Cement tiles offer timeless appeal but before you get your heart set on them, it's wise to consider where you'll be placing them and what kind of maintenance and care is involved. Here we answer our most commonly asked questions about cement tiles.
Where do cement tiles originate from?
Cement tiles were first created in the South of France in the 1870s however the Spanish perfected the mastery soon after by developing vast and wonderful patterns and motifs. They introduced us to Moroccan, Mediterranean and floral designs that are hugely popular right now. Bathroom design by Whiting Architects
How are cement tiles made?
Unlike traditional ceramic or porcelain tile, cement tiles are made entirely by hand with natural pigments and materials and do not require kiln firing.
A mould is used to create the colourful design of the tile followed by a water bath to cure. The tiles are then ‘air cured’ until completely dried, then treated with a light wax coating.
It takes about 4 weeks for the cement tiles to reach 90% of their potential strength, yet will continue to gain strength for decades. It is not that the cement tiles continue to dry out, they actually go through a chemical reaction that hardens the cement over time.
Various moulds used to create different cement tile patterns
What can I expect from cement tiles?
A chalky residue appears on the finished tile and is a result of the production process. Some light shadowing will remain after the installation and cleaning, this is an inherent part of the tile.
Tiles retain moisture from the manufacture process and will dry to their correct colour a few days after installation.
Cement tiles designed by Carlo Dal Bianco for Bisazza's 2015 collection
Cement tiles designed by Paola Navone for Bisazza's 2015 collection
Can cement tiles be used outdoors?
Exterior applications may experience some fading over time due to UV exposure and this is more obvious in brighter colours. Do I need to seal my cement tiles?
Yes the sealer we recommend using is- Mapei Dry Treat Stain-proof When installing cement tiles we recommend using- Mapei Granirapid (2 part fast set)