Alpentile Wins Top National Award!

2015 Coverings Installation and Design Awards 
Alpentile’s glass mosaic pool installation takes top honors at this prestigious competition.
Husband & wife team Luke and Amy Denny of Alpentile LLC, have received the top national award for excellence in residential tile installation at the 2015 Coverings Installation and Design Awards in Orlando, Fl.  This is the second win for the company, previously taking Grand Prize in 2013.
The winning project, a resort-like residential swimming pool in AZ, features sculptured curves, sweeping sight lines and more than 2,500 square feet of meticulously installed glass mosaics.  According to industry leader Oceanside Glasstile, “Alpentile never ceases to amaze with pool-scapes that blur the boundaries of heaven and earth.” Luke’s natural intuition for creating refined sculptural forms is complimented by Amy’s keen eye for mosaic detailing.  Amy reflects, “Luke and I are keeping traditional mosaic and sculpture methods alive in an industry where technology, budget, and timelines make fine hand-craftsmanship a rare find. We are the last of our kind, having learned time-honored techniques from the masters before us, it’s our responsibility to keep these methods alive.  Our hope is to inspire others to seek mastery of their craft as well.”
About Alpentile:  Alpentile is the premier tile design and installation company in the USA.  The company’s commitment to fine craftsmanship takes them to elite projects throughout the country to work and to train others in the field of mosaic installations in water features.  http://www.alpentile.com
About the 2015 CID Awards: The CID Awards celebrates outstanding achievements in the design and installation of tile and stone in residential and commercial, sustainable and international projects.  In 2015, an esteemed panel of notable editors and leading designers evaluated almost 150 submissions based on execution, original usage, and overall design and purpose, and gave special recognition to those projects exemplifying spectacular tile and stone applications.  http://www.coverings.com/CID


Outdoor Living Magazine – Winter 2015

Outdoor Living Magazine
We are super excited to be featured in the Winter Issue of Outdoor Living Magazine!

The article from Judy Walker highlights the unique potential glass mosaics provide for landscape and pool designers:
“Sophisticated designs include unexpected selections – like metallic coppers and bronze glass mosaics for this geometric sunshelf…”
Read more HERE
Pg 39Pg 40


The Devil is in the Details.

We spend a lot of time talking about the important requirements for glass tile installations.  Techie talk is pretty dry, and we can't blame anyone for glazing over when we start going into the pros and cons of elastomeric membranes, cementicious waterproofing, polymer modifiers...ugh.
Luke and Amy setting pebbles by hand.
Luke and Amy setting pebbles by hand.
So let's get on to the fun stuff.  
A true artist must master the technical process before unleashing creative freedom.

Creative Transitions in Bronze
Creative Transitions with Bronzework Studios

Luxury and Artisan Tiles.  Countless products exist that will make your pool or spa a unique statement in luxury.  It's important to find experts who have the knowledge, and close industry peers to help execute your most technical designs.

Pool Jet in a Field of Mosaics
Pool Jet in a Field of Mosaics

Clean Mosaic Detailing.  Where form meets function, design execution is critical.  Modern pools are filled with fun water features, necessary pool jets, functional cleaning heads, and each one of these round pipes must be tiled in to a field of mosaics.  Clean cuts are critical to the design - we want people to think 'how did they do that' ... not 'what happened here?'

Sexy Curves
Sexy Curves

Sexy Curves:  Our amazing eyes want to find a line and follow it to the horizon.  So when curved element like this knife edge has a flat spot, you will see it.  We spend days perfecting these complex curves so that your eye keeps moving as you are drawn in to the pool.

Smooth Surfaces
Smooth Surfaces

Smooth Surfaces.  The iridescence of glass tile will reflect light and show off any inconsistency in the substrate.  Smoothing out the rough pool shell takes time, and sometimes many layers of buttery mortar to refine these surfaces until glass goes in with a mirror-like sheen!

