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Encaustic tiles - the environmentally-friendly choice!

Posted on March 21, 2017 by Becca | 0 comments

Here at Alhambra, we are very proud of the relationships we have with our Spanish tile manufacturers - especially the father and daughter team who make our gorgeous encaustic cement tiles. We first met them back in 2010 when we literally turned up on their doorstep!

The family business goes back over generations, and all the encaustic tiles are still handmade, using natural colours and materials from an approved quarry which guarantees respect for the environment.

The top layer of each tile comprises a mixture of cement and ground marble. These are mixed with the colour and poured into a mould. The pattern is determined by a 5mm template. The complexity of the template and the number of colours chosen determines the final price of the tile.

The lower layers of the tile are then added. These are made from sand and cement to form a solid base. Finally, the slab is pressed with a hydraulic press and removed from the mould to mature and set. The tiles are not kiln-fired, but left to dry in fresh air for 21-28 days.

Watch video showing the making of an encaustic tile

Read more about encaustic tiles

There are some 250 different patterns (some surprisingly modern) with bespoke colours as standard. We have also designed some patterns of our own, working with Textile Designer, Manda Clarke. You can see her zig-zag patttern in the gorgeous bathroom floor above.

See Contemporary Retro Range by Manda Clarke

We have come a long way since our first meeting with our encaustic tile makers, and perhaps our proudest project was a 340 sq m bespoke patchwork for the Thompson Hotel, Chicago.We also produce bespoke patterns, most recently a beautiful bespoke design for a top restaurant in Paris. 

Read about our tiles at the Thompson Hotel, Chicago

Our encaustic tiles can be used all over the house. If well-sealed, they are perfect in showers and bathrooms - and they are very popular as little accent statements, such as splashbacks and fireplaces!

We will be blogging about the various ways that our encaustic tiles can be used in different rooms over coming weeks!

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My Spanish Mountain House - part 3

Posted on March 13, 2017 by Becca | 0 comments

Wow! The end is in sight! After we had finished at Cevisama, I drove 400km to Lubrin to check progress on Casa B and purchase the bathroom and kitchen fittings. It was great to see how much progress had been made - and even though it still looks like a building site, everything is pretty much as it should be, and the builders are fabulous - friendly and efficient.

First up, all the ceilings have been raised on account of the new roof, so the house feels (and IS) bigger!

Secondly, the wall between the dining room and kitchen has been knocked down so it's an open-plan space - and we've added a bigger window. The bricks you can see around the walls will be plastered over with 'yeso' - a sort of living plaster - and wooden lattice doors will be fitted on the front.

In the middle 'cave' bedroom, we have a new window looking up onto terraces of almond trees and cacti, while steps at the back of the room lead to a new bathroom (built on what was a bit of hardstanding behind the house in the garden). From there, there's a gorgeous view over to the church. The builders also rebuilt my yeso shelving unit along the facing wall.

The former pink bedroom has been replastered, insulated and tidied up:

And all the exterior walls have been re-rendered:

There was one really nice surprise: when it was picked back to the stone, the wall at the far end of the house revealed two old windows and what we believe to have been an arched bread oven! As the room within is full of furniture from the rest of the house I'm leaving it to the next visit to decide what to do with these treasures - but another window or two seem very likely!

Now all the tiles (for floors and worktops) are on their way, along with the basin, sink, shower etc, I'll be returning in April to sign the job off and hopefully move back in. So... keep an eye open for My Spanish Mountain House, part 4 - which will be the end of the tale for a while, but most certainly not for ever!

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Trend: Terracotta Tiles

Posted on March 08, 2017 by Becca | 1 comment

Terracotta tiles are back on trend and we couldn't be happier.

They were never not on trend for us; if you've followed us for a while you'll probably know that we are quite partial to its rustic look, but it definitely makes us smile to be spotting them more often on magazines and the like lately. 

We specially like the versatility of these tiles. You can install them in different patterns (straight, herringbone, grid...) or choose from different sizes/shapes/glazes and get many different results/looks: 

(credit: Patticakewagner)


(Credit: <a href://https://www.instagram.com/patticakewagner/>Desire to Inspire</a>

(Credit: Desire to Inspire)



They can suit rustic interiors:

 (Credit: El Mueble)

And modern ones too!

At Alhambra, we're quite proud to have provided the terracotta tiles for Project Eden's Perfume Garden:

We have a wide variety of terracotta models and you can find more info here

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Beautiful tiles at Cevisama - our top picks!

Posted on February 27, 2017 by Becca | 0 comments

This time last week, we were at Spain's biggest tile trade show, Cevisama. It was great to meet up with some of our existing suppliers, meet new ones like Miguel (above) who designs our fabulous new Gaudi Line lattice bricks, and scope out future ones! We found some great new budget options, hundreds of hexagons and everything from tartan-inspired tiles to art tiles and gorgeous Blue & White 'azulejo'-style lines. 

Bold Monochrome Patterns


We absulutely loved these amazing black and white patterned tiles - 20x20cm and suitable for both floors and walls. A great new twist on patchwork in avant garde big block patterns, and a fabulous stripy option.  

Hundreds of Hexagons


Hexagons are hot this year, and there are some very interesting designs on offer - or just plain colours if you prefer! We love the hexagon version of our popular Blue Carpet tiles, below.

Portuguese-style 'azulejos'

Portuguese-style tiles are very popular at the moment, and we love this modern take on classic blue & white, also available in a contemporary browny-grey. If you like your patterns a little more muted and even more contemporary, we found the gorgeous range below - at a great price point!

Art Tiles -
we also found these interesting tiles, designed by well-known artists...

And finally (for now) Tartan-style tiles!

What more can I say! Many of these, and others, will be coming to Alhambra soon - but if you would like more info in the meantime, please feel free to contact us!


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