One of our more eco-friendly tile offerings is cement tile. Cement tile sounds like a modern invention, but actually dates back to the 1850s when these colorful tiles were first produced in France. Many cement tiles are designed in unique, interlocking, and repeating patterns that feature both subtle and bold colors. They can be used anywhere to create a beautiful overlay of design, whether used solely as patterned tiles or mixed with solid-colored cement tiles as well.
Cement tiles are made using a mixture of finely ground Portland cement mixed with sand and coarse cement. The pigments are added in a pressed layer on top, with the patterns created using metal molds a lot like cookie cutters. Each color is added separately to create unique and colorful designs. This top layer is made with pigments, Portland cement, marble dust, and fine sand, which gives them a smooth, refined finish. Each tile is pressed under enormous pressure, rather than kiln fired. This makes them more sustainable than some types of ceramic tile, as they don’t require a lot of energy to produce. Portland cement is also highly recyclable, which further adds to their low eco-footprint.
Many cement tiles are made by hand using molds, so some differences between tiles is normal and even part of the charm and characteristics of the tiles. The surface is not glazed like ceramic tiles, and is porous so they should be sealed prior to grouting with an alcohol-based sealant. Quartz-based grouts are recommended with the tiles, and regular sealing should be part of their upkeep to help them maintain their appearance over time.
We carry a selection of high quality cement tiles that can be used anywhere in the home. Stop in today to see some of these beautiful patterns for yourself, and to learn how you can incorporate them into your next project.