Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Porcelain Thins – Your New Tiling Choice!

Porcelain thins are the tiles on every designer, architect and artists radar, and quite frankly, we are slightly obsessed too. Unlike regular tiles, porcelain thins are a lot larger and significantly thinner.

‘Won’t such a large surface area with a thinner depth be more prone to damage?’

Not at all.

Weighing half as less than conventional 13mm tiles, the reduced thickness allows for the larger tile size, while still maintaining durability and quality.

Not only does this reduced weight allow for less handling, they also enable faster coverage and fewer grout lines, saving both in time and in materials. With less weight comes less worry, and by using these tiles, it eliminates the overall loading in building construction and eliminates the need to compromise an image or design with messy grout lines and gaps.

Now, you may be wondering why we are so passionate about this new tiling phenomenon. Well, although you may already be familiar with our incredible ability to print designs onto high quality and versatile tiles, we are now able to custom print onto porcelain thins.

For use indoor or outdoor and able to withstand heat, water and frost, no matter what the project is, we work closely with each and every client to ensure that we find the perfect fit in all situations. We can also guarantee that they will not deform, crack or fade.

Not only do our porcelain thins allow for so much versatility, save on labour and introduce a completely new tile option for your project, they can also be cut using conventional tiling tools and can be applied directly over existing tiles saving on removal costs and a lot of hard work.

Tried and tested worldwide, why not join the rest of the porcelain thin converts and make a change for the better? Contact us on +44 (0)1782 512843

 

blue tiled porcelain thin

brown and red porcelain thin abstract-porcelain-thin-tiles

Posted in custom tiles, Uncategorized

Top 10 Things to Consider for a Perfect Floor Tile Project

1. Choosing your floor tiles

Whether you choose a patterned or a neutral floor tiles think about how your tiles will coordinate with the room colours and scheme. Natural stone tiles such as slate or granite work with many different styles.

But why not go for something unique such as digitally printed tiled mural or your own bespoke pattern tile design?

A particularly unique floor tile design was this one produced by The Surface Design Studio when we worked with Armatile to create a golf themed design for a hotel bathroom!

Golf themed bathroom floor tiles
Image courtesy of Rayanne Guest House, Belfast

 

2. Get a flat surface

If the floor is not level, then you may need to pour a self-levelling compound which gives you a flat, smooth base for tiling

3. Consider your knees!

Talking from experience, knee pads are a must especially if you’re are laying tiles over a large area.

4. Start off straight

Before you start laying the tiles, fix a straight edge to work from. This will ensure that you won’t run off in the wrong direction and the rest of the tiles will follow on in a straight line. Remove the edge later and you can trim tiles to fill the gap.

5. Tile layout

Think about the layout of the tiles before you start. There are many tile patterns to choose from. Straight lay is the more most common, but why not think about something a bit more interesting such as brick effect, herringbone, diagonal or versailles tile pattern, (a more random layout made up of small and large tiles.) If it is printed tile mural you are installing, then a plan will be provided with numbered references.

tile patterns

6. Spacers

Floor tile spacers are usually 3-5 mm wide. Choose a wider spacer for larger floor tiles, this allows for any movement.

7. Make it Stick

Make sure to choose the right type of adhesive for your floor. A flexible adhesive when tiling onto wooden flooring, or a strong (high bond strength) adhesive for tiling onto concrete or screed floors. Also check the expiry date on your adhesive, I learnt the hard way once when I found all the tiles popped off the next day!

8. Keep it Level

Use a spirit level to check the tiles are level, if they aren’t level lightly tap the tiles with a rubber mallet until they are.

9. Grout Colour

Grout colour will have a big impact on the final look of your tiles. You can go for a matching colour blending into the tile, or make a statement by using a contrasting colour that can draw attention to the layout of the tiles.

We love this bright blue grout against the white tiles, proving coloured grout can give a fresh look to tired tiles.

Coloured grout for tiles

Image courtesy of www.thedesignsheppard.com

10. Finally

Make sure to clean any residue of grout off the face of the tiles. If you opted for a natural stone tile, then it may be a good idea to use a tile sealer afterwards to protect the tiles.

 

Contact The Surface Design Studio on +44(0)1782 512843 to discuss your tiling project, we specialise in bespoke printed floor and wall tiles and we would love to help create your unique tiled space.

