03 July 2008

I love Cuban tile

I saw something on Apartment Therapy today that reminded me of my big find at the tile industry show in Orlando last May. And that would be Cuban tile. One of my favorite things about living in an older neighborhood in Florida is the sheer volume of Cuban tile that was used in the construction of a lot of older homes here. Cuban tile is gorgeous and it's enjoying a bit of a resurgence and that's fantastic news. Sure, who doesn't love a porcelain tile that's imitating travertine? But enough already. Show me something else. Well, else, is precisely what Cuban tile is.

For starters it's a green product made from Portland cement, powdered marble and mineral pigments. It's not a fired ceramic tile at all. Rather its a cement tile made with very little water and then pressed under tremendous pressure. The result is a brightly colored, extremely strong material that will make anywhere look like a shaded veranda in Florida. Just gorgeous.

These slide shows feature examples of work from two separate companies selling new Cuban tile. First up is a company called Villa Lagoon, who has the tiles made in the Dominican Republic and then distributes them throughout the US from a distributor in Tampa. Pretty stuff, though it's a bit more of a modern-ish take on the traditional patterns.

The second company, Cuban Tropical Tile, is out of Miami and these guys stick to the traditional forms and colors.

Keep Cuban tile in mind if you're looking to do something different yet timeless to your floors.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Paul for your positive mention of my Villa Lagoon Tile. I really wanted this kind of tile for my project, Concrete Cottage Modular DacArt Home and finally figured out that the best approach for me was to have it made. I created my own designs, mostly w/ a coastal feel. Everyone that saw them had such a 'fit' over these 'new' tiles that it only made sense to offer them to others.

    I did about a month of research on the subject of "Cuban Tile" and put it all on my Villa Lagoon Tile and on the Concrete Cottage websites. Since then I have received a whole lot of emails thanking me for pulling together all the info.
    After this last round of hurricanes and the emphasis on sustainable building practices, I expect a bright future for hydraulic cement tile.
    Lundy Wilder


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