Small Tile Spa
Trims and Transitions

Tile Trims and Transitions.  A transition is a place to accent the design - these are areas where one tile meets another, one plane intersects another , and these areas are a design opportunity, perfectly suited to mosaics!  Clever use of trim, precision slicing along templates, contrasting colorways - transitions are for artistic exploration.

Mosaic Murals
Mosaic Murals

Endless Design Opportunities.  Mosaics allow endless creative freedom, and companies like Oceanside Glasstile, Artaic, and Sicis offer mosaic solutions ranging from three-dimensional tiles, to robotically reproduced imagery, to exquisite hand-cut murals.  If you can think of it, it can be made, and we can figure out how to take the 2d brushstroke and transform it into a three dimensional mosaic work of art.

Perfectly Wrapped Corners
Perfectly Wrapped Corners

Excellence in Craft.  Clean curves, straight lines, crisp corners, flat planes.  Good technique, patience, and time are the main ingredients in an excellent pool tile installation.

Images are pools, spas and water features we have created for these amazing designers and builders:
Groupworks LLC
Red Rock Pools and Spas
Kirk Bianchi, Bianchi Designs
Wendy Lesueur Designs
Desert Metropolitan
Sonoran Waters
Tile by Oceanside Glasstile, Lightstreams, Bronzework Studio.


AQUA Magazine!

In this article written exclusively for AQUA Magazine, the glass tile experts at Alpentile provide insight into how they create their luminous, sparkling glass mosaic swimming pools!
Read the entire article HERE
Aqua Magazine October 2014 Aqua Magazine Alpentile


Save The Date! The International Surface Event East Oct 19-22

Do you design, specify, install, or maintain glass tile in pools or water features?

Tile Artisans Amy Denny and Greg Andrews are heading to The International Surface Event in Miami to give this fantastic seminar, sharing their expert knowledge about glass mosaics in pools!

These thought-leaders are committed to elevating this art form through education and expert collaboration, and warmly invite you to come meet them.  Learn best practices, see real-life case studies, and build your knowledge-base about how to work with these gorgeous materials.


This Glass Tile Swimming Pool has all the right Curves

We are all about glass mosaics and sexy curves, and this Red Rock Pool was the perfect canvas for our meticulous style of mosaic installation work.
Every detail receives close consideration…beginning with product selection. This custom glistening iridescent finish was no accident….  
We worked with Oceanside Glasstile to create a finish that would reflect light specifically to meet the aesthetic request of this discerning client.
We are super excited to share the first round of photographs from our recently completed project in Arizona.
More Pics, process shots, and stories to come!

Pool Design / Build:  Rick Chafey & Brett Blauvelt, Red Rock Pools and Spas www.buildredrock.com
Tile Installation:  Luke and Amy Denny, Alpentile.
Tile Installation:  Greg Andrews, Greg Andrews Tile
Photography:  Michael Woodall and Amy Denny


This Glass Mosaic Swimming Pool Has All the Right Details

Coming soon from Alpentile, new photos of a large Red Rock pools and Spas pool we completed in the fall.

Here's a sneak peak from the photoshoot!

More pictures coming soon....!  


New Persectives in Tile Design

Tile Design Trends

I’ve been thinking about the next direction in tile design.
On Trend:  Thoughtful design that balances luxurious materials with long term functionality.  
Contemporary Bathroom Design_logo
After spending the summer in pools and spas, we are back inside, taking a break from the heat and getting our design juices flowing with awesome new products from Oceanside Glasstile!
Glass Mosaic Patterns Bathroom_logo
In this master bathroom remodel, we balanced design and durability by mixing large format porcelain, known for contemporary aesthetic and low maintenance, with hand made glass mosaics in a clean and crisp hue.  The first time I saw  ”Kaleidascope”  Tessera from Oceanside Glasstile I knew I had to design with it.
Kaleidascope creates the perfect amount of movement in our tile feature wall.  Is it a pattern from a quilt, a simplified take on Moroccan mosaics?  Both resonate with handcrafted detail.
Modern Bathroom Design_logo
Budget didn’t allow for cutting out slab for a curbless  shower entry, so by over-sizing the shower, we maintained proper slope with this mini-step entry, trimmed with mosaic  v-caps we hand-cut to match the micro mosaic floor tile. Micro Curb Shower Entry
Custom Trim

