Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Using Tile as Art in Interior Design

I have always been drawn to tile in architecture and interior design. A backsplash, a shower, a wall or a floor can be transformed into art with the application of richly glazed tiles, intriguing patterns, and subtle textures.

Daltile is an American company of mass produced tile and stone products. Their catalog features everything from the simple ceramic tiles to natural stone, metal, glass and granite. It's so easy to create an affordable kitchen or bathroom using their products and accenting with their specialty lines or special handmade tiles from other tile designers.

This is a bathroom that features Daltile ceramic and glass. What makes it so special is that the homeowner herself came up with the idea for the waterfall effect.

These are two more examples of Daltile installations. A shower using tumbled natural stone...

...and a backsplash using glazed porcelain with granite accents:

Oceanside Tiles produces art glass for architecture. The glass is fired in furnaces reaching up to 2300 degrees Farenheit, depending on the color, and it is then cast and finished by hand.

Seneca Tiles produces a line of handmade ceramic tiles in beautiful soft glazes with a chunky feel, evoking thoughts of handmade tiles in the desert southwest.

A photo doesn't do these tiles justice. They truly have a special tactile quality.

Original Style is a British company that produces a line of traditional art tile.

And they now have a line of pop art designs that are so fun!

Pratt and Larson in Oregon produces a line of hand art tile with wonderful textures and palettes.

We were recently introduced to two tile artisans, both in Minneapolis, who produce handmade tiles and mosaics in the old world tradition with their own exclusive glazes. Bon Ton Designs are all custom made to the client's order.

And Mercury Mosaics produce handmade tile and mosaics in period inspired colors.

I have found that an otherwise timid client will usually be willing to work a bold tile design into their budget.

To borrow a Dan Rice quote from Oceanside's website: "There are three forms of visual art: painting is art to look at, sculpture is art you can walk around, and architecutre is art you can walk through."

Art brings a room to life. And when it comes to interior designer, tile is my favorite medium.


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  2. I couldn't imagine that you can use it as a good design. Nice concept :)

  3. Hey Caroline - these mosaics are fantastic! I wanted to drop you a line because seeing these I thought you'd love to check out Daniel Ogassian's work. He designs ceramic and concrete wall and floor tiles with a clean and futurist shape. They have warm and organic textures with amazing depth.

    In this bathroom, Daniel used his textured “Optic” tile from his concrete tile collection on the walls, the sink is by Alape:

    You can check him out at

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