[VIDEO] Master Class: All About Tile


Dering Hall’s first Masterclass of 2019, All About Tile, took place on January 8, 2019. Our first class featured Deborah Osburn, CEO of clé tile, and included some basic tips, best practices, and practical advice in choosing, installing, and showcasing beautiful tile for your design projects.

About Deborah Osburn and clé tile:

Deborah Osburn, Founder and CEO of clé tile, has over 30 years of experience creating, manufacturing, and selling tile. clé’s origins date back to 2009. In 2009, Deborah’s frustrations regarding the limited availability of tiles in the United States prompted her to begin a dialogue in the form of a blog called, “Tile Envy.” Upon starting the blog, the response was nearly instantaneous – with artists requesting features of their tiles and the design community end-users requesting information on acquiring the tiles. Deborah quickly realized that an online venue was a viable solution, and this is essentially how cle was born.

The clé mandate:

To broaden everyone’s concept of tile and to transform it from being a functional backdrop to a more artful, provocative facet of our surroundings.

The Masterclass, which can be viewed above, covered the following topics:

Types of tile

Deborah discusses cle tile’s introduction of cement tiles in 2013 and zellige tiles ,once perceived as an exotic material, in 2014. Different types of tiles using uncommon materials include: Italian terracotta, belgian reproduction terracotta, brick tiles, metal tiles, tiles with specialized finishes and more.  


The importance of professional installation

“Your tile is only as good as your tile installer.” Although the tile installation can be a costly expense, it is important to hire a professional and get your tiles done correctly so they can look their best and more importantly, last a long time.  

Tile experiences

Bringing cement tiles to popularity meant introducing people to certain aspects that were completely new to previous U.S. tile experiences such as:

  • Patina

  • Pigment variations

  • Unglazed surfaces

  • Tight grout joints


Specific Zellige Questions

  • To grout or not to grout?

  • What should the grout joint size be?

  • Where the heck is the trim?

Tips for tiling:

  • Embrace the irregular

  • Embrace color variation

  • Be bold

  • Design a house for yourself – not the next homeowner



Dering Hall would like to thank Deborah Osburn and clé tile for participating in our Masterclass. Click here to learn more about clé tile.

Erin Gilbert