Cement Tile, Encaustic Tile, Concrete Tile…Huh?

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We say Cement tile, you say Encaustic Tile or Concrete Tile or Cuban Tille. Like the fabled Tower of Babel, talking about cement tile can lead to a lot of confusion.  That’s because what we call cement tile is also, depending on whom you’re talking to, known as hydraulic, encaustic, Cuban, Nicaraguan and concrete tile (and those are just some of the names it goes by!)

But what is it and how does it different from other tiles (porcelain tiles, for example)?

Here’s the first thing to know:  cement tiles are not fired or warmed in any way.  Instead, they are compressed and dried (which is why they are usually made in warm sunny places like Nicaragua, Cuba, Morocco, Spain, India and Vietnam)

Second fact: cement tiles are poured not painted.  The colors are mixed into the cement and then the colors are poured into a tile mold.  So, if you are making a square tile that is diagonally divided into half blue and half white, like our popular Fez tile, blue is mixed into the cement and poured into one half and white is mixed into the cement poured into the other half.  That means that even if your tile is used in a place that gets a lot of foot traffic (like a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room), your great-grandchildren will still be able to enjoy its beautiful vibrant design. 

Whatever you call them, here’s are most important things to know about cement tiles: they are beautiful and long-lasting.  They’re also environmentally-friendly, but that’s a lesson for another day. 

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