Cairo Tiling‎ > ‎

As Wall Tiles

The arbitrary fourth, placed in alphabetical order, of a series of four pages titled ‘Cairo Tiling As’ …, in which instances are shown as architecture, flooring, paving (exterior to Egypt) and wall tiles, with each page of a dedicated nature, with here wall tiles, or coverings, of various types. Typically, these are of a commercial nature. As such, the Cairo tiling appears, as a design, worldwide, in many forms and artefacts, in varying degrees of frequency, and of which I have collected such a listing found under my ‘Miscellaneous’ page. In short, some instances, as detailed above, are of a much more considerable nature that others, so much so that I consider these are worthy of a dedicated page, to better see the examples, without ‘distractions’. As my collection grows, I may add more categories of a dedicated nature. In short, this series of pages is to be regarded as a ‘fun’ page. For sure, matters of the in situ Cairo tiling are by far the more important. However, I have not been unduly carefree or slapdash in my investigation here, this is still undertaken to my highest standards. If any reader knows of other instances, I would be more than delighted to receive details and include on these pages.

The format for each entry, in which I strive for consistency, is a follows (which has evolved and will likely continue to do so):

1. Beginning with the company name and country, I then discuss the marketing name (if any), such as Penta, or Pentax, or similar, or indeed dissimilar, amid a general discussion. Other matters, such as history, contact, is discussed elsewhere, as a separate entity.

2. Contact with the company for picture permission and background details, with picture/s, if permission has been granted. Typically, if so, I show one or more pictures. Further, the favoured format is in two aspects; first, a picture of the overall scene, to better put the paving in context with the surroundings, and then second, a detailed, close up view of the pentagons, to better view the geometry. However, this ideal is not always realisable; sometimes not both of the ideals are available, with only one or the other picture available. When picture permission is not forthcoming, the picture is omitted, with just a text entry only. However, I do not always receive a reply! Typically, the bigger the company, with branches worldwide, the less inclined they are to reply. In years gone by, upon an initial failure in response, I would try again after a definite break, upon which if no reply was received I would thus give up on the company. However, now, with time running out for me at the age of 60, I limit my enquiries to a single mail. In a sense, although galling to an investigator such as myself, a lack of response is understandable to a degree in that I am not purchasing the tiles; the information is not ‘vital’ in a commercial context! Although that said, I do indeed offer good publicity!

Further, with experience gained on major companies, on occasion I think the better of it, for better or worse, and simply do not bother. If any companies reading this who have not responded, or have not been contacted and would like to correspond, I would be delighted to hear from you! 

3. The year when introduced, if known, into their range, and so establishing a history. As a broad premise, the older the instance the better, although ‘old’ examples are few and far between. Typically, this is generally omitted, especially in a commercial context. In short, knowing this will permit a history of sorts, albeit of a bare minimum. As such, of most interest are older instances, loosely defined. Most of the instances seen are of recent times, in the 2000s. Of a date to define ‘early’, the 1970s, and the earlier the better! 

4. Whether the Cairo connection is made. Is the manufacturer/stockist familiar with the Cairo (city) association? Typically, this is not stated, of which whether the manufacturer is aware is left open-ended and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling, is thus unknown. However, as the Cairo tiling is indeed a rare named association of a tiling, this, to me at least, gives added interest, and so ideally would be included, even if just mentioned in passing.

5. The geometry. As discussed elsewhere, the geometry can vary, from a pentagon that is a ‘near square’ to a ‘near rectangle’ and everything in between, albeit typically, the instances are of a ‘mid-range’ pentagon. On occasion, such details are to be found in the catalogue.

6. Company background. Some brief details of the company, for general interest.

7. Links to the sightings, typically of the company.

8. Acknowledgements, if a response from the company was forthcoming.

The reason for this compilation is threefold, in order of importance:

1. A simple documenting of all instances, for the sake of general interest.

2. Any interested reader who desires a Cairo tiling for their home (wall or floor) can find the nearest stockist with relative ease. Of course, this is also certainly restricted to one’s home country, as otherwise the cost of shipping would be disproportionate as to the project. I make no recommendations here as to the quality of the goods offered.

3. A nod to the ‘mathematical tourist’, who upon visiting any of the towns and cities here may want to pay a visit. For obvious reasons, not all sightings here are visitable, being on private property. Although most have been sufficiently identified for this purpose, I will provide more exact details upon request (if available). In particular, I would like to add to my collection where photo permissions have been refused. Do send me something if seen on your travels!

A collection of instances of wall tiles, invariably of a commercial nature, mostly ceramic tiles, mostly used as interior design, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Quite how best to order these is subject to review. As a broad statement, these are commercial products, with the company, if of a large concern, typically exporting worldwide. Should it be placed under the country of the manufacturer, or where so found? There are pros and cons to both. For now at least, I place under the country of installation.

