Black and white. It's a classic color combination that can still take your breath away when you see a kitchen backsplash or dining room floor that features tile with patterns in this dramatic, two-tone colorway. While I embrace color and think cement and encaustic tiles excel in presenting colorful motifs, black and white (and sometimes gray) tiles can capture that gorgeous, handmade old world look that is both sophisticated and simple. If you are a fan of the high contrast black and white style, here's inspirational eye candy to enjoy. Most of the installations use cement tile; but, a few also show what glazed ceramic tile can do!
Mission Roseton Cement Tile in Black and White Provides a Charming Welcome for This Entry Floor. Photo Credit: Takashi Kikkawa - Authentic Collection
Mission Circles in Black and White Provide a Striking Contrast to Plain White Walls. Photo Credit: Takashi Kikkawa - Authentic Collection
Plain or solid color black and white tile can also be used to create a striking pattern. I love how the black and white tile are laid out in this open, commercial courtyard. While cement tile are not used in this example, they could be. The pattern is also scalable, you can create a similar effect using black and white glazed tile in a 4" or 6" format to achieve the design.
Plain Black and White Tile Create a Contemporary Design for this Commercial Lobby. Photo Credit: Takashi Kikkawa - Authentic Collection
Black and White Yuna Border Tiles in Rows Create a Unique Dining Patio
Mission Bocassio C with a white pattern against a Black Background is a Bold Look that Contrasts with White Subway Wall Tiles. Photo Credit: Takashi Kikkawa - Authentic Collection
Mission Zebra B Provides a Bold, Graphic Look for a Kitchen Backsplash
Discrete geometric patterns in black and white simulate cut stone tiles that provide a formal atmosphere.The banquet hall at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, NY creates a classic look using an octagon and dot cement tile floor pattern in black and white. A restaurant in the Dominican Republic created a formal dining room floor with cement tile. The checkerboard pattern takes its design cue from polished black and white marble tiles.
Octagon and Dot Pattern in Black and White Creates a Formal Banquet Hall
Black and White Cement Tiles in a Checkerboard Pattern Provide a Formal Look Similar to Polished Stone for the Restaurant Floor
Installation Pitfalls to Avoid when Installing Cement Tile
Avoid using high-contrast grout with cement tiles. The rule of thumb is that if you choose colored grout, make sure that the grout color is the lightest color in the pattern. Otherwise, the pigments in the grout can stain the tile. I recommend using Natural Gray grout or if possible, unpigmented, gray grout. The grout color isn't important when using pattern tiles. You want to emphasize the pattern on the tile, not the grout lines. When using black and white tiles, NEVER use black grout. It will stain the white tile and can't be removed.
Dark or Black Grout Will Stain Cement Tiles
Regardless of style, traditional or geometric, contemporary or classic, pattern or plain, black and white cement tiles provide a sophisticated look. It's style you will love now and won't get tired of.