Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Designer Insights with Bill Buyok

By Tudor Davies, Terry's Fabrics

As you may know, Bill Buyok is the founder and owner of Avente Tile. He started the company as an online tile showroom and catalog so that hand-painted ceramic tiles and cement tiles are more easily and broadly available for others who share the same passion. Avente Tile's mission is to search the globe to find the finest and most extraordinary tiles for their customers while providing excellent service and product knowledge. With that in mind, here are the Designer Insights of Bill Buyok.

Editor's Note: Bill Buyok's Designer Insights were originally published Tuesday, May 19 on the Terry's Fabrics Blog by Tudor Davies. It's only one in a collection of Designer Insights compiled by Tudor and his team that profile designers and design enthusiasts. We're honored to have been included in this collection, and thank Terry's Fabrics for this opportunity. If you enjoy Bill's insights, then be sure to visit the Terry's Fabrics blog and peruse all of the Designer Insights.

The following transcript shows the interview questions and Bill's response to each.
  1. In your own words, describe your unique style and creative aesthetic? I’m drawn to classic Spanish, Moroccan, and Italian designs, the nature-inspired design of the Arts & Crafts Movement, and a love for Hispano-Moresque design.
  2. When starting a new project, what is your creative process? Listen to customers, understand their needs and wants. I start with facts, then develop the color scheme and apply pattern, motifs, accent colors and flourishes to establish design and personal style.
  3. Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most? My customers, who include designers, architects, and residential customers, often envision something extraordinary, unique and bold. Our cement tiles allow customers to create designs and apply color to a pattern of their choice, allowing them to control the creative design process. Thus, the tile’s pattern and color have now been reinvented into something beautiful that I would have never imagined.
  4. When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired? During my early morning treks through Los Angeles neighborhoods, I find inspiration around me. I then turn those inspirations into design ideas that are unique, fun and useful.
  5. What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps? Work hard, persevere, and do what you love! Every day presents its own unique challenges that you have to translate to opportunity. Never give up and always believe in yourself. Remember, it’s not how you handle the best days; but, how you handle the challenges and disappointments that really matter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Elevations Relief Cement Wall Tile from Avente Tile

Last month, I reported some of my favorite tile trends and finds from Coverings in the my blog post Tile Trends 2015: Variety is the Spice of Tile. One of the most unique new tile designs I spotted at the show is a relief cement wall tile line from Aguayo Tiles called Elevations. Without further ado, Avente Tile is proud to announce the premier of this exciting design line of relief cement tiles.

Elevations is a new cement tile in relief for walls
Elevations is a new cement tile in relief for walls.
Shown here is Drop in the color Chocolate Mousse.

Avente Tile partnered with Aguayo Cement Tiles a decade ago because of their generations-long commitment to producing quality cement tiles. This line is truly unique for the industry because it eloquently combines geometric shapes in both convex and concave relief that, and because of its extensive color palette of more than 60 colors.

Elevations Concave Rectangles used as shower accent wall.
Shown in black, white, and shades of grey.

Six shapes are available: Drop, Concave Rectangles, Petals, 3D Hexagon, Concave Hexagons, and Angles. The edgy, contemporary designs of high relief geometrical tiles really stand out for their architectural value. They are 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 classy, satin sheen. The tile come pre-sealed with a penetrating sealer and are ready to install.

Concave Hexagon tile in Jet Black with a waxed finish

3D Hexagon tile in three shades of grey. Standard finish installed without grout.

Angles relief cement tiles in grey with standard finish.

Ordering Elevations Relief Cement Tile
These new, architecturally inspired tiles are available now. However, we recommend you purchase strike-offs in the colors you desire before placing a full order. Allow about three weeks for strike-offs to be made and delivered. Strike-offs are shipped via UPS International Air Freight from the factory and cost about $150-$200 per sq. ft.

Discover the architectural collection of cement relief tile, Elevations, online now. When placing a full order, allow a lead time of 8 to 10 weeks for your tiles to be crafted by hand, carefully packed and shipped. Like all our cement tiles, these shapes can be customized with your choice of colors from the Heritage Color Palette. Tiles can be purchased with a standard finish or waxed finished. All tiles come pre-sealed from the factory with a penetrating sealer. If you have any questions, just contact us to let us know what you need.

More Exciting Cement Tiles from Avente Tile
We've got more new cement tile lines that will be ready very soon. Next week, we'll show you our new Hexagonal Cement Tiles. Coverings 2015 provided us with some exciting new tile designs that we can't wait to share with you in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Cuban Cement Tile from Aguayo Tile

A few weeks ago, I shared 2015 Tile Trends from my annual pilgrimage to Coverings, a trade show for tile and stone. I promised to share some other great new tile finds that Avente Tile will be adding to our offerings. Not being one to disappoint, I want to show the new Cuban Heritage Cement tile offerings from Aguayo.