As such, it is not always a straightforward task as may otherwise be thought to attribute a certain tile to a specific company and thus country of origin! In short, some companies seem to stock other companies tiles! For instance, the Tileworks company of Northern Ireland market ‘Pentax’, also marketed by HRG Heragi. Bedrock tiles market ‘Penta’, also by HRG Heragi! And they in turn…? Therefore, at times, considerable confusion and doubts arise. I can only do my best, with details here to be presumed as correct as can be.

For those who are intending a home DIY project, or indeed, of just general interest, note that floor and wall tiles are not interchangeable, as previously, I believe, I once thought. There are important differences; indeed, there is a whole lot more to this than I thought! has compiled a good, succinct guide, of which I excerpt below:

What's the Difference between Floor Tiles and Wall Tiles?

Tiles intended only for use as wall tiles are often lighter and thinner than floor tiles.

The glazes used in the manufacture of a wall tile are also different to those used for floor tiles, and are not designed to resist abrasive forces from foot traffic.

Different tiles can be made from different types of clay and different types of glaze. Tiles produced exclusively for walls are inherently not intended to be load bearing.

Floor tiles can of course be installed on a wall; however, they will still be referred to as "floor tiles". Many of our 30 x 60 tiles, for example, are floor tiles, but more often than not they're installed on bathroom walls. But they are still referred to as floor tiles.

Who Decides Which are Which?

An independent rating system classifies ceramic and porcelain tiles according to their strength and durability. The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating (PEI rating) of tiles is a measure of how much wear and tear a tile can take:

Group 0: These tiles are unrated, and are only suitable for use on walls.

Group I: These tiles are suitable only for areas of very light traffic, where shoes are unlikely to be used, such as an upstairs’ ensuite. The surface of the tile could be easily marked or scratched by only a small amount of harsh treatment.

Group II: Areas of the home which are not exposed to the highest levels of traffic, or not likely to come into contact with significant quantities of dirt or other abrasive materials. So the hall and kitchen would not qualify here, but a living room and bathroom would.

Group III: Any residential area, or indeed some light commercial areas, where the presence of abrasive dirt etc. is not excessive.

Group IV: Any residential area, commercial areas such as restaurants, exhibition areas, hotel rooms, showrooms, where there may be significant traffic.

Group V: Substantial or very heavy traffic, such as shopping centres, commercial entrances, hotel lobbies, and industrial workplaces. Theses tile are generally more expensive than tiles in the other categories.

Any tile that is unrated or fails to qualify for even a Class I rating is referred to as a “wall tile”. Wall tiles must only be used on walls. Floor tiles (any tiles that have achieved a Class I – Class V rating) are made from materials that are suitable for installing on the floor. The glaze is super durable, and they're up to 20% heavier than wall tiles.

In summary: Wall tiles are suitable for walls only - floor tiles can go on either.

The Difference between Wall and Floor Tiles, and Style:

Due to the impervious or vitreous nature of ceramic and porcelain tiles, and the hardened glaze which is usually fired onto their top surface, tiles are normally found in bathrooms, wet-rooms, and kitchens. At a minimum, hand-basins and the area around bathtubs should have a tiled backsplash of wall tiles. This is to prevent water damage to painted plaster surfaces in a home.

Many styles of wall tiles are presented with a high gloss finish. Due to the slip risk, it’s less common to find high gloss tiles on bathroom floors.

It’s more common to find wall tiles with decorative embellishments than is the case for floor tiles. Coloured bands, trims, borders, and listellos (often featuring mosaics) are sometimes embedded within wall tile installations. The mosaics might contain a blend of small pieces of polished travertine, mother of pearl, glass, and brushed aluminium. The purpose is purely decorative, and to eliminate any visual monotony of a large, unicolour wall. This looks great in an expensive installation with floor-to-ceiling tiling.

The Listing

The countries include Australia (2), China, India (2), Italy (2), Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Spain (5), Turkey, United Kingdom (2), and United States (2).

Australia, Melbourne, of Metz Tiles Company

Metz Tiles, of Australia, who describe themselves as a ‘Specialty Ceramic Tiles’ company have among their ‘Sirocco’ range a series of six Cairo tile instances, all titled ‘Penta’, with Acciaio, Crema, Fango, Ghiaccio, Grafite, and Sabbia. These are all of a like premise, of minor colour variations

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this. The date of instigation is unknown.

Upon an August 2019 request for background detail of the reasons for the choice of tile and photo permissions, they did not respond.

