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


Scottsdale Living Magazine features our luxury glass tile swimming pool

"Tiling Your Way to Backyard Artistry with Alpentile"

by Kimberly Gunning


"Luke and Amy Denny of Alpentile lay each glass tile by hand and take great pride in their work. They love working with glass tile, especially in pools and spas. In aquatic environments, iridescence equals show-stopping eye candy. Successfully installing these luxurious materials in Arizona’s harsh climate is Luke’s specialty, demanding his technical expertise, his passion for perfecting aesthetics – oh yes, and a good dose of patience.
Inspired by soaking tubs of Morocco, this all-glass tile spa is a sparkling gem. One of Alpentile’s signature details is the handmade mosaic murals Amy Denny creates for areas like this spa floor. She says, “We think about how our tile layout can add to the design. For example, if the spa is round, we will make sure our mosaics accentuate that feature by including a radial medallion.”
Customized templates are fabricated for each project in order to achieve full-tile layout. Specialized mosaic trim pieces wrap corners for a safe edge profile. Another signature detail in the spa is the seat back – a single row of tile at a 45-degree angle to catch reflective sunlight. “We continuously experiment with our installation details so our clients can experience the full artistic potential of these luxury products,” Luke Denny "explains.

Click Here to See the Full Article

Tile Installation: Luke Denny, Alpentile
General Contractor:  Mark Coble, Coble Construction
Design: Wendy LeSeuer Design

Our Glass Tile swimming pool wins grand prize at Coverings 2013 CID Awards

Alpentile wins Grand Prize in the Coverings Installation and Design Awards!!!

Coverings Installation and Design Awards 2013,  ALPENTILE – Grand Prize Winners-Residential

With nearly 100 entries competing from around the US and Internationally, our project, the Gainey Ranch Retreat, stood out among many other exceptional projects to win in its category.  We are thrilled to be recognized with the Grand PrizeResidential Category, along with Wendy LeSueur, LeSueur Design, for her fabulous textural pool and landscape design.  General Contractor Mark Coble, Coble Construction, and Scott Mills, Coble’s project manager understood the discerning taste of the client and focused on delivering excellence.  They were the essential core of an amazing team that delivered this world-class backyard retreat.  This end result can only be achieved when many professionals work together as a team.  With gorgeous tile products designed and manufactured exclusively by Oceanside Glasstile, this project is an absolute show-stopper.  Photographer Michael Woodall captured drama of this exquisite space perfectly.

Here is the Awards Program – we are proud to be included among these projects that exemplify tile design and installation excellence!


Swimming Pool Returns to Splendor with Glass Tile Design Elements

Alpentile_OGT_Gradient Spa 1After sitting on the market for a considerable amount of time, this formal backyard needed some serious TLC before new owners would be able to enjoy it.  What was once a beautiful, formal pool, had been left to bake in the desert sun, and several attempts at ‘band-aid’ repairs had taken their toll on the space.  General Contractor and  Designer Mark Zimmerman of Desert Metropolitan contacted us because he wanted to revitalize this high impact space with shimmering glass mosaics, bringing back its former splendor.

With a huge lot to contend with, budget was an important concern.  At the same time, a raised spa at the end of the pool was a focal design point which needed to be highlighted.  The client wanted to keep the formal elegance of the space in tact and we achieved that with a gradient blend from white to silver.  We were able to show the client a number of options by using the fantastic gradient blend tool on Oceanside Glasstile’s website HERE.
Additionally, we widened the spillway from the spa to pool to give a more significant overflow effect.
Stark white, cream, and silver are a beautiful backdrop to this aquamarine lap pool.  Viewed from inside the home, this newly glamorous space beckons us to jump in and cool down…with a refreshing cocktail!
A wide spillway is an inexpensive modification that gives the feel of a perimeter overflow spa
Mosaic V-Caps ensure smooth edges for safety and comfort


Pool Before – failed pebble coating and blah colorway don’t do this swimming hole any favors.

Luke Denny, on the level.

Luke cuts custom forms to float the substrate for tile.

Installation: Luke and Amy Denny
Tile: Custom Gradient Blend by Oceanside Glasstile
Photography: Mike Woodall