Sustainable Ceramics

Apr 19, 2023

Sustainability is a dominant theme in the luxury tile market, as we’ve seen with the recent rise in eco-friendly tile factories and products. This trend isn’t going anywhere soon – in fact, new tools, technologies and methods allow the industry’s talented artisans to create an ever-increasing array of gorgeous ceramic tile designs while staying green.

We’ve previously highlighted several industry leaders in sustainability, such as Artistic Tile and Florim. Recently, however, we had the exciting opportunity to visit one of our favorite eco-conscious vendors in person: Encore Ceramics.

A few of our team members headed to Encore’s home base in Oregon, where we discovered several of the most compelling trends in sustainable design. This trip left us feeling inspired by the many eco-friendly opportunities in the world of decorative tile – and reinvigorated our commitment to doing our part.


Why We Adore Encore Ceramics 

At Encore, sustainability is a top priority. This acclaimed tile manufacturer produces artisan, handmade pieces that are a sight to behold – but they’re also environmentally friendly.

In addition to emphasizing sustainable building materials, Encore strives to limit waste with a cutting-edge manufacturing process. Highlights include:

  • Solar panels generate an annual 35-megawatt hours to save over 70,000 pounds of CO2 emissions every year.
  • Custom water recycling processes save over 40,000 gallons per year.
  • A strategic production process captures all raw waste, including clay, glazes and water.

Another initiative we appreciate? As a second-chance employer, Encore strives to create U.S. jobs and strengthen the local economy. What’s more, many pieces are donated to Habitat for Humanity or nearby schools to support at-risk youth.

An Inspiring Seminar Experience


During our recent trip to Oregon, we took part in a memorable seminar experience. Along the way, we rediscovered all that makes Encore special while also gaining several fascinating new insights.

After we met Encore’s hardworking and passionate staff members, we had the chance to glaze our own tiles. This was a lot of fun, of course, but also highly instructive: we learned how each glaze is completed by hand – and how complicated it truly is to create metallic glazes. We were reminded why so few tile companies are willing to take on the challenge these days.

Another takeaway: each order involves a complex array of steps and staff input. We were especially dazzled by all that Encore’s design team is able to accomplish. The sheer range of patterns is nothing short of impressive.

Another takeaway: each order involves a complex array of steps and staff input. We were especially dazzled by all that Encore’s design team is able to accomplish. The sheer range of patterns is nothing short of impressive.

During a brief design session during our final day, we discussed ideas and were intrigued by the range of aesthetic preferences brought to light.

Ceramic Favorites Worthy of an Encore

We’re always appreciative of Encore’s metallics – and now, to an even greater degree since we’ve experienced firsthand how difficult these are to produce.

Metallics are only the beginning. Encore’s gorgeous glazes span the full color spectrum and incorporate many of today’s trendiest hues. Cognac, for example, is perfectly at home with the currently dominant earthy vibes.

Meanwhile, Heritage glazes bring traditional elements to the forefront while adding plenty of personality with color variation.

We’re also impressed by Encore’s distinctive patterns. Favorites include Atherton, Campbell, Cordoba and Descanso.

Atherton. Replacing ceramic tile feels like a downright artistic endeavor with the Atherton mosaic, which feels reminiscent of quilt work and is available with several of our favorite glazes.
Campbell. A simple, yet impactful mosaic, Encore’s Campbell harnesses the power of geometric tile design. This dynamic pattern will bring extra dimension to any kitchen or bathroom in which it’s incorporated.
Cordoba. Intricate, nature-inspired shapes form the basis of the Cordoba mosaic, which fits perfectly with today’s biophilic trends.
Descanso. Deliver a sense of flow with decorative Descanso, which makes its mark with a unique blend of wave effects and kite-shaped tiles.

Encore Ceramics + Decorative Materials: A Commitment to Community

Like Encore, our team at Decorative Materials is committed to making a difference in our community while highlighting the power of tile-based artistry.

As you explore tile stores and showrooms, feel free to find new ideas at our locations throughout Colorado. We'd love to discuss your vision, so don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment or contact us online.