The raised area serves as a landing/drying zone.
We didn’t scrimp on details – all outside corners are mitered in this installation.  Even 1×1′s get a custom back miter when we wrap our countertops:
Glass Tile Back Miter
Contemporary Bathroom Vanity_logoOver-mount sink design has come a long way in recent years, and to be honest, I like the over-mount options over most under-mount designs!  The great news, this opens up the material palette for vanities!  I LOVE mosaic countertops now that high-performance grouts and super penetrating sealers allow for low maintenance.  It also opens up the shopping list to include gorgeous vanity trays when designing the finishing touches of the room.  FUN for me!
Glass Mosaic Shower Floor_logoBottom line, the best design serves up exciting new material combinations while keeping function in mind.  Our micro-mosaic floor – ‘Facets’ by Oceanside glasstile in a blend of three finishes gives a hint of eye-catching luster.

BeforeLuke Denny Installs Oceanside GlasstileLuke on the level  Luke and Kaleidascope

DESIGN:  Luke and Amy Denny – Alpentile
Installation: Luke and Amy Denny - Alpentile
Glass Tile:  Oceanside Glasstile Tessera:  ”Kaleidascope”, “Facets” and “1×1″s in “Moonstone”
Wall Tile: “Oyster Stroke” 6″ x 24″ – from Facings of America
Floor Tile:  Cactus Tile

For more information on the products in this design, call 602-541-3065 or email amy@alpentile.com


Luke and Amy Denny Named 2013 Young Guns of the Southwest for their Glass Tile Pools and Spas

Click here for the September Issue
Each Year, Phoenix Home and Garden searches out up and coming stars in the Southwest design world.  This year, we were honored to be among the six rising designer/artisans who were recognized in this esteemed publication as 2013 "Young Guns"

I was recently thinking about how we describe what we do - we often say we have 'passion' for our work - and I was trying to translate how 'passion' actually impacts our work.  

Yesterday, I spent 9 hours on my knees, hand setting 1x1 glass mosaics in a radial pattern in a concrete pool.  It was 106 degrees, with Phoenix Monsoon humidity.  Let me assure you, there was no glamour in this part of the process.  Today, my knees hurt and I feel like I developed advanced arthritis in my fingers...overnight.

During the 8th hour of the day, I'll admit it - I wondered why I chose this path.  But then - I noticed and fixed one crooked tile and was instantly immersed back into the process of creating these perfect radials that will visually mimic the effect of waves caused by a single pebble dropped into this reflecting pool.

I sat there and thought - there are only 2 ways to do this installation.  A right way...and a wrong way.  My passion for the outcome - (including the 'Oooohs and Ahhhs' of those who only see the finished product) - gives my brain a conscious push to persevere through this pain, and deliver an ultimate project.  I can visualize the outcome, and I know how to manipulate these products to achieve the excellence for which I am passionate.

We are so grateful for the recognition from Phoenix Home and Garden, and look forward to even more growth!

Alpentile_Young Guns
Alpentile - Tile Artisans and glass mosaic pool experts


Contemporary bright bathroom tile designs by Alpentile

It's fun for us to get involved in the design process when we can, and so when we were approached for some glass tile design expertise by contractor Mark Zimmerman of Desert Metropolitan, we grabbed our swatch cards and got to work!  

The project:  A guest wing bathroom design, and the homeowner wanted a soothing spa feel that would integrate with her ultra-contemporary style

This light mosaic blend alongside large format porcelain and solid surface counters play on the extremes of scale, hitting her contemporary aesthetic.  The color palette added warmth and shimmering handcrafted texture.

