Don’t Skip the Tile Sample!

We’ve all done it, fallen in love with a picture of a product only to find disappointment in your eventual purchase. Luckily, we have an easy solution, GET A SAMPLE!

Above is an example of the same bathroom featuring our Glazed Zellige Mosaic Mat In Waterfall shot by three different photographers. We strongly recommend requesting physical samples to get an accurate color representation of our hand-crafted tiles. Every screen, camera, and lighting context is different so simply relying on product and installation photos could be a big gamble.

Enjoy Your Outdoor Space All Year Long with this Backyard Remodel ‘How-To’

Our backyard has become an extension of our home living routine and we’re spending more time living and entertaining on our decks and patios. As we head into the colder weather months, interest is increasing in extending outdoor living because it is a safer option. It’s no wonder that backyard home improvement projects are surging. 

So, when Chelsea Foy from Lovely Indeed shared her gorgeous backyard patio remodel reveal and installation ‘how-to,’ we thought the timing couldn’t be more perfect! If you’re thinking of installing cement tile into your outdoor living space, Chelsea perfectly captures the process and experience here

Because cement tile is more like natural stone than other types of tile, it’s important to use sealant before grouting to keep the grout from staining or adhering to the face of the tile. As Chelsea points out in her blog, understanding the right sealant to use is also critical so that the cement tile absorbs minimal staining and retains the color as much as possible. To learn more about the type of sealant you will need, you can download our guide here.

And, we’re always here to help — whether it’s for design inspiration or help to choose tiles for your outdoor (or indoor!) space. Please contact us at [email protected]

Design Just Got Real with Villa Lagoon Tile’s New Design Tool!

All new cement tile design tool. Add this to your creative workflow!

THE WAIT IS OVER! Our new cement tile design tool is now up and running! You can get lost for hours (and hours and hours) with the endless possible colorways!

Screenshot of our tile design tool's welcome page.

100s of Cement Tile Patterns Available! Step One is to pick the patterns you want to play with, don’t forget to consider a border pattern for a truly show-stopping design! Feel free to let us know if you don’t see the pattern you’re looking for.

Screenshot of our design tool's pattern page.

SO Many Colors! Step two is to get your color on! Our South Beach Palette has 80+ colors for you to design with so you’re sure to find the perfect combo.

Screenshot of our design tool's color selection/placement page.

Lay It Out! Step three is where the magic happens. Now you can see how your tile looks grouped together! Add a patterned border or a solid color tile to really enhance your cement tile design game.

Screenshot of our tile design's layout page featuring patterned and solid cement tile.

Floorify for Fun! Toggle that “on/off floorify” button – you know you want to!

Screenshot of our design tool's layout page with the "Floorify" option on.

Save Save Save! Step four is a real life saver! With a click of the “Download/Print” button, you can have the perfect tear sheet for your client or vision board!

Example of the tear sheet document generated by out tile tool.

Voila! Step five for the finish! When you’re ready for a quote or to place your order just email us the tile tool generated tear sheet along with your contact info, your project’s location and the quantity need for each tile and we can get started with turning your creativity into reality.

[email protected]

Photo of our "Caprice Summer" cement tile.

Using Cement Tiles Outdoors: The Importance of Using a Top-Coat Sealant with UV Filters


The presence of cement tiles as floor and wall covering indoors is established and continues to grow as architects and designers find new uses that enhance their projects. To a lesser extent, the uses of these versatile, colorful tiles outdoors are slowly being discovered. Their use on building facades and walls creates a work of art that compliments the building architecture and design. Cement tiles are prominently used outdoors in a few hotels such as the SLS Miami and SLS Las Vegas as pool decking. The stunning addition of patterned tiles in those areas creates a bright colorful background to the pool designs as bathers and sun worshippers relax sipping Pina Coladas.

An important factor to consider when using cement tiles is the use of the appropriate sealant for indoor or outdoor installations. We have conducted tests that provide clear evidence that the use of a top coat with UV filters is vital to maintaining the vibrant colors in cement tiles. Without the UV filters, the colors can noticeably fade in as little as four to five months.

Testing Method

Dry Treat Stain-Proof Impregnating Sealant

VLT Grout Release & Top-Coat Sealant

A colorful cement tile was selected and prepared by marking off spaces where two sealant treatments would be applied. A Control section on the tile with no sealant was allotted. The test articles were:

  • Dry-Treat – Stain-Proof, a premium Impregnating/Penetrating sealant.
  • Villa Lagoon Grout Release and Top-Coat Sealant, a co-polymer top-coat sealant containing UV Filters.

The products were applied as directed by the manufacturer. Two coats of the VLT Grout Release/Top-Coat were applied and allowed to dry for 24 hours. The Dry-Treat/Stain Proof was applied in succession 3 times and allowed to dry for 24 hours.

