Maybe it stems from newspapers which are often read in both rooms, or maybe it comes from historical roots, or maybe it is so all colors of accessories look bright and cheerful; but no matter the reason, black, white and sometimes with shades of gray is a popular combination for cement tile floors in kitchens and baths. A popular choice is our Cubes pattern because it is both age-old classic and edgy modern… crisp and clean.
Cubes cement tile floor in a modern contemporary  kitchen in New YorkCubes encaustic tile in a modern NYC kitchen

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Villa Lagoon Tile Cubes cement tile in a bathroomnandos-peri-peri-cement-tile-VLT

Black and white stripe tile in a restaurant bathroom in the Washington DC area above

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phillip-sides-ikat-tile-backsplash-VLTPhillip Sides used our black and white Ikat tile (above) for this kitchen backsplash.

stanley-matz-kitchen-VLTLandscape designer Stany Matz chose a black and white striped tile which forms a alternate reverse square-in-square pattern for his Miami, Florida kitchen.

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This photo and the one below show our Large Cubes pattern tile in a Brooklyn, NY townhouse renovation. tamara-big-harlequin-bathroom-VLT

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Siem Reap old market area sign The Khmer Rouge may have destroyed much of the population and vitality of Cambodia in the 1970’s but the lovely cement tile floors in the old districts lived through it all.

Siem Reap [siəm riəp] in northwest Cambodia is a town adjacent to the Angkor World Heritage Site, location of the world famous ancient Angkor Wat temple complex. The cafes and shops along the streets in the Siem Reap Old Market district reveal an assortment of colorful cement tile floors in age old patterns.


Cambodian Siem Reap market area

Old Siem Reap market area

Antique cement tile floors in a Cambodian cafe

A swirling hand drawn pattern like this is seldom seen in current cement tile production.

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Even hardware stores have classic cement tile flooring like this 3 color pattern.

Antique Cement tile in a cafe in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

This cafe’s antique cement tile pattern with fleur-de-lis and berries is a popular pattern today.

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The pattern in this cafe tile is reminiscent of medieval clay encaustic tile in pattern and colors.

Antique cubes cement tile

Antique cubes cement tile in typical popular Cambodian colors

Our quest to explore antique cement tile leads to many surprises. Patterns that were popular a long time ago remain strong sellers today. We love discovering beautiful cement tile installations that are still loved and appreciated in unexpected parts of the world. It seems that while cement tiles were once made commercially in Cambodia, now only one workshop may remain.  Known as Kay Vath’s tile factory in Phnom Penh. The factory and shop is on Russian Boulevard, near Teak Thla market but as the article says, his output is small. Now most new cement tiles are imported into Cambodia but the cheap printed ceramic tiles from China predominate due to the very low cost. Cambodia is in a state of recovery still and has a ways to go.

Our trip to Cambodia and neighboring Vietnam was wonderful and led to many excellent cement tile sightings. We’ll be posting photos of them in the next few weeks.

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Designer Chris Grandmontagne used our Colorful Patchwork encaustic cement tile in her kitchen/family/breakfast great room renovation in the 2013 Topeka Designers’ Show House. Our cement tile went above the stove and to line the bookcases on either side of the fireplace to great effect. In the large kitchen area and family room the Patchwork does not overwhelm but adds just the right amount of cheerfulness without becoming the dominant element of the decor.

Patchwork cement tile backsplash

The niche above the stove has the Patchwork Cement Tile backsplash.

Cement tile backsplash in a niche above the stove

Spacious kitchen in the designer show house in Topeka, Kansas.

We love how Chris used our tile also in the family room area as a background to the built-in custom shelves on either side of the fireplace. Below is a construction photo followed by the completed project.

Encaustic cement tile in the back of custom shelves on either side of a brick fireplace.

Construction photo of the patchwork cement tile going into the back of the custom shelves.

