The Timeless Story of Cement Tile: From Ancient Craft to Modern Art

Cement tiles are renowned for their vibrant designs and enduring quality. While their history is rich and fascinating, the process of making these tiles is equally captivating and crucial to their unique appeal.


Cement tiles originated in mid-19th century Catalonia, Spain, inspired by Moorish art's geometric patterns and vivid colors. The invention of hydraulic presses in the 1850s revolutionized tile making, allowing for the production of tiles without firing. This innovation laid the foundation for the tiles' widespread popularity in Europe and Latin America.


The making of cement tiles is a meticulous, hand-crafted process that has remained largely unchanged for over a century. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Mold Preparation: A brass mold is used to create the tile's design. The mold is placed in a frame and filled with a mixture of white Portland cement, marble powder, and natural mineral pigments to form the colorful top layer.
  2. Layering: After the design layer is set, additional layers of cement and sand are added. This gives the tile its strength and thickness. The layering process ensures that the design remains intact while providing a sturdy base.
  3. Pressing: The layered mold is then placed into a hydraulic press. This step compacts the materials under high pressure, which solidifies the tile and enhances its durability. This method sets cement tiles apart from ceramic tiles, which are typically fired in a kiln.
  4. Curing: Once pressed, the tiles are carefully removed from the mold and left to cure. This curing process can take several weeks, allowing the cement to harden fully and the colors to set deeply. Proper curing is essential for the tiles' longevity and resistance to wear.


Today, cement tiles are celebrated for their versatility and aesthetic appeal. Their handcrafted nature means each tile is unique, with slight variations that add to their charm. Designers and homeowners use them in various settings, from kitchen backsplashes and bathroom floors to patios and commercial spaces.

The ability to customize cement tiles with a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles makes them a favorite choice for adding a touch of artistry and history to modern interiors and exteriors.