I’m Casting My Vote For Cement Tiles (and their lookalikes)

First we had slick granite, then tumbled and honed travertine, then the ubiquitous white subway, and it seems like the latest tile trend to be taking hold are printed cement (also called encaustic) tiles.


You might think, cement, huh, so it’s cheap? Uh, well no it’s not. So then you think, oh it must be super resilient, uh, well it’s not really that either, actually if not sealed properly, they can stain and the pattern can be worn off the surface. So, ok, well then it must look great, and the answer to that is yes, yes, it does.  And if the price and durability issues are too much, then there are other options to get the cement look in a porcelain or ceramic variety.
Certainly cement tiles must be used dubiously, or else they may either look dated or their bold patterns could be too much for your space. Here are a few great cement tiles as well as a few great imposters.



  1. Pencil Salon Tile
  2. Liria Negro Encaustic  Cement Tile
  3. Cle Tile Cabin Quilt
  4. Ikat C Washed Denim
  5. Tugboat Four-Color Cement Tile
  6. Malmo Zebra Native by Commune



  1.  Faenza Azul 13 in. x 13 in. Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile
  2. Villa Lagoon Tile for Zazzle Ceramic
  3. Tile Bar Instinct Karioca Ceramic
  4. Merola Tile Twenties Vertex Ceramic
  5. SomerTile 9.5×9.5-inch Vendimia Kubic Porcelain
  6. SomerTile 17.75×17.75-inch Royals Flatlands Ceramic

Wondering how to best use cement tiles and their imposters?  Here’s some gorgeous rooms that have leveraged the encaustic excellence.

This black and white bathroom by Byrd Design is so bright and that tile, those shower doors, that tub!



















If you’re afraid to take the full-on plunge with a whole floor of cement, how about a charming fireplace hearth?  This little slice of perfection is by House of Jade.




















Can you imagine how boring this kitchen would be with regular ‘ol white subway?  This cement tile backsplash adds just the right amount of personality.


















The peek of pattern on the risers of each of these stairs draws your eye upward and adds a ton of interest to this residence featured on the website for Grenada Tile.

















Are you bold, daring?  Then go all-in for a eyecatching look like this one by Wit and Delight



Going Grey

This post could be about the slow transformation of my hair and how I spend five minutes every night plucking those greys from my scalp. (Yes, I’m aware it’s a no-no to do that.  I keep promising to stop…. I will… maybe…. when I’m bald.)  Anyway, thankfully, I’d much rather discuss the grey floor trend.  I went floor shopping yesterday with a friend and client.  She ultimately decided on a smooth medium grey hickory engineered wood.  It’s gorgeous.  It’s a great choice for her home in a neighborhood of classic brick ramblers.  It will hold up well to pets.  It will be a solid backdrop for her classic coastal inspired design, but will still be able to pull off other looks if she decides to change the décor down the road.

Grey made a serious comeback in interiors a few years ago and it’s meandering its way through our homes.  It began with the light grey or, even better, greige wall paint and morphed into grey-washed furniture a la Restoration Hardware, then grey creeped onto kitchen cabinets and now it has puddled on the floors.  That may sound negative; it’s not.  I like grey.  The floors in my own beach cottage are grey.  However, this color can be tough to find exactly what you want and more importantly to decide if it’s something you’re going to love forever.  Here are a few examples of some rooms where the grey floors did exactly what they were supposed to, be the backdrop for spectacular design.

This first one happens to be an engineered wide wood plank called Braided River Driftwood Oak by The Reclaimed Flooring Co.











These in a design by Fiorella Design are Antique White by DuChateau Floors.  This is a less grey take on grey, if that makes sense, as a lot of the wood’s natural light brown color still comes through.










If going for a super durable option, this floor is tile that looks like wood, and it’s very affordable.  This is Oceanside Oak Grey HD Porcelain.  available at Lumber Liquidators.

P.S. Flooring stores, we know you want to highlight those gorgeous floors but it’s okay to put an area rug in the styling of the photos.  It’s what people actually will do (or should do) when they put the product in their home.










Most people when they think of vinyl they think, ew, that stuff that was rolled out by the miles in every kitchen and bath between 1965 and 2000?  Nope, this is not granny’s vinyl.  The new Luxury Vinyl Planks look like wood and wear better especially in very harsh environments like beach homes and commercial applications.  This is Bali by Beaulieu America in a dining and kitchen space I designed two years ago.














Now if you have a boatload of cash sitting around or really just want one splurge item, you can go with the real deal – reclaimed barnwood.  These beauties are Continental Oak by Ebony and Co.









Those of us with the smallest of budgets probably have the most options in laminates because there are a ton of grey laminates out there.  DIYers can pick up the Pergo Vintage Pewter Oak, which is a dark woodsy grey, at Home Depot.