Sources of rustic tile

PintosmomOctober 3, 2012

Having gotten over cabinet pricing sticker shock (and hence going over budget first thing out of the gate) we are moving forward with our kitchen remodel and cabinets are going in next week!

I've selected both absolute black and volcano granite for the kitchen and am trying to come up with backsplash ideas that will complement both, since the volcano is a dramatic granite with a lot of movement. (I don't have a good photo from the granite yard, but it resembles Magma Gold on the Granite Guru's site)

I like the Tatrum tiles by Sonoma Tilemakers and am thinking of using the black tile in a simple liner with possibly a small bronze accent tile - I am stuck on the field tile, which I think should be simple so not to compete with the granite. I am not fond of tumbled marble, but have found a few rustic looking tiles that I like the look of - Seneca, Motawi, and Trikeenan. I'd like to find other options and venders with this kind of look, that might be a little more cost-effective on the already stretched budget.

Any advice or links much appreciated. I don't post much because I have to remember my password to log in - but read often and have learned so much that we have put to use in making choices. Thanks in advance

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Assuming you are only looking for backsplash tiles, here are some suggestions:

- Walker Zanger has some claybody rustic tiles
- some of the Jeffrey Court are hainpainted on clay body
- Fireclay tile is fabulous
- Ken Mason

To be honest, rustic tiles are more expensive :(

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:53PM
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you can also look at Tabarka and Heath Ceramics, but they are pricey..

I also second fireclay and walker zanger (look at their contessa or alhambra tiles).

also, arto brick in LA which is very affordable. i am doing these on my deck. they are concrete but made to look like terracotta/rustic ceramics.
another place i found but never got samples from called avente tile seems to be quite nice from their website. i think they are similarly priced to arto brick.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Motawi is beautiful but very $$!
How about Epro?
From iPhone

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Lalitha, Michoumonster and A2gemini - thank you for the recommendations! Why am I not surprised that I headed straight for the higher end stuff :-)

It is all so beautiful that spending time looking through the product is enjoyable. I appreciate your advice.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Heath and Epro are bargains compared to Motawi - Are you in the Midwest - Motawi is made in Ann Arbor.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:36AM
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I'm no help on brands, but when I went to a tile shop to take a look at Trikeenan, the owner suggested a line of handmade Mexican tiles as a lower cost substitute. The colors were nearly as good for my uses as the machine made Trikeenans. I couldn't find a brand on the tile, but they had white rather than red clay bodies.

If you're near to the source of any of the tiles mentioned or others (Clay Squared to Infinity, for example), check to see if there's a factory boneyard.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:36AM
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A2gemini and Chesters_House - I'm on the West Coast, but inland, so any decent design store or tile manufacture would be at least 200-300 miles away from me. I'm rather limited to the internet to find a source and some samples.

I love the slightly mottled look of the glazes on these tiles, it keeps the look simple but organic and interesting. Thanks again for the suggestions - I'll check them out.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:50AM
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Most places will send samples.
Will be watching your choices.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 8:37PM
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BTW -I have a crate of samples in the basement - Heath has beautiful tiles and they definitely will send to you. I worked with Wendy.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:21PM
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Hi A2gemini -

Thanks for your note. I asked for samples of Seneca, beautiful, but probably a bit too 'rustic' for my kitchen. I also have a sample from Fireclay - also lovely tile. With as many colors as they have, I don't think it is good enough of a match. I have a new found appreciation for all of the struggles with backsplashes.

My cabinets are a clean updated take on a shaker style in cherry, and the granite has so much movement and color that I don't want to compete - yet I want something more interesting than a glass subway (actually not really a fan of glass tile at all).

Thanks for the recommendation on Heath - I'll contact them next.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:00PM
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I understand completely.
Sounds very similar to our kitchen.
I started out not wanting basic subway tiles. I was sure I wanted glass.
I tried to make friends with motawi, Heath, Jeffrey court and many others but nothing would make friends with my kitchen.
I wish I had found fire lay when I was looking but seems to be more common in recent days and DH and GC would have clobbered me if I wanted one more tile to check out!

Hang in there.
Something will pop?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 6:15AM
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pintosmom, heath has a line of tile that they co-designed with Dwell magazine. it is very clean yet interesting and earthy and you can get them in any color. i am thinking of doing this, or going more traditional mexican talavera. haven't decided yet. good luck!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 12:03PM
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