Cuban Heritage Design 140 4B Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 140 4B Cement Tile 
Cuban Heritage Design 150 4A Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 150 4A Cement Tile

Cuban Heritage Design 160 4A Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 160 4A Cement Tile

Cuban Heritage Design 160 5B Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 160 5B Cement Tile

Gray, Blue, and Earth Tones
The new Cuban Heritage colorways embrace the trends we have been seeing with color. You'll notice more straight-forward colorways using three or four colors. Also, you'll find slightly muted patterns using shades of gray and blue or warm earth tones and neutrals with an accent of color.

These new colorways have been created with you in mind. We want to make it easy for the designer and homeowner to use cement tile in the home.

Cuban Heritage Design 200 4A Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 200 4A Cement Tile

Cuban Heritage Design 210 4B Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 210 4B Cement Tile

Cuban Heritage Design 240 4B Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 240 4B Cement Tile

Cuban Heritage Design 260 4B Cement Tile

Available Now and Soon to be Quick Shipped
These new colorways are available now. Although we have limited sample stock available at this time, we'll be adding these tiles to our stocked inventory and as a result, they'll be available for quick ship soon.

With a focus on quality and distinguished look all their own (compared to other suppliers), our Cuban Heritage cement tiles all come with a polished finish. Polished tiles have a slightly satin surface sheen, the desired patina that all cement floor tiles naturally develop over time. Polished tiles are also easier to install because the slightly smoother finish makes grout easier to remove from the surface.

Discover our entire Cuban Heritage Cement Tile collection  online now. The "Series 3" colorways, like CH260-3B, will no longer be stocked. These colorways are still available with a standard lead time of 8 to 10 weeks. Like all our cement tiles, these patterns can be customized with your choice of colors, Just contact us to let us know what you need.  Love Cuban Tiles?  Find out more in our post, A Brief Overview of Cuban Tiles.

More Exciting Cement Tiles from Avente Tile
It's not easy to get all of the new tile designs and lines we will  be offering from Coverings 2015 ready. I came back from the show energized and excited to share new tile inspiration, trends, and products. I'll share more new cement tile products and lines as we launch them over the next six weeks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Make a Splash with Pool Tiles

Deep indigo pool tiles, coupled with the architecture of the pool house, makes for an incredible outdoor setting.
Deep indigo pool tiles, coupled with the architecture of the pool house,
make for an incredible outdoor setting. Image via Architectural Digest.

Handcrafted artisan porcelain tiles are perfect for pools and water features. The materials and methods used in art pottery are similarly applied to classic porcelain tile-making techniques to achieve rich glazes that excite the eyes and hands.

As such, these porcelain tiles embody the charm and appeal of fine handmade ceramic ware. Glaze colors on porcelain offer unparalleled depth, clarity and vibrancy. With the warmth and originality of handmade art tiles, our porcelain pool tile collection is the perfect choice for pools, spas, water features, or any outside space. It should go without saying that each tile is custom manufactured by craftspeople dedicated to preserving the tradition of functional, natural beauty.

An example of the various glaze colors available with our Pool Tile Collection
An example of the various glaze colors available with our Pool Tile Collection.

Here are some important points to keep in mind when specifying or ordering hand-painted, artisan porcelain tiles:

  • 25 vibrant glazes are available in a wide-ranging palette.
  • Porcelain tiles are the optimum choice for pools and spas.
  • Ideal for interior and exterior applications.
  • Porcelain tiles are rated for freeze/thaw conditions.
  • Our tiles are made to order, so please allow 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Sample stock (3"x3") may be available, so please check with us.
  • Other formats, trim and molding available.

For additional design options, consider our Spanish Valencia 6"x6" ceramic tile, part of our extensive Spanish Ceramic tile collection. 

With its historical Spanish pattern and colors, Valencia’s design is created using traditional Majolica glazing techniques. The hand-brushed patterns are a perfect complement to outdoor living areas and water features.

Hand-painted glazed ceramic deco tiles with terracotta pavers showcase the stairs, risers and the pool.
Hand-painted glazed ceramic deco tiles with terracotta pavers showcase the stairs, risers and the pool. Image via Houzz | Custom pool tile design by Fariba at Archarium

Discover our porcelain pool tiles including all the colors, available trims, formats and accessories

 Designing with Tile

Inspiration for Pools and Ponds via Avente Tile's Pinterest Board

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

With the end of spring coming next month, summer's energy is quietly resonating on the horizon. Summer translates to taking on new projects, perhaps one that has been set aside for years. Now is the time to replace cracked or broken pool tile, or installing that fountain or water feature you've always wanted for the garden.

