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Horizontal tile

One of the things we learned experimenting with tile patterns — grid or brick, north/south or east/west — is that the kitchen tile comes in two very distinct designs — almost three.

It’s porcelain tile. The designs are printed on the porcelain slab using ink-jet printers. It’s a relatively new application of ink-jet technologies. Here’s an article about it — warning, commercials and subscription boxes will appear in your browser.

Almost anything is possible. Your choices are mind-boggling.

Months ago, Jacquela and Steven pored through hundreds of photos of different tile, mostly on We filtered down to a gray/black/white palette — modern yet calming — to organize the tile floors at Emerald Hill.

We further refined that palette to large grey tiles for two key rooms — kitchen floor, and the floor in Jadin’s bath.

On a visit with Renee at ProSource, Steven collected several samples where the tile closely resembles natural granite.

The first design used in the ink-jet printed tiles is lined with long bands of color — almost veins.

The second design is “speckled” or “mottled” — spots of color that assemble into images of granite rock — something like Georges Seurat did when painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

Yes, a tile floor is a work of art.

Which induces sleepless nights stressing over choices.

Ron Dahlke and Steven spent part of Friday afternoon opening every box of the kitchen tile to sort through the two designs.

Steven hopes to use the two different designs in very specific locations.

Ron and Steven stacked the linear pattern in the kitchen for use in that floor. They stacked the mottled design in the garage, along with a pile of “transitional” tile that includes both designs, for use in the mudroom and pantry.

Heavy tile. Dusty. Sweaty work. Steven has new respect for the muscles of tile setters.

Sorting the tile was Ron’s idea. A very good idea. Don’t ask the tile setters to separate wheat from chaff. Sort and stack the tile to show the tile setters precisely what Steven has in mind.

Above, two stacks of the linear design staged atop the wood platform for the kitchen island installed the other day. Steven processed the contrast and lighting in this picture to help see the horizontal banding. Unfortunately, the exposed concrete slab is also gray and dirty — and it almost blends with the tile designs.

This is an even-more heavily processed photo of the kitchen tile, with the contrast pushed to help make the horizontal banding that much more visible.
This is an even-more heavily processed photo of the kitchen tile, with the contrast pushed to help make the banding that much more visible. This tile is “transitional.” It features some of the linear banding, and some of the mottled speckling. The banding also swirls more than the banding in the featured photo that starts this post.
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