What are Encaustic tiles?

8th Apr 2020

What are Encaustic tiles?

Encaustic (cement) tiles are the most traditional type of tile we know and have been used by many cultures over hundreds of years. Early designs were frequently repetitive geometrics that reflected Eastern influences, including carpets and architecture. Traditionally, cement tiles were used by only the highly privileged classes as a way of creating a statement. Today we replicate the traditional look we love to create a practical porcelain tile that doesn't need sealing and won't fade over time. Whether you want a contemporary, geometric design or a classic colourful look our range of Moroccan inspired tiles are perfect for creating a feature floor or wall that will make your space pop! 


Music Hall Multicolour VVS023

What is the difference between Porcelain and Cement tiles?

Porcelain is a great alternative to traditional Encaustic (cement) tiles as it doesn’t need sealing and is impervious to water, making them perfect for showers and wet areas. As technology methods advance so does the skill and designs coming from our manufacturers. This means decorative tiles will retain the character and charm of the original encaustic tiles and when installed properly will last for decades. Porcelain is also a low maintenance option as its easy to clean, often with just hot soapy water.

Monochrome bathroom, moroccan inspired tile Goroka Grafito

Goroka Grafito VVS062


Cement tiles are handmade, colourful works of art. Since all patterns are handcrafted, each design can be customized and created to an exact colour specification. They’re installed in the same way as a porcelain tile, with one major difference, it needs protecting with sealer. The highly skilled craftsmanship that goes into Cement tiles tends to make them a more expensive option. 

Moroccan inspired floor tile, Square colours

Square Colours EQU035

Tile Space is an exclusive stockist of Bisazza Cement a brand new collection featuring sophisticated, contemporary interpretation of traditional cement tiles. Bisazza Cement Tiles are made entirely by hand using high strength cement, blended with coloured oxides. The tiles are cold pressed and are pre-treated to protect their surface and ease the cleaning. This unique collection is available in square and hexagon shapes and an array of timeless colours and graphic patterns. The collection can be used for both floors and walls with the exception of wet areas, showers and public baths. Unlike porcelain, cement is very porous and needs to be thoroughly sealed. Bisazza recommends using Filamatt, a protective wax that gives a highly natural look (available to buy in Tile Space stores). 

Bisazza cement tiles

Bisazza Cement (Available to order on Indent)

Where to use encaustic tiles?

Encaustic look tiles or more commonly known Morrocan inspired tiles, have wow factor and will give a space a point of difference.
Whilst tiles are mainly seen in kitchens and bathrooms, decorative tiles can work equally well in other areas such as dining living rooms, hallways and conservatories to add a splash of colour. If you want to have a bit of fun with your tiles but not committed to a full bathroom floor try a splashback or laundry floor. By choosing a room you don't spend as much time in you are less likely to become bored of seeing it or it clashing with new furnishings over the years.

What are encaustic tiles?

Ladakhi Grafito VVS061 | Goroka Gris VVS074

The key to making encaustic look tiles work in your home is to ensure that the pattern and colour palette you choose suits the era of your home's look. When it comes to decor, pick your accent shade from a tone in the tale, and illustrate in the space with soft furnishings.

Porcelain tiles can be used on floors and walls therefore you can use the same tile to make the space look cohesive. Continuing materials from the floor to the ceiling creates the illusion that the area is larger.

Example of encaustic tile

Bowtie Pastel EQU027

How to choose the right design

Start by looking at how you have styled the rest of your home... Does it have a romantic and mid-century feel or is your decor minimal and scandi-inspired? At Tile Space we guide our customers through the process by fact-finding, this gives us the best understanding of the requirements of the project. 

Questions to consider:
Is it a new build or renovation?
Is it a family home or beach house?
How much natural light is in the space?
How would you describe the style of your home?

Moroccan inspired tile splashback

By best understanding our customer's property, we can help visualise which tile will work best and offer our expert advice.

Still got questions? Find your nearest Tile Space store to talk to one of our expert design consultants and Download our TILE 101 booklet here for more top tips.