Fabrication & History
The Cement Tile Range
Each cement tile is individually handmade in Morocco using traditional processes. The surface of the tile is composed of white marble powder mixed with white cement and high quality pigments. The pigment ‘paste’ is then poured into a steel mould using a small funnel. This layer is sprinkled with a dry cement and sand mix that absorbs its humidity before being spread-over with the ‘structure layer’, composed of grey cement, sand and gravel. The filled mould is then hydraulically pressed.
The single piece is carefully removed from the mould and placed on a rack to dry. Finally, it is placed in a water bath for several hours to allow it to set. It is then sprayed regularly until it has set completely. The tile achieves its peak hardness about three weeks later.
History of the Encaustic / Cement Tile
Encaustic tiles have enjoyed two periods of great popularity. The first came in the 13th century and lasted until Henry VIII’s reformation in the 16th century. The second came when the tiles caught the attention of craftsmen during the Gothic Revival era who mass-produced these tiles, making them available to the general public.
The modern day Cement Tile appeared in the late 19th Century South of France following the discovery of Portland Cement and the development of hydraulic presses. Around the turn of the 20th Century, these tiles became very popular in the United States and were used in thousands of landmark public buildings and palaces and their popularity quickly spread to Latin America and back to Europe.