clé’s flemish black belgian reproduction tile: one tile, two different looks

by clé tile | published: Apr 05, 2022

clé has always been inspired by the way in which europeans embrace tile in design, and the way in which that tile elevates its surroundings. it’s what we look for when we create our tile collections — and it’s something our clients have discovered as well.

one of the best examples of this? our perennially popular belgian reproduction flemish black terracotta tile.

belgian reproduction dark look. Design: jake arnold / photo: jenna peffley

belgian reproduction light look. Design: emily lauren interiors / photo: madeline harper

belgian reproduction: a love story

we created the line as an homage to the great open spaces of northern europe, using rich terracotta to create a versatile tile with refined rusticity that works in a range of environments from the bathroom tiling to the kitchen backsplash, from traditional to contemporary, and from maximalist to ultra-minimalist. (it’s even fine to use outdoors in warmer climes as long as it is not used in freeze/thaw areas.)

in addition to its versatility, belgian reproduction offers remarkable character and personality: each batch of belgian reproduction tile contains multiple variations in tone — the result of hand mixing and traditional firing methods.

belgian reproduction rectangle light look. design: leanne ford / photo: erin kelly

belgian reproduction square + rectangle dark look. lisa schmitz interiors / photo: jessica cain

design: belgian reproduction square light look. Design: jake arnold / photo: jenna peffley

better yet, belgian reproduction flemish black can be installed in two very different looks, from richly weathered medium gray in tone to dark and austere. it all depends on a surprising element… the way in which you use grout. think of it as a way to extend your design possibilities.

belgian reproduction Dark vs Light

grout and its transformative properties

here are two possible looks that can be achieved using specific grouts and techniques.

as always, keep in mind our mantra: your installation is only as good as your installer, so make sure you hire one that has extensive experience in handcrafted, artisan tile, and be sure to blend, blend, blend! While we always (and we mean always) recommend relying on your (experienced) installer for decisions about grout, we’ve found that the following techniques tend to work well.

belgian reproduction circle + losange light look. Design: houselift design / photo: the heims photography

belgian reproduction circle + losange light look. design : becki owens / photo: rebekah westover

look one: organic and neutral

showcase the natural state of terracotta and its inherent earthiness by using a simple, natural sanded grout and sealant. these methods should be explored with your experienced installer by creating mock-up boards using the following tips:

  • apply grout release prior to grouting
  • grout using a cementitious sanded grout
  • Seal with the sealant recommended in our Maintenance and Care Guide

just apply the grout as you would any tile, keeping the tile surface clean and free from grout. this method is especially suitable for outdoor installations, as it allows the tile to age naturally.

belgian reproduction hex light look. Design: jenni kayne / photo: michael clifford photography

belgian reproduction rectangle light look. Design: emily henderson / photo: sarah tramp

look two: austere and dark

the only way to get this moody, consistent dark look is to use a charcoal or black grout and rubber float.

  • use Laticrete’s Enhancer Pro Sealer to darken the tiles
  • grout using a cementitious sanded grout
  • Apply 3-4 coats of Stonetech Enhancer Pro Sealer, depending on how dark a look is desired.

find grout suggestions and some tips your professional installer can concider while creating mock-up boards in this practical guide.

belgian reproduction circle + losange dark look. Design: Liz Robinson / photo: maura mcevoy

belgian reproduction hex dark look. Design: proem studio / photo: sam frost