ENCAUSTIC CEMENT TILES
Encaustic (pressed cement) tiles are handmade in much the same way as they have been for a hundred years.
The colour layer is approximately 3mm thick and made from crushed marble and granites, colour pigment and cement. The back of the tile is a mix of gravel, sand and cement making up the bulk and the strength. The result is a slightly chalky appearance when new, and will wear beautifully to a smooth and silky patina. Colour variation within the tile is normal.
Encaustic tiles are available as single colour tiles or in a range of polychrome patterns and can be used together in many combinations to create classic or exciting original designs. These tiles are well suited to internal surfaces including kitchen and bathroom floors and walls.
Traditionally encaustic tiles have been used around the world for interior and exterior applications; think of the rich and spicy Souks of Morocco, or the delightful and refreshing Riad courtyard and pool. In our strong Australian UV light the colours may fade or soften if used outdoors.
Prior to installation, we recommend pre-sealing encaustic tiles.
Apply the adhesive mixture evenly to the floor substrate using a wide notch trowel, also apply adhesive to the back of the tile. Position the tile and carefully press into place by hand. Don’t use a hard rubber mallet to set the tile as this could cause micro-cracks in the tile, and leave scuff marks on the face of the tile.
Traditional grout spacing is minimal, 1-2mm. Immediately remove any excess grout haze. Once set it is almost impossible to remove. Do not use coloured grout pigments as the colour may penetrate the edge of the tile leaving a stain that cannot be removed. We suggest sanded texture grout in light grey or mid grey for a natural and neutral appearance.
Clean any cement residue or marks immediately after installation using fresh water and neutral cleaner. Never use strong acidic or alkaline products (cement remover, strong detergents, etc) or bleach as they could irreparably damage the tiles. After installation, if work is still being carried out on/around the area, protect the newly installed floor with drop sheets that breathe. Lift the drop sheets overnight.
We recommend a penetrating sealing product which is natural look, formulated to provide maximum stain protection. Tiles should be perfectly dry and clean before sealer is applied. During the drying stage, evaporation of floor humidity through cement tiles may leave white salt deposits (efflorescence) on the tile surface. This bloom is normal to encaustic tiles and is thought by most to be an attractive feature. On a floor surface the soft bloom will usually ‘walk’ away with normal foot traffic. If the sealing treatment is performed too early over a wet floor the result could be darker spots of moisture blocked under the sealant for some time.
We recommend a neutral cleaner for everyday cleaning, and when spring cleaning or degreasing is necessary, we recommend a porcelain creme for troubleshooting.
Always read the product directions and carry out a test section if uncertain.