Using handmade or hand-painted porcelain tile for your next outdoor 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, April 28, 2015

A Better Saltillo Tile: Rustic Cement Tile Pavers

Saltillo tile entry with cement tile rug
A Saltillo tile entry features a cement tile rug. Via Vanguard Studio, Inc.

A few weeks ago, we spoke about the history, production and properties of Saltillo tile. To recap, hand-crafted from natural clay deposits, authentic Saltillo tile can only come from one place in the world - Saltillo, in the state of Coahuila in Mexico. The process of turning this special Mexican clay into tiles has remained unchanged since 1577.

This week, we'll be addressing the what Saltillo tile is and is not, while offering a handmade, sustainable product that resembles Saltillo in looks, but inherently contains additional long-lasting, maintenance-free properties.

To recap, Saltillo tiles:
  • Vary in color and shape 
  • Colors range from reds, oranges and yellows. 
  • Tiles are shaped either by hand-presses, or carved with desired shape. 
  • Couples perfectly with hand-painted decorative ceramic tiles

Saltillo tile walkway features hand-painted ceramic tiles on the risers.
Saltillo tile walkway features hand-painted ceramic tiles on the risers.  

Now, let's take a look at Rustic Cement Tile Pavers. While it's not strictly Saltillo Tile, our handmade Rustic Cement Tile Pavers offer the same look that you love in Saltillo tile with the added benefits of:

  • Similar handmade look
  • Color variations
  • Variety of formats, textures
  • Made in the USA
  • True "through body" color
  • Resistant to scratches, cuts
  • Rated for freeze/thaw cycles
  • Stronger body, less maintenance

How to Buy Rustic Cement Tile Pavers
Buying Rustic Pavers is as easy as one, two, three. Color choice is the most important point. It's a good idea to get several color chips or each color to help get an idea of the variation and texture that you'll see. If you want the look of Saltillo, then select from the four paver colors below.

If you want the look of Saltillo, then select from the four paver colors below.
These four Rustic Cement Tile Pavers offer the look of Saltillo tiles.

The tiles come with a standard smooth finish; however, additional textures are available to create a weathered, antiqued patina. There are four standard Rustic Paver Textures.

For a weathered, antiqued patina, add texture to your Rustic Cement Tile Pavers.
To create a weathered, antiqued patina, consider adding
one of these four standard Rustic Paver Textures.

Designing with Tile

Rustic Cement Tile Pavers offer the same look as Saltillo tiles, with added benefits.

Now that Spring has arrived, it's time to spruce up the outdoors. As an alternative to Saltillo tiles, our Rustic Cement Tile Pavers offer a year-round solution. With a wide variety of colors and shapes available, your design is only limited by your imagination.

Lastly, visit our dedicated Rustic Cement Tile Paver 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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tile Trends 2015: Variety is the Spice of Tile

Last week was action-packed as I made my annual pilgrimage to Coverings, a trade show for tile and stone. The week-long event took place in Orlando, Florida and was filled with highlights including seeing long-time friends, a face-to-face meeting with designer Alena Capra, and listening to Ryan FasanTile of Spain's Technical consultant, speak about tile trends and design.

Coverings 2015
Bill Buyok, Avente Tile owner, at Coverings 2015

It's thrilling to share the industry trends with you and unveil our newest lines (drum roll please).

Hexagons are Hot
Anyone in attendance would agree that you could not avoid spotting the sexy six-sided polygon just about anywhere on the show floor. Hexagons tile formats were everywhere - as small mosaics, in elongated forms, bold colors, and in relief formats. Hands down, Elevations concave hexagon and 3D hexagon by Aguayo was one of my favorite tile finds.


3 shades hex
Elevations 3D Hex in three shades of grey adds interest to a classic pattern with concave and convex dimension.

wax finished cement hex
Concave Hexagon in black with a waxed finish is a new cast cement line from Aguayo.

Formats, Patterns, Texture and Technology Blend
Ryan Fasan mentioned that the tile industry is at an exciting crossroads of blending artisanal technique with technology to provide a blending of looks never before seen or achieved. Think of this as cement tile meets thin formats and ink jet printer techniques, Last year I saw wood-look, stone-look, and cement tile designs infused on porcelain tile. Now, these different material looks (wood, stone, metal, and pattern) are being subtly blended onto tile to create sophisticated designs. While this is most prevalent in the state-of-the-art factories of Spain and Italy, you are seeing the same effect in the hand-crafted tiles in the Americas.

