Cement Tile Brings France to the Concourse

Travelers through Washington Dulles International Airport will find a new and unusual option at Terminal D.  Bistro Atelier brings a taste of French fine dining to travel-weary passengers during their layovers.

Cement Tile bar face at Bistro Atelier

Successful restaurant entrepreneur Hakan Ilhan, is no stranger to the difficulties of running an airport eatery.  Several of his 25 DC-area restaurants are located in the city’s two major airports.  Ilhan’s first area business was a TCBY yogurt franchise at Ronald Reagan National Airport, in 1997.  With this project, he paired with Executive Chef John Lewitt to raise the bar of airport dining.


Dinners love the quality and variety of the food… there are not very many places in the world where one can grab a bite of escargot between flights!


It was our pleasure to work with Carlos Moreno and Matt Norris of Norris Design Studio on this project. It’s so gratifying to see images like these of a beautifully completed project. The cement tile featured in this project was “Tulips Sebring” (formerly known as “Roseton”), often available for in-stock, but always available for direct-production.


A Toronto Icon Expands With Custom Cement Tile

The street sign of "Drake One Fifty" in Toronto, Canada.The Drake Hotel has become a cultural hotspot of Toronto, known for art, music, and a fun atmosphere. When they decided to expand, they turned to the London office of the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to define the look of “Drake One Fifty” (named for its location at 150 York Street). In March, Zagat listed it among “Toronto’s 10 Hottest Restaurants“, applauding Brudnizki’s work as, “a beautifully designed space with plenty of eye candy“.

The fun dining room of the Drake One Fifty, tied together with a custom cement tile floor.

This project shows the great flexibility of cement tile to help bring a designer’s vision to fruition. It’s very common to create custom pattern molds for clients, whether reproducing historic patterns, bringing new designs to life, or tweaking existing designs to taste. In this case, we were able to go a step beyond, and had our Moroccan facility create two brand new shapes. First, an elongated hexagonal shape mold was created, then a matching triangular mold was created to form the keys of the layout pattern.

A photo shot on the factory floor in Morocco, showing several of the custom hexagonal and triangular cement tiles in their final arrangement.
An image sent from the factory floor in Morocco.

For those interested in the production of cement tile, here are several images showing one of our master artisans creating the custom hex tile.

Cement tile production. The Artisan is clamping the custom hexagonal shape mold to the mold's base.
Mold Assembly
Cement tile production. The Moroccan artisan is inserting the cement tile pattern mold into the shape mold.
Insert Pattern Mold
Cement tile production. The artisan is pouring the color layer of wet cement into the mold. One region will be filled with white pigment, the other with black.
Pour Color Layer
Cement tile production. The pattern mold is removed, showing the wet color layer of the black and white tile.
Remove Pattern Mold
Cement tile production. dry cement is sifted into the mold on top of the color layer, the tile is constructed with the surface down.
Add Body-Layer Cement
Cement tile production. The artisan levels the cement in the mold with a straight edge.
Cement tile production. The artisan places a cap that fits snug into the mold, before putting the mold into the hydraulic press to compact the cement into a tile.
Cover and Press
One of our Moroccan master artisans displaying a freshly-pressed custom hexagonal tile. The elongated hex is black and white, in two color regions bisecting the hexagon along a line between the most distant points.
Displaying the Tile

Simply put, Drake One Fifty’s interior is near-perfection…

View the Vibe


A portion of the marble bar and custom cement tile floor of the Drake One Fifty.

With the Drake One Fifty, Toronto can now claim to have one of the coolest restaurants in the world.

Le Travelist

The dining room of the Drake One Fifty in Toronto, Canada, with an emphasis on the custom cement tile floor.

…a bit of Queen West style and culture plunked down in the middle of Toronto’s financial district.

Post City

The dining room of Drake One Fifty, with Green leather chairs, red leather booths, and black, white, and gray custom cement tile floors.

In the process of creating this solution, we proposed several variations of this Venetian mosaic theme in standard square and hexagonal formats. We loved them all so much, we produced one of them with our Venetian Collection, 8″ Treviso. 8″ square cement tile is the most economical format, and this smaller scale is more suitable to residential surfaces.

A layout of nine Treviso pattern tiles, 8
8″ Treviso, In-Stock

Can Cement Tile Give You Wings?

A logo of a stylized iguana with wings, representing the Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar of Neptune Beach, FLThere’s a new restaurant in the Jacksonville, Florida area receiving a lot of attention. Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar of Neptune Beach has opened to rave reviews. Chef Joshua Agan and his staff serve a fun and inspired menu that is Latin American fusion with hints of the local Southeast.  Along with traditional Latin American flavors, you can also find items like the “Dirty South” taco, with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, or the “Southern Comfort” taco with fried chicken, slaw, and pickled okra.

