ECHO Collection

Interactive catalog of Granada Tile's Echo Collection of customizable cement tiles

History of Echo Collection Handmade Cement Tile

History of Echo Collection - Granada TileThe Echo Tile Collection revitalizes an art form that developed in France in the mid-1800's — some say the true origins were in Barcelona — and quickly spread around the world. Unlike hand made ceramic tiles, which are usually hand painted, glazed and fired, decorative cement tiles are made by first pouring a mixture of cement and color pigment into separate compartments in a metal mold (a sort of oversized cookie cutter). This first color layer is 1/8" thick. Next we add concrete and press the tile under 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. This upside down cake is left to cure, creating a remarkably strong and lustrous cement tile. This process requires skill, practice, strength, and perfectionism. Granada Tile employs and provides on-going training opportunities to fine craftsmen who take pride in producing beautiful and durable tiles.

Because of the modest start-up costs, the technique of making mastercrafted cement tiles spread like wildfire to just about everywhere except Australia and the Arctic. You find splendid historic installations from Amsterdam to Phnom Pen, and from Los Angeles to Istanbul.

Not all cement tiles are created equal. Cement tiles are typically handmade in small factories. Conditions, materials and quality control vary significantly from company to company. Granada Tile works hard to bring you the best quality cement tile.

If you are comparing Granada Tiles to other cement tiles, here are some of the things to watch out for:

Visible problems:

  • Varying thicknesses of tile that makes it hard to lay as a flat surface - from lack of consistency in production process
  • Pattern is blurry - from pouring pigment sloppily
  • Major variations with the same color - inaccurate measuring of color pigments or poor quality pigments
  • Chipping around the edges - weak mixture or poor quality control
  • Crumbly on the back (weak tile) - from inconsistent hydraulic pressure or too much sand in the mixture

Invisible problems:

  • Ratio of cement to sand - without the right ratio, the tile will not be strong and durable
  • Quality of the pigments - if cheap pigments are used, colors may fade (even high quality blues and greens will fade in direct sun)

When in doubt, ask for the engineering test reports. These are tests that are performed based on uniform standards by an outside engineering firm. They are a good objective way to insure that specific standards are being met.

Probably because marketers didn't find "cement tile" or "concrete tile" attractive enough, this type of tile has suffered an identity crisis. In the lingo of the tile world, Granada Tile's Echo Tile Collection could be called hydraulic, encaustic, mosaic, French, Belgian, Spanish, Moroccan, Cuban, Nicaraguan, hand made tile, mastercrafted cement tile, and hand painted tile. Some of these names for cement tile are misleading and some are downright wrong.

Echo Collection Cement Tile Specifications and Engineering Results

Echo Collection concrete tiles have a smooth surface and are typically square or rectangular. The tiles are slightly smaller than the nominal size to allow for grout. For example, the 8" x 8" tiles are actually 7 7/8" x 7 7/8". They are made with cement/concrete, sand and color pigments and then pressed to 2,000 pounds per square inch. The top color layer is approximately 1/8" deep.

To learn more about how the Echo Collection tiles are made, watch the short video, Granada Tile Revives the Fine Art of Making Cement Tile.

  • Use: Residential and Commercial
  • Installation Locations: Interior and Exterior (except in areas subject to freezing) / Floors and Walls
  • Surface Texture: Smooth
  • Colors: Please see the Echo Color Palette Box available on the samples page.
  • Grouting: Typical grout joints are 1/16". Non-sanded grout is usually preferred. For more about installing Echo Collection tiles, please read the Installing Cement Tile Section.
Product Description Size per tile in inches Thickness Tiles per box Sq Ft per Box Weight per Tile in Lbs. Weight per box in Lbs. Number of Tiles on Pallet Total Weight pallet
Square 12" x 12" 3/4" 5 4.53 8.02 40.08 270 2,235
Square 10" x 10" 3/4" 5 3.36 5.61 28.06 360 2,090
Square 8" x 8" 5/8" 10 4.31 3.01 30.06 600 1,874
Rectangle 4" x 8" 5/8"

Rectangle 8" x 12" 5/8" 5 3.23 5.01 25.05 270 1,423
Hexagon 8" x 9" 5/8"

Square 6" x 6" 5/8" 24 5.81 1.70 40.89 720 1,297
Rectangle 6" x 10" 5/8" 10 4.04 2.51 25.05 300 822
Square 4" x 4" 5/8" 40 4.31 0.75 30.06 2,400 1,874
     Trim Pieces
Surface Bullnose 4" x 6" 5/8" 20
1 19.8

Surface Bullnose 4" x 8" 5/8" 20
1.5 30

Surface Bullnose 4" x 12" 5/8" 18
2.2 40.4

Surface Bullnose 6" x 10" 5/8" 12
2.5 29.9

Stair Tread 8" x 8" 5/8" 5
3.52 17.6

Surface Bullnose 8" x 8" 5/8" 10
3.1 30.86

The slip resistance of the Echo Collection concrete tiles exceeds the recommended standards for accessible areas. In tests conducted according to ASTM (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials), Smith-Emery Laboratories concluded that the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction, Abrasion Resistance and Absorption properties of the Echo Collection tiles met or exceeded the standards for use in commercial projects.

With the Echo Collection tile technique, Granada Tile can produce and match a wide range of colors. However, because of the nature of the pigments and hand made process used to craft our concrete tiles, some variation in shade or hue may occur. The pigments themselves are light-resistant, but if not properly sealed and maintained, the concrete in the tiles can change color with time and weather. Blue and green pigments are particularly susceptible to fading.

A 50% non-refundable deposit is required for all non-stock and custom orders to begin production. The balance will be paid upon reception of your order. Granada Tile maintains the lawful ownership of all products until they are paid in full. Be sure to read the Terms of Sale before making your purchase.

Warranty Information

Granada Tile will replace or refund the purchase price of any defective tile. However, Granada Tile has no control over and is not responsible for the materials used to install our tile, the method used or the skill of the installer, type of maintenance, usage or amount of traffic. We do not therefore guarantee our tile against chipping, cracking, discoloring, wearing, or scratching once it has been installed. We assume no obligation beyond the purchase price of products supplied by Granada Tile and assume no liability for damages of any kind.