Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Design Tips for Stair Riser Tiles

Decorative tiles are the perfect design accent for a stair riser. For a classic look use the same tile for all the risers. For a more bold statement, alternate the pattern used on each row or try using different designs on the same riser. Here's our top five ways to use hand-painted or decorative tile on stair risers.

Try using:

  1. The same tile pattern on each row for a classic approach.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using the same pattern on each row

  2. A different pattern on each row.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using a different pattern on each row

    You can also limit your selection to just a few patterns and repeat the pattern every other row.

  3. Different designs on the same riser. For instance, our Spanish tiles shown here are the Teruel, Alcala, and Andalucia. They look great next to each another on the same row.

    Stair Riser Tile Idea using Alternate Patterns on the Same Row

  4. Use different size tiles on different rows.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using different sizes on each row

    Above, Caceres 3"x6" was placed on the top row, 6"x6" for the middle row, and 2"x2" dots for the bottom row. You can also be creative with sizes. Try using two rows of 3"x6" tiles instead of a single row of 6"x6".

  5. Place the decorative tiles 'on point.' Or, Include a vertical or horizontal "spacer row" using a 2"x2" of the same design or in a solid color field tile.
    Stair Riser Tile Idea using Different Patterns on Point

Be creative with your designs when using hand-painted or decorative tiles for stair risers. There aren't any 'strict design standards' to follow, except your own! Try different sizes, patterns and groupings. You can place them in a traditional grid pattern or on-point with field tile in a coordinating color. Get samples and and try various layouts until you find one that suits your sense of style.

Our slide show of stair riser installations has even more great design inspiration ideas for tiling stair risers!


Have a favorite? Of course you do! Let us know your favorite from our top five picks by leaving a comment. Or, share your own idea. There are few projects more fun than tiling stair risers!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tile Talk Newsletter - May 2011

Project Pick: Cuban Tiles Create a Tropical Splash

Cuban Tiles Create a Tropical Splash
Cuban Heritage Design 130-3B Bath Installation

In this tropical-inspired bath, Cuban Heritage Design 130-3B creates a bold backsplash. This installation uses a common cement tile size of 8" x 8". However, The design is anything but traditional because the Cuban tiles are used as wainscoting along the walls that includes the border design. To provides a finished look, the top border row of cement tile along the wall uses a bull-nose edge.

The colorway shown here is very contemporary and tropical. The primary colors are cool blues with light pink or salmon accents and include:

Turquoise  Heritage Solid Color Turquoise

White  Heritage Solid Color White

Pink Frost  Heritage Solid Color Pink Frost

Steel Blue  Heritage Solid Color Steel Blue

Like all our Cuban Heritage cement tiles, this pattern comes in three colorways: one traditional and two contemporary. You can substitute colors to create a custom look using colors from our Heritage Colors of cement tile.

Cuban Heritage 130-1B Cement Tile Cuban Heritage 130-2A Cuban Heritage 130-13B Cement Tile
130-1B 130-2A 130-3B

>> See all Cuban Cement Tile

>> See More Cement Tile Installations

>> Read Blog Post: Cuban Tiles Create a Tropical Splash

Cement Tile Tip:

When installing the same pattern on vertical and horizontal surfaces, the use of border tiles at the edge of the floor and wall provides a transition.

This and other great ideas are discussed in our blog:

>> Tips for a Contemporary Look Using Cement Tiles

Don't Miss Out! Save 15% on Bird & Nest Tiles

Bird and Nest Tiles

Celebrate spring with an Avente tile favorite: Bird & Nest tiles. Save 15% through May 31, 2011. No coupon needed. Place your order online.

This stunning line of bird and nature inspired decorative tile comes in rich pooled glazes in blue and plum hues. Artistically paired to contrast with terra cotta and earth tones. The large decorative tiles are done in relief and come in 8"x8" and 8"x10" accents.

>> View All Bird & Nest Tiles

>> Read Blog Post: Nothing Says Spring like Bird & Nest Tiles

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Portuguese Tiles for a Residential Kitchen Retrofit

It's delightful when a customer takes the time to share a photo from a tile project using Avente's Tile. It's even more exciting when Avente can help a customer with special or custom requirements. Last Wednesday some great folks in Chevy Chase, Maryland, sent three photos of their installation.