On May 9, 2016, the tile were placed outdoors in an open space, no shade or covering. The tile was exposed to all weather elements present in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The weather there is typically hot, humid, lots of sun and lots of rain. Temperatures ranged from 70 F to 95 F with heat indices of >105 F. The tile was not maintained or cared for in any manner. The tile was often in direct all-day sunshine from May 9, 2016, thru September 21, 2016. Periodic rain and thunderstorms occurred, no hail or other weather events were present.


  • Initially, on the test tile just after application of the Dry-Treat a slight change color (enhancement) was noticed but faded over the course of the 24 hour drying period.
  • The VLT Grout Release/Top-Coat Sealant showed a marked color enhancement that continued through the entire test period.
  • The test tile was brought inside on Sep 21, 2016, after 19 weeks+ 2 days exposure.
  • The tile was allowed to cool to room temperature prior to observations being recorded.
  • The test (Treated) tile was compared to an identical tile (Control) that had been stored in a sealed box in a warehouse. It had never been exposed to sunlight.
  • The Treated tile showed obvious effects of weather. On the Treated tile, the Control section where no sealant was applied showed fading in all the colors except for the white portions of the tile.
  • The VLT Grout Release/Top-Coat treated section of the tile showed no fading and the color remained vibrant and rich.
  • The Dry Treat/Stain Proof/Impregnating sealant showed comparable fading as in the Control (no Sealant section).


  • The results of this simple test demonstrate that for outdoor use of cement tile, the VLT Grout Release/Top Coat co-polymer sealant with UV filters prevents fading and we consider it to be a superior treatment than the Dry Treat/Stain-Proof product for outside use.
  • The use of the VLT Grout Release/Top Coat co-polymer sealant provides an appealing color enhancement effect on cement tiles.

The UV filters prevented the colors from fading when exposed to bright sunshine for a long period of time. Though not tested in this experiment, we believe the VLT Grout Release/Top-Coat co-polymer sealant will prevent staining from bird droppings and other organic stains from leaves and natural debris.



Patchwork Tile–The Perfect Mix for a Showhome

Designer Chris Grandmontagne used our Colorful Patchwork encaustic cement tile in her kitchen/family/breakfast great room renovation in the 2013 Topeka Designers’ Show House. Our cement tile went above the stove and to line the bookcases on either side of the fireplace to great effect. In the large kitchen area and family room the Patchwork does not overwhelm but adds just the right amount of cheerfulness without becoming the dominant element of the decor.

Patchwork cement tile backsplash
The niche above the stove has the Patchwork Cement Tile backsplash.

Cement tile backsplash in a niche above the stove
Spacious kitchen in the designer show house in Topeka, Kansas.

We love how Chris used our tile also in the family room area as a background to the built-in custom shelves on either side of the fireplace. Below is a construction photo followed by the completed project.

Encaustic cement tile in the back of custom shelves on either side of a brick fireplace.
Construction photo of the patchwork cement tile going into the back of the custom shelves.

After photo of the family room area
Photo of the family room area

Built in shelves with colorful patchwork tile as a back feature
Family room shelving with Villa Lagoon Tile Colorful Patchwork Tile

family breakfast area in designer show house
Family breakfast room in designer show house with gorgeous deep aqua Fiberglas chairs

Long dining table in a screen porch connected to the family room
Outdoor dining in enclosed screen porch which connects to the family room and kitchen

Topeka Kansas Designer Show Home 2013
Topeka Kansas Designer Show House 2013

Thanks to  designer Chris Grandmontagne …(Don’t you just love that name ??)
of Grandmontagne Designs and Warehouse 414 414 SE 2nd St., Topeka, Ks. 66607
and Stephen Smith Images, 931 Studios, 931 Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS.

And They’re Off! Villa Lagoon Tile at Hong Kong Jockey Club

The  historical Hong Kong Jockey Club chose Villa Lagoon Tile for the recently opened Hay Market Restaurant. Both tables and floors in several parts of this large open-plan restaurant have our custom encaustic cement tiles.


The Hong Kong Jockey Club founded in 1884 provides dining, social, sport and recreation facilities to its approximately 23,000 members. The HKJC conducts hundreds of horse races per year which can be viewed from the Hay Market Restaurant’s double-height floor to ceiling glass façade giving a view of the Sha Tin racecourse.

Designed by Joyce Wang, Hay Market Restaurant  fuses English style with tasteful modernism to create an all-inclusive, open-minded venue that bustles with the dashing vibes of a lively English establishment. The large restaurant brings a taste of rustic England to Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse.


