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“Bring out the nature of the materials. Let their nature intimately into your scheme” -Frank Lloyd Wright

Frequently Asked Questions

Encaustic Cement Tile

What is encaustic cement tile?

Encaustic cement tiles are a beautiful, natural product that is hand-made using colourful pigments and Portland cement. What’s more, this type of tile is not fired in a kiln or glazed and is not made of clay like most other tiles. These traits make encaustic cement tiles a sustainable choice as they are free of the energy used in traditional tile manufacturing, are durable and recyclable upon removal. Find more detail on how they’re made here.

Encaustic Cement Tile

Is Encaustic Cement Tile Right for Me?

Here’s a quick quiz to help you identify if Geon Tiles are an ideal product for your project:

1) Do you like the idea of tile making a bold statement in your space?
2) Do you prefer working with natural materials that wear in over time?
3) Do you find beauty in handmade imperfection?

If you answered yes to the above questions, then encaustic cement tile might be right for you! Cement tile surfaces wear in over time, creating a beautiful patina as the natural material ages. This patina appears as crazing in the surface of the tile and is particularly evident on darker colours such as navy and black.

Like all other natural materials, Geon Tile requires care and maintenance, which includes sealing your tile and using a pH neutral cleaner. Though we live in a world filled with artificial and applied patinas, there is no substitute for the look and feel of something that truly wears history. Like a good pair of jeans, encaustic cement tile gets character from age and beauty from patina. Geon tile wears in, rather than wearing out.

Encaustic Cement Tile

Where can Geon Tile be used?

Geon Tile can be used in most places you would typically find tile, such as:

Floor
Fireplace
Wall
Backsplash
Tub Surround
Covered 3 Season Room
Ceiling

 

 

We do not recommend Geon encaustic cement tile for the following applications:

Swimming Pools
Outdoor Areas in Freeze/Thaw Weather
Steam Shower *Terrazzo is suitable in this situation, do not use regular cement*
Shower Floors *For steam showers, only use terrazzo*
Floors which are in frequent contact with acids, alkaline or other attacking chemicals

Encaustic Cement Tile

Is cement tile durable?

Yes! Geon Tile uses fine aggregate in the surface layer to add strength and increased scratch resistance as compared to other encaustic cement tiles. Europe and parts of Asia have been using encaustic cement tile for centuries, and many of these beautiful floors are 100+ years old and are still in use today!

Installing Cement Tile

Will Geon Tile have imperfections?

Yes. Please be aware that Geon Tile is a handmade cement product. The manufacturing process allows for slight variations from piece to piece and, as such, all your encaustic cement tiles will not be identical. Slight variations such in size, shade, and irregular edges are inherent to this handcrafted product. This perfect imperfection is what makes Geon Tile so beautiful and unique. You can find more detail on Geon Tile manufacturing specifications here and variation expectations here.

Installing Cement Tile

How thick is Geon Tile?

Geon Tile’s standard thickness is 16 mm (5/8″). This thickness is slightly larger than most tile and may require a transition if being used in a floor application.

For more information, see the Geon Tile install guides here.

Installing Cement Tile

Are there specific setting materials I should use?

We recommend that tile be set using rapid-setting mortar in conjunction with sanded grout. You can find recommendations and tips on materials required to finish your job here.

Caring for Encaustic Tile

Can I heat my Geon Tile?

YES!  Cement tile loves feeling toasty warm with in-floor radiant or electric heat.

Caring for Encaustic Tile

How do I care for my Geon Tile?

To keep your new tile looking beautiful for years to come, we recommend using a pH Neutral cleaner or mild soap and water. For more information on cleaning and care, or to learn more about Geon Tile NeutraClean GT encaustic cement tile cleaner, click here.

Caring for Encaustic Tile

How often should I seal my Geon Tile?

For high traffic areas such as an ensuite shower or a kitchen floor, it is recommended that you re-seal your Geon Tile every 2-5 years.  For very light traffic areas such as backsplashes and fireplaces, it may be possible you’ll needn’t ever re-seal your project.  Your Geon Tile will inform you of when the time has come to re-seal as you will begin to notice that the surface becomes more stubborn to clean. For more information on sealing your tile refer to the sealing application guidelines.

Caring for Encaustic Tile

Will cement tile stain?

Like all unsealed natural materials, cement tile has inherent pores in the surface which left unsealed will allow staining to occur.  When Geon Tile is sealed with NanoSeal GT, you should expect years of use before a new coat of sealer will be recommended. For more detail or maintenance of Geon Tile, please refer to the care and maintenance guideline here.

Caring for Encaustic Tile

What Should I Expect from My Tile Over Time?

Cement is a “living” surface like metal or natural stone. Like all other natural materials, some maintenance will be required to keep your Geon Tile looking it’s best.  Most people prefer to let the cement tile “wear in” and develop a beautiful patina over time. Cement tiles with more detailed patterns often wear in and patina less noticeably than simpler patterned cement tile.  Please visit our care and maintenance page for a full list of instructions on how to care for your new tile.

Geon Tile

Why Would I Choose Geon Tile?

Geon Tile was born from passion for design and a love of natural materials. Founder Aaron Brown has been in the art tile business for 25 years, and very early on developed an excitement for tile that earned him the nickname “Aaron the Tile Guy”. Not satisfied with just picking pretty things, he has spent much of his career figuring out the technical side of the tile he works with and can often be heard talking animatedly about tile “at a molecular level”.  Armed with an arsenal of nerdy tile knowledge, Aaron’s years of working hands-on with cement tile in many different applications has provided Geon the expertise to be a trusted authority for all areas of encaustic cement tile project. From concept and design, manufacturing and installation, to care and maintenance, Geon Tile has the wisdom of 1000’s of tile projects to make sure your encaustic cement tile project goes smooth and is as beautiful as you dreamed it.

Geon Tile

What Is Your Quality Control Like?

Geon Tile is only as good as the worst tile we place in a box and we understand that beauty and quality go hand in hand. Before your order is shipped, each tile is inspected to meet the highest of quality standards and tolerances. So, what defines a quality encaustic cement tile?

Geon Tile is checked for variances in thickness and outside dimensions to ensure your surface can be layed flat and true. Pattern clarity is examined, verifying that pigments are poured with precision and that the pattern is not blurry. Tile colour is reviewed and matched against pigment standards to ensure proper measuring and mixing of colour. Chipped or weak tiles are used are rejected – never making their way to your doorstep. And, to top it all off, our supply chain must maintain certification in ISO Quality Management – safeguarding the consistency and reliability in the Geon brand.

Geon Tile

Does Geon Tile Qualify For LEED Credits?

“LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.” (U.S Green Building Council). While LEED Certification applies to the overall building, using Geon Tile for your project can assist in obtaining credits in a number of areas within the guideline.

EQ Credit: Low-Emitting Materials

The intent of this LEED credit is to reduce the concentration of indoor contaminants, or VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) released from products used in the construction process. Geon Tile sealer is well below the LEED stated minimum at 95 g/L of VOC.

MR Credit: Construction and Demolition Waste Management

The intent of this credit is to reduce the construction and demolition waste directed to landfills and incineration facilities by recovering, reusing or recycling materials. Geon Tile is 100% recyclable and can therefore be diverted.