Tile And Stone Make a Powerful Entrance

By Joan Spector

Tile and Decorative Surfaces

residential entrance foyer medallion

A traditional residential entrance foyer is floored with Cerdisa's Excel Series of fine porcelain tile.

A similar design forms a decorative band around the perimeter of the elegant space.

While stone has become increasingly popular, ceramic tile, especially porcelain tile, also plays a major role in designing the entryway. Hand pressed glazed tiles from Seneca Tile create a welcoming, country look in the entryway of a retirement center in Toledo, Ohio.

Crossville's 12 X 12-inch porcelain stone tile, in 7 colors, creates a memorable entrance plaza for the Carolina Place Mall in Clarksville, North Carolina.

Porcelain tile is particularly suitable in the exterior portion of many entryways. For example, the entrance courtyard of a walled country home is paved in Del Conca's full-body porcelain tile set in a herringbone pattern with decorative striping that creates a pathway to a slatted wood doorway.

The entrance courtyard of Home magazine's "Home Of The Future," in Dallas, Texas, achieves a rustic feeling with Pamesa's Compactto Piedra in three modular sizes and two shades of gray. The innovative home is a joint project with Tile of Spain and has been open to the public for a year.

California designer, Carole Eichen, AS/D, selects limestone with black marble inserts for the elegant entrance hall of an expensive model home in Pacific Palisades.■

First impressions are often the most important ones. A ceramic or stone tiled entryway makes a powerful statement about the people who live or work there. It is the entryway where the tone of the building is established, and the mood is set.

"The first view and impression of a house is from the entryway," said carole eichen, ASID of Santa Ana, Calif., "so make an important statement. The flooring material sets the mood for a large entry by using a pattern, such as a sunburst. The entryway should be decorative and for that reason there should be no (closet) doors, since they take away from the walls where furniture, objects and art would be placed."

Such interesting new entryway innovations are the medallions and logos that are being used as design elements to introduce residential or commercial buildings. The healthy growth of water-jet cutting companies has signaled the interest of architects and designers, as well as owners to use entryway designs to introduce buildings.

Water-jet cut designs may well be the modern enhancement of mosaic designs in the entryway. However, water-jet cutting offers architects, designers and owners the ability to precisely mirror a design, which is particularly valuable in commercial designs, such as the retail application of logos.

Making an entrance in a private residence these days often means designing with natural stone. Eichen chose a creamy limestone for the entrance hall of a high-end model home in Pacific Palisades. The 18 X 18-inch stone tiles in the handsome hallway were geometrically delineated with 4 X 4-inch, walnut-toned limestone tiles and black marble dots.

A circular entrance hall with twin-curved staircases is paved in 12 X 12-inch ivory marble and centered by an ornate water-jet design by Creative Edge in brown, black and gold marble.

custom designed entryway medallion

A traditional residential entrance foyer is floored with Cerdisa's Excel Series of fine porcelain tile.