Cement tile is one of the hottest trends in residential design. This large-format tile adds a graphic and often colorful design element and looks modern and marvelous.
But did you know cement tile in residential design actually goes back to the 1850s in Catalonia? This style made its public debut at the Paris International Exposition of 1867 by the Catalan company Garret & Rivet.
This is an old way of making tile, using mineral pigments, cement, a mold, and a hydraulic press. Its heyday in the US was during the Jazz Age, with cement tile showing up in residential design areas like kitchens and sun porches, particularly in warm climates.
Today, we’re seeing patterns and colors that are bold, and the material is still durable, decorative, and sophisticated. Encaustic cement tile is a wonderfully inspiring and flexible design trend that works as well as a backsplash or fireplace as it does on a floor or in the bathroom (“encaustic” refers to different colors of clay used in one tile). It’s a great way to show off your personality and style in any residential design!
Cement tiles can be pricey because they’re crafted by hand with mineral pigments, cement, a metal mold, and a hydraulic press. Designers create whatever pattern and style they want, which is created into a mold. Because they’re made one at a time, expect slight variation and imperfections — that’s part of their charm!
The pigments in encaustic cement tile is a blend of marble powder, fine Portland cement and sand, and powdered colored minerals or non-mineral pigments. Insider tip: Higher-quality manufacturers will use only mineral pigments and also have a mineral layer that’s 3 to 4 mm thick. This wears better over time and won’t fade with age, wear, and sunlight.
If you’re considering your options for residential design, contact Barbara Gilbert Interiors at 214-641-7897 or via the website.