Archive for the ‘Ideas and Inspiration’ Category

  • Using Mosaic Tile At Home

    Date: 2013.09.11 | Category: Ideas and Inspiration | Response: 0

    If you’ve been looking for a way to add a little pop of color and texture to virtually any room in your home, mosaic tiles might just do the trick. When used to complement rather than clash, mosaic tiles can have an immediate effect on the overall tone of a room’s design and feel.

    When choosing mosaic tiles for your next design project, think about the room’s intended use, tile size and color. If you start with a design concept, you’ll discover that using mosaic tiles in the design of your home can be simple and straightforward.

    The small tile sizes make them easy to install and place, so have some fun experimenting with design and placement before grouting them down.

    Mosaic Tile

    Bathrooms and showers are perfect places to experiment with mosaic tile. It’s almost impossible to go wrong, actually. Here’s an example of mosaic tile used as a full-length wall and backsplash, as well as accent pieces in the shower enclosure for a sleek, modern look.

    Mosaic Tiles Project
    Geometric patterns work particularly well with mosaic tile and adds some visual interest to monochrome walls. You can mix different shapes and textures to create bold, stunning effects.

    Mosaic Tile Kitchen

    In the kitchen, mosaic tile walls offset the cabinetry and the warm tones of natural wood. The soft colors pair perfectly with the white finish on the cabinetry and brushed steel appliances.

    Mosaic Wall!

    Color, color, color! Brash, funky, and very cool. Big chunky pieces and wide grout lines make quite the statement in this outdoor pool installation, wouldn’t you say?

  • Inspiration from Some Beautifully Tiled Spaces

    Date: 2013.09.04 | Category: Ideas and Inspiration | Response: 0

    It’s no surprise that we love tile, so it’s not hard to get a little emotional talking about the beauty and warmth that can be achieved with the design material that sometimes get a bad rap for being cold and sterile.

    If you need a little inspiration to get those creative juices flowing, take a look at these photos of dramatic spaces punched up a few levels with some really awesome tile work. Color, texture, and mixed shapes — they have a little bit of everything.

    Brightly colored tiles here provide a neat quilted effect for this backsplash installed beneath equally bright blue cabinets in Brazilian designer Ana Theresa Bello’s kitchen. Image by Andre Nazareth, via casa.abril.

    A hallway lined with honeycomb floor tiles mirrors the same effect on the ceiling. The House Hotel Galatasaray, Istanbul. Photo courtesy of NOTCOT

    Check out this mosaic blacksplash installed in a home bar. The placement of the bar can easily make it seem hidden, but not here. Via Houzz.

  • How Ceramic Tile Is Made [Video]

    Date: 2013.04.09 | Category: Custom Tile, History of Tile, Ideas and Inspiration | Response: 0

    The process for making ceramic tile hasn’t really changed much in over 4,000 years. Beautiful and intricate tiled surfaces have been discovered in the oldest Egyptian pyramids, in the ruins of Babylon, and across the ancient world, a testament to the durability and longevity of fired tile. Ceramic tiles are nothing more than clay that has been fired at extremely high temperatures in a kiln, a technology that was first discovered by ancient Egyptians and refined over the centuries. Each type of clay possesses a unique combination of special properties such as plasticity, hardness and lightness, as well as color and texture, which makes some clays better suited for one kind of ceramic than another. The correct clay mixture needed for a particular purpose can be created by blending clays and adding other materials, but using the wrong type of clay can result in expensive production problems such as crazing (the formation of tiny cracks in a tile glaze) or warping of the tile itself.

    There are several methods used for making ceramic tiles: extrusion; compaction or dust-pressing; cutting from a sheet of clay; or molded in a wooden or metal frame. Quarry tiles are extruded, but most ceramic floor tiles, including traditional encaustic, geometric and ceramic “mosaic” tiles are made from refined and blended ceramic powders using the compaction method, known as dust-pressing. Once formed, tiles are dried slowly and evenly to avoid warpage, then fired in a special kiln that controls high, even heat at temperatures up to 1200°C (or approximately 2500°F) for 30-40 hours. Higher temperatures produce denser tiles with harder glazes. Most ceramic tiles require only one firing to achieve low porosity and become vitrified or grass-like, but some, especially highly decorated tiles, are fired more than once. Non-vitreous and semi-vitreous tiles are fired at lower temperatures and are much more porous.

    The modern tile industry was advanced by Herbert Minton in 1843 when he revived the lost art of encaustic tile-making in England. The industry was further revolutionized in the 1840s by the “dust-pressing” method which consisted of compressing nearly dry clay between two metal dies. Dust-pressing replaced tile-making by hand with wet clay, and facilitated mechanization of the tile-making industry.

