Monday, February 23, 2009

Cement Tile Care & Maintenance

Cement tiles require little care or maintenance after installation.
Cement Tile
Follow the easy steps below for years of trouble-free use. You can download a PDF version of the installation, maintenance, and care procedures from our site:
pdf Installation, Maintenance, and Care of Cement Tile [67 KB]

html Installation, Maintenance, and Care of Cement Tile [HTML]

Cement Tile Care

  1. After installation has been completed and the grout has dried thoroughly wash the tiles with mild soap and plenty of water.
  2. As with natural stone products, cement tiles are porous in nature and should be sealed to avoid staining.
  3. After the tiles have completely dried apply a penetrating sealer using a sponge. Always follow the instruction of the sealer's manufacturer. FILA manufactures a full line of sealers and cleaners for cement tiles (
  4. Some sealers will enhance the color of the tiles. Test the sealer in a small portion before applying.
  5. Reapply periodically as per the sealer manufacturer's instructions.

Cement Tile Maintenance

  1. Cement tiles should be regularly moped with clear water. A capful of liquid wax may be added to the water to improve the tiles'natural sheen.
  2. Never use acids to clean the tiles as they will damage it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tile Ideas for the Hearth

Home is where the hearth is. From ancient times to now, the hearth has always played a vital role. An important focal point for the family, the hearth traditionally provided warmth and a place to cook. However, it was also the social and creative center. Still true today, a fine-looking fireplace fills your home with warmth and beauty and creates a social center for friends and family. Tile provides the possibilities for creating a hearth that is both beautiful and practical.

Tiles are perfect for a fireplace surround, the mantle, the floor area in front of a fireplace, the area above the mantle, or around the hearth. For inspiration, look at these incredible installations:

Here's a few ideas to use decorative tiles for your fireplace or hearth:
  • Create a medallion above the hearth with a decorative tile grouping. Avente's Celtic line works well with stone and travertine.

  • Use a few pieces of 6"x6" decorative tile placed along the floor in front of the hearth, along a hearth bench or around the hearth itself. The stylized floral designs of our Spanish line create a traditional atmosphere found in haciendas of California, Mexico, and Spain.

  • Create a stunning focal point by adding a large tiled mural above the hearth. Avente's tile murals come in a variety of designs to match any taste.

  • Create a tile border around the hearth using 6"x6", 4"x4", or 2"x2" decorative tiles. Or, use 3"x6" border tiles to frame the hearth. Avente's Spanish tile and Portuguese tile lines come in all these sizes so that you can easily create a coordinated design using different sizes of decorative tile.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Install Cement Tile

Installing cement tiles is a fairly simple process. To achieve the best results, proceed with care and following these steps. You can download a PDF version of this installation, maintenance, and care procedures from our site:

pdf Cement Tile Installation Procedures [67 KB]

Pre-Installation Notes

  1. Each cement tile is hand-made and you should expect slight variations in thickness, size, and shade. These characteristics add to the products natural appeal and do not compromise the performance of the tile.
  2. Make sure to pull pieces at random from different boxes in order to achieve a better blending of the material.

Installation Steps

  1. The tiles should be installed edge to edge (butt jointed) and laid on a perfectly leveled and clean surface.
  2. The tiles can be cut using a wet saw with a diamond blade.
  3. When installing a pattern we recommend installing the center portion first, the borders and lastly the field tile that will surround the pattern.
  4. Tiles can be installed either with a pre-mixed adhesive, such a Mapei Type I, or with regular thinset mortar. In either case use a high-notched trowel to spread the adhesive on the surface as well as on the back of the tile in order to achieve adequate adhesion.
  5. When using thinset mortar the back of the tile must be dampened. When using a pre-mixed adhesive the back of the tile should be cleaned lightly.
  6. The tiles must be laid by hand and handled carefully to avoid damaging the edges. Once laid level the tiles using your hands. Using a rubber hammer to do this could damage the tiles’ surface. Cement tiles can not be grinded down after they are installed, so it is very important that they are perfectly leveled during installation.
  7. Any residue of mortar left on the surface of the tile must be cleaned immediately to avoid staining.
  8. Do not step on the tiles until the mortar has dried.


  1. You may use colored or white grout. If you decide to use colored grout we recommend that it be a color that is the same, or lighter than the lightest color used in the pattern.
  2. The grout should be fluid enough to completely fill the joints.
  3. Apply the grout with a rubber float or with a rubber squeegee, always moving diagonally across the joints.
  4. Any excess grout should be removed with a damp cloth or sponge before it dries.
  5. If tiles are installed before construction is finished make sure you protect them appropriately by covering them with a large piece of cloth, fabric or a tarp.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine’s Day Tile: Bird of My Heart

Take a look at Bird of My Heart: a beautiful heart-shaped tile that arrived just in time for Valentine's Day. Created by an artisan that uses themes inspired from nature and isn't afraid to use a bright, beautiful palette in her glazes. Get acquainted with the complete line of Eartha tiles! They all boast of rich colors completed with intricate relief designs.

Eartha Bird of My Heart

Eartha tiles are great gift ideas and your sweetheart will be sure to remember your artistic thoughtfulness! Remember, these tiles are handmade, one-at-a-time. No two are exactly alike.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Architectural Cement Tiles in Relief

Cement tiles made in relief or "architectural relief tiles" are ideal for sidewalk paving, pool areas, and public projects. A versatile and green product, these tiles are a great and durable solution for utility rooms, outdoor workspaces, and beach-house showers. Use relief cement tiles decoratively for low-volume "trickle fountains." Use them for a virtually maintenance-free exterior home siding solution that offers decorative and visual interest. Prices start at a little over $8 SF for basic colors and designs. However, the possibility for color and designs are virtually limitless and to there is generally a large color palette available. Just remember, use cement relief tiles only outside in non-freezing environments.

Shown below are some architectural relief tiles in various colors and in different relief designs. Textured or relief cement tiles are great for public or commercial projects, exterior residential buildings or residential interiors and vertical fountains. Shown here, the tiles are in a non-traditional vertical format: a privacy divider between a business and large residential development.

Architectural relief cement tiles are ideal for outside use in non-freezing environments. In summary, here's how they can be used:

  • Commercial and public projects including sidewalks, pool decks, and paved areas
  • Residential utility rooms, workspaces, beach-house showers, and beach-house walk-in transition areas
  • Decoratively in trickle fountains and for vertical walls including exterior or interior siding

To obtain pricing and quotes for this versatile green product in North America contact Avente Tiles. The architectural cement tiles shown here are manufactured in the Dominican Republic by Aguayo Tiles.