Cement tiles (also known as "Encaustic" cement tiles) are gaining popularity, especially here in Orange County & LA. Since our clients always have questions regarding maintenance and install, we decided to make it easy by creating this blog post. Hope you enjoy!
HOW THEY'RE MADE
Cement tiles are hand-made using a blend of cement, mineral pigments, marble powder and fine sand.
The mixture is then poured into a mold to create the bold and vibrant patterns that encaustic tiles are known for. Using a tool called a hydraulic press, the bottom cement layer (usually a solid grey color) is bonded to the patterned top layer to solidify the two parts into one tile.
wHERE THEY CAN BE USED
Because of the durability of cement tiles, the possibilities for design and installation are somewhat endless! These tiles can be used in a multitude of different spaces including interior floors, exterior floors (if you live in a warmer climate), showers, fireplaces, backsplashes and more.
This is probably the most common question we're asked by our clients. How do you clean and maintain your beautiful new cement tiles after they're installed?
Although cement tiles are durable, they are also porous. That means that on some level they behave very similarly to natural stone.
In order to keep your tiles looking fresh they will need to be sealed after installation. Some manufacturers recommend applying Dry Treat's Stain Proof Sealer 24 hours after your tile has been installed to prevent staining, especially in high traffic areas. Other manufacturers advise that the tiles be sealed before and after install, especially if the tiles are going in wet areas. Be sure to work with an experienced installer and read your specific manufacturer's installation guidelines for the best results.
Much like natural stone it's recommended that you keep up with the sealing of your tiles to keep them resistant to stains and imperfections. This re-sealing timeline will depend on the type sealer that you use.
Encaustic tiles should only be cleaned with a PH Neutral cleaner. Avoid using any harsh cleaning products that contain bleach or acidic chemicals.
If you're worried about the maintenance of your cement tiles, it may be a better choice to go with a pattern that has a more antiqued feel to it, rather than a contemporary pattern with clean edges and lines. The benefit to choosing antiqued vs. contemporary is that the antiqued patterns tend to get better looking with age, while the contemporary tiles will be noticeably worn in if not properly cared for.
Antiqued Encaustic (natural imperfections that add character)
Contemporary Encaustic (clean lines)
The most common sizes currently offered in cement tiles are 8"x8" and 6"x6" in square shaped tiles, and 6" - 8" in hexagons. Other sizes will vary depending on the shape, but these are the most common options currently available.
PATTERN & COLOR OPTIONS
Pattern and color options for cement tiles are basically endless! Especially because most manufacturers are able to customize colors for certain patterns if you're able to wait the standard 8-10 week special-order lead time.
Some patterns are more traditional, while others sway to the contemporary side. Below are some examples of just how diverse pattern and color range can be, but there are always more options to be discovered!
WHERE YOU CAN FIND THEM
At our showroom in Costa Mesa, CA of course!
If you're interested in finding something specific for your home or project, feel free to email one of our sales associates at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you enjoyed this informative blog post! If you did, please be sure to like, comment, share and subscribe to our monthly newsletter so you never miss out on the latest and greatest in tile & stone!