Choosing the Right Tile for Open Concept Kitchens

three floors

There are more design options than you realize with commercial kitchen quarry tile. Above are three very different examples that all meet the requirements of the commercial kitchen environment.

The latest trend in restaurant design from high-end bistros to casual dining is the open concept kitchen where patrons can see the culinary staff busy preparing everything from pappardelle with sea urchin and cauliflower to chicken burritos (depending on the choice of eateries).

In open concept kitchens, not only is the staff working feverishly in a confined space to create gastronomic delights but that they are now doing so with an audience.

Let’s Look at this idea from the viewpoint of what’s underfoot – namely the floor. With open concept kitchens, the floorcovering must perform above and beyond when considering the critical issues of slip falls, durability, and sanitary standards all while enhancing the kitchens aesthetic.

Meeting design and performance requirements is by no means an easy task when you consider what happens in a commercial kitchen. Foodstuffs fall to the lowest point in the room and stampeding kitchen and restaurant staff grind everything into the floor.

Finding a floor-covering that can stand up to the daily routine of commercial kitchen life while looking good is no small feat. Choosing the right flooring is vital and once installed even the most appropriate floor needs regular attention when all eyes are watching.

Fortunately, there is one product  that can meet all of the requirements of an open concept commercial kitchen. That product is none other than – ceramic quarry tile.

Now you may think of quarry tile as a simple little 6″ x 6′ tile that gets high marks for performance but comes up short on the aesthetics side. And while this may have been true at one time, one manufacturer has worked diligently to create options in unglazed quarry tile that both provide the designer with the rugged dependability she demands and a naturally appealing floor.

Metropolitan Ceramics offers more options in extruded quarry products than any other manufacturer in the United States. Looking through the product options page on the Metropolitan Ceramics website a designer can choose from an array of natural earth tone color choices – from basic single tone quarry tile (aptly named Quarrybasics®) to quarry tile with texture and shade variation (Down to Earth®). There is even a thin paving brick option available – Royal Thin Brick®. A variety of tile sizes are also available in each product line.

The image below is a perfect example of the need for floor covering to perform well and look great. The Kitchen Table at The Modern presents diners with the opportunity to experience the full effect of their fantastic kitchen with seating front and center to all of the action.  They chose classic and subdued Raven 6″ x 6″ quarry tile to use throughout this space.

The Modern_Kitchen Dining Room_Credit Ellen Silverman

Photo – Metropolitan Ceramics Raven #710 used in The Kitchen Table at the Modern – Credit Ellen Silverman.

This image from Table Six shows the kitchen and bar area featured as part of the restaurant experience.  This time Metro Tread® in a neutral tan color was used to fit both the design needs of an open concept and the added slip resistance required in an area subject to spills and moisture.

Table 6 -1

Table Six used  an added slip resistance product from Metropolitan Ceramics in a natural earth tone color.

From fast casual to fine dining more and more kitchens and prep areas are now in open view of the clientele, creating an excellent opportunity to have an atmosphere of inclusion and participation.

A “nothing to hide” approach is a great way to build customer loyalty and trust, but it does mean that care needs to be taken to keep everything looking and running great. Fortunately, by selecting one of the many floor-covering options available from Metropolitan Ceramics, designers and owners know they have everything covered for years to come for one of the essential parts of every kitchen – the floor.

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Black is Always a Popular Design Choice

The Modern_Kitchen Dining Room_Credit Ellen Silverman

Photo – Metropolitan Ceramics Raven #710 used in The Kitchen Table at the Modern – Credit Ellen Silverman.

Is black a color? Some say yes, some say no. In color theory, the mixture of black with a color is called shading – a reduction in lightness.  When discussing colors, black is both described as the absence of color and absorbing all color. To an artist, black is often seen as a coloring agent the same as the rest of the colors in a palette and is considered a color.

Whether you think of black as a color or shade, the absence of color or absorbing all colors, one thing is for sure, shades of black are still essential options in the world of design.

All types of industries use black and shades of black, from fashion to automobiles to building design and interiors. The introduction of black in design can create many positive responses.

Black can represent a number of emotions and characteristics including authority, power, sophistication, mystery, stability, strength, intelligence, seriousness, and power. Black is so essential in the fashion industry that “the new black” refers to any new color trend. Sports franchises incorporate black in their uniform designs to indicate power. Black automobiles are the leading sellers in the luxury category.

Interest in black finishes has gained even more popularity in the last few years. In the floor and wall tile category black and near black are used in conjunction with other materials as part of a pattern, as an accent, and in full coverage applications. Commercially, restaurants, for example, are adding intimacy and elegance to their spaces with designs incorporating black elements. Building exteriors too are turning to black cladding to create industrial and modern motifs.

In keeping with the requests from designers and architects for black product options for their projects, Metropolitan Ceramics has both tile and thin brick colors available in black shades.

Metropolitan Ceramics’ Raven color is a through-the-body black quarry tile available in 4” x 8”, 8” x 8”, and 6” x 6” size. Raven has the same properties as Metropolitan’s other quarry products. Raven is perfect for adding the character of black to an installation without compromising slip resistance and durability.

Metropolitan Ceramics’ also offers black thin brick in modular size wire-cut and smooth finish as part of the Fast Ship product offering and in queen size tumbled thin brick as part of the Royal Thin Brick product line.

Royal Thin Brick Hanover accent wall
Available to all Metropolitan Ceramics’ distributors, black quarry tile and thin brick offerings are used for walls and floors – indoors and out, this kind of versatility is especially the end user.

black products_low

Black is an important color in interior design and architecture. Metropolitan Ceramics offers both quarry tile and thin brick in black to meet the demand with products that combine the aesthetics designers need with the durability the job demands.

