Manufacturing Cement Tiles: A Labor of Love
Handmade cement tiles: a product made with such supreme care and kindness, it´s just impossible not to appreciate craftsmanship in its pure form. Once you have a bit of knowledge on how these tiles are produced, you won´t see them with the same eyes as before.
Unlike ceramic tiles which are painted, varnished or fired in an oven, cement tiles come to life when colored concrete is pressed down into a mold. This unique manufacturing process came about in the 19th century in Southern France and Northeastern Spain.
Image: XA 02 Portuguese cement tiles from our webshop
First comes creating the composition by mixing together the wear layer of the cement tile. This is the tile´s ´face´, the part you look at or walk on. This pigment composition consists of highly resistant white cement, powdered white marble and natural pigments.
The color is then mixed with water. After that the artisan pours the colored cement into the designated sections of the mold, creating the desired patterns. He will then remove the mold and add layers of cement and sand on top of the composition in order to strengthen the mix and absorb some water from it.
The last step of this part of the process is pressing everything down using a hydraulic press and then placing the freshly created tile on a rack.
The next day, the tiles are submerged in water which creates an optimal hydration level. They are then left out to dry completely, after which they are carefully checked to ensure that all the quality coordinates are met.
So what do think now that you are aware of some of the intricacies of this artisan craft and the hard, precise work that goes into making these tiles? We are in awe with examples of such artistry. These decorative cement tiles are a partner in crime for your creative, wandering mind.
Our webshop selection is pretty extensive, with many models to suit your personal taste. Have a look here.
PS: One of our personal favorites is this playful pattern. Want a splash of color on your bedroom floor? Check!