After photo of the family room area

Photo of the family room area

Built in shelves with colorful patchwork tile as a back feature

Family room shelving with Villa Lagoon Tile Colorful Patchwork Tile

family breakfast area in designer show house

Family breakfast room in designer show house with gorgeous deep aqua Fiberglas chairs

Long dining table in a screen porch connected to the family room

Outdoor dining in enclosed screen porch which connects to the family room and kitchen

Topeka Kansas Designer Show Home 2013

Topeka Kansas Designer Show House 2013

Thanks to  designer Chris Grandmontagne …(Don’t you just love that name ??)
of Grandmontagne Designs and warehouse414.com 414 SE 2nd St., Topeka, Ks. 66607
and Stephen Smith Images, 931 Studios, 931 Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS.

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Travelers through Washington Dulles International Airport will find a new and unusual option at Terminal D.  Bistro Atelier brings a taste of French fine dining to travel-weary passengers during their layovers.

Cement Tile bar face at Bistro Atelier

Successful restaurant entrepreneur Hakan Ilhan, is no stranger to the difficulties of running an airport eatery.  Several of his 25 DC-area restaurants are located in the city’s two major airports.  Ilhan’s first area business was a TCBY yogurt franchise at Ronald Reagan National Airport, in 1997.  With this project, he paired with Executive Chef John Lewitt to raise the bar of airport dining.

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Dinners love the quality and variety of the food… there are not very many places in the world where one can grab a bite of escargot between flights!

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It was our pleasure to work with Carlos Moreno and Matt Norris of Norris Design Studio on this project. It’s so gratifying to see images like these of a beautifully completed project. The cement tile featured in this project was “Tulips Sebring” (formerly known as “Roseton”), often available for in-stock, but always available for direct-production.

bistro-atelier-dessertsbistro-atelier-fruit

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The  historical Hong Kong Jockey Club chose Villa Lagoon Tile for the recently opened Hay Market Restaurant. Both tables and floors in several parts of this large open-plan restaurant have our custom encaustic cement tiles.

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The Hong Kong Jockey Club founded in 1884 provides dining, social, sport and recreation facilities to its approximately 23,000 members. The HKJC conducts hundreds of horse races per year which can be viewed from the Hay Market Restaurant’s double-height floor to ceiling glass façade giving a view of the Sha Tin racecourse.


Designed by Joyce Wang, Hay Market Restaurant  fuses English style with tasteful modernism to create an all-inclusive, open-minded venue that bustles with the dashing vibes of a lively English establishment. The large restaurant brings a taste of rustic England to Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse.

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Wang made the fun choice to tile the tabletops at the Hay Market. We shipped the table tiles to the furniture manufacturer and the floor tiles went directly to the job-site in Hong Kong. Most of the tiles have neutral colors and the sharp black and white patterns in the tabletops add an edge of modernism.

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Let Villa Lagoon Tile make custom tile for your next restaurant project !!

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The street sign of "Drake One Fifty" in Toronto, Canada.The Drake Hotel has become a cultural hotspot of Toronto, known for art, music, and a fun atmosphere. When they decided to expand, they turned to the London office of the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to define the look of “Drake One Fifty” (named for its location at 150 York Street). In March, Zagat listed it among “Toronto’s 10 Hottest Restaurants“, applauding Brudnizki’s work as, “a beautifully designed space with plenty of eye candy“.

The fun dining room of the Drake One Fifty, tied together with a custom cement tile floor.

This project shows the great flexibility of cement tile to help bring a designer’s vision to fruition. It’s very common to create custom pattern molds for clients, whether reproducing historic patterns, bringing new designs to life, or tweaking existing designs to taste. In this case, we were able to go a step beyond, and had our Moroccan facility create two brand new shapes. First, an elongated hexagonal shape mold was created, then a matching triangular mold was created to form the keys of the layout pattern.

A photo shot on the factory floor in Morocco, showing several of the custom hexagonal and triangular cement tiles in their final arrangement.

An image sent from the factory floor in Morocco.

For those interested in the production of cement tile, here are several images showing one of our master artisans creating the custom hex tile.

