Cement tiles or hydraulic tiles are handmade colourful tiles used as floor coverings. They appeared in France in the 1850s, and have been widely used in Mediterranean, in the Middle East, Central and South America.
Hydraulic tiles are made by hand, which explains its value. The production process has not changed over the last hundred years. The pigment composition is a mixture of high quality white Portland cement, marble powder, fine sand, and natural mineral colour pigments poured into a mold and an hydraulic press. The metal mold can be different forms following specific design drawings.
Then the tiles are compressed by a hydraulic press for a few hours and are left to dry for four weeks.
Cement tiles being handmade are expected to have slight imperfections, which give them character and depth.
There are numerous hydraulic tile manufacturers worldwide. The difference between them is the hydraulic method used. Small companies employ a hand-operated hydraulic press and the large manufacturers use electric-powered hydraulic presses that produce a consistently higher quality product.
In Spain, when you buy a house or an apartment you can find floors with old hydraulic tiles. You can easy restore them! Give the value of the floor and history to your Spanish house.