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Each encaustic cement tile is handmade, one at a time, using a process that has been around for hundreds of years. They are unique in that they are not fired in kilns or are made of clay. Rather, these gems of the tile family are made by way of unique processes and materials – each tile is completely hand crafted of natural pigments and cements. The result is a beautiful, durable and sustainable product that will last the life of the project.
The process that brings those beautiful cement tiles to life appears to be rudimentary, but requires years of practice to perfect the art. In a nutshell, the process is as follows:
Equipment: Tile mold, frame and a hydraulic press.
Material: Natural pigments, Portland cement and concrete.
Step One: The metal divider mold is filled with pigments according to the colour pattern.
Step Two: With the divider mold is filled with pigment to a total thickness of 2mm.
Step Three: The divider mold is removed, and the pigments sections flow to meet.
Step Four: A layer of Portland cement and sand is spread over the pigment layer.
Step Five: A layer of concrete is spread over the Portland cement.
Step Six: The pigment, Portland cement, and concrete are mechanically pressed to 1,800 psi.
Step Seven: The tile is removed from the frame, inspected and stacked.
Step Eight: Tiles are placed into a water bath, racked to dry and then inspected once more.
Step Nine: The tiles are pre-polished, checked for alignment and given a light coat of sealer.
When inspected from the side, one can see the three distinct layers of the encaustic cement tile as described above. The top layer provides the colour and patterns as well as the surface properties while the other two layers provide strength, porosity and durability.