Company Background

Metz was founded in 1953 as a small factory in Melbourne by Phillip Metz. Its focus then was heavy duty industrial flooring and specialty corrosion resistant cements for use in chemical plants, power stations etc. Metz has subsequently supplied and/or installed more commercial kitchen floor tiling systems than any other company in Australia. Today Metz remains proudly Australian owned by the Ellis brothers, Stuart and Ian. The traditional industrial business continues to thrive, with an emphasis on export markets. Metz has expanded significantly since its early days in the suburbs of Melbourne, with three Australian branches, an office in the Middle East and Ceramic tile Design Galleries in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. They encourage you to come and visit these Design Galleries. Ian and Stuart took over the Metz Business from their father James in 2009. James had bought the business way back in 1986. The brothers share responsibilities for running Metz’s operations. Ian is based in Sydney and Stuart in Brisbane.

Links to the other titles are below the page above.

The tiles in situ.

Australia, of Woven Image Company

Woven Image, of Australia, who describe themselves as ‘Global suppliers of sustainable, high performance textiles and stylish interior solutions’, market the Cairo tiling in a variety of formats, such as wall coverings, acoustic tiles, ceiling, upholstery, screens, and space divisions. Without any doubt, they have a decided interest in the Cairo tiling! These are marketed under the brand names Mura, Penta and EchoPanel, albeit not all are tiles in the normal sense. Further, they appear to have entered into partnerships/arrangements with other people (designers) and companies (such as Bang Design), so much so that what can truly be sourced to then is unclear. It’s a nightmare to unravel, and of which I thus attempt to do so to an ‘appropriate’ degree - one could spend many hours on this without much additional clarity resulting. They have an extensive website. It is unknown when the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range.

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this association.

Upon two previous requests for background detail of the reasons for the choice of tile and photo permissions, they did not respond.

Company Background

Woven Image was established in 1987 after identifying a strong need for design-driven textile products (no one person or persons are identified). They now service a global network of designers and architects in over 15 countries with head offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. They specialise in innovative, contemporary and sustainable textiles and vertical finishes. Their range of products serves the corporate, government, hospitality, transport and healthcare industries.

China, Quanzhou Fujian, of Fansolic Company

Fansolic, a subsidiary of Newstar Stone, is a major China company who describe themselves as supplying stone materials, of all types, from all around the world. They have an extensive website, in English. They market the Cairo tiling in a variety of formats, such as wall and floor tiles (along with other uses), in marble, simply titled ‘pentagon’. There are four versions, albeit of a like nature. Although not stated explicitly, it seems the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range beginning in 2013, with further additions in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this association.

I did not contact the company, judged that they would likely not respond, fairly or unfairly, judged a major foreign conglomerate, with a subsidiary company, with no obvious point of contact of a non-commercial query.  

Company Background

Fansolic is a brand company belong to Newstar stone, in Quanzhou Fujian, China, with a history of more than 20 years. They are the fastest developing stone enterprises in China, exporting stone, quarry mining, processing, manufacturing and project construction. Their main markets are the United States, Canada, and Australia.

India (1 of 2), Mumbai, of NITCO company
NITCO, of Mumbai, India, market the Cairo tiling under a range titled ‘Penta’ (a common description among manufacturers), in three variations, with Arcus, Roze (Rose?) and Verde (Green) decor. In each variation, the tiles are differently coloured. Roze and Verde consist of a muted red and green colouring scheme respectively, whilst Arcus is different, with a variety of colours. Roze has additional detail, with a florid arrangement. Each appears in a rectangular format, rather than as individual tiles. Note that NITCO also produce a variation of the Cairo tiling, titled ‘Orion’, in which additional tiles are incorporated into the tiling.

Quite what the title NITCO represents is unclear - an acronym?

It is unknown when the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range, but given that all three versions have as a description ‘new’ (of this year?), it is thus obviously a new incorporation, of recent years, rather than ‘old’, dating back to the beginning of the company, in 1957.

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this.

Upon an August 2019 request for background detail of the reasons for the choice of tile and photo permissions, they did not respond.

Company Background

NITCO, established in 1953 by Mr. Pran Nath Talwar, is among the top premium tile companies in Mumbai, India. Its pan-India presence is facilitated through 22 offices. Its strong distribution network comprises more than 1100 direct dealers as well as exporting tiles to countries like Belgium, The Netherlands, Muscat, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and other European and African countries. They make and market both wall and floor tiles.