The new Hex line by Original Mission Tile shows how classic shapes are mixed with pattern to create complex, interesting and modern designs.

Pattern hexagons
Pattern plays on popular hexagon shapes using metal grey and warm earth tones.

2 tone hexagons

Wood look rustic tile
The rustic wood look of this beach house vignette is created with tile

cascading gold hexagon mosaics
Cascading gold hexagon mosaics from Onix.

Textured Tile Shapes
There is a strong trend to add interest to classic geometric shapes with texture and relief. The popular hexagon shape gets reinterpreted with concave relief as shown above. But, I love the rich and sexy shape of this teardrop in chocolate brown. Wouldn't this be lovely in a bathroom with different shades of blue? This also part of the new Elevations line from Aguayo that will be available from Avente soon.

Concave drops
Concave drops in chocolate brown create the sumptuous look of leather and add richness with the relief texture.

luxurious gold hexagons
Apavisa gold hexagons create a luxe look with a classic shape

Textile influences are also growing with the emphasis of textured surfaces. Pins and Needles is a line completely inspired by fabrics, lace, and textile. The cast cement line is available in almost any color; but I love this line in its classic look on white. This is another line by Aguayo Cement Tile.

Brussels Lace
Brussels Lace showcases texture inspired by fabric and lace.

The folks at In-Pietra from Mexico have captured the essence of creating dazzling texture in stone.

carved stone effect
Texture created by carved stone and effective lighting adds richness to any design.

It's not easy to recap a week of inspiration, trends, and learning. I came back from the show energized and excited. This is the best of the best in one (short) post and captures the essence of the show and what excites me. I'll share more trends in a future posts as we launch many of these new lines over the next six weeks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kitchen Design with Your Range Hood in Mind

Guest post by Samantha Velez, Range Hoods Inc

While designing a home kitchen, making choices can feel overwhelming at times. Your mind races with thoughts like, “What do I pick first? The counter or the backsplash tile?” There are so many elements that go into the design, including the cabinetry, range hood, range and flooring.

When designing your kitchen, all of the elements play a large role. The tile, flooring and backsplash are all important and influence the bigger picture. However, don't forget about how important the range hood is. Make sure to include it as a part of your design plan.

To help you make these decisions, we would like to overview the styles of range hoods that are available for your kitchen remodeling project. These are the hoods you will have to work within the whole kitchen design.

Under Cabinet Range Hood

Kitchen Design Range Hood 1
Image credit: Avente Tile customer Constance Zaytoun, Chelsea, NY

Under cabinet range hoods are mounted above the range and underneath a cabinet. These units take up less space while providing optimal kitchen ventilation above the cooking surface. In the photo above, the backsplash tile, the color of the cabinetry and the range hood style all come together to create a beautiful kitchen design. The stainless steel range and range hood frame the beautiful blues and reds that pop out throughout the design.

Kitchen Design Range Hood 2
Image credit: Avente Customer, Laurie Saurez.

Wall mount range hoods are also mounted above the range and on the wall. There is no cabinetry above these units. If you are considering installing a wall mount range hood in your kitchen remodel, be sure that your cabinetry allows space for the unit.

The wall mount range hood in the photo above is decorated with straps and rivets. This decorative stainless steel range hood frames the beautiful patchwork tile backsplash in this kitchen. All of the design elements, including the lighting, task lighting and flooring, work together and feel balanced in this kitchen.

Insert Liner Range Hood

Kitchen Design Range Hood 3
Image credit: Avente Customer Mark and Erin C. of central New York

Insert liner range hoods are small range hood units that are designed to be hidden from view. The push button controls and lights are usually on the bottom of the unit, so they can easily be accessed while being hidden from sight at the same time.

It is common for insert liner range hoods to be embedded in the cabinet or in a decorative exterior such as the one in the photo above. At first glance, you cannot tell there is a range hood there. If you look closely, however, you can see the hidden lights shining down on the range. In this case, the insert liner range hood does not cover up the beautiful backsplash tile. In this design, the backsplash tile is the star.

Island Range Hoods

Kitchen Design Range Hood 4

Unlike the previous range hoods in this article, an island range hood is not mounted against a wall. These models are mounted from the ceiling above the kitchen island. These are used in kitchens in which the cooking surface is installed on top of the kitchen island.

Remember, island mount range hoods will become a focal point in your kitchen design. Even so, don’t forget to tile the backsplash. Make sure other design elements still shine through in the bigger picture.

We hope this has helped you and empowered you to make some decisions that will enhance your kitchen remodel.

About the Author
Samantha Velez is the Content Specialist at Range Hoods Inc, an online retailer of kitchen range hoods and kitchen sinks. Visit Range Hoods Inc today to learn more.