Concrete Collaborative’s Tiles Are Taking the West—and the World—by Storm
Plus, co-founder Kate Balsis shares her favorite tiles and terrazzo for 2020
Concrete Collaborative is one of our 2020 Emerging Designers. Discover the entire inaugural class here and why they’re making the West a more beautiful place.
Name: Concrete Collaborative
Type of work: Family-run concrete and terrazzo tile company
Based out of: San Clemente, California
The story of Concrete Collaborative is a family one—and not just because it’s mostly run by sisters. “It seems odd to people that we’re three blonde Australian sisters who make concrete,” says co-founder Kate Balsis.
But for Balsis and her sisters, making concrete wasn’t a random jump. The sisters grew up watching their dad work with concrete as a civil engineer, and after getting started in interior architecture, Balsis started working with concrete as a finish material. “Not all concrete is created equal,” cautions Balsis. The most important thing is understanding mixes—our mixes are very high-density for low porosity, so it’s not what people have experienced before with concrete. It’s highly engineered to be used in spaces like countertops and bathrooms.”
The company started in Balsis’ Brooklyn garage, but has since relocated to Southern California, with the main office in San Clemente, and a new showroom opening in San Francisco’s Jackson Square. “It was always our dream to move to California,” says Balsis. “All of our products are named after beaches!”
Concrete Collaborative makes a huge range of tiles and terrazzo—here’s your primer on three of their coolest styles to start shopping for your home.
SSS Collection. This minimalist tile collection with designer Sarah Sherman Samuel is one of Kate’s favorites, and came together surprisingly easily. “The designs were actually sketches we turned into tiles,” says Balsis. “There’s something about the arches, lines, and simplicity that makes it so versatile.” $15-$20 per sq. ft
Venice Terrazzo. Their terrazzo designs, named after Venice Beach, use natural stone aggregate and come in a range of colors and designs, and are designed to be highly durable and forgiving as a surface. “I’d use it all over my house if I could!” says Balsis. $15-$20 per sq. ft.
Zuma Tiles. The textured Zuma tiles, named after yet another California beach, use ribbing, raking, and board form to create a variety of different surface textures and finishes. The tiles are designed for both indoor and outdoor use as both tiles and wall panels. $40-$45 per sq. ft.