Orion Variation

India (2 of 2), Rajasthan, of Rajdhani Marble & Tiles Company

Rajdhani Marble & Tiles, of Vishwakarma Industrial Area, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, describe themselves as a manufacturer and supplier of ‘Sand Stone, Lime Stone, Tiles & Slab, Marble & Granite, Elevation Stone’. They market the Cairo tiling as marble stone in two varieties, ‘white pentagon’ and ‘small pentagon’, stated as dual-purpose wall and floor tiles. This is marketed on IndiaMART, India's largest online marketplace. Each page has the a bare minimum of detail, restricted to product detail and commercial matters. It is unknown when the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range.

Upon an August 2019 request for background detail of the reasons for the choice of tile and photo permissions, they did not respond.

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this association.

Company Background

Rajdhani Marble & Tiles, under the leadership of Mr  Mohan Kumawat, the CEO, began in 2013. They can be described as a small business, employing 11-25 people. There is little other detail.

Italy, Faenza, of Gigacer Ceramics Company

Gigacer, a major Italian ceramics company based in Faenza (of historical significance as to pottery, detailed below), has used the Cairo tiling in two ways, as flooring and wall coverings. (As this is a dual-aspect sighting, the former is also discussed on the ‘As Flooring’ page.) These are marketed under the ‘Argilla’ range. The instigation and reason for the selection of the Cairo tiling are unknown. Likely, this is ‘modern’, loosely defined; I have seen these marked at a presumed trade fair, of 2015, and appears to have been launched in 2016. The tiles are made from quartz.

I have not been able to find any reference to the Cairo tiling on the company's site, or on related architecture sites, where they feature quite heavily. However, the angles 123° (2), 90° (2), and 114° are indeed given, as well as the lengths, with a base of 490mm, and sides of 842mm.

General scene, left; Argilla display, right

Company Background

The company history is not well documented, and is of generalities, with a short entry and without a beginning date.

Gigacer was born in Faenza, the cradle of ceramics and cutting edge of industrial and crafting production technology in ceramic materials.

This territory contains the right environment and skills necessary to develop an innovative project in this industry, following the most strict regulations on quality and environment preservation.

Experience and technological innovation merge into a new way of producing ceramic tiles: flexible, with high quality and oriented to satisfy an everyday more demanding market.

This is our mission, the mission of a modern and innovative company, definitely Made in Faenza.

Faenza details, from Wikipedia:

Faenza is an Italian city and comune, in the province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, situated 50 kilometres southeast of Bologna. Faenza is home to a historical manufacture of majolica-ware glazed earthenware pottery, known from the name of the town as faience.

Italy, Sassuolo, by Marca Corona Ceramics Company

See pages 5-7, 23, and 27

Marca Corona is a major Italian ceramics company based in the (famed) Sassuolo district (discussed below), with a long-standing history, producing designer Marca Corona tiles and porcelain stoneware since 1741, and is, perhaps not unexpectedly, the oldest ceramics company in the Sassuolo district. The Sassuolo district produces eighty per cent of all ceramic tiles in Italy, with more than 300(!) ceramic factories operating. The city is currently the centre of the Italian tile industry in the world.

Since 1982, it has been part of Gruppo Concorde, the main European ceramics group that is wholly Italian owned. Marca Corona has made a name for itself in the top segments of the international market as a lively advocate of Italian style throughout the world. It has a museum on-site, which can be visited by appointment:

Background details on the Cairo tiling here are sketchy, I have not been able to find this on their website, although others seemingly have! The catalogue serves admirably though. It appears to have been instigated in 2015 at a Cersaie 2015 exhibition (the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings), possibly titled New Luxe, which included other tiles.

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made in the catalogue (and presumably the site too), and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this.

Italy, by Anna Zirbi?

A somewhat odd occurrence as to the company, designer and marketer are to be found on the Italian site ‘Tilelook’. Various names or titles are given that are seemingly associated with this instance, namely, Dom Ceramiche, Anna Zirbi, and Tonello Alberto. However, only one, Dom Ceramiche, who is an established Italian company, is verifiable. However, I cannot find this in their range. Anna Zirbi appears to be the designer, but save for that, I have no further details on her, but, who, or, what, or are ‘Tonello Alberto’ is unclear; it could be a range, company (unlikely) or person! Further, Tilelook appears to be the only source of the tiling. It is all most mysterious! Even much of  Tilelook is obscure! They appear to be Italian based, describing themselves as ‘the interior design and tile marketplace’. Tilelook appears to be a ‘tile library’ of sorts, although much here remains unclear. From their website:

Tilelook enables end users to browse a library of over 60,000 authentic flooring, covering and furniture products which includes room types such as bathroom, kitchen or living room. 

However, to search the site one has to seemingly subscribe. There are other oddities here that I pass over.

As alluded to above, there is the bare minimum of detail on the tiling itself, with just the designer, type, style, city and date given (Anna Zirbi, bathroom, modern, Campo San Martino - Italy, 2016)!