 

Posted in Ceramics, custom tiles, Murals, Uncategorized

Our Top Ten Favourite Summer 2016 Swimming Pools

  1. Albion Barn Swimming Pool by Artist Richard Woods

Swimming Pool_Albion Barn

Albion Barn Swimming Pool by Artist Richard Woods

Absolutely our number 1 favourite, is this custom designed, outside swimming pool designed by artist Richard Woods for Albion Barn (and manufactured here at the The Surface Design Studio!). It was so exciting for us to be part of this project. Each large format swimming pool tile is like a floorboard, with a wood block print effect in stunning bright colours. Here are some more images of this unique swimming pool in progress, www.instagram.com/richardwoodsstudio

  1. Indoor Swimming Pool with Photographic Tile Mural

Indoor Swimming Pool with Photographic Tile Mural

Indoor Swimming Pool with Photographic Tile Mural

We were thrilled to be able to give a home owner in Oxford the luxury of having their own personal panoramic view of the Seychelles every day! Digitally printed and hand decorated by the The Surface Design Studio, these tiles are extraordinarily beautiful.

  1. ArtDeco Craig Bragdy Swimming Pool Design

ArtDeco Craig Bragdy Swimming Pool Design

Art Deco Craig Bragdy Swimming Pool Design

We also love the stunning swimming pools by Craig Bragdy Design, who create ultra-unique mosaic murals. Highly decorative, handmade and painted, these intricate custom swimming pool tiles are amazing.

Image courtesy of Craig Bragdy Design Ltd via Pinterest

 

  1. Not Strictly a swimming pool…

swimming pool illusion

swimming pool illusion designed by artist Leandro Erlich

This miraculous swimming pool illusion designed by artist Leandro Erlich, is created by a piece of glass with running water rippling over the top of the pool, allowing visitors to both peer into the pool and walk around the bottom of the pool whilst keeping completely dry!

Image courtesy of The 21st Century Museum of Art of Kanazawa via Pinterest

 

  1. Violin Shaped Swimming Pool

Violin Shaped Swimming Pool

Violin Shaped Custom Swimming Pool

Commissioned by former Goldman Sachs banker, Jay Dweck, this custom designed, violin shaped, $1m swimming pool complete with glass tiles, fiber-optic and LED lighting and an underwater sound system is like no other and just shows what is possible.

Image courtesy of www.luxurypools.com

 

  1. Mediterranean Style Tiles

Mediterranean Style Tiles

Mediterranean Style Decorative Tiles

A fresh contemporary look for decorative swimming pool tiles with a Spanish twist. Extremely popular and something we are often requested to produce.

Image courtesy of houzz.com

 

  1. Ultimate Relaxation Swimming Pool

Relaxation Swimming Pool

Ultimate Relaxation Swimming Pool with Waterfall

We just want to slip into this glass walled swimming pool, it looks so relaxing and even has a stunning waterfall feature built into the stone wall.

Image courtesy of www.freshome.com

 

  1. Geometric Monochrome Floor Tile Design

Geometric Monochrome Floor Custom Tile Design

Geometric Monochrome Custom Floor Tile Design

We love this geometric pool floor tile design. This look can be achieved by waterjet cutting black and white tiles into custom shapes, to create unique patterns.

Image courtesy of  www.qarmazi.com

 

  1. Mosaic Swimming Pool Tile Design

Mosaic Swimming Pool Tile Design

Mosaic Swimming Pool Tile Design

Like fabric, this fluid mosaic tile design flows around pool edges and beneath the water –  stunningly beautiful and simple to reproduce.

Image courtesy of http://www.furnituredesigned.com/featured-fabric/

 

  1. Stainless Steel Spa Pool

Stainless Steel Spa Pool

Stainless Steel Spa Pool

Stainless steel swimming pools not only look super stylish, but are also durable and virtually maintenance free (and completely the on trend thing to have!)

Image courtesy of www.conceptpoolstructures.co.uk

 

Contact The Surface Design Studio on +44(0)1782 512843 to see how we can help you create your perfect luxury space – our swimming pool tiles are fully vitrified, protected from frost, UV rays and abrasion.

Posted in Ceramics, custom tiles, Murals, Uncategorized

The Surface Design Studio partners with Oasis to add the finishing touches to new food & drink concept

Combine a coveted collection of cocktails with a scrumptious assortment of breakfast, lunch and cabinet food items, along with a whole lot of retail therapy and voila! You’ve got a damn good excuse to never leave Oasis’ flagship store.

Saucer and Spritz is an entirely new concept for shoppers in the London area. Raising the game for high street stores alike, Oasis have combined a knock out aesthetic and amazing concept, all in the name of food and fashion.

With a quirky, mis-matched look, we couldn’t wait to put our stamp on the project. It was a chance for us to be a part of an exciting opportunity and a way for us to really showcase our creative flair amongst other brands and businesses.

The Surface Design Studiosaucer and spritz - the surface design studio The Surface Design StudioThe Surface Design Studio

With a complete re-fit at the flagship store on Tottenham Court Road, it gave us the chance to completely let loose and create a visual treat. Think pink and blue hues, deliberate non-matching chairs, teacups dangling from the ceiling and an ‘all eyes on me’ bar. It almost has an Alice in Wonderland meets Parisian boudoir feel, which we love. We wanted to add a feminine and delicate touch to the table tops for Saucer and Spritz but keeping them durable and to withstand commercial wear.

The Surface Design Studio saucer and spritz - the surface design studioThe Surface Design Studio

 

 

The Surface Design Studio

The Surface Design Studio

Keeping within the theme, they chose colours that would offset the surroundings and keep the vibe fun, vibrant and anything but ordinary. The pinks and blues were perfectly complimenting to each other amongst the pastels and other colour pops within Spritz and Saucer.

Tabletop designs & bespoke tiles

Not only did we create some visual tabletops designs, but we also produced some decorative stair risers. From the ground floor, the staircase leads to a little more fashion and Spritz and Saucer. Unlike a lot of retail stairways, we wanted to create something a little more whimsical and pretty, using bespoke porcelain tiles to showcase the designs.

The Surface Design Studio

The end result; a space full of wonderful furnishings and features. With the chance to shop in one of the UK’s leading fashion chains, have use of the personal shopper, enjoy the opportunity to get your nails, hair, makeup and eyebrows done at Pin and Polish, the in house make-over studio and drink and dine at an amazing space, there is certainly no reason to leave Oasis soon.

We hail it, one of London’s most Insta-grammable spaces. 

To find out more about what the Saucer and Spritz has to offer then head over to the Studded Kisses blog for a full review. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Our Top Five Floor Tile Projects

These are our top five floor tile projects that we have produced. We’re involved in many interesting projects of all shapes and sizes. Our work is in many different industries within the public and private sector.

As you will see below our work is quite eye catching.

 

1. ‘Weston Garden’ Stepping Stones

Richard Weston's Stepping Stone Printed Tiles

Richard Weston’s Stepping Stone Printed Tiles

In April 2015, we worked with the renowned architect and author Richard Weston. This was on his digital arts and crafts project, ‘Weston Garden’.

Richard has created a sunken outdoor room. This includes a water feature with stepping stones of bespoke printed tiles. The tile print is of Moroccan agate. These images were digitally printed onto porcelain 390x390mm tiles. This is suitable for exterior use and finished with an anti-slip coating.

As you can see the finished result is nothing but astounding.

 

2. London Underground Signage

Anti-slip Floor Signage Tiles for the London Underground

Anti-slip Floor Signage Tiles for the London Underground

This year, after much development and testing, we became approved suppliers for Transport for London. We’ll supply specified disabled access floor tile signage for the London Underground station platforms.

The previous product was a vinyl floor sticker. These stickers have to be replaced every 6 months as they become trip hazards. Our solution was to print onto a floor tile, then over glaze the tile with a specified anti-slip finish. We then waterjet cut the tile into a disc and set it in resin into the specified platform concrete slab. By doing this the two elements are perfectly level and therefore not a trip hazard.

Current testing for durability is estimated to be between 10 to 15 years, increasing the current solution lifespan by as much as 30 times!

 

3. Hotel Golfing Themed Bathroom

Golfing Themed Hotel Bathroom Design

Golfing Themed Hotel Bathroom Design

Holywood, in Northern Ireland, is home to world famous golfer Rory McIlroy. It was Rory who was the inspiration for the design of the Bathrooms at Rayanne House.

Complete with a bunker, golf ball and a plug hole in the place of the hole on the green. The digitally printed floor mural was custom designed here at The Surface Design Studio. Made up of photographic images, the mini golf course looks very realistic.

 

4. Princeton University

Princeton Uni Logo Floor Tiles

Princeton University Logo Floor Tiles

Working with our agent in the USA, this was our first major commercial project. It’s installed on the floor of the world renowned Princeton University’s Department of Energy.

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory logo measures 1.5 x 1.8 metres. It’s situated in particularly high footfall area outside the cafeteria. The location meant it was crucial the printed logo was durable and slip resistant, as well as blending into the existing floor tiles.

 

5. Northwich Memorial Court Timeline

Northwich Memorial Court Floor Tiles

Cheshire West and Chester Council commissioned artist Katayoun Dowlatshahi. Katayoun was to create a piece of artwork inspired by collected memories. This was part of a community regeneration project for the new Northwich Memorial Court.

Katayoun came to us to find a cost effect solution to bring her idea to life. The final instalment involved printing large format tiles that were waterjet cut to specific sizes. This included individual letters and numbers cut and set into larger tiles.

 

Could your project be in our next top five? Contact us to find out how we can help with your bespoke floor tile project info@thesurfacedesignstudio.com.