Tile:  "Creme Brulee", by Oceanside Glasstile
1" glass mosaics in White, Ice Blue, and Soft Yellows - 
a versatile color palette that can easily go warm or cool.

Several design challenges, unique to contemporary design, were navigated by Luke Denny of Alpentile, and Mark Zimmerman, owner of Desert Metropolitan Construction.

1. A curbless shower was planned into the concrete slab pour, and at the same time, this slot drain placement  was planned.

2. Curbless showers with slot drains are the new standard in high end shower design.   When planning your project budget, keep in mind that these drains are more costly than standard drains, and the labor required to install them, and tile them in, is also more intensive than a typical drain.

3. The floating bench detail is planned at the framing stage, and Luke installs his mortar bed and waterproofing around stainless steel supports.  These penetrations require extra waterproofing:

4.  This glass block window was specified to address utilitarian and safety concerns.

Zimmerman wanted a perfectly flat wall, with no reveal from tile to block.  Again, this detail was planned during the framing stage so the block installer would leave enough space for our floated mortar bed and the thickness of tile.  The result, this tiled feature wall is perfectly flat, full tile, and no need for trim.

These are the details that make contemporary design right

They require extra communication between each trade so all parties work towards a common end.

A visionary contractor like Desert Metropolitan has the experience to know how to navigate this 
process and deliver finished product like this bathroom.

Tile Installation: Luke Denny, Alpentile

Design + Build: Mark Zimmerman, Desert Metropolitan


Luxury Glass Tile Spa Takes Form through Fashion Inspiration

Last fall, I had a speaking gig at the Pool and Spa show in New Orleans.  After the presentation, I got to talking with James Scott, a Genesis 3 Pool Builder and the owner of Group Works Water Concepts  in Connecticut.
He was using glass mosaics to create a one-of-a-kind mosaic art spa.  (We love it when we hear phrases like ‘one-of-a-kind’!)

 Instead of creating impact with vast expanses of  glass mosaics, he was advancing his design approach,  creating thoughtful impact through form, texture, and color.  Today, there are so many tile products right at our fingertips, the design potential is endless.  Equally as important, the best designers understand that a pool environment is very harsh, and if they don’t select an installer who knows how to navigate the installation process correctly, their design will be unfortunately short-lived.
There is a right way and a wrong way, to install glass tile in a pool/spa.
Jamie’s design inspiration came from the fashion runway, and he wanted to use bold pattern and unexpected color combinations.  The beautifully intricate concept,  including mosaics as small as 1/2″ x 1″ and a uniqueOceanside Glasstile field pattern with hexagons and tiny triangles, was an exact match to our expertise.

The form included elegant curves, like this tear-drop step, which transitions from one pattern to another.  If this area isn’t cut in with precision, the result is a visual mess.  More importantly, if a novice attempts this method incorrectly, it can compromise the entire installation’s integrity, causing significant issues down the road.
Alpentile Template Stair
Alpentile Meridian Template
We articulate this when we discuss glass tile installations in pools & spas:  Visual aesthetics and technical integrity must be closely tied if you want a beautiful installation that lasts for years.
Here, you can see some of the templates we use for organic shapes like the step and floor.
The remainder of the spa is a blend of field tile in 1×1 and 1/2 x 1 modules.  These tiles are paper face mounted, and we are able to create a flat and smooth surface with the ‘alternate installation method’, our preferred method of installing glass mosaics.
When glass mosaics are incorporated into environments like pools and spas, the technical difficulty of the installation is much higher than virtually any other environment where tile is used.   Add to that- complex layout, unique tile formats, artful texture combinations requiring precision installation… these installations require the highest level of technical expertise.

When properly installed, these projects are the ultimate statement of luxury.
We enjoy working with Jamie because he has a deep passion for design, and he understands the important relationship between design and craftsmanship.   We recommend him for anyone with refined taste who wants an elegant and luxurious outdoor living space that will stand the test of time.
Pool Design and Construction: www.groupworksllc.com
Tile:  Oceanside Glasstile www.glasstile.com