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Tile Tuesday: The Many Meanings of “Encaustic”

What is encaustic painting?

As an artist, I love the sensuousness of working in the encaustic medium which I discovered in 2008.  Encaustic painting involves beeswax, resin and pigments in varying combinations.  They are mixed together and applied to a panel in layers which are fused  with a torch or heat gun.  This is where the name comes from.  The Greek work “encaustikos” means to heat or burn.

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An Artful New Adventure!

Let’s face it, things change.  As we navigate those twists and turns of fate we can only hope to move forward, seeing new things with a fresh eye. Like it or not, change is a constant.  You can dread it (understandable) or you can choose to embrace it.  That said, it has been more than five years since I began my adventure as Kitchens for Living.

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Tile Tuesday: Beauty & Knowledge

Welcome the the third installment of Tile Tuesday.  If you missed the last two you can catch them here and here.

The second half of my adventure with Tile of Spain took us to Valencia, the location of Cevisama, annual trade show held to showcase the latest innovations introduced by the Spanish tile industry.

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When they say “welcome to the world of ideas”, they’re not kidding!


Attending Cevisama  was an introduction to a whole world of possibilities!  If you’ve been following Tile Tuesday, you already know that ceramic tile is a part of the Spanish culture dating back to Roman and Moorish times. Tile is nothing new but the uses and innovations in the ceramic industry certainly are! In the coming weeks we’ll talk about some of the big trends I saw that you can incorporate into your own kitchen.

Cevisama was held in Feria Valencia
Cevisama was held in Feria Valencia

Before we do that let’s cover some good to know, sometimes misunderstood, facts about tile.  For your viewing pleasure I have inserted a little eye candy to keep you on your toes!


Ceramic tile is a perfect balance of the classical elements of earth (clay), air, water and fire. All are involved in its creation. All tile is made of either red or white clay.

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Large format porcelain tiles, like these by Inalco, are in your future, trust me. They are an awesome choice for counter tops. I loved this creative, sculptural display.



One big question I get regards porcelain vs. ceramic. Guess what? Porcelain tiles ARE ceramic tiles. There is only one technical difference. A tile must have a water absorbtion rate of .05 to be classified as porcelain.


I'm getting more and more requests for high gloss finishes and tile is no exception.  This beautiful tile is by Peronda.
I’m getting more and more requests for high gloss finishes and tile is no exception. This beautiful tile is by Peronda.

Typically porcelain tiles are denser, less porous and as a result more durable than other ceramics. You can also get them “rectified” which means crisp sharp perfectly squared edges that mean a tight fit with minimal grout lines.


In the past I believed that a porcelain tile was the same color all the way through so that a small chip would be no big deal but I learned that is not always true. You CAN get something called “through-body porcelain” which means that if the tile is not glazed, the color and texture are consistent all the way through the tile. However porcelain tiles can also have surface glazes and textures that are not “through-body”.

One of my favorite finds was this porcelain tile by Aparici.  It combines glossy and matte.  Digital images printed on tile allows limitless choices
One of my favorite finds was this porcelain tile by Aparici from the Kingdom Collection. It combines glossy and matte. Digital images printed on tile allow limitless choices.  Incidentally, the wood look tile images were taken from a 16th century dock in a French fishing village.                                      (I’m choosing to embrace this vision!)



Tiles used for exterior applications are porcelain but not all porcelain tiles are recommended to be used outside. Generally you can put just about any type of tile on the wall but you’re much better off with porcelain on the floor for durability. Remember, although beautiful, glossy finishes are always more slippery than honed, or matte finishes.  Got it? Good.  Since you made it all the way to the end, I have a special treat for you.

This heavenly spa is encased in tile by Peronda. You will be hearing more about all the fun and innovative things they are doing.


Next Tile Tuesday: Uncovering Valencia with Tile of Spain, perhaps another video slideshow??

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