Cement tile production. The Artisan is clamping the custom hexagonal shape mold to the mold's base.

Mold Assembly

Cement tile production. The Moroccan artisan is inserting the cement tile pattern mold into the shape mold.

Insert Pattern Mold

Cement tile production. The artisan is pouring the color layer of wet cement into the mold. One region will be filled with white pigment, the other with black.

Pour Color Layer

Cement tile production. The pattern mold is removed, showing the wet color layer of the black and white tile.

Remove Pattern Mold

Cement tile production. dry cement is sifted into the mold on top of the color layer, the tile is constructed with the surface down.

Add Body-Layer Cement

Cement tile production. The artisan levels the cement in the mold with a straight edge.

Leveling

Cement tile production. The artisan places a cap that fits snug into the mold, before putting the mold into the hydraulic press to compact the cement into a tile.

Cover and Press

One of our Moroccan master artisans displaying a freshly-pressed custom hexagonal tile. The elongated hex is black and white, in two color regions bisecting the hexagon along a line between the most distant points.

Displaying the Tile

Simply put, Drake One Fifty’s interior is near-perfection…

View the Vibe

 

A portion of the marble bar and custom cement tile floor of the Drake One Fifty.

With the Drake One Fifty, Toronto can now claim to have one of the coolest restaurants in the world.

Le Travelist

The dining room of the Drake One Fifty in Toronto, Canada, with an emphasis on the custom cement tile floor.

…a bit of Queen West style and culture plunked down in the middle of Toronto’s financial district.

Post City

The dining room of Drake One Fifty, with Green leather chairs, red leather booths, and black, white, and gray custom cement tile floors.

In the process of creating this solution, we proposed several variations of this Venetian mosaic theme in standard square and hexagonal formats. We loved them all so much, we produced one of them with our Venetian Collection, 8″ Treviso. 8″ square cement tile is the most economical format, and this smaller scale is more suitable to residential surfaces.

A layout of nine Treviso pattern tiles, 8

8″ Treviso, In-Stock

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A logo of a stylized iguana with wings, representing the Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar of Neptune Beach, FLThere’s a new restaurant in the Jacksonville, Florida area receiving a lot of attention. Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar of Neptune Beach has opened to rave reviews. Chef Joshua Agan and his staff serve a fun and inspired menu that is Latin American fusion with hints of the local Southeast.  Along with traditional Latin American flavors, you can also find items like the “Dirty South” taco, with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, or the “Southern Comfort” taco with fried chicken, slaw, and pickled okra.

 

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The designers of the Flying Iguana developed a stunning, eye-catching facade using our exclusive Tradewinds pattern, from the Caribbean Collection.  Together with the interesting wood trellis holding the signage, this is a restaurant that cannot be missed. Decorative cement tile for external walls have long been popular south of the border, but we’ve seen more and more installations in the United States recently. This may be in large part due to the advances in sealant technology, which can preserve the vibrant patterns from the elements.

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In the dining room, the designers chose to use a large area of patchwork cement tile on the floor, and as a backdrop for the bandstand. They used a combination of our pre-selected patchwork tile at the time, and supplemented with other in-stock patterns to custom-tailor the blend of colors they were seeking. Not only is decorative cement tile a strong enough visual draw to use as an accent wall, it is durable enough for busy restaurant floors. Modern sealants help preserve the the appearance over time, and provide better anti-slip characteristics than original wax techniques.

Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers, in a photo-shoot against a wall of patchwork tile from Villa Lagoon Tile.

Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers

Our tile is featured in the April 2014 issue of The Void, a monthly magazine exploring the lifestyle of coastal North Florida. The Flying Iguana was the location for a photo-shoot with Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers, a hopeful for Miss Florida USA. We noticed they couldn’t help but choose some of the vertical Villa Lagoon Tile installations as backdrops. They also posted a behind-the-scenes article.

