Cement tiles, concrete tiles, ceramic tiles, and porcelain tiles… if you’ve started looking into different tile materials, chances are you’ve gotten a bit confused at all of the options and what makes them better or worse. In your search, a term you may have come across is encaustic. What exactly does it mean, and does it apply to cement and ceramic tiles? In this post, we explain the meaning of encaustic for tiles and how it applies to concrete and ceramic tiles. If you have any confusion over this term, or simply how ceramic tiles and cement tiles are made, this post is for you.
Additionally, encaustic tile works best in certain environments. It does not work well in seasonal climates with freeze and thaw cycles because the shift in temperature can cause lifting of the tile. Encaustic cement floor tiles also shouldn’t be used near chemically-treated water, like pool surrounds because the chemicals can fade and damage the design.

Every design in the Traditional Collection can be customized. Pick a design and select the colors. With a 300 square foot minimum, it’s made and shipped directly to you. This collection is made up of a series of designs and color schemes that are sought by designers, architects, and homeowners around the world. Our cement tile is of an excellent quality and manufactured in Mexico.


Mosaic House is a New York based tile company specializing in Moroccan zellige (zellij) and encaustic cement tile. We are dedicated to making the centuries old craft traditions of Morocco accessible to our clients. As the newest generation in a centuries old family of tile makers, we draw upon the traditional craft expertise of Morocco, while embracing a modern taste for texture and design. We believe that our continued success is anchored in the four fundamental principles that have always guided us – innovation, the highest quality of material and craftsmanship, a commitment to service, and a focus on the client.

All patterns depicted are available as custom tile using our South Beach Collection color palette. You can ensure availability and choose your own colors with custom tile if your schedule can permit 10-14 weeks for production and delivery. While our custom tile does have a slightly different price schedule, pricing is similar, and sometimes lower with custom tile. Custom tile requires a 50 square foot minimum order (small order fees may apply below 100 square feet).


The apparent simplicity of the Rogue Hex encaustic tile is deceptive. Inspired by tessellations, or repeated, close-fitting polygons, the diamonds and triangles on this hexagon tile can be flipped in different directions to create cubes and other geometric designs. Design a chic black-and-white accent wall or entryway floor with timeless style using 8" x 9" Rogue encaustics.
First of all, if your tiles are light colored, use a white colored setting material. Similarly, use a darker setter for darker tiles. Install the tiles by following the instructions. Use a wet saw if you need to cut the tiles. Once the tiles are set, clean them with a mop or cloth after 48 hours to get rid of any excessive grout. Make sure you seal your tiles in place with a sealer. In case of cracks, use a concrete patch material that you can find in the stores easily. Fill in the cracks and then, seal them in place.
The term encaustic means “to heat or burn in” from an ancient Greek word. Encaustic materials are produced through a process which involves heating to seal in the dyes and clays. Traditional encaustic tiles are made using clay and powdered glazes, and are fired in a coal or wood-fired kiln. The firing process heats the clay and powdered colors to seal in the design and create a hard surface. These types of tiles are technically called ceramic tiles, but many sources and even tile manufacturers have interchangeably referred to them as both ceramic and cement tiles.
One of the most classic cement tile designs is the intricate floral or Moorish pattern. This look dates back to the early 20th century and is just as popular today. The options for this type of traditional pattern are endless, ranging from colorful and bright to serene and neutral. Depending on the style of your home, you can add a unique flair to your kitchen with backsplash cement tile.

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