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My ode to tile (cont.)

If you know me, you probably already know about my obsessive love of tile. Every once in a while, my love for it gets strong enough to be worth sharing. These are two tile companies that definitely meet that criteria.

Before I wax poetic about them too much, I do want to put forth the warning that both of these companies are expensive. The best tile usually is. The key to using it is to keep two things in mind: 1) search for small spaces where tile will have a big impact since it is a high cost per square foot. For instance, think backsplash instead of the whole kitchen, or waterline instead of the whole pool. 2) Buy tile that will stand the test of time. Classic eras of tile like Malibu and Batchelder are still considered beautiful almost a century later. When you think in those terms, the expense for really good tile starts to sound worth it.

The first photo is Heath tile (distributed by Ann Sacks, or here is a direct link to the Heath website). This tile line was started on the north coast of California in the late 1940’s and is hand made with a focus on sustainable manufacturing. I especially love their dimensional tile for its wonderful tactile quality. I can imagine spending my life running my hand along the ridges in the tile as I walked through that doorway, and being pretty darned happy about it.

The second photo is a local company out of Encinitas, Laird Plumleigh. They specialize in Craftsman and Batchelder tile, so if you are working on a restoration project, you might want to start here. I love the fiddleleaf fern design in the outdoor shower, but they also have a lot more than just tile on their website. Spend some time there- the lanterns alone are worth the visit.

Considering tile in your outdoor space? We’d love to help with the design! There are a lot of ways to get in touch with us through our website,

Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Kate
Wiseman, the Principal, has been a San Diego landscape designer
for the past ten years. Find out more at