Encaustic tiles (also referred to as cement tiles or concrete tiles) are a traditional form of tile art that uses steel stencils and mixtures of wet, dyed cement to create stunning patterns and designs. This art-form continues to be made by hand using traditional techniques in artisan workshops all around the world. We explore the process of choosing encaustic tiles, focusing on their best uses throughout the home as well as care and maintenance considerations.
Choosing Encaustic Tiles: What are Encaustic Tiles?
Encaustic tiles are made of a wet cement mixture that is dyed using an assortment of pigments to create the vibrant colours these traditional tiles are so well known for. These tiles are available in either solid colour options or pattern tile options where a stencil has been used to create intricate designs and shapes using contrasting colours. Often used as a floor tile solution, encaustic tiles can also be used as a decorative wall tile to add a sense of drama, texture and pattern to your design scheme.
Encaustic tiles offer a vast range of uses throughout the home. These luxurious pattern tiles can be used as a floor tile in an open plan living, dining and kitchen area for example, creating a strong sense of character while effortlessly connecting these adjoining spaces for a cohesive style in your home. Our Greg Natale Pavimento collection offers a modern interpretation of these timeless tiles in an assortment of charismatic contemporary options.
Choosing Encaustic Tiles for the Home
When choosing encaustic tiles for your home, it is important to ensure they are used thoughtfully throughout your interior and exterior spaces in order to ensure their longevity. These tiles can comfortably be used as a floor tile throughout your home’s interior spaces however, they are best avoided in certain specific applications such as the shower base as well as outdoor areas where they will be completely exposed to the elements. In these sorts of applications, we would recommend the use of a porcelain encaustic look tile instead as these types of tiles can handle exposure to moisture in outdoor spaces while also being able to withstand the pressurised water and calcium build-up one can expect within the shower area. Encaustic tiles can still be used in outdoor applications where they are not directly exposed to the elements (for example, as a patio or verandah floor tile or decorative outdoor wall tile). These dynamic tiles will also make for a luxurious feature as a kitchen floor tile, dining and living room tile and as a feature wall tile in other areas of the home.
Although concrete tiles are not always the most ideal solution as a shower base tile, they can comfortably be used as a floor tile in the rest of the bathroom as floor tile or feature wall tile. Our Concrete collection offers a fresh and modern polka dot pattern tile option that creates a playful style in this contemporary bathroom design scheme.
Do Concrete Tiles need to be Sealed?
Being a porous material, concrete tiles will need to be sealed in order to ensure their protection against staining or discolouration as a result of spills or splatters on their surface. Concrete tiles should be sealed prior to installation so as to ensure the tile adhesives and tile grouts do not damage their unprotected surface during the laying process. Once the tiles are laid, a final seal will ensure their longevity and durability with resealing recommended every couple of years (dependant on the tile’s wear) to keep your tiles well protected. For more information on sealing and cleaning encaustic tiles, visit our Resources page.
How to Clean Encaustic Tiles
Encaustic tiles can usually be kept clean with a simple wipe down or mop with warm soapy water. There are also many cleaning products available that are specific to these types of tiles such as our Lithofin MN Easy-Care cleaner which is mild enough for daily use on concrete tiles yet strong enough for a deep and thorough clean. Harsh and acidic cleaning products are best avoided on concrete tiles as they can damage their surface, even when the tile is regularly sealed. Once again, you will find detailed information in our Resources page.
Encaustic tiles offer a wonderfully timeless aesthetic in the home with the ability to be used in a variety of applications from the kitchen to the bathroom. Our Melbourne tiles store houses an impressive collection of encaustic and encaustic look tile options while our team is on hand to assist you with any enquiry; visit us or shop for tiles online here.