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Tile Artistry

Tree’s Place Tilery in Orleans

Wastrom is one of many tile experts that work daily with customers to help their visions come to life. Photo by Amanda Wastrom

These eye-catching materials swathe virtually every square inch of wall and floor space in the showroom, which is a feast for the senses whether one is an interior design maven or a window shopper who simply appreciates beautiful crafted items. In one corner, hand-sculpted and painted ceramic tiles beckon to be touched. In another niche, the light ripples off the reflective surfaces of an ultra modern counter tiled in small octagons of stainless steel. Or perhaps you might be attracted to the ancient, delicate, blue details found in each of the hand-painted Delft tiles in a fireplace surround.

Tree’s Place Tilery in Orleans

Making a fireplace more formal can be made easy with a simple tile job. Photo by Amanda Wastrom

From private residences to commercial retail spaces, Tree’s Place design projects can be found throughout the Cape and beyond, whether in an intricate mosaic floor in a powder room, decorative glass accents brightening an outdoor swimming pool, or adding an artistic touch to a custom backsplash in a rustic kitchen.

With such a myriad of design possibilities, a step into the showroom may seem a bit overwhelming, but experts like Wastrom are there, waiting to greet the customer and help them through the process step by step. Wastrom is quick to emphasize the collaborative nature of the design process. His number-one job is to first listen to what the customer is looking for, whether seeking to match wallpaper or wall-paint color samples, finding tiles for a set of architectural plans, duplicating a cut-out magazine photo, or simply bringing to life a vision in their head. For each customer, he’ll pull samples and educate the homeowner about their options.

Porcelain ($2 to $9 per square foot) is the easiest material to maintain—frost-proof, resistant to moisture, and relatively stain-proof—and tends to be the most popular selection for Cape Codders. “For someone looking to install a worry-free floor in a second home that will look identical to the day it was installed 20 years later, porcelain is the ticket,” Wastrom explains.

Traditional, glazed ceramic tiles ($2-$5 per square foot) are a staple—adorning people’s bathrooms for generations now, Wastrom notes. “While ceramic tile is made from the same clay as porcelain, it is fired at a lower temperature, making the material more prone to moisture collection on the edges.” The tiles are generally sold exclusively in the form of wall tiles, but some are sold as floor tiles for areas with light, residential foot traffic. Tree’s Place also offers locally, hand-painted ceramic tiles ($42 per six inch tile) that can be sent out to a New England painter, who will recreate a family portrait, or unique Cape landscapes for personalized custom orders.



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