Charming Kitchen with New Portuguese Braganza Tiles
Charming Kitchen with New Portuguese Braganza 3"x3"
& Existing Field Tile

This was an interesting project because they were using four decorative 3" x 3"corner tiles as inserts to create a 6" x 6" floor medallion and they wanted to keep the existing field tiles; it was just the decorative inserts that needed to be replaced.

Detail of Portuguese Braganza Floor Medallion Inserts
Detail of Four Portuguese Braganza Tiles to Create a Medallion

They purchased samples and were charmed with the Portuguese Braganza because it matched the existing style and their preferred color scheme. However, there was a problem. The tile body was significantly smaller and would require wider grout lines than they desired.

Our friends in Maryland had one question: Could Avente create the tiles in an actual three-inch square format? After discussing the project with our tile artisans, we decided we could and six weeks later our folks in Chevy Chase, Maryland were ready to begin their project. Tiles are sold by their 'nominal size' and not their actual size. A nominal size is a 'trade size' that roughly means 'about' that size. For instance, 3" x 3" tiles may be 2-7/8" square or 3" square.

Visit our site to read more about Nominal vs. Actual Size.

Installation using Portuguese Braganza Tiles as Floor Medallion Inserts
Installation using Portuguese Braganza 3"x3" Tiles as Floor Medallion Inserts

I am so pleased that their kitchen turned out just the way they wanted it! And, I'm glad that Avente could play a part. It is also a tribute to the lasting quality of tile as our friend in Chevy Chase, Maryland writes:

As a testament to the demonstration of how great an old ceramic tile floor can look, the orange tile was laid when we moved into this house - almost 30 years ago!

Cheers! May your new and old tiles continue to serve you well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Finish an Edge of Tile on a Wall

"How do I finish an edge or row of tiles on my backsplash or wall installation?" I hear this question often and when it arose again last week, I thought it would make a great post. The answer is very simple because you only have a few choices.

Installation using Bullnose Tiles to Finish an Edge
(between counter and cabinet)

Installation showing Bullnose Detail

When you tile an entire wall, from wall to wall and ceiling to floor, or between surfaces from the countertop to the bottom of your cabinets, you won't encounter this problem because the tile doesn't need to create a border or edge. However, if you stop the tile partway up the wall or where the cabinets end, the backsplash requires a tile that has a finished edge; otherwise, you'll see an unglazed edge that is both unattractive and doesn't provide protection.

There are three ways to finish the top edge of the tile on a wall. You can use:

  1. Molding – An expensive option that uses a cornice or bar shaped tile designed to provide a decorative flourish.

  2. Bullnose tiles – a tile with a finished, glazed radius that curves to the back wall surface.


  3. Glazed edge tiles – a tile with a standard square edge that is glazed on one side edge.


Here's some photos of tiles with the different finished edges:

Some Typical Moldings that Provide a Finished Edge

Double Bullnose (top), Unglazed Field Tile (middle), and Single Bullnose Tile (bottom)

Glazed Edge Tiles (foreground & back left)
compared to an Unglazed Edge Tile (back right)

Generally speaking, decorative tile doesn't come with a bullnose finish although you might occasionally find border strips (3"x6") with a glazed edge. For instance, our Barcelona line provides 3"x6" and 3"x3" borders with glazed edges. Field tile (solid color) often comes or can be ordered so the tile has a bullnose edge or with finished molding in the same glaze. Our Pillow Chiclet line of field tile comes with SBN (Single Bullnose) tiles and our Yucatan line can be ordered with bullnose or moldings in the same glaze as the field tile. Our Cement Tile can be custom ordered with a bullnose edge if you plan to use them for vertical installations.

The devil is in the details, so make sure you have discussed the options available before you start your tile project. This is an important detail that your designer or installer should also be able to assist with as part of the design or pre-construction review. However, it's critical to involve the tile supplier since only they know what is available and if it's in stock or only available via special order. Now you know how to finish an edge of tile on a wall!

Finally, a technical note about bullnose tiles. Bullnose tiles are often called single bullnose or SBN tiles because they have one or a single edge that is bullnosed. Double bullnose tiles or DBN tiles or corner bullnose have two adjoining edges that are bullnosed. For examples, see photo above.

Happy Tiling!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cuban Tiles Create a Tropical Splash

Cuban Tiles are used on the floor and to create a backsplash in this tropical-inspired bath. Cuban tiles are also called cement tiles.

