Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Color Me Mine with Cement Tiles: A Step-by-Step Guide to Customizing Cement Tiles

Get creative with cement tiles. Choose the colors you want for any pattern. Yes, you can customize the colors for any existing pattern to create your own unique, cement tiles designs.

Cement Tile Color Chips
Cement Tile Color Chips

You don't really get to color the actual tile – we do that for you. You choose the colors and decide where to place them on the pattern. You end up with a tile to match your exact style. Creative people, like designers and architects, will find the perfect custom solution when using cement tiles - especially when you need to match floor tiles or a back splash to specific colors for a design.

As with any custom project, you must allow additional time to choose the colors, apply them to the pattern, and for samples to be created. Be prepared, your first design may not be exactly what you imagined. Allow time for several "designs" to be created so you are sure to find the one you really love.

In this step-by-step guide, we're going to point you in the right direction with a few tips to follow. We'll use a real-life example to show you how we applied these tips so you can see how this process works.

  1. Pick a pattern that you really love. Remember the pattern can change by using the same colors next to each other. We really like Cuban Heritage Design 140-1A. It's a great 8" x 8" floor tile; but the Indian Red and Goldenrod colors aren't right for our home. We also want to make the design more contemporary and will drop the border and run the pattern to the edge of the room.

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140-1A
    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140-1A Cement Tile
    Standard Colorway

  2. Decide on the color scheme for the cement tile. The tile's color scheme might compliment a room's existing colors or stand-alone as the focal point of the space. Decide on the color scheme before you do anything else. For instance, I love green. It can be very soothing and works nicely with relaxing neutral colors that are easy-on-the-eye. My color scheme is "green." Remember, you need to work with each manufacturer's available color palette. Because we are using a Cuban Heritage pattern or tile, we need to choose colors from the Heritage Solid Color line that will work for our color scheme.

  3. Chose the specific colors you want to use. There are over 80 colors in the Heritage Solid Color cement tile pallet, so it wasn't hard to find a few that we really liked. After looking at all the colors, I decided on a few: Antique Ivory, Amber White, Romaine, Melon Green, and Blanched Turf.

    Antique Ivory - Solid Color Cement TileAmber White - Solid Color Cement TileRomaine - Solid Color Cement TileMelon Green - Solid Color Cement TileBlanched Turf - Solid Color Cement Tile
    Initial Green Color Pallet with Neutral Colors

  4. Order color chips of the colors you are considering. We have an exhaustive collection of colors and we can provide full-size tiles or color chips. It is very important to see both the finish and texture in addition to the color that you are considering. Place the samples together in the location and same position where they will be used. Find a color combination that suits you. Make sure to look at them during different times of day and consider how color changes when natural light is available. Place the color chips and tiles next to samples of other finished surfaces that you are considering and consider the pattern on the tiles.

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140
    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140
    Line Art

    What dominate colors do you like? Those colors will define the pattern. What neutral or complimentary colors do you like? They should be used for the background. After a week, you'll know what is working and what is not.

  5. Decide where to place each color on the pattern. Using your colors, decide where you want to place each color on the pattern. Try two or three different arrangements. Generally, you want one primary or accent color that defines the pattern with a complimentary color on a neutral background.

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140 with color substitution
    New Colors on Pattern
    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140

    We came up with two different substitutions:


    • Substitution #1: Melon Green for Golden Rod; Amber White for White, Romaine for Pearl Grey, Ivory for Indian Red.

    Antique Ivory - Solid Color Cement Tile Amber White - Solid Color Cement Tile Romaine - Solid Color Cement Tile Melon Green - Solid Color Cement Tile
    Antique Ivory Amber White Romaine Melon Green
    for for for for
    Indian Red White Pearl Grey Golden Rod


    • Substitution #2: Blanched Turf for Golden Rod; Amber White for White, Romaine for Pearl Grey, Ivory for Indian Red.

    Antique Ivory - Solid Color Cement Tile Amber White - Solid Color Cement Tile Romaine - Solid Color Cement Tile Blanched Turf - Solid Color Cement Tile
    Antique Ivory Amber White Romaine Blanched Turf
    for for for for
    Indian Red White Pearl Grey Golden Rod


  6. Create a virtual design or "mock-up". We can create a virtual design of the pattern you want to see. Using colors scanned from actual color chips and line art of the pattern, we can create a mock-up or virtual design of the cement tile. This helps provide a sense of what the real cement tile will look like. Most virtual images and can be transferred to render drawing in SketchUp, too. Seeing several virtual designs will help you choose a favorite between two or three patterns or eliminate a design that doesn't work.

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140 - Color Substitution No. 1
    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140
    Color Substitution No. 1 - Virtual Design

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140 - Color Substitution No. 2
    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140
    Color Substitution No. 2 - Virtual Design

  7. Order strike off samples. Before we start making your tiles for the "full order", you'll need to order strike-off samples for design approval. Strike-off samples are samples of your custom design and give you the confidence you need to ensure the full-order can begin. Do the sample tiles look close to the virtual design?

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140 #1 Grouping Sample Photo
    CH140 Substitution #1
    Sample Photo of Cement Tile

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140 #1 Grouping Sample Photo
    CH140 Substitution #1 Grouping
    Photo of Cement Tile Strike-Off Sample

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140 #2 Grouping Sample Photo
    CH140 Substitution #2
    Photo of Cement Tile Strike-Off Samples

    Cuban Heritage Pattern 140 #2 Grouping Sample Photo
    CH140 Substitution #2 Grouping
    Photo of Cement Tile Strike-Off Samples

  8. Approve the samples! Now your tile order can begin. Allow about six to eight weeks for your tiles to be manufactured and delivered.

Like any creative process, you can see that customizing the colors of a cement tile pattern takes time and patience. In the end, you'll be rewarded with the satisfaction of tiles you designed!

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