T is for Tile
by Joe Hargrave under Uncategorized with 3 Comments
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I’ve fallen in love with the handmade cement tiles that you see all over Mexico. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re bright and cheerful but also timeless and transcendent of fashion or fad. The Moroccans and Spaniards also have their versions of them, as do other parts of the world, but I’m from California which I think makes me have more of a Mexican sensibility. Or maybe I just like Mexico better. Or Mexican food anyway.
In Mexico, these tiles are made in the town of Dolores Hidalgo, in the state of Guanajuato—just a few miles from the very cool town of San Miguel de Allende. (If you’re ever looking for a cool trip to Mexico, look no farther than San Miguel, but I’ll save that for another post.)
Earlier this year, Sara and I were lucky enough to visit the family of our sous chef, Noe, smack in the middle of nowhere the Yucatan. Their home was modest to say the least: I’m not totally positive that they had indoor plumbing, but I am pretty sure that I saw a chicken in their living room. One thing I am certain of is that they, like seemingly everyone else in Mexico, had the coolest handmade cement tile floor. We decided then and there that when we got the chance to build our next Tacolicious, we were going to have cement tiles too.
Though the tiles are beautiful when new and polished, they only become cooler as time passes and they fade and crack. Oddly, though I’ve seen them in LA, I haven’t come across them in San Francisco, a city with so much great Mexican influence and so much design savvy. I mean, they’re made (and found all over) Mexico and easy to access, so they’ve got to be cheap, too—right?
As Tim, our architect, said when we got the quote: “Way to pick the most expensive flooring material on the market, Joe.”
So our flooring budget has been blown, but we’ll make it up elsewhere. I know they’ll be worth it. They’re environmentally correct too, which is some consolation. And if nothing else, we’re going to have one good looking floor.