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1″ unglazed porcelain ceramic tile in retro colors — a newly discovered source

Where to get unglazed porcelain ceramic tile — to use as a solid or to combine in a multi-color mosaic design — in a retro bathroom? Here’s a new source: Studio Tile & Stone of Melbourne, Florida, carries “Cinca” mosaic tile, made in Portugal for decades and available in 24 colors, including a number that could suit a vintage bathroom quite nicely.

 

The owner of Studio Tile is Lisa Bogo. A regular reader of the blog, she reached out to me because she recognizes the retro-worthiness of these tiles. On the sample card it says these ‘unglazed vitrified porcelain mosaics’ are:

  • Great for historic restoration, re-interpreting classic mosaics and fresh modern interior design; it has color-through performance, frost resistance and natural slip resistance. Perfect for floor and wall, indoors & outdoors, spa & pool, in public or residential settings.
  • Ideal for curved surfaces, it’s produced in 12″x12″ sheets mounted on fiberglass mesh.
  • Lisa added via email: “The mosaics edges are straight & flat — like historic porcelain ceramic tile — not beveled like Dal & American Olean…. These mosaics are manufactured in Portugal. It’s an ongoing line of tiles produced in Portugal, although this factory has been producing 1 x 1 porcelain mosaics since 1964.” 

Lisa said the tile wells for $4 to $8 per s.f., depending on the color, with the more muted colors less, the brighter colors more. I presume there would also be shipping. 

There are no bullnose or other trim pieces, so that could limit how you use the tiles unless you wanted to turn to a modern trim solution from a company such as Schluter. In the photo above, You can see that the bathroom was designed so that no trim pieces were needed. Notice the curved edge stepping up the the shower 🙂

For more information including samples and how to buy this product, contact:

  • Lisa Bogo or Betsy Bianchi or Studio Tile & Stone, phone (321) 242-5780, email: info@studiotileandstone.com
  • Website:  Studio Tile & Stone

Want more tile ideas?:

CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. LJ says:

    i am remodeling a spanish bungalow that had a mid century addition on it so i decided to go with the daltile 1×1 on 12×24″ sheets in the bathroom. the nice thing about daltiles sheets is that they are more rigidly attached (said my contractor). it is not on a mesh sheet which tend to be more difficult to install and rather attached by single globs that snap off easily.

    as amazing as these tiles look above, for me it was a budget question. i was able to get the daltiles at around $3.75 / sq ft (not including shipping).

    i agree to skip the trim!

  2. Joel Shapiro says:

    Go all the way up the wall and skip the trim. I love that look. You can even tile the ceiling.

  3. Laurie says:

    I have used a grinder on porcelain to create edge and corner pieces for a bathroom, and shower.

    Might want to practice first though, to determine how rough a grinding wheel you would need.

    My pieces turned out great, and looked like I bought them.

  4. Rick G says:

    Thanks for sharing this Pam, I’ll be looking into it for the downstairs bathroom project

  5. dan says:

    Schulter metal edges are great ways to finish tile to eliminate the need for bullnose or trim pieces. and the brushed metal look certainly doesn’t take away from the retro look

  6. ineffablespace says:

    I think the pink and the one next to it are better than the Daltile pink (which actually may no longer be available, it’s not currently pictured in the Keystones lineup).

    I think though that in the midcentury pillowed or beveled porcelain mosaics are just as accurate as the flat rectified tiles, I’ve seen both in original baths back to the 1950s. (Although the original porcelain mosaics in my baths–which I found remnants of, the baths were remuddled–were flat rectified.) I think flat probably disappeared in the later 1970s for a while.

    It’s a shame that there are no trim pieces with this line-up. I think since these are color through porcelain they are essentially “finished” on the edges and they could be bullnosed by hand if you wanted to bullnose a bunch of 1″ tiles on a grinder.
    (I thought about re-beveling any tile I had to cut in my bathroom, briefly). For me the big attraction for Daltile was all the other trim pieces that are available: coves, cove in corners, cove out corners, outside straight corners, double coved corners. and on and on.

    1. LISA BOGO / ANTHONY BOGO says:

      Hello and thank you for your interest in the 1×1 unglazed porcelain mosaics. You can indeed bevel the edges of these mosaic tiles with a grinder if you desire a “bullnose” edge. The porcelain body is color through. Also, this mosaic is significantly thinner than domestic 1×1’s. It is 3.5 mm or about 1/8″ thick. It’s easy to cut with nippers and would bevel in a cinch with a grinder. As an interesting side note to this line, it is produced in Portugal and primarily sold to European countries. Europeans don’t use bullnose trim, as a general rule. European manufacturers that do produce bullnose, do so to satisfy the American market. The NY Times Building in Manhattan used 125,000 sf of this mosaic in the public restrooms during the 2006-2007 construction; classic black & white combinations. Best Regards, Lisa Bogo – Studio Tile

      1. Pam Kueber says:

        I might use it for my kitchen backsplash — love the idea of using the grinder, as I would need some bullnose (thankfully not a lot)

  7. CAT says:

    We finished our partly retro-designed bathrom with chrome Schulter, because I have 60’s chrome light fixtures and chrome on the towel rings. It really does finish off tiles quite beautifully in a more mid-century style. I love it.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I would think that unless these tiles are significantly thinner than average tiles available currently, you’d be able to finish the edges with bull-nose, etc. in close match or contrasting colors. That pink on the far right would look nice with a cranberry bull-nose…

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Except… these tiles are unfinished, bullnose would likely be glossy – I think that would look weird

  9. Cynthia says:

    These tiles were of immediate interest to me, as I’m planning a remodel of 2 baths in a 1962 MC modest brick ranch- went right to the company’s website and found very little content – no pictures of any product, so I was hoping their “photo gallery” would at least provide some guidance…but it was just a video that would not load, no photos…SIGH. Seems that it hasn’t been updated since 2009…

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Lisa told me that they are revamping their website. I suggest you call for a sample board.

    2. lisa says:

      Hello Cynthia,
      Thank you for taking an interest in the 1×1 unglazed porcelain mosaics. Pam is correct, we are in the midst of a web site re-build. Most of the images we have for this line are from commercial settings and not relevant for retro residential projects. We’re happy to send you a sample kit. Just call us and we’ll take care of it pronto!
      Best Regards, Lisa Bogo – Studio Tile

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