AI in the Tile Industry

5 min read

AI in the Tile Industry - Architessa

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

A few years ago, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was something primarily discussed in the context of apocalyptic sci-fi movies. Now, AI is more commonly associated with productivity. We may not have flying cars & terminators in 2024, but we do have our own digital assistant. I think it's more likely we will see Her unfold than Ex Machina or I am Robot in the next few years. AI has swiftly risen to prominence over the past year or so, with tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DALLE breaking weekly headlines. These technological advancements are not just confined to digital realms; they're reshaping traditional industries, including the tile industry, where the combination of creativity and AI opens up new frontiers.


AI in the Tile Industry: A Creative Revolution

The tile industry, known for its blend of artistry and craftsmanship, is on the cusp of a transformation through AI. From design conceptualization to intricate pattern development, AI offers a new dimension of creativity. This technology could revolutionize the process of tile design, enabling artists and manufacturers to explore unprecedented patterns and color schemes, thereby broadening the horizons of tile artistry. Less time spent sketching the foundations of complex patterns and more time exploring new ideas and perfecting them. AI image generation isn't perfected yet, but has shown some seriously promising results, and continuous improvement just in the past year alone. Someday, AI will become proficient at not just image generation, but editing too. And hands

Above: an AI-generated photo of a "modern kitchen". Notice the porcelain slab countertop


Productivity and Efficiency through Text-based AI

Beyond creativity, AI is extremely helpful in enhancing productivity and efficiency, which is especially vital for businesses and designers in the tile industry. Text-based AI tools assist in streamlining administrative tasks, managing customer interactions, and even aiding in complex design decisions, thereby freeing up valuable time for creative and strategic work. AI saves time at every level of an organization, whether it be writing emails, proofreading proposals, organizing notes, or even assisting in writing blogs such as this one.






Insights from Ron Nash, President of Laticrete North America

When I asked the president of Laticrete North America what his opinion was on AI, he expressed very positive feelings towards it. Ron mentioned that they encourage all employees to leverage AI to help with everyday tasks to boost efficiency but are exploring more advanced applications that have shown promising results so far. They had encountered an issue with bags having trouble sealing in a dusty environment on an auto bagger, and they implemented an AI program that uses a camera to monitor the seal of bags. If the seals begin to degrade, the line is stopped, and an employee is called to clean and restart the machine. He emphasized that usage cases like this are exactly why AI won't put people out of jobs because having a person clean the machine is critical, and asking them to monitor the bag quality as well as the AI would be an impossible ask and an unnecessary one when the proper tools are at your disposal.

Some other usages he described were using AI to monitor weight discrepancies in the bags being filled to improve accuracy, using it to monitor the quality of raw materials before manufacturing them to ensure the end product is the highest quality, and for a research query database that will assist their scientists in perfecting new formulas with information they have already collected. Nash said, "Really smart people doing really smart things with AI will only amplify your intelligence, and that's what the world needs. The point of AI is to allow you to ask better questions so you can get better answers. Accuracy still needs to be checked and is your responsibility - the work you produce, whether aided by AI or not, should be as if it came from your own mouth. AI isn't going anywhere, so you best learn to use it, whether it turns into Skynet or not."


We certainly hope not, but in the meantime, let's be polite to chatGPT.


AI and Tile Art

AI's potential in art design, particularly in creating mosaics, is significant. AI-generated images can serve as a starting point for tile mosaic designs, offering unique patterns and color combinations. This integration of technology in traditional tile artistry marks a new era of creative possibilities. The point of using AI to assist with the creation of art such as mosaics is not to use it directly as your work but to be the foundation and starting place for you to edit from. AI is also remarkably quick at generating patterns based on your description, allowing you to tell it your ideas, get an idea of what they would look like, and tweak from there.

Lucas Hendrickson: Merging AI with Traditional Mosaic Art

Lucas Hendrickson, a mosaic artist, has embraced AI in his artistic process. He uses AI to generate initial concepts, blending traditional artistry with modern technology to create innovative designs. For his mosaic work, he begins with an AI-generated concept, and then adapts and edits it to fit the specific medium and context of the tile mosaic. This process involves adjusting colors, tile shapes, and the overall layout to ensure it translated well into the physical space.


"The concern of AI replacing human artists is nuanced. While AI poses a disruptive force in many industries, I believe in the arts, it will be more of a collaborative tool rather than a replacement for human artists. The emotional depth and cultural understanding intrinsic to human creativity are irreplaceable."


Below, you can see the mosaic that Lucas designed, starting with AI, and physically made. Notice how some pieces are altered from the original design, as edited by Lucas.


AI generated mosaic of old man
The original artwork generated by AI

AI art generated real mosaic
The mosaic laid out prior to installation

AI art generated mosaic real installed
The grouted final mosaic

Conclusion: Embracing AI in the Tile Industry

The integration of AI in the tile industry signifies a blend of tradition and innovation. As AI continues to evolve, it's crucial for artists and businesses in this sector to embrace these technologies, not as replacements for human creativity and ingenuity but as tools to enhance creativity, efficiency, and quality. The future of tile artistry lies in the harmonious coexistence of human creativity and AI intelligence.

Before you leave, check out our AI art Pinterest board loaded with design inspiration.



Austin Meyer Architessa

 Austin Meyer | Marketing Specialist at Architessa


Ron Nash

Ron Nash | President & COO at Laticrete North America


 Lucas Hendrickson Headshot

Lucas Hendrickson | Artisan Builder 

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