Although I presume this is an actual artefact, with computer renderings that sometimes serve for display purposes, I cannot be sure.

Israel, Balatot Ceramics Company

First, I’ll begin by saying that the discussion here of the Balatot company is far from ideal, with many shortcomings. In short, they are an Israeli tile company, of which their website, being in Hebrew, does not lend itself to easy reading. Further, there are many pages, and subpages, in which it is easy to get lost. Google (oddly) will not automatically translate (as it does with most other languages). A limited cut and paste into Google translate gives only basic detail. Much time could be spent here that would only likely be futile. Constantly, I have not exhaustively viewed the site; the discussion is thus as accurate as I can manage in the circumstances, and should not be regarded as necessarily accurate. I did not contact the company.

Balotot is under the leadership of Ruhama Sharon, with an extensive presence on Pinterest. A  beginning is of 1989. It is not entirely clear if they are manufacturers, suppliers, or both. As a simple statement of their ceramic tiles, this has numerous ranges. Under the category ‘Special Shape Tiles’, near the top of a long page, can be seen three instances of the Cairo tiling. Each of these is captioned, with additional text, but of a bland statement. No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this. These are variously described, suitable for wall, flooring and cladding.

Malaysia, Guocera Company

From their website:

With nearly 50 years of manufacturing experience, Guocera is the tile brand of choice in over 50 countries from the America and Europe to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Guocera is one of Malaysia’s largest manufacturers and exporter of tiles.

Poland, Bielsko-Biała, of Artis Visio Company

Artis Visio, of Bielsko-Biała, southern Poland, specialise in architectural and decorative products made of concrete, as well as other materials, such as ceramics and wood. They appear to be both manufacturer and suppliers. They have made extensive use of the Cairo tiling, with no less than four different appearances, as concrete, titled ‘Killi’ and solid wood oak, titled ‘Tercio’. The circumstances behind such a quadruple use have yet to be determined; it can hardly be coincidental! On the use of the pentagon, they say, rather vaguely:

It’s difficult to describe the shape clearly, it’s a pentagon, but the proportions of length and sides that make it close on the surface. This is, of course, the basic condition for designing wall tiles. We already know that it was a very successful project. It enjoys great popularity, not only in Poland.

This possibly alludes to the Cairo association, but it's far from certain. No explicit mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on their (extensive) website, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is not clear. Upon a request for more details the company responded, telling me that this was a generic pentagon, them being unaware of the Cairo association.

One notable installation at the Manchester Arndale Centre, UK (see under the UK entry), a renowned mall, the largest (with over 240 retailers) of a chain of Arndale Centres built across the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. However, the sighting here is not from that time; rather, this is more modern, of 2017. There is another sighting at Christchurch, New Zealand, at an ‘office facility’, although the exact building was not identified.

© Artis Visio


Company Background

Artis Visio produces high quality architectural and decorative products made of concrete. They have completed nearly 2,700 projects for their customers. Patterns of wall tiles of concrete tiles were made in technology, architectural concrete GRC. It’s a technology that gives very high strength material with decorative wall tiles that have minimal base thickness (the concept of such concrete wall tiles were new to me!). Artis Visio products can be purchased in 15 countries around the world. No date is given for the company beginning.


Paulina Lenartowicz, of Artis Visio, for background details.

Russia, Keramoteka Company
Supplies the Italian Marca Corona range. Also see under Italy.

South Africa, Cape Town, of First Base Pizzeria, so far unique instance, at least in combination, is that of flooring and wall tiles from First Base Pizzeria, of the Paddocks Shopping Centre, Cape TownSouth Africa. This is a splendid sight indeed, of a multiple six-colouring, albeit without any apparent structure and appears to be of a modern-day installation, of 2016. This was designed by Inhouse Brand Architects, although the story behind its installation is unknown. Disappointingly, upon asking for picture permission and more details the architects did not respond, as well as a request to the (independent) photographer, Riaan West, hence the lack of pictures and more exact detail.

Spain (1 of 5), DSIGNIO, and Peronda Group

As such, this instance is a collaboration between two Spanish concerns, DSIGNIO, an integral design studio and Peronda Group, a manufacturer of ceramic wall and floor tiles. In short, DSIGNIO did the designing, whilst Peronda Group the manufacturing. In more detail, DSIGNIO is a Madrid, Spanish integral design studio, starting its activities in 2002, and has received several awards and mentions. Peronda Group is a manufacturer of ceramic wall and floor tiles. This includes the brands Peronda Ceramicas, Museum, Harmony, Duomo and Kerum. The group has sales offices in Spain and abroad. Their origins date back to the 19th century. However, this joint production is of a more modern nature, of 2015.

