Shop Tour: American Restoration Tile


Rachel Byrd Silvestri (on the left) and Erin Byrd Oliver are the second-generation homeowners of American Restoration Tile. Their father, 
Bryan Byrd, began the corporate in 2001

When American Restoration Tile founder Bryan Byrd died all of a sudden 5 years in the past, his two daughters have been confronted with a selection: let the household enterprise go, or run it themselves. Erin Byrd Oliver and Rachel Byrd Silvestri selected to maintain it going. “We thought we owed it to the workers to no less than give their jobs an opportunity,” says Oliver, who offers with purchasers and gross sales whereas Silvestri runs manufacturing and human sources, and finesses the trickier designs. The corporate is in Mabelvale, Arkansas.

5 years on, the sisters are very happy with their choice. Enterprise is booming, and the variety of staff has doubled. “We’ve made about 3 times as a lot tile this 12 months as Dad did in 2016,” Oliver says.

Colloquially generally known as ART, the corporate makes the small, flat tiles known as mosaics. In particular shapes such sq., hexagon, and penny spherical, the tiles lend themselves to a wide selection of patterns (normally on a white floor), from stars and flowers to geometrics and complicated borders.

Like mosaic tile made between 1885 and 1945, all ART tile is unglazed, full-body porcelain, that means the colour runs straight by means of the tile from high to backside. The tops are completely flat with out bevels or cushions. Grout traces are skinny—a hygienic response to the late-Nineteenth-century “sanitary” motion. Tiles are small, and ¼” thick with out exception.

A white Arts & Crafts-era tub  will get some shade and a interval sample from an interlocking border and black and inexperienced “stars.” 

Each girls say making tile is “so much like making cookies.” Uncooked supplies for every shade are blended dry in a big mixer, with simply sufficient water added to make the clay pressable. The tiles are fashioned underneath stress, then fired. One batch yields about 30 sq. ft of tile.

The 1st step : The die, the “cookie  cutter” a part of the tile-making operation, prepared for a batch of dry combine.
Step two:  With the dough in place, the hydraulic press bears down.
Step three:  The press retreats, leaving crisp-edged hexagonal tiles prepared for firing.

The small-batch course of could also be one cause there’s at all times a protracted lead time at ART. Reasonably priced in comparison with hand-pressed artwork tiles, mosaic tiles are usually priced at $38 to $40 per sq. ft. About 75% is bought to homeowners of outdated homes, for brand spanking new work and patching, with the remaining going to new-builds and to industrial or institutional purchasers. 

A proper mosaic ground within the entry of a Victorian-era townhouse.

“9 individuals contact every tile earlier than it heads out the door,” Erin Oliver says. “It’s not that we’re doing something magical. It’s that we take the time to do it proper,” utilizing conventional specs.



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