    In the days since, most of the tile-making process has been further mechanized and industrialized, but the foundational techniques of firing clay are still very much the same, as you’ll see in the video below:

  • Six Principles of Designing With Tile

    Date: 2013.03.21 | Category: Ideas and Inspiration, Tips and Advice | Response: 0


    Color is always a designer’s best friend. Color choice sets the mood and tone of a room’s design and aesthetic and reflect our lifestyles and sensibilities. Bold to soft e. Do you want to make a modern statement? Use modern color treatments. More traditional? More muted, natural earth tones and pastel colors. Mixing colors in the same room can have an incredibly dramatic effect.
    Colored Tiles

    Direction and Pattern

    A block or grid pattern can be static and sensible; turning the tile to a 45 degree angle in a diagonal pattern can again add interest and the suggestion of movement. From herringbone to basketweaves, insets to more elaborate inlays, even the ubiquitous 4 x 4 inch tile can have a dramatic and sustaining effect on a room’s overall design.
    Tile Pattern


    Choose your grout carefully. There are a variety of grouts available, specific to installation needs. A grout in a contrasting color will emphasize the tile pattern, a grout in a complimentary colors to the tile will emphasize the tile itself.
    Kitchen Remodel - Nov.  2007


    Don’t underestimate the importance of the size of an individual tile itself! The size of the tiles will affect the perception and appreciation of a design. Small tiny 1″x1″ tiles have a much different look than 24″x24″ tiles. The 13″x13″ tile is the ‘standard’ size for tile. Using larger or smaller tiles and combining them will effect the look will achieve. Too large of a tile overpowers the design, as can too small a tile.


    There are decorative tiles available — listellos, corners, insets and mosaics, for example. Create medallions or an area rug look on a floor or build visual interest with horizontal lines of listellos on a wall.
    Decorative mosaic tiled walls in the Mexuar


    You can use various textures together for unique effects. Insetting river stones into heavy grout lines or creating patterns using small pieces of broken and mixed tile, for example, or using rough, rustic textured tile with polished glass tile or a heavily-glazed ceramic.
    tile texture background pattern

  • Tile: Not Just For Bathrooms & Kitchens

    Date: 2013.01.08 | Category: Ideas and Inspiration, Living Rooms | Response: 0

    Impervious to moisture, tile is the building material of choice for high-humidity environments like the bathroom or kitchen, but designers are beginning to embrace the versatility of tile’s color, texture and finish when decorating other rooms in the home.  By combining varied textures and color schemes, you can create visual interest and dramatic effect.  Accent tile mosaics can spice up a monochrome wall with a burst of color. Unglazed earthenware tile makes an excellent fireplace surrounds or entryway flooring, for example.

    If you’re stuck for inspiration or just want to check out some fantastic project ideas, here’s a few for you:

    Photo courtesy of Stagetecture

    Photo courtesy of Stagetecture

    Photo courtesy of

  • Friday Tile Inspiration

    Date: 2012.08.24 | Category: Bathrooms, Custom Tile, Ideas and Inspiration, Kitchens | Response: 0

    Happy Friday! We’re kicking off the weekend with these inspiring, ceramic tile ideas from Pinterest. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

    Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

    Source: via Tan on Pinterest

  • Outdoor Ceramic Tile

    Date: 2012.07.10 | Category: Custom Tile, Ideas and Inspiration, Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    We get asked the question a lot, “Can Ceramic Tile Be Used Outdoors?” The answer is yes!

    There are numerous ceramic tiles that are frost resistant and are excellent for patios, porches, pool decks, etc. Many unglazed tiles are suitable for exterior use. Their slip resistance will be dependent on the surface texture, and slip resistance is important! Glazed, frost resistant tiles are recommended for vertical exterior surfaces only. The manufacturer will indicate if a particular type of tile is frost resistant and a frost resistant installation is essential.

    As we’re enjoying spending time outdoors this summer, keep tile in mind for those outdoor spaces!

  • Happy 4th of July from Garretson Tile Company

    Date: 2012.07.03 | Category: Ideas and Inspiration | Response: 0

    Wishing you and your family a happy 4th of July! Is your home decorated in patriotic colors? We’d love to see it!


    Source: via Lex on Pinterest

  • Mosaic Inspirations

    Date: 2012.06.30 | Category: Custom Tile, Ideas and Inspiration | Response: 0

    When you think about mosaic tile in your home the choices & ideas are endless! We talked about Floor Mosaics in a previous post and here are more beautiful, inspiring photos from Pinterest. Enjoy!


    Source: via Sue on Pinterest



    Source: via Sue on Pinterest

    A mosaic insert.

    Mosaic Garden pathway

    Beautiful mosaic pattern

  • Tile Color Variation

    Date: 2012.06.13 | Category: Custom Tile, Ideas and Inspiration, Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    When pondering a custom tile installation, it’s important to know each tiles’ color or shade variation. Color consistency (shade variation) is typically listed on the back label of a ceramic tile sample. Ratings include low, moderate, high or random. Here’s how to decipher these ratings:

    Low means consistent shade and texture

    Moderate means average shade and texture variation, varied yet similar.

    High means extreme shade and texture variation, however all the colors will be present in a single piece of tile to some degree.

    Random means severe shade and texture variation for a random, unique installation that could be totally different colors.

    This online chart helps visualize all the tile color variations.