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Homepage / Product Collections / Cement vs. Ceramics

Cement and Concrete Tile vs. Ceramic Tile - Comparison


 

This section compares cement / concrete tile to ceramic tile primarily from the environmental and durability perspectives. Since there exists a great deal of variability within cement / concrete and ceramic tile, we have paired a type of Granada Tile with its closest equivalent ceramic tile.

 

Echo Collection vs. Encaustic Ceramic Tile

 
Cement "encaustic"
Antique French cement floor tile from early 1900s (theantiquefloorcompany.com)
Ceramic encaustic
French ceramic encaustic floor tile from early 1900s (theantiquefloorcompany.com)

The Echo Collection utilizes a production process that dates back to the 1870s in which a mix of cement, sand, color pigment and marble powder is poured into metal molds, backed with a dry concrete mixture, and compressed under 2,000 pounds of pressure. The tiles are then left to air cure, which permits the cement mixtures to harden and strengthen.

 

Encaustic ceramic tiles were also made beginning in the mid 1800s but production died out sometime in the early 20th Century. In lieu of cement mixtures, these encaustic ceramic tiles used powdered glazes and clay. They were then fired in coal- and wood-fueled giant kilns. Despite the difference in processes, the pressed cement tile and the encaustic ceramic tile closely resemble each other.

 

The prevalence of both types of tiles in Paris permits an informal comparison of the durability of each.

 
Old cement floor in stationery shop in Paris
Badly worn ceramic encaustic flower shop in Paris

In turn of the 20th century buildings in continental Europe, you will find cement and ceramic tiles. The ceramic ones generally show much more wear and tear (in some cases revealing the underlying clay) than the cement ones.

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