Tiles Gone Wild: Fresh Looks for an Ancient Material

This year's Dwell on Design show saw some fresh takes on an age-old surface design.

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We attend the annual Dwell on Design with our eyes peeled for new concepts in home design and architecture.

While tile is hardly a new concept—it's been used for roofing for about 5,000 years—we found plenty of new materials, new finishes, new approaches, and new technologies on display at the convention. Whether shopping for floors, walls, backsplashes or other surfaces, there were so many new products that gave us inspiration for our own homes.

Take a look at some of the exciting products on display at the 2015 Dwell on Design show.


Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Made in Japan, this 4-inch-wide tile is a pattern named “Shinzen,” offered by California-based importer Bedrosians. Also available in a herringbone design and in multiple colors, it retails for $17 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Also from Bedrosians, this intriguing hexagonal mosaic pattern weaves glass tiles from China with stone sourced in Brazil. The “Panache” design is brand new to the market, and comes in at $44 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Integrating shards of recycled glass into a resin base, this lush material from Eos Surfaces is non-porous, stain resistant, and is as durable and smooth as quartz.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Also from Eos Surfaces, here’s another variation on glass-embedded resin. The product retails for $60-$70 per square foot, which compares quite favorably to traditional concrete tiles that utilize broken glass.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
One style increasingly in vogue is carved stone. These custom limestone finishes—Antique Brush and Fine Adze—have been strikingly combined into a bespoke mosaic pattern by Classic Tile & Mosaic. As tile, this would be priced about $32 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Handsome volcanic basalt sourced from Indonesia or Mongolia is a less expensive stone to work with. Individually, these bespoke finishes from Classic Tile & Mosaic are priced about $12 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Encaustic cement tiles originated in Catalonia in the 1850s, and the process is popular in Latin America today. These examples, created by Tesselle, are produced near Mexico City and run $15-$18 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
The cement tiles are not fired or glazed. Instead, mineral pigments are hydraulically pressed into the surface of cement. Being handmade, the patterns have slight imperfections, which is part of their character, but dimensions are fairly precise, allowing for finer grout lines.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Another example of the cement tiles from Tesselle. The Riverside, California-based company offers about 30 different designs and can also handle custom work. Note that the tiles are best suited for mild climates—they won’t survive freezing temperatures.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Gloriously imperfect, these tiles are handcrafted by artist-architect Cha-Rie Tang in the Craftsman style, in her studio. No two pieces are alike, with these simple, elegant field tiles starting at $24 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Also from Pasadena Craftsman Tile, Cha-Rie Tang produces custom murals—perfect for fireplace settings—for $250-$450 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
This hexagonal porcelain tile, “Material,” comes in four colors and has a 3-D mosaic look to provide an M.C. Escher effect. Available through Pental Quartz, the tile retails for $11 per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
Island Stone offers this seductive stone cladding, “Paragons,” an interlocking tile of rhomboids with a deeply tapering, angled relief. The tile will be available in October 2015 and is expected to sell for the “high 20s” per square foot.
Tiles Gone Wild!
Credit: Dave Swanson / Reviewed.com
This wild tile is actually plywood, printed using a proprietary process cooked up by Denver-based DENY Designs. The company has more than 9,000 designs to choose from, priced $12 per square foot, and the company promises durability. This design, “Collins Ave,” was created by Australian artist Three of the Possessed.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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