Each cement tile is handmade by artisans to a method dating back to the Cistercian monks of the 12th Century. It is fair to say that few tile collections are still made to this method. This art goes from father to son and could disappear if continuity doesn’t occur. 

The tile pattern is formed from a handmade steel mould in which the pigment is poured. Largely geometric, the patterns are classic Portuguese. The artisans used standard patterns, but where required, steel moulds can be made to a particular design, and this together with a choice of coloured pigments can create a truly bespoke tile.

Coloured pigments are poured into the steel mould set on a cement base. This method – known as Encaustic – means the coloured pigments penetrate deep into the tile rather than surface applied. Each tile contains 80% marble dust sourced locally. The marble dust acts as a bonding agent and gives the matte finish and colour quality. 

The tile is then compressed with a heavy press, following which the tile is transferred outside and baked under the blazing heat of the sun – a process of up to one month. No glazing or kiln process are involved.

Each tile is handmade using traditional techniques. This means no two tiles are the same, and each tile will have imperfections that are intrinsic to the handmade process. Subject to careful handling and appropriate cleaning methods, the tiles will wear extremely well, gaining a patina that will enhance over time. In short, each tile will age with beauty.

To protect against water penetration, dirt, stain and frost, the tiles can be sealed. Craft Design Construction recommends FILA sealant products for bespoke treatment and maintenance to internal and external laid encaustic cement tiles.

Hydraulic encaustic cement tiles are ideal for both internal and external applications, including bathrooms, balcony, and terrace. The tiles are not slip resistance. They are compatible with underfloor heating. Nosing profiles are suitable for steps & staircases, as well as providing a skirting profile. These are made as half tiles.

Tiles can be ordered as per the patterns featured below, to any combination of pigment colours.