Cuban Heritage Design 130-3B Bathroom Installation
Cuban Tile Bath Installation using Design 130-3B

In this installation, Cuban Heritage Design 130-3B is used in a common cement tile size of 8" x 8". But, the design is anything but traditional. Cuban tile is used as wainscoting along the walls and includes a border. The border row of cement tile for the wall application is custom made with a bull-nose edge that provides a finished look. When installing the same pattern on vertical and horizontal surfaces, the use of border tiles at the edge of the floor and wall provides a transition. This and other great ideas are discussed in our previous post: Tips for a Contemporary Look Using Cement Tiles. You can substitute colors to create a custom look using colors from our Heritage Colors of cement tile.

Cuban Heritage Design 130-3B Cement Tile
Cuban Heritage Design 130-3B Cement Tile

Like all our Cuban Heritage cement tiles, this pattern comes in three colorways: one traditional and two contemporary. The colorway shown here is very contemporary and tropical. The primary colors are cool blues with light pink or salmon accents and include:

Heritage Solid Color Turquoise
Heritage Solid Color White
Heritage Solid Color Pink Frost
Heritage Solid Color Steel Blue

What do you think of this bathroom? Leave a comment and let us know.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Avente Tile Talk Blog Featured in Tile Magazine

PRESS RELEASE: Avente Tile announces content sharing partnership with Tile Magazine. Avente Tile Talk, A weekly blog publication is now also available online at Tile Magazine.

Tile Magazine Logo Tile Magazine Logo

Tile Magazine is one of the industry's leading trade journals. In the beginning of this year, Arpi Nalbandian, editor of TILE Magazine, approached Bill Buyok, owner of Avente Tile, about the opportunity to share his blog's content with the readers of Tile Magazine. Avente Tile Talk is dedicated to the use, design and understanding of hand painted ceramic tile and cement tile. Bill liked the idea because of the project's synergy: an opportunity to grow his readership and share important information about art tiles with the industry.

Since March 2011, the current weekly edition of Avente Tile Talk is also available at Tile Magazine's online blog. Bill is thrilled that Avente Tile Talk is included with some of his favorite blogs like Paul Anater's Kitchen and Residential Design and JoAnn Locktov's Tileista.

ArpiArpi Nalbandian brings more than 15 years of experience reporting on all aspects of the floor covering industry. As a social media facilitator and contributor, she believes the tile industry has benefited greatly by the relationships fostered through the various platforms. She can be followed on Twitter as TileEditor or reached directly at nalbandiana@bnpmedia.com. Follow TILE Magazine on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. 

Bill Buyok thanks Arpi Nalbandian for this opportunity. He met Arpi at the Coverings 2010 Tweet-up. They have stayed in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cement Tile Home Tour – Form & Function

Note: This article first appeared April 18, 2010 as a guest post on Kitchen and Residential Design as Cement Tiles Provide Form & Function. This post is updated and the first in an occasional series showcasing homes with cement tile. Enjoy the tour.

Cement tile is design at its best. These tiles provide both form and function. Made of cement, these tiles are a green product. Cement tiles are both durable and strong with great insulating properties. In form, the tiles become works of art with infinite possibilities using almost any pattern, a large existing color palette, and the option for custom colors as well.

Here's a home tour that showcases the versatility, beauty, and function of cement tile. The entryway greets you with an intricate and bold pattern surrounded by a single row of solid color cement tile and stone. The colors in the floor work well with this antique door.

Santiago Entry Way
Santiago 8" x 8" Cement Tile

The formal dining room uses cement tile in the traditional rug pattern.

Sosua Entry Way
Sosua 8" x 8" Cement Tile

Leading out to the large patio, a less common design places four tiles together within a grid of solid color cement tile. This creates an exquisite open-air patio that runs the length of the home.

San Juan Patio
San Juan 8" x 8" Cement Tile

And, to emphasize the idea that cement tiles are indeed an artistic expression, I found this object d'art - framed and hanging at the end of the patio.

Perfect Patio Art - Fish Cement Tile
Dos Peces (Two Fish) 10" x 10" Cement Tile

Could there be anything more perfect to symbolize how well cement tiles work in both form and function? I hope you enjoyed the tour!

About Cement Tiles in This Home Tour
Avente Tile offers a complete line of solid color and patterned cement tiles. Choose from geometric designs and stylistic floral patterns in traditional and contemporary colors. Heritage Solid Color Cement Tiles are available in 85 colors and can be used to customize the most of the patterns in this home tour. Some sample stock is available on select patterns. Full orders generally take about six to eight weeks for manufacture and delivery.

Our online catalog of designs featured in this home tour includes the: