Versatility? ARTO is thy name.

One of the many cool things about working with ARTO is the diversity of products we make. We make a wide variety of colors and textures in both concrete and ceramic for just about any application.  This beautiful house in the Hollywood Hills is a great example.  The fireplace above features concrete 18×18 Buckle tiles in Read More

Sometimes You Just Need a Bird in the Hand

One of the many cool things about ARTO is that you can create extremely distinctive looks using our vast selection of standard colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.  New color blends, unique combinations of colors and textures, and novel patterns are all possible. The lead time is typically 4-6 weeks which is not bad for tiles Read More

ARTO Featured on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” and in Magnolia Market

Chip & Joanna Gaines have risen above the HGTV chaff to become a national sensation with their show “Fixer Upper”.  I walked into my local Target recently and they had just added a giant Magnolia Home section.  I understand they are going to end the show to focus on their local and national retailing efforts but Read More

Cal Mare Restaurant – One of the Hottest Restaurants in LA (Eater LA & Hollywood Reporter Agree)

ARTO is proud to have provided concrete tile, brick veneer, and custom hand painted murals for Cal Mare restaurant in the (under renovation) Beverly Center.  Eater LA listed Cal Mare as one of the 15 Hottest Restaurants in LA Right Now plus it was featured in The Hollywood Reporter: Where Hollywood Eats: L.A.’s 20 Hottest Restaurants Read More

Exploding Tiles in Singapore Highlight Importance of Grout & Movement Joints

We have written before about the need to always include grout and movement joints when installing tiles.  These stories from Singapore highlight what can go wrong if you don’t. Singapore: Residents terror-stricken after floor tiles ‘explode’ at HDB flats Reports of tiles popping and cracking in flats across Singapore Weather may be one of several factors behind ‘popping’ Read More

15 Quality Tile Installation Resolutions from the CTEF

A very useful list of 15 tile installation resolutions from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF). It is great summary of many of the points we emphasize in our installation guidelines and on our blog. If I could add a 16th it would be to “only install ARTO tiles.” (In a perfect world, of course). Read More

Learning with ARTO – Pepperdine, USC, Scripps College

ARTO tiles can be found in hotels, estates, restaurants, retail stores, and even in prestigious universities.  The educational projects detailed below include a renovated library, a brand new academic building, and a restoration of historic residence halls. The common thread that binds these diverse projects is they are distinguished thanks to our vast selection of Read More

ARTO Tiles in The Most Romantic Restaurants In The World (Cecconi’s South Beach)

Architectural Digest just released a list of The Most Romantic Restaurants in the World.  We were pleased to see that Cecconi’s South Beach was recognized as it features ARTO 12×12 Oleson tiles in Walnut Spice and Copper high fired glazes  The Oleson tiles are individually handcrafted yet they are freeze thaw resistant and meet the most Read More

How a Hexagon Can Also Be a Chameleon

One of the fun things about ARTO tiles is that same tile can look wholly different in another color or texture.  The two kitchens below both use blends of  8″ Artillo Hexagons but with much different results.  Normandy Cream, as shown in the Bastide de Bonheur Residence, features a blend four ARTO colors (Artillo Cafe, Read More

Hands. Touching Hands. Reaching Out. Touching Tiles.  Touching You.

One of the coolest things about ARTO concrete tiles in this age of automation, robots, and killer drones is that every single tile is touched by multiple hands throughout the production process.  However we also utilize advanced technology like concrete admixtures and the Chameleon color batching system that can make thousands of colors at a Read More

(Entry) Monumental Achievement

In a nod to its agricultural heritage, the City of Camarillo (in Ventura County, CA) uses a bougainvillea motif in its logo and public art.  Painted or printed bougainville images were used on earlier entry monuments but the city wanted a more polished look for its newest examples. The landscape architects contacted ARTO to explore a custom Read More

The Versatility of Concrete – Normandy Cream Kitchen, Wine Room & Mud Room

ARTO has been using concrete as a medium since the early 1970’s.  While we love cool grey concrete in all its rough and tumble splendor we are also love how concrete can take on a wide range of other looks.  This beautiful house in Rancho Santa Fe is a case in point.  Artillo Hexagons in Read More

New AIA CES/IDCEC Course: “Concrete Possibilities: Designing with Encaustic and Concrete Tiles”

ARTO is proud to offer our new line of Indochine cement encaustic tiles, individually handcrafted in Vietnam.  Some might wonder if concrete includes cement then how does a concrete tile differ from a cement tile? Toward that end our newest AIA/IDCEC continuing education course has just been approved for architects and interior designers.  A full Read More

The Story of the Vanana and the Importance of Full Size Samples

Many years ago my dad and I had a brown VW camper van.  After some major body work my dad decided (unbeknownst to me) to paint it as well.  I returned home from school and found a bright canary yellow van in the driveway, visible from miles around.  It soon became known as the Vanana. Read More

Ever wondered how your tile was made? Join us on an ARTO factory tour.

Although ARTO is unique for a number of reasons, maybe the number one reason is that we have been making handcrafted products in Southern California for over 50 years now. Arto (our founder) started in Culver City back in 1966 and moved to Gardena in 1999 when we outgrew our space.  Since then our factory Read More

How to Evaluate a Finished Tile Installation

Very much liked this article from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.  Much useful information including the excerpt below. Evaluate the Finished Installation from a Normal Distance Perhaps the most important aspect for evaluating a finished installation is the viewing distance. It should be viewed for acceptability from a normal viewing distance, not a foot away or Read More

The Acid Test – Why We Love This Topical Sealer

Every box of ARTO tile notes that the installation is not finished until sealed.  While it is no doubt important to seal your (porous) concrete tile installation, sealers have always come with trade offs.  Penetrating sealers give a natural look but could be better at protecting against stains and scratching.  Topical sealers provide more protection Read More

Concrete Tile is “Movin’ On Up”

ARTO has made beautiful concrete tiles for decades but the perception lingered that concrete tiles were gray, basic, and utilitarian.  Since then, concrete has been recognized as a warm and versatile medium but it still surprises us old-timers to see this quote in a recent article in Los Angeles Magazine:  Then there are the label-conscious Read More

Sleeping with ARTO – The Hotel Californian

The Hotel Californian is the new center of the Santa Barbara waterfront incorporating the original 1925 Spanish Revival facade and featuring interiors by celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard.  Indochine cement tiles are featured throughout the rooms and public spaces along with concrete tile accents from our Artillo series. Read More

Sleeping with ARTO – The Santa Barbara Inn

ARTO handcrafted terracotta tile made in Southern California perfectly complements the Santa Barbara lifestyle.  After an exhaustive search the owners were initially unable to find the classic yellow terracotta tiles envisioned for the lobby.  However they eventually found ARTO through our local distributor Buena Tile and selected 16×16 Oleson tiles in Yellowstone.  As you can Read More

Indochine Kitchen Tile Installation – Pat’s (not so) Grim Progress*

We here at ARTO are very excited about our new Indochine line of handcrafted cement tile and our graphic designer/webmaster Pat is already installing them in his kitchen.  They look fantastic so far and will look forward to sharing professional photos once the job is complete.  For all you fashionistas, Pat’s kitchen floor is wearing the Read More

The Importance of Proper Materials

Although tile is the most visible (and typically most expensive) component, it is just one part of the ultimate tile assembly.  We have been making our concrete and ceramic tiles for over 50 years so we know they work pretty well.  However, using the wrong mortar, grout, membrane, or other materials can result in cracking, Read More

Manufacturing Day 2017 – ARTO Factory Tour – Friday, October 6

Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) 2017 is a celebration of modern manufacturing organized by the National Association of Manufacturers. ARTO is proud to participate in this annual event featuring factory tours in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Design professionals, end users, neighbors and anyone interested in learning about local manufacturing are invited to tour the ARTO factory Read More

The Life of ARTO – Drinking with ARTO!

We here at ARTO love to enjoy potent potables (as Alex Trebek would say) especially when our handmade tiles, decos, and brick veneer can join the fun.  The rooftop bar at the ACE Hotel DTLA features Roman tiles plus custom decos inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright concrete block patterns. For a change of scene and Read More

Grouting Where Tiles Meet Different Materials

Most people (hopefully) in the tile industry are familiar with the requirement to include movement joints as detailed in the TCNA Handbook (section EJ 171). However, the same section also notes that perimeter joints should be included any where tilework abuts restraining surfaces such as walls, dissimilar floors, curbs, columns, ceilings, or where backing surfaces Read More

The Life of ARTO – Eating Out with ARTO (Ceramic)

Following up our earlier post here are some great examples of ARTO ceramic tiles used in restaurants.  Some might say they look good enough to eat (groan).  The Mighty Kitchen in Los Alamitos features a wild, five-color pattern using our Studio Pickets and Squares.  We love the reaction this floor gets – people love it Read More

EPDs may become mandatory in California – ARTO is already ready to go

Claude Goguen is a good friend and colleague of ours from the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA).  He recently posted an article in Precast Magazine noting that environmental product declarations (EPDs) may soon become mandatory for California state government and university projects. The Buy Clean California Act (AB 262) would require state officials to take Read More

What are the prerequisites for a successful tile installation?

Your installation requirements will vary depending on the specific product and application.  However, these basics are common to all successful installations. Experienced installer – it is a good idea to confirm with the contractor’s licensing board that your installers holds a current license and to review any complaints.  Make sure that the installer has experience Read More

The Life of ARTO – Eating Out with ARTO (Concrete)

One of the things we love about working at ARTO is seeing our concrete tiles, brick veneer, and pavers installed all around Southern California and beyond.  We hope that our products handmade with love and passion bring joy to you as you enjoy your meals.     Read More

How do I know my ARTO tile will last outdoors and in harsh climates?

ARTO concrete tiles are made using a high strength, fiber-reinforced mix design.   ARTO ceramic tiles are also very durable thanks to their high fired terracotta composition.  That sounds nice but how do we know they will perform well in exterior environments and in freezing and thawing climates? One way is through laboratory testing which simulates Read More

Will my ARTO tile be slippery?

Most ARTO tiles meet TCNA (Tile Council of North America) requirements for use in exterior or wet areas.  All concrete tiles and pavers have been tested and meet the 0.42 value for dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) which is the most current and robust standard for slip resistance.  Many other manufacturers still use the outdated Read More

Why does my ARTO concrete tile have white powder on it ?

Unless you are partying at Charlie Sheen’s or Tony Montana’s house the white powder is almost certainly efflorescence. It may sound serious but efflorescence is just a fancy word for salts that migrate to the surface.  It is a normal phenomenon that can be seen in clay brick, concrete, mortar, grout, and in all types Read More