Click for larger images…

The designers of the Flying Iguana developed a stunning, eye-catching facade using our exclusive Tradewinds pattern, from the Caribbean Collection.  Together with the interesting wood trellis holding the signage, this is a restaurant that cannot be missed. Decorative cement tile for external walls have long been popular south of the border, but we’ve seen more and more installations in the United States recently. This may be in large part due to the advances in sealant technology, which can preserve the vibrant patterns from the elements.

Click for larger images…

In the dining room, the designers chose to use a large area of patchwork cement tile on the floor, and as a backdrop for the bandstand. They used a combination of our pre-selected patchwork tile at the time, and supplemented with other in-stock patterns to custom-tailor the blend of colors they were seeking. Not only is decorative cement tile a strong enough visual draw to use as an accent wall, it is durable enough for busy restaurant floors. Modern sealants help preserve the the appearance over time, and provide better anti-slip characteristics than original wax techniques.

Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers, in a photo-shoot against a wall of patchwork tile from Villa Lagoon Tile.
Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers

Our tile is featured in the April 2014 issue of The Void, a monthly magazine exploring the lifestyle of coastal North Florida. The Flying Iguana was the location for a photo-shoot with Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers, a hopeful for Miss Florida USA. We noticed they couldn’t help but choose some of the vertical Villa Lagoon Tile installations as backdrops.

Click for larger images…

Our decorative cement tiles can also be seen in large installations in the restrooms. The designers chose our Torino cement tile for the ladies’ room, and Fiore cement tile for the men’s room. Note that the Fiore image is a construction photo, taken before the application of grout and final sealant.

If you find yourself near Jacksonville, Florida, everyone is saying that the Flying Iguana is a worthwhile stop, both for the amazing food, and the inviting atmosphere.

Cement Tile is a Recipe for the Ultimate Kitchen


Cover of "Country Living" Magazine, May 2014.
May 2014

Villa Lagoon Tile made the cover of the Hearst publication, “Country Living Magazine”. The feature article, “A Recipe for the Ultimate Kitchen” covered a beautiful kitchen remodel with cement tile in Rockland County, New York.

Homeowner Aliyyah Baylor knows her kitchens.  She and her family own a successful Harlem bakery business. Make My Cake has been featured in the New York Times as one of the best places to get Red Velvet Cake, and they won on the Food Network show “Throwdown With Bobby Flay” with their German Chocolate Cake.


"This floor is the highlight of my day," she says. (From a photo of Country Living Magazine, May 2014).

Baylor was a joy to work with. She selected the cement tile floors first, and let them dictate the rest of the decor. She also used one of our favorite designers, Rebekah Zaveloff. You may recall Zaveloff of Chicago-based KitchenLabs from a previous post. Her design used our cement tile in an episode of Kitchen Crashers on the DIY Network.

This floor features a historic Cuban cement tile pattern we once marketed as “CH-120-2B” of the Cuban Heritage Collection. A tile so pretty deserves a name, so we call it “Carmen”, available from our South Beach Collection.  Customize with your choice of colors in our Tile Design Tool.

Composite of the Country Living cover and article.

The full article can be found in the May 2014 edition of Country Living, or read their web version here: Aliyyah Baylor Kitchen Decorating.

Villa Lagoon Tile Awarded “Best of 2014”

Best of Houzz 2014, Customer SatisfactionVilla Lagoon Tile has been awarded “Best of 2014” by Houzz for Customer Satisfaction. Houzz is a large social website focused on residential architecture and interior design, with more than 16 million monthly visitors. “Best of Houzz” is awarded based on the quality and quantity of positive client reviews.

I love this tile!” says designer Taylor Borsari, owner of Taylor Borsari, Inc.,  “They have been a “go-to” for me for years!

In another 5-star review, Los Angeles designer Megan Taylor writes, “Hub of the House LOVES Villa Lagoon Tile! Not only are we obsessed with their huge array of fully custom cement tiles, their perfect customer service gives us every confidence in the world.

To read more of our 5-star reviews on Houzz, or to write about your own experiences, visit our profile here. You can also download the PDF press release here.

Update January 1, 2017:

We continue to gain accolades from the users of Houzz year after year.