© Patxi Cotarelo, DSIGNIO, KIN ceramics, General scene, left; detail, right

Spain (2 of 5), Onda, of HRG - Heralgi Company

HRG - Heralgi, of Onda (Castellón), Spain, features the Cairo tiling twice in their numerous range of tiles, simply titled as ‘Pentax’ and ‘Shapes’. Quite what or who the company name represents is unclear - an acronym? The company is of substantial concern, with an extensive website, with an English option, and with a Facebook presence. They manufacture both wall and floor tiles. Pleasingly, they have produced two dedicated catalogues of the ‘Pentax’ (11 pp.) and ‘Shapes’ (12 pp.) seemingly available as both wall tile and floors, although only the wall tiles are shown in situ. The catalogue is liberally illustrated, of true descriptive nature. From this, I am as certain as I can be that the designs here originated with them, and not Tileworks and Bedrock Tiles, which also market these tiles. From the two catalogues:


Ceramic tile is typically characterised by being designed in rectangular format, in other words, by its four edges. In HRG we have thought that it could be original and attractive to include the fifth edge. From this idea, a new collection is created. Pentax combines both concepts, rectangular and pentagonal tile united in an elegant and astonishing way.
The statement is a little bland. There are six tiles in the range of six colours, slightly in relief, of a concave nature, of a plain interior.

Designed over a pentagonal silhouette, Shapes joins geometry proper features, and also artisan ceramic. Its volume richness allows to generate surfaces with a great load of features, more or less marked, developing surfaces where sensoriality is the main character. The colour palette has been thought to bring you different accents into the different composite possibilities that Shapes collection includes.
The statement is again a little bland. There are six tiles in the range, of which five possess additional decorative interior designs.

It is unknown when the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range, but it is obviously of recent years, rather than ‘old’. There is no detail as to the angles. The tile can be described as ‘near equilateral’.

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this.


Upon an August 2019 request for background detail of the reasons for the choice of tile and photo permissions, they did not respond.

Company Background

Oddly, for such a seemingly major concern, details of the company are most sparse, with:

With more than 20 years of experience manufacturing ceramics, HRG-Heralgi emerges as a firm that combines tradition and innovation, with a large team of professionals dedicated to decoration with ceramic tile.

And that’s it! An exact date of the beginning and the people involved is left unresolved.


Spain (3/5), in ‘Ceraspaña International 39’ Magazine

As such, a somewhat curious and obscure instance from Spain in ‘Ceraspaña International 39’ is to be found on the front and back covers of a German edition tile catalogue titled ‘Das Magazin für Spanische Fliesen. Herbst 2006’ (Translated: ‘The magazine for Spanish tiles. Autumn 2006'). However, much of the background here is decidedly unclear! What is known (or can at least be inferred) is that this was showed at Cerasaie 2006 (the world’s largest tradeshow for ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, which is held in Bologna, Italy each year). First, there are uncertainties as to the manufacturer. There is a reference on the cover to three companies: TAU Cerámica, Cerámicas Aparici and Gayafores. An ‘appropriate’, but not an exhaustive search of all three company websites, as well as a ‘general’ search proved fruitless, and so who would thus appear to be company concerned remains unknown. Perhaps the three companies above have no connection and are simply the main sponsors in some way? 35 companies exhibited at the event! Further, finding this is fraught with difficulty in terms of time; the reference was thirteen years ago, and so it may have been discontinued. Second, I cannot find any reference in the catalogue to the pentagonal tiling on the front and back covers! It’s all most mysterious. Third, the title page gives ‘Ceraspaña International 39’, obviously of a Spanish root, which is Tile of Spain's quarterly magazine, which further confuses the overall picture… Can anyone shed any light on this?

Front cover of catalogue

Spain (4 of 5), Cerámica Decorativa

Background detail of the company is most sparse indeed, with two mails unanswered. Indeed, even the country of origin is unclear with various uncertainties; although seemingly of a Spanish concern, there is also a Serbian company with the same name. However, likely, indeed certainly, with trade company details, detailed below, it is Spanish. Further, whether the company is still in business is unclear; Google reports that the business is permanently closed and their home page, from a Kompass link (Kompass is a business directory, with access to more than 35 million companies in more than 70 countries) is no longer operative. From what little detail is available, their business is, or was, the manufacturer (and presumably selling) of ceramic tiles.

‘Floor Daily’, of 2007 on ‘Exhibitors Readying Their Coverings 2007 Rollouts’ gives, in ‘New in Tile & Stone’:

Decorativa (Booth 5908) plans to debut the Aichi Series, colorful pentagon-shaped tiles with raised imprints on each adding a chic, modern, one-of-a-kind, playful feel. The color range includes a choice of brights, such as orange, pistachio, red, turquoise, white and brown, among others.

