Cement tile bathrooms. Many stylish Bathrooms Designed with Encaustic Cement Tile
Cement tiles continue to be a design trend. It comes as no surprise that everyone loves encaustic cement tile. With so many patterns, colors, and design choices, you can find a tile that captures your style. While cement tile might be hip and trendy, its design versatility ensures a look that will last for years to come. Here are a few cement tile bathrooms designed with cement tile that feel right at home.
These colorful, timeless tiles are becoming more popular and can be used just about anywhere. The most common question is, “Can I use them in my shower or bath?” The answer is definitely, “Yes!” Cement tiles can also be used in wet areas such as the bathroom floor, shower floor, shower wall, steam room, or sauna. However, because these tiles are porous they must be sealed with a penetrating or impregnating sealer after installation.
You may also want to seal them with a penetrating sealer prior to installing to avoid problems with staining during installation and to make clean-up easier after grouting. Remember, cement or concrete tiles (as they are more accurately called) are not glazed or fired, like the ubiquitous ceramic or porcelain tile.
While encaustic cement tiles may be a top trend at the moment, they have been around since the late 1800’s.
They are still hand-made and manufactured using the same process. However, do not confuse encaustic cement tile with encaustic tile. Encaustic tiles have been around since The Middle Ages and made by using two or more different colors of clay in the body of the tile.
Cement tiles or encaustic cement tiles are made by pouring pigmented concrete into a mold and then each tile is hydraulically pressed. Encaustic or clay encaustic tiles are fired and freeze-thaw resistant; encaustic cement tiles are not.
When wet, cement tiles can become slippery. Cement tiles have been used on the floors of both commercial and residential bathrooms and showers without problems. The tiles perform well in wet applications. However, to improve slip resistance, consider these recommendations when using cement tiles in wet areas, especially for commercial applications:
- Consider using raw or unpolished tiles from the manufacturer
- The installer should minimize buffing or polishing the tiles in the final installation stage after grouting. The more you buff or polish the tile, the smoother it becomes.
- Always seal with a penetrating sealer and avoid top-coat sealers on wet floor applications. Top-coat sealers may make the tile less resistant to slips.
The cement tiles we carry have been tested to meet slip resistance requirements. However, this standard has been changed. Prior to 2014, floor slip resistance testing was done in accordance with a specific testing standard (ASTM method C 1028). The test measures the tile’s coefficient of friction or resistance to slip accidents in both wet and dry conditions. In the USA, architects and designers generally required a wet static coefficient of friction to be 0.60 or higher. Unpolished or raw cement tiles generally have an average coefficient of friction (wet) between 0.80 – 0.90. Polished tiles have an average coefficient of friction (wet) between 0.65 – 0.75.
Moisture passing through cement tiles can activate the minerals in the cement. As the water evaporates, the salts are left behind on the tiles’ surface leaving a white, powdery substance called efflorescence. To prevent efflorescence in wet areas, it is important to seal the tiles thoroughly and make sure an adequate moisture barrier is part of the substrate design.