Wang made the fun choice to tile the tabletops at the Hay Market. We shipped the table tiles to the furniture manufacturer and the floor tiles went directly to the job-site in Hong Kong. Most of the tiles have neutral colors and the sharp black and white patterns in the tabletops add an edge of modernism.



Let Villa Lagoon Tile make custom tile for your next restaurant project !!


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


Cement Tile Borders Pull it All Together

One of the classic ways to lay cement tiles is to create a rug-like effect with a border tile surrounding a field tile.  Either of these can be solid color tiles or pattern tiles.

The cement tile rug effect is a popular look and can be placed in a floor of solid color cement tiles  or surrounded by another material.

Cement tile rug pattern on a porch, using Villa Lagoon Tile's Caribbean Collection patterns "Sousa" and
Patterns depicted: Caribbean Collection “Sousa” field tiles and “Malaga” border.

A single row of border tiles adds a finishing touch to the multicolored cement tile insert on this porch above.

Often an encaustic cement tile border tile can be laid in one orientation on one side of the arrangement and flipped 180° on the other side of the border. This produces a very finished look.

Cuban Heritage CH-110 in a hotel foyer.
Patterns Depicted: Cuban Heritage pattern CH-110 field and border.


Cement tile borders add drama !

cement tile borders around the edge of a room
Patterns Depicted: Caribbean Collection “Alcala” border, “Toledo” border, and single-color field tiles.

Note how in the yellow tile room they included a third tile between the border ‘sandwich’ .

A very deep encaustic cement tile border at the corner of a room using Caribbean Collection and Cuban Heritage Collection border patterns.
Patterns Depicted: Caribbean Collection “Puerto Plata” border, “Santiago” border, and single-color field tiles, and Cuban Heritage Collection pattern CH-120.

If the room is large enough, a double, triple or more border can look fantastic. The border above is actually a row of five tiles, all of them 20 cm (8″). This is the same size tiles as the field tile in the room.

A beautiful border on an encaustic cement tile floor takes a little more planning but the effect is well worth it.

Seductive Cement Setting brings Success!

We’d like to give kudos to our friends at Maneli Wilson Interiors for rave reviews of their recent work, featuring our cement tile pattern, Cubes. Sotto 13 opened in November as a runaway hit in New York’s West Village. This new darling destination of the local critics features Italian tapas, brick-oven pizzas, and cocktails by acclaimed mixologist Frankie Oley, but few can help but comment on the amazing decor.

"Cubes" cement tile as a wall covering in the dining room of Sotto 13, in New York.

Our Cubes pattern was used on the wall surrounding the kitchen’s window… a focal point for the flow of food through the restaurant. We also couldn’t help but spot an ingenious use for some of the left-over tiles: they are framed within the side of the hostess stand. On your next project you may consider ordering a little extra… finishing touches like these can really help tie a theme together.


Cement Tile brilliantly built into furniture; framed in the sidewall of the Hostess Stand


In-Stock "Cubes" Tile
In-Stock “Cubes” Tile

Among the mountains of praise, Jones Magazine proclaims that Sotto 13 “offers rustic decor with a modern twist and perfect ambiance.” CBS New York touts Sotto 13 as “perfect for a West Village date night,” and NewForkCity says “it’s the decor that brings you in”, but the food that brings you back. What more can a restaurateur want from their decor than to provide the perfect, inviting setting to showcase their craft? Perhaps a mention by one of the largest travel magazines in the country?

Not only has Sotto 13 earned a mention by Travel + Leisure Magazine, their grand entrance to the scene has placed them among “America’s Most Romantic Restaurants”. Writing for, Brendan Spiegel cites Sotto 13’s “alluring space” among the attributes that landed it so high on the list.

No matter what your project, we’re sure our Villa Lagoon Tile, hand-made cement tile can provide a warmth and sophistication that can perfectly accent any vision.

Take a look at just a few other restaurant installations:

Cement Tile in Restaurants

February 12, 2013.


Do I need a Designer?

I read a nice post on the KSL Interiors blog. She gives such valid information on how hiring a designer can really benefit a client.

Today, after dealing with the most difficult contractor I have ever had to work with, I remembered why I am great at my job. There is a real value in a designer far beyond aesthetics. We know how to work with trades: contractors, architects and suppliers to make your environment look better than you could ever envision on your own.

She continues on to list her favorite reasons to hire a designer, including their expertise, the price benefits you can realize through their business connections, and the headaches they can prevent by handling all of the third parties for you.

We know from experience that a designer will remember things like trim pieces. We know that they have software to do a proper layout and determine the correct number of tile to order. We also know that they have done their homework before they call and generally have most decisions made before they inquire about buying our tile. We love designers. I have no doubt that the above list of reasons to hire an interior designer is 100% valid. On major renovation work…for gosh sakes, HIRE A DESIGNER.