Joanne Furio, of SFGate, on a piece on ceramic tiles titled ‘Tile marches after fashion / Ceramic tiles sport sleek metallics, texture, bold patterns and colors, as trends more quickly jump from Europe to America’ states, briefly, of 2007:

Aichi tile is pentagon-shaped.

‘Aichi’ would thus appear to be a brand or range name, possibly made up. Aichi is a prefecture in Japan. But there is no apparent connection here. This at least puts a date of the instigation of the tile, and so is thus ‘modern’, loosely defined.

There is only one known picture. Does anyone know more about this company and the tiling? 


SFGATE is the Hearst-owned website sister-site of the San Francisco Chronicle and the go-to online source for all news and entertainment related to the Bay Area.

Spain (5 of 5), Castellón, of APE Grupo Cerámica Company

APE Grupo Cerámica, of Castellón, Spain, one of the world's leading ceramic firms, have produced a what is best described as a wall covering, titled ‘Chic’, branded as ‘Penta’, available in white, pearl and cream. Next to no detail is available on the covering itself, their website merely states ‘Penta’ accompanied by a few pictures. No mention of the Cairo association is made on their page (or so as I can tell; it may be mentioned in one of their many catalogues, but I have not looked, but I very much doubt if it is detailed), and so likely they are unaware of association. On this occasion I did not contact the company for further details, judging that a query would be unlikely to succeed.

Company Background
APE Grupo is a leader in the creation of differentiated spaces by offering a wide range of design ceramics, advanced technical products and services that help their clients reach their full potential. APE Grupo was established as a business group in February 2016, bringing together 3 brands with more than 25 years of experience and a technical office that provides advanced architectural and interior design solutions. They have a presence in more than 100 countries, and so the possibility arises of purchasing the covering for the enthusiast.

Turkey, Yigit Ozer and Kutahya Seramik Company

An interesting instance with the Cairo tiling is shown by Yigit Ozer, a Turkish designer, in conjunction with the ceramic company Kutahya Seramik, who are a major ceramic tile producer and outlet in Turkey. The company, at least of 2012, marketed a related range called Nexus, of hexagonal tiles that are cast with two relief designs: Penta comprises four pentagons and Hexa comprises two hexagons and two diamonds, in combination with a Cairo tile. However, whether this is still available is unclear; I cannot find this range on their website; possibly it has been discontinued; all the references are seemingly of 2012-2013, although on their Facebook page of 2018 it is still seemingly available.

The tiling has attracted much critical acclaim and has been awarded the Red Dot Design Awards, one of the most prestigious design awards of the world with its Nexus series, which is defined as the 'future of ceramics'. Further, the Nexus series has previously received three awards from GOOD DESIGN, organized by the Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design. It is also much discussed in Turkish magazines journals.

No mention of the connection to the Cairo tiling on the Dezeen link above, or elsewhere, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling, is unknown. 

There is seemingly little detail on Yigit Ozer himself; his website is down for maintenance as of this writing (2 August 2019). However, he does appear to have some reputation in the world of design.

United Kingdom (1 of 2), Manchester, of the Arndale Shopping Centre 

Installation, at the Arndale Shopping Centre, ManchesterUK. The centre is well known in the UK as a major shopping centre, and is one of the biggest. The tile are by Artis Visio, of Poland, seemingly of 2017. An unexplained feature is the largely randomised dark and light arrangement, without any discernable structure.

© Tung Ken Lam, left; 'Professional Amateur', right

My thanks to Tung Ken Lam for drawing this sighting to my attention and sending more pictures.
'Professional Amateur' of Twitter for the detailed picture.

United Kingdom (2 of 2), Northampton, of Bedrock Tiles

Bedrock Tiles, of Northampton, UK, who describe themselves as the UK’s No.1 supplier of floor and wall tiles for the commercial and residential sector, feature the Cairo tiling extensively, in a range simply titled 'Pentagon’, of 12 colours. Upon two requests for background detail of the reasons for the choice of tile and photo permissions they did not respond, which somewhat contradicts a line on their homepage:

Quality | Inspiration | Service. For us, these three principles are non-negotiable.

If only! Oh well...

The relevant pentagon page rather blandly states:

The Pentagon collection is a series of finely produced pentagon shape ceramic wall tiles. A quirky but cool, five sided ceramic tile with an accompanying concave version. The possibilities are awesome! If your design craves something creative, unique and totally bespoke then you have to specify this range of ceramic wall tiles.

