Cement Tiles Process


Cement Tiles Process

Cement tiles are made by hand, one at a time, using mineral pigments, cement, a mold, and a hydraulic press.

The pigment composition is a mixture of high quality white Portland cement, marble powder, fine sand, and natural mineral color pigments.

 

The individual patterns are made by manually applying separate pigments, one by one, in a handmade copper mold. It is an incredibly delicate and skilled process that can only be performed by highly trained artisans.

 

Encaustic tiles are considered a "green product" because the tiles are not fired; there is no glaze layer on the surface of the tile. They derive their durability from the combination of finely dehydrated cement and a more coarse sand/cement layer. The pigment layer is hydraulically pressed into the surface and becomes a part of the tile

The color layer is prepared in batches and every component is weighed in order to guarantee color consistency. The color is mixed in a horizontal mixer to blend the mixture. Water is added to the color mixture and hand poured into the different sections of the mold that creates the pattern. If no pattern is required, the same color is used for the entire color layer and no pattern mold is required. The thickness of the color layer will always be between 3 and 5 millimeters (about 5/8" thick).

The tiles are perfect for both indoor and outdoor spaces not subject to hard freezes. The tiles are durable and best of all, they are completely customizable.

Materials utilized in the color layer:

White Portland cement

Marble dust

Marble Sand

Calcium carbonate

Mineral pigments like iron, cobalt and chromium oxides

Two layers of cement and sand are poured on top of the color layer. The middle layer of the tile consists of a mixture of Portland cement and fine sand, which forms a strong bond between the patterned layer and the base of the tile. The third, or base, layer of the encaustic tile is created using a mix of fine and regular cement, sand and limestone powder.

Materials used in the tile body (Layer 2 and 3):

Gray Portland cement

Marble Sand

Calcium carbonate

Once the three layers have been poured, each encaustic cement tile is hydraulically pressed into a dense, heavy tile. The hydraulic press applies between 160 to 200 Bars of pressure.

The tile is then put in the hammam of steam water for 72 hours to guarantee proper cement hydration and left to dry or cure for 10 days. Tiles can be inspected at this point but cement tiles must be air-dried for 28 days to fully cure the cement. The curing process is what gives cement tile it's strength. After 28 days, the tiles will have achieved obtained 98% of their strength. Once the tiles have completely dried, they are ready to be carefully packaged and shipped.