3 Steps to Picking Your Ceramic Art Tile.

When looking into decided about what ceramic tile to install into your house there are 3 steps that are in important and will make process much easier to give a wonderful result for years to come.

These are surface, color and design all very dependent on each other and can actually vary in degrees of importance. Here will start with surface:

Glazed Tile1. Surfaces


When thinking of art tiles that will be glazed first decide where they are to be used. Once the space is pin pointed, this should be the deciding factor on whether to use mat or satin/gloss finish on the tiles.

Matt finish is great for surfaces that do not require constant cleaning or that are not immersed in water, such as flooring, backsplashes and wall applications.

Pool lines, bathroom tiles (especially in the shower) and fountain tiles that are in the water should have.

The reason is mostly for sanitation purposes (and ultimately the way it will look and last) Gloss or stain is easy to clean, whereas the matt finish is porous and absorbs liquid (and dirt) making it hard to keep clean.

Keep in mind the use of matt and gloss or satin together on one tile can create a lovely effect that adds a certain dimension.

2. Color

Marakesh Islamic Tile
Moorish/Islamic Tile Gloss and Satin

While color can also be affected by the type of glaze finish… matt, gloss or satin or combinations, it is important to pick your colors based on your specific needs.

Factoring in the application, the type of house design, the surrounding color story or lack thereof is an important bird’s eye view. As is the direction of architect, designer or your own desires.

While modern tiles use basically muted coloring as well as a strong emphasis on black, Malibu or traditional tiles have specific color stories as in the greens, blues and some earth tones.



3. Design

The design is tied in with the color and can be enhanced by the choice of color or conversely muted.

Here you would make your decisions based on the style of the house, where the tiles will be used as

majolica tile
Majolica Tile Style (Portuguese )


as the specific look you, your designer or architect are trying to achieve.

The softer majolica look,or the Malibu/traditional Spanish tile look or the one color washed out cement tile look or molded pieces which give a more Victorian look.

There is nothing as lasting an imprint as ceramic glazed tile; we can see the persistence in history where people have used them continually to improve and beautify the look and feel of their surroundings.



Enjoy the process, it’s






Inside Matt LeBlanc’s home : 1930s Spanish-style

Inside Matt LeBlanc’s home in Los Angeles: 1930s Spanish-style home in Pacific Palisades | Top Celebrity Homes.


This is a beautiful Spanish house in Los Angeles and can perfectly portray the use of Spanish tiles.

Although in this house we really only see Spanish tiles on one occasion on the stairs and on the fountain outside.

Celebrity house that have style and elegance can be a great show place for the old Malibu style of tile making, and as such enhancing and grounding the space within the time period with all it’s opulence and beauty

This lovely expanse can be so much more decorated…as in the fireplaces and other small regions that would make

beautiful space even more lovely.


Malibu tiles can be custom made into various styles that can be kept within the period styling but yet add your own mark. For instance, some prefer the more clean lines of modern designs. Yet cleaner and more streamlined styles can be easily made, but by still utilizing the hand made look of this period and the coloring.

When we talk about the coloring and handmade styles of the Malibu or Spanish tile making periods we are thinking of the multidimensional color variations that come from the hand made look which ads depth to the coloring. Colors such as blues, greens, browns, and pale whites all fall into this trend as does the reds and rust colors.


History of Ceramic Tiles

Throughout history we see the desire man has had to create a space that has beauty and that reflects the traditions, ideas and philosophy that he/she has.

The earliest paint workshop was discovered Circa 100,000 BCE in South Africa where early man started mixing colors to beautify himself and his surroundings. Later details of cave paintings and figurative art started coming into fruition.

Detail of the “Panel of Hands” from the El Castillo Cave (Photo Courtesy of the University of Bristol).

Ceramic tiles have been in existence for 4000 years..and  along with pottery have had an important role in helping us discovery many, many civilizations and traditions from ancient times long gone.

The interesting thing about pottery (along with tiles) is that “as one archeologist put it, pottery may be easy to break but it’s hard to destroy.”

For hundreds of years layer upon layer of debris and trash from past civilizations all over the earth, each showing us the characteristics and ways of life of the people who discarded them. How they produced these, how they presented them, the colors and types of glazes they used, all help us to understand the indelible styles different civilizations used to portray their art, their style and their ideas.

For example see here is a paragraph I found in historical literature..

“Some beautiful Syrian tiles painted with undulating flowers and patterns in the Chinese style decorate to this day the early 15th-century tomb of al-Tawrizi, in Damascus. More extraordinary, the same—or very similar—tiles are found in the Murad II mosque at Adrianople, on the modern frontier between Greece and Turkey. This mosque was built by the Ottoman Turks in 1433 and the striking resemblance between its tiles and those in Damascus suggests that they were almost certainly made by imported Syrian craftsmen.”

In any case, from the research done so far it seems that the earliest tiles that were found are form roof tiles in the third millennium, which  is a period of time that began on January 1, 2001, and ended on December 31, 3000, of the Gregorian calendar.  This eventually brought in the need for stone walls which could be the only support offered to a heavy tiles roof.