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product line - architects palette

the architect's palette is an edited collection of elongated planks of terracotta tile. coated in a silky matte finish these hand-hewn tiles are made of traditional, rustic Italian clay and are available in four architect-honed hues.

the traditional "listello" shape was typically used in italy as a border, but this elongated form is now being used as a field tile. it's linear form is easily converted to an elevated herringbone, stack, and subway pattern and can be used on walls, wet spaces, and floors with low traffic. over time the tile can develop a crackled patina typical of time-worn italian tile.


what grout joint size, type, and color do you recommend?

clé recommends the use of mapei flexcolor cq grout and a 1/4" grout joint with this collection.

important: if architect's palette tiles are being grouted with a contrasting grout color vs. a matching one, then you must also apply a penetrating sealant or grout release prior to grouting in order to minimize the possibility of the contrasting grout curing in the inherent hairline cracks.

grout color selection is always up to our client and/or their design professional. however, clé is often asked for our opinion on best grout selections for our tiles. and due to the large array of grout colors that are now available, clé would like to offer this general guideline on a foolproof grout color selection for any of your clé tiles.

  • first, have your professional tile contractor complete your tile installation, except for the grout portion.
  • next, when ready to grout, ask your contractor to bring ALL grout color charts from his preferred grout manufacturers, for your review.
  • lastly, choose a time of day when you are most pleased with the lighting in your space (either natural lighting, installed lighting or a blend of both). during that lighting and time of day, select the grout color that best matches your tile selection.

note that the full mapei glexcolor cq color catalogue contains 40 colors to choose from. visit the mapei website to view.

for more information about grouting please see our architect's palette installation & maintenance guides.

do i need to seal architect’s palette tiles?

architect’s palette tiles should be sealed for all applications (dry and wet) to maintain their appearance and avoid staining. you must apply sealant or a grout release before and after grouting to minimize risk of grout haze and to allow for easy clean up.

IMPORTANT: if architect's palette is being grouted with a contrasting grout color vs. a matching one, then you should also seal before grouting because many tiles may have crazing without it being visible to the eye and would only come out with the grouting of the tiles as the invisible crazing absorbs the dye from the contrasting grout.

both the tile surface and grouted areas should be sealed as the final step of installation. exterior walls require vertical weather flashing and waterproof, penetrating sealant.

for more information about sealing please see our architect's palette installation & maintenance guides.

do you offer trim for your architect's palette tile?

at clé we follow the international model of no trim and highly recommend our clients to do the same. below are the trim alternatives we recommend for this collection.

- if your project needs to turn a corner either inwardly or outwardly, mitering the tiles to meet seamlessly in a corner gives it the cleanest, crafted finish.
- another way to complete your tiling is to run a bead of caulk or grout along the exposed brick edge.
- like with any of our tiles, you can also build out the sheetrock so that the surface of the finished sheetrock is flush with the surface of the tile.

how do i take care of my architect's palette tiles?

over time the tile will develop a crackled patina. please note this is an intrinsic characteristic of architect’s palette. mild, pH neutral soaps should be sufficient for most cleaning—test before general use. clean using soft materials, like a cloth, instead of coarse materials. always avoid harsh chemicals and acidic or alkaline cleaning products. grout lines can be cleaned with warm water and a soft bristled cleaning brush. immediately clean up spills—do not allow liquids to sit on the tile surface.

single coat reapplication of the penetrating sealant is required once a year on all grout lines in shower applications due to the continuous exposure to water.

see our architect's palette installation & maintenance guides for more information.

what type of finish should i expect with this collection?

architect's palette comes with glazed matte finish with subtle crazing and light texture variation.

what types and levels of variation and imperfections should i expect? 

architect’s palette tiles will show some slight textural variation as well as low color variation in their glaze from tile to tile. medium variation in size from tile to tile is also to be expected.

due to the variation in this tile, it is very important to blend the tiles from all boxes once they arrive and place them in their installation area to ensure you have the layout you want before installing. do not install without blending tiles from all boxes. all tiles will exhibit some percentage of variation from lot to lot.

architect's palette tiles are rated 'level 1 low' for color variation, and 'level 2 slight' for texture variation, 'level 2 medium' for size variation as outlined in our tile variation guide.

what's crazing, and should this be expected with architect's palette tiles?

architect’s palette tiles are made by hand and will show visible crazing. crazing refers to the hairline cracks which may occur in the glaze surface of tile after firing and is common in handcrafted tile. cutting architect’s palette tiles with a wet saw can enhance the crazed finish of the glaze. this happens because the slurry, created from the tile dust mixed with water, settles into the cracks on the surface of the glaze. to avoid enhancing the crazed finish, we recommend dry cutting the tile.

why do you suggest i order at least 15% more than my measurements?

industry standard suggests adding at least 15% overage due to tile cuts, potential breakage, or future repairs.

for more information related to ordering and shipping, please be sure to visit our shipping and returns and delivery information resource pages.


rectangle - 2"x12"x5/8"

disclaimer: please note all dimensions are nominal. additionally, dimensions between tiles can vary +/- 1/4 inch.


interior floor, interior wall, exterior wall, shower wall, shower floor, residential low traffic, backsplash, kitchen, fireplace surround. Over time the tile can develop a crackled patina. Limit all exterior usage to locations not affected by freeze thaw.


installation and maintenance guides