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Ideas 06 - guidance of encaustic cement tiles

Not everyone accepts cement tiles even though it’s common enough.

Most people want to try cement tiles but only afraid if they can handle them at home. Because they are delicate, from the view of colors, patterns and matching. It does get very easy to fall into the abyss and you will have no way back.

This is a beginners’ guide to easily find the right cement tiles.

Encaustic cenment tiles mainly include victorian tiles, moroccan tiles, hexogan tiles, and modern tiles.

The most commonly seen ones are moroccan ones. It adds up a hashtag of folk and bohemian styles to a room.

To create a more classical style, victorian tiles are there for you.

Victorian tiles date back to the victorian period in England while people use the black & white check looking tiles to decorate their homes.

On top of the basic check tiles, the patterns can be modified into square, diamond or octagon.

The classic floor tiles in cantonese restaurants in hong kong are one of the victorian tiles.

Those tiles may look Stereotype, but surprisingly it goes along well with colors, such as sapphire blue or dark green.

They can also match with european chandelier and claw bathtub.

With walls covered with simple white square tiles, victorian tiled floor change the vibe into another way.

Diamond shaped victorian tiles is a great tool to be used in a buffer zone with irregular shape.

One of the keys in laying victorian tiles is at its boundary, which is the joint line between the floor and the wall. Traditional boundary line is wide with patterns that goes along the perimeter of the room and surrounds the tiles. In modern time, sometimes there’s no boundary line any more, instead, the tiles meet directly with the wall skirting.

If you want to add some vintage look in your existing modern design, apart from choosing vintage tiles and basin, having slim boundary line at the floor or middle of the wall is strongly recommended.

The pattern of moroccan tiles are like the weaving principle of the carpet in morocco. The tiles tend to have multiple colors and shades and lines.

This type of tiles is more for relaxing and cozy space.

Take the following picture as example, I understand the owner’s mentality- couldn’t choose which one to use, so have each of all types.

But in fact, the essence of laying cement tiles is the repetition of the same pattern, like netting. It’s a process of space up-gradation from quantity to quality.

If different patterns are used, the order is destroyed. The space could easily look untidy and not organized. Especially when you move into it, with more and more groceries, the situation can only get worse.

Another bad example here for moroccan tiles is to extend it onto the wall. Although it’s an interesting design, it’s your eyes that need to adapt the room, but not vice versa.

Narrow the pattern color from multiple to two only, or perhaps use low saturated color can be the options.

If you worry that sharp colors are too much for you, chose black and white but with interesting patterns. Take one cement tile with more white in it than black, have white walls to match with it. The room will look clean and tidy.

If it’s more black than white in each tile, use dark all or furniture to balance it up.

Here is another trick. If the cement tile is composed with more than 3 colors. Choose the deepest color, or simply your favorite, have the wall or furniture painted with that color is a great solution to blend the tiles/furniture as a whole.

Now we have a lot of new blood tiles in market, which has modern geometries.

They are mainly with strokes and arcs and if you dare to DIY, you can achieve a unique look for your bathroom.

For example, the ‘puzzle’ tile from uk brand domus promotes 13 patterns. However you decide to lay them, the combo will be a nice one. It’s like a 2D game, the tile itself is carefully designed with great proportion of colors and areas. You just play along, and it won’t go wrong.

Some other ways to play with colors.

Distressed tile is a co-work result of modern structure and time change.

There will be more articles about tiles coming soon.

About the author:

草三冉 Cao San Ran

is an interior designer and writer, based in Canton area, China. He has been working in design industry for over a decade both in Japan and China. His works are always well-thought-out in layouts and details to ensure the unique and best hierarchy solutions for each client. His great writings also put an in-depth theory into an accurate but simple explanation that made me a big fan of his.

If you read Chinese, scan above QR code to read more articles in Chinese from 草三冉.

I will be happy to translate more of his works to share with English readers.

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