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XA Abrasive Added to List of Green Squared Certified Products

XA and G2

Since the inception of the ANSI A138.1 Green Squared® multi-attribute sustainability standard for tile and related materials, a variety of Metropolitan Ceramics® products have been third party certified. Now Metropolitan Ceramics’ premier added slip resistance quarry tile – XA Abrasive has three colors added to the list.

Having a product Green Squared certified means not only the product, but the manufacturer has undergone third party scrutiny in a variety of areas related to sustainability. Categories such as product characteristics, manufacturing, end of product life management, corporate governance, and innovation are part of the certification.

Green Squared is widely accepted and having products certified shows an added level of commitment to sustainability. For example, Green Squared products are part of the LEED Pilot Credit for Multi-Attribute Products and materials.

Green Squared also meets requirements in other green building standards including Green Globes, NAHB Green Building Standard, International Green Construction Code, and ASHRAE Standard for High-Performance Green Buildings.

XA Abrasive is a natural fit for this certification because, in addition to meeting all of the requirements of Green Squared, XA is an added slip resistance product. XA Abrasive is manufactured with both a through the body additive and silicon carbide embedded in the surface for a dynamic coefficient of friction ≥ 0.70, well above the industry threshold of 0.42.

Obviously, building occupant welfare is a primary part of any green standard. The fact that a product can both have this certification and perform so well in regards to safety is a significant achievement.

For more information about Green Squared and XA Abrasive, visit the Metropolitan Ceramics website –

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Choose the Right Floor for Restaurant Kitchens

Metropolitan Ceramics unglazed quarry tile is specifically designed to take the punishment of demanding areas like restaurant kitchen floors. Here are six reasons Metropolitan quarry tile outworks and outlasts the competition.

Restaurant-Kitchens (2)

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Product Features are Important, but the Benefit to the Customer is Really What Matters. 

For slip resistance and durability, the quality of Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is unmatched. There isn’t a better product to use in high traffic areas subject to spills and moisture, which is why there have been millions of square feet of Metropolitan Tile installed over the years.

Here are ten great features (and especially benefits) of Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile.


Vist for more information on Metropolitan Ceramics products.


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Quarry Tile vs. Other Floor Finishes

We all know Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is durable and long lasting, but did you know that Metropolitan Ceramics has the most favorable life cycle cost? The infographic shown below illustrates how quarry tile stacks up when compared to other flooring products.


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It’s Time for Outdoor Projects

It’s time to go outdoors and look at ways to add to the beauty of a home with updates to the outdoor living space. Metropolitan Ceramics offers a broad range of tile and thin brick products that will help take these areas from bland to grand.  Whether updating a patio, walkway, pool surround, or accent wall, Metropolitan Ceramics has just the right product to fit the design. All Metropolitan Ceramics products are low absorption and slip resisting – ready for the toughest climates.  And they all install using tile set methods and material. To follow are some images for inspiration.  Products shown are Metropolitan Ceramics® quarry tile, Down to Earth® textured paving tiles, and Royal Thin Brick®. 

Outdoor tile and thin brick products


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Slip Resisting Tile from Metropolitan Ceramics

speed boat

Because they are so smooth, some glazed and porcelain tiles are just not suitable for wet and oily applications. Liquid can get trapped between the foot and the tile which in turn can lead to hydroplaning, slips, and falls.

Metropolitan Ceramics has the right tile for floor installations
that demand slip resistance. Choose from one of these fine Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile products and tame the toughest jobs indoors and out.


Visit to learn more

Metropolitan_logo small


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Metropolitan Ceramics Offers Thin Brick

Thin brick presents a number of advantages when compared to the use of full bed brick. The natural resources/energy saved in production, shipping, and construction are prime examples. And thin brick can be installed around the home or business using tile setting methods. With thin brick, you can quickly and easily add a real brick veneer virtually anywhere. Metropolitan Ceramics now includes two thin brick lines in its product offering.


Royal Thin Brick (left) and METROBRICK Fast Ship (right) are two excellent options for creating a brick installation with thin brick using tile set methods. Both are now available from Metropolitan Ceramics.

Royal Thin Brick is a tumbled product, giving each brick a unique worn and distressed appearance. The bricks are Queen Size (2 3/4″ x 7 5/8″) – taller than modular brick for a more robust look. Corner pieces are also available. Royal Thin Brick is the perfect choice for adding a decorative brick element to any design. A brick accent wall, kitchen back-splash, or fireplace surround are some examples. Royal can be used indoors and out for both floors and walls. With Royal Thin Brick you can add real brick anywhere around the home or business.

federal blend interior

METROBRICK® Fast Ship is TBX Grade thin brick with strict sizing and tolerances. The face is  wire cut texture. Size is modular (21/4″ x 7 5/8″). Corner and edge cap pieces are also available. The program is comprised of seven colors. The color palette includes a charcoal color and two (flashed) range color products. Use METROBRICK anywhere a clean brick finish is desired both indoors and out. Examples include as an accent wall, to change the look of a concrete slab walkway or patio, enhance the appearance of a foundation, or add curb appeal the front of the building.


You can learn more about these and other Metropolitan Ceramics products by visiting

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Now Available, a One-of-a-Kind Slip Resisting Ceramic Tile


Metropolitan Ceramics® introduces a new slip resisting tile, XA Abrasive. XA Abrasive combines two slip resisting additives to create a one-of-a-kind slip resisting tile with a Dynamic Coefficient of Friction ≥ .70. The silicon carbide embedded surface, combined with the metallic additive through the body of the tile, work together to combat the effects of spills, moisture, extreme temperatures, and heavy traffic. Use Quarry Basics® XA Abrasive in the most demanding environments and anywhere durability and slip resistance are important.



Visit the Metropolitan Ceramics website for more information.

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