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Everything you need to know about Cement Tiles

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)

Palazzo, Georgia Tiles. See more patterns HERE

Audrey, Georgia Tiles. See more patterns HERE

How do I look after my cement tiles after they have been installed?

Cement tiles are made up of concrete, marble and oxides. The marble component of these tiles are affected by acids and harsh chemicals.It is important to note the following-

  • Sealing does not protect tiles from acid use
  • No harsh cleaners are to be used
  • Cleaners that have an acid component cannot be used
  • Most shampoos have acid and tiles need to be cleaned thoroughly after use
  • Even after showering, soaps can sit on the tiles and cause damage
  • After showering, shower enclosure should be washed down thoroughly washing away any soap and/or shampoo
  • Some cleaning products marketed as “natural” can contain citric acid and should be avoided.
  • Use only a ph neutral tile or stone cleaner and avoid any harsh cleaners containing bleach or any other acids.

Bathroom design by Cassidy Hughes Interior Design & Styling

Image by Purpura, Sweden

Bathroom designed by FJ Interiors

Bathroom Design by Christopher Polly Architects

If you have any queries regarding cement tiles please do not hesitate to contact us.