Cement tiles offer timeless appeal, but before you order some, it is wise to consider where you will be placing them, what kind of maintenance and care is involved among other factors. Below is an in-depth look of cement tiles.
The origin of cement tiles
Cement tiles were first produced in the South of France in the 1870s however the Spanish improved the mastery not so long after by developing many and beautiful colors and patterns. They introduced the Mediterranean, Moroccan and floral designs that are currently very popular.
How they are made
Unlike the usual ceramic tiles, cement tiles are handmade by blending cement, mineral pigments, marble powder, fine sand and other natural materials that do not require kiln firing.
The mixture is then placed in a mold to create the bold, colorful designs of the tile followed by a water bath to cure. Once completely dried, the tiles are treated with a light wax coating. Using a tool known as a hydraulic press, the bottom cement layer (usually a solid grey color) is bonded to the patterned top layer to solidify the two parts into one tile.
It takes about four weeks for the cement tiles to reach 90 percent of their potential strength and will continue to gain strength for decades. It is not that the cement tiles continue to dry out, they go through a chemical reaction that hardens the cement over time.
Where can they be used?
Because of the toughness of cletile cement tiles, the possibilities for design and installation are to a certain extent endless. Cement tiles can be used in a wide variety of spaces including fireplaces, showers, backsplashes and even outdoors where they can withstand all weather conditions.
How to look after cement tiles after they have been installed is an area you should be very keen to keep the tiles looking fresh and maintain the beautiful designs on them. Cement tiles are made up of durable components, but the marble element of these tiles are affected by acids and harsh chemicals. It is essential to do the following:
It is recommended to apply dry treat's stain proof sealer 24 hours after your ceramic tiles have been installed to prevent staining, especially in high traffic areas. Other constructors recommend that the tiles be sealed before and after installation, especially if the tiles are being placed on wet areas this will prevent staining. Also, re-sealing should be done depending on the type sealer that you use.
Ceramic tiles should only be cleaned with a PH Neutral cleaner. Avoid using any harsh cleaning products that contain bleach or acidic chemicals. Even after showering, soaps or shampoo can sit on the tiles and cause damage; tiles need to be cleaned thoroughly after use.
Cement tiles come in various sizes and shapes since different manufacturers produce them. But the most common sizes currently available in the market are 6”x 6” and 8" x 8" in square shapes, and 6" - 8" hexagon shaped tiles.
Pattern and color options
Pattern and color options for cement tiles are diverse especially because most manufacturers mix different pigments producing various appearances. Some patterns may be traditional, while others are contemporary, what one manufacturer produces will never look the same as those made by another. Find the look you love and go with it.
via Blogger An In-depth Look at Cement Tiles
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