Posted in Uncategorized

London Underground Signage

london-underground-489x275px

After several years of development and testing we are now approved suppliers to the Transport for London, to supply specified disabled access floor tile signage for the London Underground station platforms.

Their current solution uses a commercially rated vinyl floor sticker which has to be replaced around every 6 months as they wear out and become a trip hazard. Our solution to print onto a porcelain 60x60cm tile, then over glaze the tile with a specified R11 rated anti slip glaze to achieve a value of 42 plus whilst wet on the pendulum test. We then waterjet cut the tile into a circular disc and also cut a hole into the specified platform concrete slab to sit the porcelain disc into. This is then set in resin so that the two elements are perfectly level and therefore no trip hazard. Current testing for durability is estimated to be between 10 to 15 years, increasing the current solution by as much as 30 times.

Posted in Uncategorized

Californian Public Art Project

Earlier this year, Alisa, our California based agent was contacted by the Public Art Program for the city of Oakland in California to produce a tiled mural for a public art project for the West Oakland Youth Centre. The Public Art Program commissions original works of art for public spaces throughout Oakland to enrich the city’s visual environment, integrate the creative thinking of artists into public construction projects and provide a means for citizens and visitors to enjoy and experience cultural diversity. Public Art projects are funded through a 1.5% allocation from all eligible City of Oakland capital improvement projects and eligible grant revenue. The chosen artist for this collaborative art project was visual artist Robert Trujillo from the Bay Area of California. Robert’s striking illustrations are bright and colourful.

Piece of Robert Trujillo's artwork

This permanent piece of Robert’s artwork is made up of a several sections, the largest and most complex part of the mural surrounds the main entrance, so there was a lot of careful measuring to be done! A tile plan for the mural was created to check the placement of the artwork and all the sizes were correct one last time, then we were ready to print!

The mural was installed in September and unfortunately there were a few tiles that were installed incorrectly and needed replacing. Robert simply quoted the reference numbers printed on the edge of the tiles and we were able to easily replace them.

The finished mural made up small and large sections is over 30 square metres and looks amazing. It has made such an impact to the appearance of the exterior of the building and it won’t even fade in the Californian sunshine!

Feedback from Robert Trujillo;

 

Posted in Cladding, Murals, Uncategorized

Surface Design Show 2014!

Last week we exhibited for our 2nd year at the Surface Design Show in Islington London. The show is attended by architects, buyers, specifiers and designers sourcing innovative products and inspiration for projects.

We had some great feedback about our stand design, we went for a quirky idea of a digitally printed tiled mural of a London street scene with iconic red telephone boxes We went to the extreme of printing an over flowing rubbish bin, a wooden effect steel bench, even the tiled floor was covered in printed litter that the cleaner attempted to sweep up! We wanted to have a bit of fun and create a talking point and it worked!

Last year we introduced our vitreous enamelled steel panels designed for building facades and subway cladding. This year we took the custom printed enamelled steel to the next level and produced a steel bench digitally printed with wooden slats and added the novelty of a newspaper printed onto the surface of the bench. Just think of the possibilities of corporate branding or advertising onto scratch resistant benches!

We were also excited to introduce our new decorative glass tile range, produced in collaboration with fused glass designer Deborah Moses of The Silver Zebra. Deborah uses an amazing combination of digital prints and coloured fused glass, the tiles are beautiful and so tactile.

The show very successful and we met plenty of new contacts with exciting projects. Mark Wood our Special Projects Manager, is looking forward to catching up with them all very soon to discuss their plans in more detail!

If you didn’t catch us at the show this year, we’ll see you next year!

Posted in Uncategorized

Hot Hot Hot!

­­Feeling hot hot hot here in the office! Looking forward getting out and sitting in the garden with a nice cool drink! Ever thought of adding a new view for your garden? You could have your favourite place in the world tiled onto your garden wall, or the side of your house; a window into another world! A photograph or a piece of artwork would really liven up any garden.

Our printed tiles are photographic quality and are completely weather proof so you’ll have a fab view through sun rain or snow!

Posted in Uncategorized

Dive in!

Summer is here! If you are planning to build a new swimming pool or update your existing pool, why not tile it with a striking image or design. Imagine swimming with dolphins every day or exploring a coral reef in your back garden.

A digitally printed image onto ceramic tiles will not fade in the sunlight or be affected by the chemicals in the pool. The tiles are fired at a very high temperature so they fully vitrified. This makes the tiles very strong and gives them protection against frost, abrasion and resistance to industrial chemicals such as chlorine.

Discuss your ideas with us and we can print your own image or find one that is suitable for you. There are so many themes you could choose from; tropical paradise, under-the-sea, an aerial view over your favourite city. We can then even superimpose it into your existing pool so you can visualise the final design before taking the plunge!

Posted in Ceramics, Murals, Uncategorized