And now for something completely different: Cement Encaustic Tiles. Encaustic tiles have been used since the late 1800s when they were first cooked up out of some of the very cheapest of materials, bestowed some intricately detailed designs, hand painted by master craftsmen, and then used in as various situations as Moorish architecture, palaces from Venice to St Petersburg, Gaudi buildings and Victorian town houses.
They were seen as an interesting and exciting alternative to terracotta at the time, and, though the designs may have changed, they are still a very captivating addition to any floor or wall, offering colours, patterns and designs which you would struggle to achieve by any other means.
Nowadays, the new breed of these tiles is more commonly seen in chic bars, clubs and restaurants with a modern, contemporary vibe. Not what you might expect from tiles which haven't changed a great deal in last 130 years.
If you're looking for an injection of modernist design, colour and patterned work, these make a very nice edging or statement piece (in a similar way to mosaic). If you're looking to be more bold, they would quite easily sit well as an entire floor or wall piece too. The possibilities a extensive.
The main benefits of these tiles is that they are more or less indestructible (as they're basically concrete) and they're relatively cheap. They cost in the region of £3.00/tile. Compare this to their most common competitor, the mosaic sheet, and they are 4 times cheaper than even the cheapest of mosaic sheets.
Unlike most porcelain products, however, they do need sealing, as they are not glazed. This means that the process of laying them is similar to that of a natural stone product. Having said this, they are still relatively low maintenance compared to natural stone pieces. For more information and a closer look at our range, visit our showroom.