plain field tile colors from our Malibu Field to create harmonizing designs. The Malibu with Terracotta Ceramic Tile collection is suitable for all indoor applications, including walls and floors. They are also suitable for outdoor locations in frosty environments.





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What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness? ~ John Steinbeck

With school out for the summer, and our dreams of upcoming summer adventures coming to fruition, we chose the Pinterest board that best reflects this exuberance – Summer Food and Fun!

Summer’s energy translates to taking on new projects, perhaps one that has been set aside for years. Replacing cracked or broken pool tile or finally installing that fountain or water feature you’ve always wanted for the garden, and perhaps adding Malibu Ceramic Tiles with Terracotta to an indoor or outdoor set of stair rises.

Using handmade or hand-painted porcelain tile for your next outdoor or indoor project will not only enhance the look of your home, but you can rest assured the tile you choose will withstand the elements, too. For whichever project you choose to conquer, Avente Tile is here to help you reach your design goal. Our extensive ceramic tile Design Idea gallery features a large collection of projects dedicated to inspiring you and your living space. How can we help inspire you today?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Adamson House Tile Tour

With the Fourth of July Holiday just around the corner, I found my thoughts wandering toward the sunny California coast. So, I thought I'd share one of my favorite historical tile haunts, The Adamson House. It's located right on the Pacific Ocean and steps from the Malibu Pier in Malibu, California. Even if you aren't interested in tile and California history, it's hard to find a reason not to visit this lovely location.

Located in Malibu, California, the grounds of the Adamson house make for an enjoyable summer destination
Located right on the coast in stunning Malibu, the grounds of the Adamson house make for an enjoyable summer destination.

The grounds alone are simply stunning and open to the public every day during daylight. The Adamson house is a Spanish Colonial Revival home that was built in 1929. It has a unique mix of Spanish and Moorish architecture styles and perhaps one of the most comprehensive collections of tiles from the day. Famed Malibu Tile was manufactured just steps from there. As the trophy home of the factory owners, the home is nothing short of a showpiece. The factory produced tiles that are still coveted today and can be be found in some of Los Angeles' architectural treasures, such as the Mayan Theater and City Hall.

Glazed terracotta planters with ornate designs are clues to what await.
Glazed terracotta planters with ornate designs are clues to what await.

Today, we'll explore only the outside grounds. But, stay tuned for next week's post where we'll show more details and provide a bit of history on this tile treasure trove.

The flagstone entry pulls the eye to the resplendent tile entry  of the Adamson house
The flagstone entry pulls the eye to the resplendent tile entry

Adamson House tiled entry is a tile tapestry
The entry to the Adamson House tiled is a tile tapestry

An exquisite peacock tile tapestry faces the back patio
An exquisite peacock tile tapestry water feature faces the back patio 

Moorish-inspired details like this parabolic window are adorned with glazed ceramic tile patterns
Moorish-inspired details such as this parabolic window are adorned with glazed ceramic tile patterns


Tiled outdoor tubs were used for washing pets - in style!
Tiled outdoor tubs were used for washing pets - in style!

Did you enjoy today's post? Then you might want to subscribe to Avente Tile's mailing list for free! Subscribers receive our hand-painted ceramic and cement tile newsletter, Tile Talk, once per month.

Tile Talk offers great hand-painted ceramic and cement tile design ideas, tile tips, and information about new ceramic and cement tile products. We also explore historically significant tile installations, such as today's post, as well as photos of hand-painted ceramic and cement tile installations and designs, and perspectives from designers and architects who have specified and installed beautiful hand-painted ceramic and cement tiles. We think you'll find lots of inspiration!


Next week's newsletter will provide a historical perspective on Malibu tile and more information about this endearing historical landmark. Sign-up now for your free copy of Tile Talk!