Authentic Mid-Century style building materials and DIY kits for your home.


July 15, 2019

We wanted to tell you the full story about how our tile came to be and what that means to you, our lovely customers.

It all began, as all things do, with a twinkle in our eye and an idea in our heads. After all, we're striving to position our company as THE home improvement mecca for mid-century restoration work. After initially starting the company with our line of doors (interior, exterior and garage doors) we knew we wanted to expand our line of building materials. In fact, on this old blog post, we prognosticated what might be our next product lines. Shutters - check. Laminate - check. That left tiles and ceilings, and, well, I'm not sure if ceilings are in our future. (But email us here if you are totally interested in the ceiling idea!) So, on with the tile idea.

One of our first steps was coming up with design ideas. That was the fun part! Taking photos of ideas while out and about, scouring the internet for design inspiration and even getting ideas mailed to us by customers, we amassed a number of images that started to tickle our brain.

Ideas came from anywhere - mid-century dishes, furniture, rugs, wallpaper, and even other tiles.

Some of the ideas that we collected along the way for tile inspiration.
Some of the ideas that we collected along the way for tile inspiration.

The second step was figuring out how to produce the tile and if it was going to be economically feasible. We looked into doing it ourselves (you know what a big proponent we are about DIY) but found a partner company which produces custom tiles for all sorts of projects and at the same (or even slightly lower price) than we were figuring that it would cost to do it ourselves. A win-win in my book! Less work for us, and a less expensive price for you - I think you'll agree that it was the right decision. A second factor was the ability to produce tiles in both a semi-gloss and matte finish, something we would not be able to do DIY. We're super excited to be offering both finishes.

Dye sublimation printing - making the image.
Dye sublimation printing - making the image.

Our manufacturer uses the dye sublimation process for our tiles. That means we can get the brightest colors available and crisp, clear images. Dye sublimation is a printing process where the image is printed on special paper and then heated under pressure which melds the image to a coating on the tile blanks. Our tile blanks are Daltile brand blanks - a great blank from a reputable manufacturer means an outstanding final product.

The next stage in our venture was to determine color matches. Our goal has always been to coordinate the colors of our tile designs to other tile manufacturers out there so that you can purchase field tile and then utilize our tiles to dress up your final design. We had to start somewhere in our color coordination process, so we went big. Really big.

We invested in our tile adventure by ordering 432 tile colors in both the semi-gloss and matte finishes. (For those of you playing at home, that's 864 tiles in total.) Having such a large tile library allows us to get close coordination colors to just about anything. In fact, we have fabulous matches for our very own SparkleLamâ„¢ product, which means we can help you redesign your kitchen or bath using great retro materials!

Just a few of our swatch colors...
Just a few of our swatch colors...
432 colors in both semi-gloss and matte finishes. It's a lot of tile.
432 colors in both semi-gloss and matte finishes. It's a lot of tile.

It also allows us to find coordinates for your existing tile, or for another manufacturer of tile you might be using. We can even make a custom color based on the swatches we have - the possibilities are endless! (Well, not endless. The human eye can only discern about two million colors, give or take.)

Just a sampling...
Just a sampling...

Finally, we put all the parts together. The ideas and inspiration, the manufacturer and the colors and came up with this first batch of our new tile line. You'd think that once we had all of the parts, the rest would be easy, but no. Just generating all of the images for the website and for the actual tile manufacturing took months to finish. But we think it was worth the wait, and we hope you do, too.

If you have any questions, we're happy to answer them. Drop us a line!

In the meantime,

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4 responses to “Introducing…Tile!

  1. What is the best way to get samples from Daltile to preview the colors? Their website offers free samples to trade professionals, but not homeowners. Home Depot has a few of the colors on its website, but not many.

    1. You can order samples from Daltile as a homeowner, but you can also order samples from Build.com more cheaply than you can from Daltile. (Why? Good question!) For the Daltile Semi-Gloss colors go here: https://www.build.com/daltile-sg44p/s1318864?uid=3131406 and for the Daltile Matte colors (Festiva) go here: https://www.build.com/daltile-qf44p/s1318732?uid=3129677. Once you choose a color, you’ll see a “Get a Sample” button underneath all of the color options.

      Another quick and dirty estimate of color is our list of Sherwin-Williams color swatch coordinates. You can find that list here: https://makeitmidcentury.com/tile-colors-and-variations/.

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