The gallery page at the foot of the page shows six photos of seemingly three different in situ installations, at places not stated. Curiously, the same series of photos can be found on the HRG Heralgi, of Spain site, albeit here titled Pentax! From what I now know, these would appear to be an import from HRG - Heralgi. Quite when the tile was introduced into their range is not clear; there is no apparent detail on the company itself on their pages. A Companies House detail gives a beginning of the company in 2011, so it would appear that the tile is thus relatively ‘recent’.

United States (1 of 3), Los Angeles, by Daniel Ogassian
Daniel Ogassian is a Los Angeles-based artisan turned industrial designer. His work, which he began developing after obtaining his MFA and refining his prototyping at Art Center College of Design, spans free-standing furniture, ceramic and concrete tiles, outsized surfaces, and outdoor ‘vessels’ for plants and water features. Among the 16-tile range is two forms of the Cairo tiling, titled as ‘penta’ and ‘penta flora’. Simply stated, the former is a tile without any interior decoration, whilst the latter has a symmetrical floral design. These are for both wall and floor coverings. More technical details are available at:

The tiles are available from Ann Sacks of the US, of interior design products, notably tiles and mosaics.

© Daniel Ogassian

United States (2 of 3), Michigan, of Lea Nigel Studios, run by James Nigel and Andrea Lea

Lea Nigel Studios, run by James Nigel and Andrea Lea, of Northern Michigan, US, are the owners of two-person ceramics studio. Here, the emphasis is on a home cottage studio, handcrafted nature, rather than of a global concern, with bespoke orders a possibility. Among the variety of tiles on offer is a considerable feature on the Cairo tiling (being aware of the background), and of which this can be described as their speciality! This is available in a range of sizes, styles and colourings, with Grand Cairo, Petite Cairo, and Split Cairo.


Andrea Lea, for permissions and additional details.

© Nigel Lea, 'Grand Cairo'

United States (3 of 3), Dalton, Georgia, of Shaw Floors, with branches worldwide

Shaw Floors has a beginning in 1946 as the ‘Star Dye Company’, a small business that dyed tufted scatter rugs, and of which they have subsequently expanded their product range, into carpet, resilient, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone flooring products and synthetic turf, to residential and commercial markets worldwide. They are a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. with approximately 20,000 associates worldwide. Shaw is headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, with salespeople and/or offices located throughout the U.S. as well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, India, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, so there’s plenty of opportunities for any Cairo tiling enthusiast to purchase for their home project!

Despite the name of the company, the instances are of marble wall tiles, seemingly imported (no more specific detail is available) and are titled (obscurely) as ‘Estate Pent Mo’, from Italy and ‘Chateau Pentagon Mosaic’, from China.

No mention of the Cairo association is made on their page, and so likely they are unaware of association. An August 2019 query to the company for more background details to this instance went unanswered.

United States Suppliers
BV Tile and Stone company supply the HRG-Heralgi, Spain, range:

Essentially originally created as 'Ceramic Tiling': 11 November 2015, with KIN Ceramics. 12 November 2015 Huguet. 
Re-organised 4 April 2019 under changed title, 'As Ceramics' as part of a new themed series of the 'Cairo Tiling As...' instances. Re-organised shortly afterwards once more, re-titled as 'As Wall Tiles', to better reflect the purpose, rather than the (ceramic) material, which can, I believe, apply to both floor and wall.
3 June 2019. Malaysia, Guocera text and link added.
12 June 2019. Spain, DSIGNIO and Peronda Group text added.
3 July 2019. United States, Daniel Ogassian added.
22 July 2019. Italy, Faenza, Gigacera company, Argilla range added.
29 July 2019. Spain, Cerámica Decorativa picture and text added.
30 July 2019. United States, Nigel Lea picture and text added.
31 July 2019. United Kingdom, Bedrock tiles text added.
1 August 2019. Spain, HRG - Heralgi, text added. Revised 19 August 2019, for a consistent text with other entries.
2 August 2019. Turkey, Yigit Ozer and Kutahya Seramik text added.
5 August 2019. Italy, Sassuolo, by Marca Corona Ceramics Company text added. Revised and expanded 15 August 2019.
6 August 2019. Spain, Ceraspaña International 39’ picture and text added.
12 August 2019. United States, Shaw Floors text and link added.
13 August 2019. Spain, APE Grupo Cerámica text and links added.
14 August 2019. Australia, Metz Tiles text added.
15 August 2019. Israel, Balatot Ceramics Company text and links added.
16 August 2019. Poland, Artis Visio, text and pictures added.
19 August 2019. India, NITCO text and links added.
20 August 2019. Italy, Anna Zirbi text and links added.

21 August 2019. Australia, Woven Image, text and links added.

22 August 2019. India, Rajdhani Marble & Tiles, text and links added.

23 August 2019. China, Fansolic, text and links added