Floors, Walls, Ceilings, Surface Finishes

Ceramic Tile for Traditional Public Interiors

Included here are links to lists of suppliers that provide historically patterned ceramic tile for commercial spaces, along with studios that will duplicate custom antique tiles.

Click here for suppliers of tile
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Click here for suppliers of tile & stone flooring
Click here for suppliers of mosaics

Ceramic tile can be anything from a purely functional sanitary surface to a striking decorative material that establishes the style and mood of an entire space. For the Arts & Crafts and Spanish/Mediterranean styles, in particular, ceramic tile is one of the primary theme materials.

For the floors of public interiors, tile has a number of advantages that merit its consideration. For durability under foot traffic, moisture resistance and ease of cleaning, few materials can match up with tile. And because a wide variety of sizes, colors, textures, patterns and glazes are available, a tile floor can be a practical and key element in setting the tone and style of a public space. For the designer, a tile floor answers both the functional problem of durability and the aesthetic challenges of establishing a mood.

There are hundreds of tile-producing companies in the U.S., ranging from giant corporations to one-person studios. Most of these suppliers do not furnish historically appropriate tile, however. Noted in the links above are tile manufacturers that supply tiles appropriate for traditional settings, companies that have the ability to replicate historic patterns, or both.

Restoration work, of course, frequently poses the additional problem of matching historic tile. This is custom work -- and not inexpensive -- but several of the companies in these lists have extensive experience in reproducing specific tile patterns and glazes from antique samples. In addition, you'll also find artisans who are skilled in the ancient art of mosaics.