white tile: from the basic to the artistic

by clé tile | published: Dec 19, 2019

a bright kitchen backsplash featuring clé tile zellige 2×6 tiles in weathered white.

clé was launched to share an appreciation of the rich history and diversity of tile in a way that europe (and beyond) has always done. in fact, our founder’s background in tile began as a way to challenge the ubiquity of that american stalwart: plain white tile. throughout the bulk of the 20th century, white ceramic tile was considered the norm in america. it’s not surprising, as the color connotes cleanliness, freshness, and simplicity. its biggest selling points are its brightness, making rooms seem larger and more spacious; that it’s easy to clean, and that it matches everything. none of this is to say that white is boring; it’s just that there is a world of materials and styles that can take white from everyday to elevated.

white tile can be the shining star or the supporting player of your design depending on the tile you choose. there are countless options in tone, shape and fabrication. here are a few choices from clé’s white collection the run the gamut from the every day to the opulent.

a rustic backsplash featuring zellige 4×4 square tiles in weathered white.

zellige: white tile with an edge

the new zellige craze is actually not new at all; it’s a 10,000 year old tradition from morocco. terracotta is baked in kilns fired by burning olive pits, which adds texture and color variation to the glossy glazed surface. its imperfections are prized, making each tile unique.

our weathered white is now a classic, and features shades of grays and beige with hints of pink and light blue. our newest addition is a bright white called moroccan sea salt. our zellige is available in 4×4, 2×6, 2×2 and hexagon.

carrara: white tile infused with a touch of luxury

our clé carrara is a honed white marble with delicate gray veining formed from the historic carrara stone quarried from the majestic region of the same name in italy.

truly a timeless material, carrara is at home in traditional and contemporary settings and makes an elegant surface material for bathrooms, kitchens and floors. our carrara is available in multiple sizes and shapes, from penny rounds to large planks. some may call it a basic, but we think anything that is millions of years old deserves a featured place in the home.

a kitchen backsplash featuring clé tile solid cement rectangles in white.

ceramic basics: white tile for every project

we like to think of our basics collection as the building blocks of a great design. start with any of them – subway tile, penny rounds, etc – and go from there.

to keep your installation from being too sterile or too monochrome, pair a basic white with a different tile to add some personality. choose a different color, shape or even add a pattern. while these tough-as-nails tiles are always a smart choice, they pair with nearly every tile for an elevated and truly custom look.

white tile in cement: silky, matte, and deliciously variegated

cement tile has become an increasingly popular choice for tile applications from showers to patios. with a plethora of available shapes and sizes that can assembled like puzzle pieces, these durable and sustainable tiles create subtle patterns that can be quietly elegant or elevated by grout choice. a great choice for both inside and out, provided they are treated properly.

cotto blanca: get in shape with mantegna from fornace brioni

mantegna is a three-dimensional tile from cristina celestino’s gonzaga collection for fornace brioni, based on designs typically found in fifteenth-century paintings.

the classic elegance of this hand-formed terracotta wall tile is reminiscent of the facades of historic mansions and buildings, but can be equally at home in yours. this unglazed beauty works in any dry space that will benefit from texture and a play on light and perspective.