Best of Houzz service award badges for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

U.K. Restaurant Borders on Perfection

Door Sign for Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill

We’d like to introduce you the best new restaurant in Liverpool: Fadenza Rodizio Bar and Grill. Portuguese for “farm”, Fadenza is a Brazilian Steakhouse featuring the famous churrasco (barbeque) of the Pampas region.  The grasslands that stretch from Southern Brazil through Patagonia are well known for their cattle production and gaúchos (cowboys). The gaúchos of the South American plains have developed a strong culture and cuisine, part of which includes rodizio dining. Rather than select your meal from the menu, you pay a flat rate for dinner. As the various meats come off the grill, they’re carried to the tables on a large skewer, where the servers slice cuts of beef, lamb, pork and other offerings through the meal.

This phenomenon is sweeping the United States as well as Britain. This is Fadenza’s second location, the first being in Leeds. Though they’ve only been open a few months, they already rank on Trip Advisor as #3 of almost 1,000 restaurants listed in Liverpool, maintaining a 5/5 rating after over 130 reviews. Numerous compliments were made about the warm and inviting decor that can perhaps be best described as “modern rustic”.

Fazenda entry, with cement tile. Trapani Midnight Field with Trellis Shell border.

This masterpiece of hospitality design was created by Carroll Design, of Manchester, England. The decor features beautiful rough-cut timber on vertical surfaces such as bars and reception desks, with perfectly proportioned cement tile “rugs” separating spaces and highlighting important areas such as salad and side bars. Furnished with leather and cowhide, and decorated with saddles and other items from the tack room, any gaúcho would feel right at home.

Used at Fadenza was “Trapani Midnight”, a Lundy P. Wilder original design, and Villa Lagoon Tile exclusive.  To edge the walls and transition to hardwood flooring, the designer used another Wilder original, the Shell Trellis” border and corners. While their use had waned, most historic cement tile installations used borders, often using elaborate layers of several complimenting border patterns. Many creative designers in the hospitality field have kept the tradition strong, using borders to separate various sections of different patterns or solid-color tiles. In this case the designer uses hardwood floors to direct traffic to beautiful effect.

Click on thumbnails for full-size images…

Trapani Midnight Floor with Trellis Shell Border along the bar of Fazenda, Liverpool.Trapani Midnight Floor with Trellis Shell Border along the bar of Fazenda, Liverpool.Trapani Midnight Floor with Trellis Shell Border along the bar of Fazenda, Liverpool.Trapani Midnight Floor with Trellis Shell Border along the bar of Fazenda, Liverpool.

With the growth in popularity of open floor plans in the home, we may see a resurgence of this technique. Even though homeowners want to remove the walls, they still desire visual cues to separate and transition between eating, dining, and living spaces. Flooring designs with cement tile borders such as used here provide the perfect solution.

Trapani Midnight Floor with Trellis Shell Border in a lounge area of Fazenda, Liverpool.Trapani Midnight Floor with Trellis Shell Border along the salad bar of Fazenda, Liverpool.Trapani Midnight Floor with Trellis Shell Border along the salad bar of Fazenda, Liverpool.Trapani Midnight: Trapani pattern cement tile in Midnight colorway. Primarily black, with beige and white accents.

You may be asking as I did, “Isn’t Trapani an Italian-inspired design?” Yes, it is. In my research, I spotted that Rio Grande Du Sol, Brazil’s southern-most state is also Brazil’s “wine country”, and was the epicenter of a large wave of Italian immigration to Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th century. Poor Italians, primarily from the Veneto, Trentino, and Lombardia regions immigrated to southern Brazil where they could settle and establish their own farms.

Also a good read is Fazenda’s blog. They share a number of recipes, including their recipe for Crème Caramel.

Fazenda's Creme Caramel


“Best of 2013” Design Award, a Cement Tile Win.

Interior Design magazine has chosen the “Best of the Year” for 2013, and we’d like to congratulate our client, Meyer Davis Studio for winning “Best of the Year 2013: Fine Dining“. Their project “Harlow” remodeled a historic space once the private entertainment venue of William Randolph Hurst. Perhaps as much a restoration as a renovation, the Harlow project brought the best of the 1930’s grandeur forward to the modern day.

The award-winning design features some of Villa Lagoon Tile’s most popular designs in several places.  “Lantern Trellis” and “Cubes” can be found in the elegant restrooms, as well as a larger version of Cubes in a conservatory dining annex, that gained a mention in Interior Design’s original project article, “Blond Ambition“.  This installation in particular shows cement tile’s versatility, using solid and two-color tile to provide a larger scale of Cubes design.

Salamanca cement tile in Ladies room of Harlow, NYC.
Lantern Trellis Cement Tile Installation
Cubes cement tile in Men's room of Harlow, NYC.
Cubes Cement Tile Installation
Large-Scale Cubes in Dining Area
Large-Scale Cubes in Dining Area

Large-Scale Cubes cement tile in Harlow, NYC.

