Cement tiles are darlings of the decor world, admired for their matte finish and intricate patterns. Often used as floor and backsplash tile, their unique beauty and timeless appeal are also highly durable and easy to maintain. But, as with all tiles, they must be properly sealed and cared for to last the long term.
Unlike their ceramic counterparts that are fired in a kiln, cement tiles are cured by hydraulic pressure. This makes them more eco-friendly than ceramic tiles, as no fossil fuels are burned to heat the kiln. In addition, cement tiles contain natural pigments and are a mix of Portland cement, marble powder and natural colorants. They are also a lot stronger than their ceramic cousins, as there is no glaze to chip or scratch.
Aesthetically, cement tile is reminiscent of European design from the nineteenth century. This style of décor favored geometric and floral patterns, which often featured contrasting colors to resemble a rug pattern. In fact, cement tile was a mainstay of the genteel home in Europe for more than a century, gracing foyers, bathrooms and living rooms.
While cement tiles have been a popular choice in modern homes, they can work in any interior design. They pair well with a wide variety of color palettes, from bright and bold to soft and subtle. They can help to punctuate a monochromatic space with an eye-catching pattern, or they can be used to complement a specific piece of artwork. Regardless of how they are used, their presence on the surface of your home will make a statement.
Since they are not glazed, they can be left unfinished for a beautiful matte look, or they can be sealed for greater durability and to protect the integrity of the material. Because of their durability and strength, they can be installed on the walls and floors of your home. They can even be installed outdoors, although most manufacturers recommend not using them in areas that are exposed to freezing temperatures.
To seal a cement tile, you must first clean the surface to remove any dust or dirt that may be present. You can use a damp mop, sponge or cloth to wipe the surface. It is important to not oversaturate the surface with cleaner or you could damage the finish on your tiles. Once the surface has been cleaned, a penetrating sealer should be applied. This should be done after the tiles have been set but before grouting, as the sealant takes 10+ days to cure. For the best results, we recommend a product like Tenax Protex Impregnating Stone Sealer.