Can you get a custom cement tile pattern in just the right design?  In just the right colors?  For your specific project?

YES!

And it’s not complicated!

In this post, we’ll look at how you can create a concrete tile design customized for your space.

  1. How to pick the pattern?
  2. Colors, colors, colors!
  3. How much to order?
  4. A few tips about installation.

Let’s jump to it.

How to Pick a Custom Cement Tile Pattern

(a statement of your personality)

In my opinion, the choice of a concrete tile design is the 2nd most crucial part of creating a custom cement tile pattern.  That’s right, 2nd most important.  But, I’ll get to the most essential element a bit later.

The primary question that you have to ask yourself is…

⇒ What is my style?

Traditional, Modern, Spanish, Tuscan, Southwestern style decor.  Define your style before you look at any concrete tile designs.

custom cement tile

Modern Style – Casablanca Pattern

For example, if you don’t begin by picking your style, it’s like going into Costco without a shopping list.  An unplanned stroll through the store leaves you (me) with a $500 receipt and nothing useful.  (Well, maybe the economy size cookie dough.  That’s useful.)

So, pick your style.  Then, you can hone in on narrowing down patterns that reflect your style.

spanish style cement tile

Spanish Style – Roseton Pattern

Next question to ask yourself.

⇒ Am I putting tile on my floor, wall, or both?  

Believe it or not, the placement of your custom cement tile pattern impacts the design you choose.  For example, the Harlequin concrete tile design is a geometric pattern that has a 3-D effect when it’s installed as flooring & wall tile.  Also, I love concrete tile designs as a wall tile. Plus, consider spaces like kitchen & bathroom backsplashes.  Or, use custom cement tile patterns on an accent wall that you’d otherwise paint.

If you’re designing a commercial space like a restaurant, custom cement tile patterns make a statement as wall tile under the bar and as a bar backsplash.

Indeed, the options are endless.

how to pick a custom concrete tile pattern

Last question to ask yourself.

⇒ To be busy or not?

If you like an intricate look, select a pattern with many lines, curves, & accents.  Coincidentally, this type of design will call for several colors. (Just beware –  a custom cement tile pattern is typically priced by the number of colors in a design.  So, a 5-color pattern is more expensive than a 2-color pattern.)

But, if you like simple & clean lines, check out geometric patterns.  Custom cement tile patterns in geometric designs offer a sophisticated and modern appeal.  Plus, these are usually 2 or 3 color patterns. So, they are less expensive than something more complex.

Here are some examples of patterns waiting to be customized! Pay attention to the varied levels of complexity.

Cement Tile Colors

(color selection is a big deal)

In my opinion, choosing colors for your custom cement tile pattern is the MOST crucial design decision.

You can goof up and select a pattern that may not be great for your personal style. For example, you may choose a modern hexagon for a Hacienda style home that calls for Spanish flare. Above all, that can be fixed by choosing the right colors – vibrant, bold colors for Spanish style.

It’s a stretch, but it’s possible.  As another example, if you picked a Victorian-style pattern for an Adobe style home, earthen color tones make the design workable.

Check out this custom Philadelphia concrete tile pattern.  The blue tones are ideal for a Victorian-style home.  Same goes with the pattern.  Philadelphia is a Victorian style pattern.  But if you picked this pattern for a Spanish style home… customize it with vibrant colors.  Órale!! It’s now great for Spanish style decor!

custom philadelphia cement tile
custom philadelphia concrete tile

Color selection transcends pattern selection.  In effect, colors bring all of the design elements into a cohesive environment.  That said, just pick a pattern in your defined style to keep life simple.

Next, you’ve probably noticed that custom cement tile pattern colors are naturally subdued.  If you need vibrant colors found in painted tiles like Talavera, there are ways to color-enhance a concrete tile.  More on that later.

⇒ Here are some common color themes for popular custom cement tile patterns.

  • Modern style cement tile patterns display clean lines in white, black, and gray.
  • Spanish custom cement tile patterns are colorful with red, blue, gold, and green shades. Often times, these patterns are good candidates for color-enhancing sealers.
  • Southwestern and Adobe style homes feature custom cement tile patterns in earthen tones like beige, cream, gray-green, and terracotta.
  • And lastly, Victorian-style homes display varying colors of blue & turquoise, white, black, & gray.

Now, check out how these concrete tile designs take on different looks with varied color themes.

custom concrete tile design
amalia custom cement tile pattern

Perhaps something a little more modern? Geometric?

square pattern concrete tile
custom cement tile pattern

How Much Cement Tile Should You Order?

(prepare - don't blow the budget)

There’s one item on my soapbox.

Do Not Run Short of Tile! Recognize that you’re designing and ordering a custom cement tile pattern.  This means that the tile is literally made specifically for your project.  So, if you don’t want to have delays or excess costs, order the correct quantity the first time.

But, how much is just right?

overage for cement tile projects

I recommend at least 20% overage for waste, cuts, and borders.  Why so much?

A custom cement tile pattern is a decorative design.  Even a skilled tile installer may not get more than 1 cut from a tile.  So naturally, there is more waste involved with installing a decorative tile vs. a solid color tile. Furthermore, there are more cuts using decorative shapes like Hexagons, Octagons, & Arabesque patterns.  Check out the Reasons Why We Love Hexagon Tile Patterns.

But also, analyze the layout of your project area.  If there are curved walls, cabinets to go around, or other floor elements like toilets and bathtubs, increase your overage.

It’s ideal to order enough tile to get the job done AND keep a couple of spare boxes for any possible future repairs.  Because a custom cement tile pattern is handmade, it’s virtually impossible to match colors precisely in a next production of that tile.

What if you didn’t order enough for the project?  Expect to spend more money.  Expect to be delayed (remember, it’s custom made, so this isn’t something that ships quickly).  And expect variations in color from a separate production lot.

So, what’s the takeaway? Get it right the first time.  Order enough tile.

Installing a Custom Cement Tile Pattern

(lessons we've learned the hard way)

There’s a lot of useful information and wrong information online about how to install cement tile.  This is a quick breakdown of best practices.

First, cement tile needs to be sealed.  Without proper sealer, it will stain upon contact with thinset or grout.

So, before installing custom cement tile, protect it.  Talk to the supplier for your custom cement tile pattern to get their specific advice about products and the process.

thinset concrete tile

Photo Credit: Younghouselove.com

At Rustico, we take a conservative approach.

  • Step 1 – apply penetrating sealer.
  • Step 2 – set the tile.
  • Step 3 – apply grout release (even if the penetrating sealer states that it serves as grout release… can’t be too careful).
  • Step 4 – grout, clean, and allow to dry.
  • Step 5 – apply a quality topcoat sealer like TerraNano Sealer.  Topcoat sealer should seal the grout and apply UV/scratch-resistance protection.

See? It’s not that difficult.  Just follow the right process and use proper products.

⇒ Lastly, for more information check out 5 Things Not to do with Cement Tile Flooring.

Do you have other suggestions or tips?  Comment Below!

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