While our ever-popular “Cubes” cement tile was used in the stately-men’s room, a different feel was desired for this dining area.  A larger patterned is achieved by the creative arrangement of the simplest tiles in our toolkit: solids, and the two-color diagonal. This layout also shows how easily a designer could use cement tile to create grand, custom chevron patterns.

A 9x6 layout of cement tile, resembling an enlarged Cubes pattern tile.
Large-Scale cubes using Monterey Collection “Diagonal” and single-color tiles.

The writers of Interior Design are not the only ones taking a notice to the renewed luster of this Midtown Manhattan jewel…  Harlow is quickly being recognized as a great experience, and has already been the venue for parties hosted by Madonna, Woody Allen, and others in the New York social scene.

Update April 27, 2016: Unfortunately Harlow has closed. Their original site can still be found in the Internet Archive.

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. –Laozi

A New Revolution in Cement Tile

Roto Tile™ circle and connector tile.

Villa Lagoon Tile is proud to present a new revolution in cement tile.  Roto Tile™ provides a whole new landscape for expression with circular tile.  These 8″ circles are spaced by special connector tiles, and the whole layout simultaneously invokes circles, hexagons, and triangles of varying sizes.

At Villa Lagoon Tile, we believe in giving designers and architects as much choice and freedom as possible. This has been one of the many strengths of cement tile. Our new Roto Tile™ pushes those boundaries just a little bit more.

Sample Layouts

Roto Tile™ are laid with a ratio of one circle tile to two connector tiles. We have created an entire page dedicated to describing the dimensions of these circular tile here: Roto Tile™ Dimensions. You can see more of these example layouts here: Roto Tile™ Example Layouts.

Roto Tile™, all single color.Roto Tile™ example layout.Roto Tile™, alternating rows.Roto Tile™, Random Aqua colors.

These are just a few examples to get you started. With more than 60 colors in our Monterey Palette, the possibilities with single-color tiles are endless.

Custom Colorway Molds

As with other cement tiles, these custom shapes can take colorway molds as well! Colorway molds segment a tile, allowing tile-makers to pour a different color in each segment of the design. We’ve created the mock-up pattern “Ripples” to show the beginning of what can be achieved using a colorway mold in just the connector tile.

Roto Tile "Ripples" pattern.

Roto Tile,


We are happy to add Roto Tile™ to your design arsenal, and look forward to helping you achieve your vision.

We now have sample Roto Tile™ available, as well as Monterey Palette color-chips.  If you think our cement tile is right for your designs, call us at 1-251-968-3375 or email [email protected] to discuss your project.


Cement Tile Circling the Globe: India

Cover of June 2013 issue of Surfaces Reporter Magazine.We already know that cement tile has recently seen huge surges in popularity in the US and Canada, the United Kingdom, and throughout Europe. Now India has caught the fever! India’s Surfaces Reporter Magazine devoted a portion of their June 2013 issue to the growing popularity of decorative cement tile in India over the last decade.

The article, “Are Decorative Cement Floor Tiles Making a Comeback?” is a great basic primer, tracing the history of cement tile and its revival, as well as discussing practical issues such as installation and purchasing tips. The author spoke with several experts in researching this article, and even featured an interview with our very own Lundy Wilder!

You can find the original article at Surfaces Reporter, however some have had trouble with loading the Flash application, so you can also find the article alone here, as a PDF.

Oh, and to answer the question posed by the article’s title: EMPHATICALLY YES!

An installer laying 10-inch “Venetian” in the “Sunset” colorway, a Lundy P. Wilder original design. Now also available in a more economical 8-inch, with an in-stock option: “Italian Trellis”.

Putting Villa Lagoon Tile on the Map!

At Villa Lagoon Tile we strive to provide the greatest value at the lowest cost.  A big cost saver comes from leveraging the power of the internet to minimize our need for a costly network of showroom floors… our website is our showroom!  Unfortunately, for those who aren’t already familiar with the beauty and elegance of hand-made cement tile, the computer/tablet/phone screen can’t always convey the richness and grandeur of this fabulous tile.

Click here for an interactive map!

We recently began a project of mapping out our installations to solve that very problem.  Over the years we’ve delivered tile for some fabulous commercial customers.  Great restaurants, hotels, universities, barbershops and retail establishments across the globe now have Villa Lagoon Tile on their floors, walls, and even hostess stands.

Maps of Villa Lagoon Tile Installations

See Villa Lagoon Tile Public Installations on Google Maps

This is an evolving work in progress, so check back occasionally.  You may just discover your new favorite restaurant!  As always, be respectful, and tip your server.  If we missed putting your commercial installation on the map, please let us know; we’re happy to help publicize our great business clients.