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Our decorative cement tiles can also be seen in large installations in the restrooms. The designers chose our in-stock Torino cement tile for the ladies’ room, and in-stock Bocassio Gold cement tile for the men’s room. Note that the Bocassio Gold image is a construction photo, taken before the application of grout and final sealant.

If you find yourself near Jacksonville, Florida, everyone is saying that the Flying Iguana is a worthwhile stop, both for the amazing food, and the inviting atmosphere.

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Cover of "Country Living" Magazine, May 2014.

May 2014

Villa Lagoon Tile made the cover of the Hearst publication, “Country Living Magazine”. The feature article, “A Recipe for the Ultimate Kitchen” covered a beautiful kitchen remodel in Rockland County, New York.

Homeowner Aliyyah Baylor knows her kitchens.  She and her family own a successful Harlem bakery business. Make My Cake has been featured in the New York Times as one of the best places to get Red Velvet Cake, and they won on the Food Network show “Throwdown With Bobby Flay” with their German Chocolate Cake.

 

"This floor is the highlight of my day," she says. (From a photo of Country Living Magazine, May 2014).

Baylor was a joy to work with. She selected the floors first, and let them dictate the rest of the decor. She also used one of our favorite designers, Rebekah Zaveloff. You may recall Zaveloff of Chicago-based KitchenLabs from a previous post. Her design used our tile in an episode of Kitchen Crashers on the DIY Network.

This floor features a historic pattern from our Cuban Heritage Collection, CH-120-2B, which can also be found in our Monterey Collection.  Customize with your choice of colors in our design tool by selecting the 8″x8″ pattern, “Jerez”.

Composite of the Country Living cover and article.

The full article can be found in the May 2014 edition of Country Living, or read their web version here: Aliyyah Baylor Kitchen Decorating.

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Our correspondent and fellow lover of cement tile, Russell Mikler in Greece, has been sending us great photos of the tiles he has salvaged from old-old abandoned homes. Some of these old homes have been abandoned for over 35 years.

These red and white cement tiles came from a home built in the late 1920’s that had been abandoned with a collapsed roof. Some of the tiles had even been covered with linoleum in the past. Russell was not able to save all of them due to the roof debris and damage. He salvaged all he could quickly, as the house is now scheduled for demolition. Russell makes table tops with small amounts of reclaimed cement tile.

Click these thumbnails to see the full size images.

Sstacks of reclaimed encaustic tiledirty old cement tiles salvaged

a washed cement tile next to the salvage onesreclaimed salvage old greek cement tileswet cement tiles from scrubbing off years of grime

The photos show how the tiles look before and  after cleaning decades of grime off of the encaustic cement tiles.

Sure there are a few stains, but really they clean up beautifully… these tiles are almost a century old! Bravo to Russell for saving these lovely tiles from being discarded with the building rubble. Wouldn’t the original craftsmen of these tiles be proud to know that Russell cares enough to save their tile and that the cement tile will live on long after the original structures are gone.

antique cement tile before cleaningclassic pattern estrella cement tile rescuedreclaimed encaustic cement tile in Greece

Russell now has a small workshop and makes new tiles in limited quantities. If you  live in Greece and are interested in buying reclaimed old cement tiles let us know.

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Best of Houzz 2014, Customer SatisfactionVilla Lagoon Tile has been awarded “Best of 2014″ by Houzz for Customer Satisfaction. Houzz is a large social website focused on residential architecture and interior design, with more than 16 million monthly visitors. “Best of Houzz” is awarded based on the quality and quantity of positive client reviews.

I love this tile!” says designer Taylor Borsari, owner of Taylor Borsari, Inc.,  “They have been a “go-to” for me for years!

In another 5-star review, Los Angeles designer Megan Taylor writes, “Hub of the House LOVES Villa Lagoon Tile! Not only are we obsessed with their huge array of fully custom cement tiles, their perfect customer service gives us every confidence in the world.

To read more of our 5-star reviews on Houzz, or to write about your own experiences, visit our profile here. You can also download the PDF press release here.

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