We're heading into the finish work phase on the construction of our new home, which I am loving. One thing I've been so excited about is the tile. And it's made right here, in Spokane.
But even better than that, it's designed by our good friend, Dirk Elliot, of Dirk Elliot Tile. For months now, I've been looking at samples:
And I have to tell you, Dirk and his wife, Christina, have impeccable taste. Being able to work with friends and to have them share their design expertise with me has been amazing. Night after night, we've met to go over options, designs, and measurements. They've really put in a lot of their personal time.
And since I love having a connection to what's going into our home, they allowed me into the factory to see the tile being produced. Would you like to join me for the tour? But… ahem…. please forgive my description of the process, and Dirk and Christina, if you're reading this, please don't have a heart attack when I slaughter the description you so eloquently walked me through. Okay, deep breath… here we go:
The raw materials arrive at the factory in Spokane via rail from places such as Omak, Washington. It is offloaded and brought into the warehouse where it's stored, according to its content, until needed:
A mixure of the materials enter into the factory, via a conveyer belt overhead, and into a multi-step, multi-machine process, with the end result of almost all of the water content being removed from the mixture:
And then the Oompa Loompas come along…. okay okay, just testing to see if you're still with me here. Okay, this is where it gets even cooler..
That mixture, now almost completely free of moisture, is then put into one of several presses where it will be pressed into a pre-determined shape (designed by Dirk), with such incredible force and a gabillion (made that up) pounds of pressure that it gives each tile its strength:
Tiles like these classic subway tiles:
And beveled subways:
And these: So sweet, no?
And hold your breath for this….
Beadboard tile. I repeat. Beadboard. Tile: Can you even stand it?!
The tiles are set on wooden racks until ready to bake and glaze:
Into the kiln where the tiles are baked:
These tiles can be made into any color imaginable. Really. I have a crush on their lab. Dear family, If for some reason, this whole new house thing doesn't work out, you can find me living here. In the color lab:
Need an exact color? Bleep bleep blip blop bloop! This little machine (and a super whiz color tech) can make it happen:
But alas, today, we're going with white glaze:
And oh my! What is that coming down the line?
And getting all boxed up just for me?
It's that super wonderful and amazing beadboard tile. For my laundry room. *sigh*
I can't wait to see it installed. That's coming soon!
* Update * Why hello! Turns out many of you love Dirk Elliot tile as much as me. Thank you for your emails. I can't wait to tell Dirk and Christina! For those of you wanting to find out where Dirk Elliot tile is sold, you can call 888.245.7248 for more information. And yes, Dirk Elliot tile is available nationwide. Hooray!
* * * *
* * * *