Four years ago in France, I was visiting with my aunt and uncle about their plans to redo their 18th century French home and they introduced me to some of the most amazing patterned cement tiles. You’ll see them all over France in a variety of colorways and patterns and despite their age (often hundreds of years old), they look as bright as the day they were laid. Often you’ll see similar ones made of ceramic, but the process is different in creating the individual tiles so the ceramic ones wear differently over time (see an interesting breakdown of each here).
I’m seeing more and more of these cement tiles popping up. I shot a gorgeous home here in Oklahoma City a few weeks back that featured this gorgeous tile above in their cabana, and it got me thinking about different ways to use these stunning tiles.
In typical French style, Bouchon (above) in Las Vegas offers a nod to its country of inspiration with some similarly stunning floors (not to mention one of my most favorite meals ever). It’s been a few years since we’ve visited, but I distinctly remember staring at the floor, enthralled with the cobalt blue background and swirling design. Go for the floors; stay for the incredible meal.
In Europe, these tiles are seen in almost any space. I love how it’s used above to create the entryway in an otherwise small space.
The amount of patterns and colorways can be overwhelming, but there are some similar themes. Hexagon shapes are popular, as are more traditional squares with loads of scrolly organic designs and ornate details. I’m partial to the blue ones, especially that cornflower shade above.
Philippe Starck designed a stunning hotel in France (shown above), and the hotel restaurant showcases loads of encaustic tiles throughout the space, again acting almost like area rugs to delineate different areas. This black and white design is uber-chic against all the contemporary furnishings.
I love how subtle the pattern of the floor is above against the warm grey cabinetry. It’s just enough visual texture to keep things interesting without completely overwhelming you with pattern.
In the US, Kismet Tile offers a selection of handmade tiles, most of which can be customized to the colorway of your choosing. That blue above is mesmerizing — again, everything else is kept super simple, allowing the floor to be the star of the room.
Also in the US is CementTileShop.com, based in Florida. I’ve pinned practically everything from their Pinterest account, but maybe the most fascinating board shows the step by step process of how these tiles are made. And like Kismet, they also offer a dizzying array of colors and patterns.
I seriously believe the hardest part is picking which color and pattern to go with. Oh, and if you’re looking for more floor inspiration, check out the Instagram account I Have This Thing with Floors. It’s insanely addictive and you’ll want to redo every single floor in your home!