Cement tiles, also called decorative encaustic tiles or concrete tiles, are in fashion these days and you probably spotted some on the walls or floors of trendy cafés, shops, or even on the covers of home decorating magazines. But they ain’t exactly new.
The Origins of Cement Tiles
Like one of the 2 founders of îlot Colombo, cement tiles were born in France, but few decades before. Around 1870 to be more specific, in a small town called Viviers, in the South of the country.
Their bright colours and original texture rapidly charmed a rich French clientele. Over time, this unique technique spread out across French borders and cement tiles could be found in majestic villas, theatres, train stations or city councils in Spain, Italy, England but also Cuba, Vietnam or India.
This enthusiasm winded down in the 1950s in Europe with the rise of industrial porcelain tiles, a cheaper and quicker option. As a result, cement tile manufactures closed one after the other and slowly disappeared from Europe.
However, since 2010s and the new trend for authentic and sustainable products, cement tiles have made a great comeback and have started again to cover floors and walls of trendy hotels, shops, restaurants and private houses all over the world. Îlot Colombo’s mission is to take part in this revival and to bring this traditional and unique handcraft into Sri Lankan interiors and beyond the seas.
The Manufacturing of Cement Tiles
Pretty much like in Viviers at the end of the 19th century, îlot Colombo cement tiles are entirely handmade by skilled craft men and women here in Colombo,Sri Lanka, using cement, natural pigments, mineral dust and sand. The manufacturing process is 100% artisanal. Each tile is therefore unique and will give an authentic, charming look to your interiors.
A Durable Product
The final result is a beautiful durable tile that stands the test of time. Because the colour layer is actually inlaid on a few millimeters, cement tiles are incredibly resistant to wear and tear and less affected by impacts than their porcelain counterparts. Also, as we are using organic oxide pigments, the colours of îlot Colombo tiles will not fade away. Cement tiles are a living product that evolves with time and ages beautifully, acquiring an exquisite patina over the years.
Cement tiles manufacturing does not require any baking or heating and little water is used during the whole production process. It definitely makes a greener alternative for flooring than usual ceramic tiles.
Sustainability is not a vague trendy word for us at îlot Colombo but a must. Very committed to environment conservation, we make sure to use natural and carefully sourced materials. We also do our best to create as little waste as possible.
Last but not least, as true defenders of social justice, we are creating a human and enjoyable work environment for our workers. We really want our growth to benefit all our employees and their families.
By buying îlot Colombo tiles, you take part in a fair and green initiative.
The îlot Colombo Touch: authentic French tiles with a modern Sri Lankan twist
At îlot Colombo, we focus on developing the strongest, most durable and beautiful cement tiles. We also want our tiles to be unique and are always on the lookout for new techniques and innovations. While we are using an ancestral French technique, we add a modern twist to our cement tiles through the use of new materials and the creation of exclusive contemporary patterns.
We draw our inspiration from our roots: stunning Sri Lankan natural beauties and classical French style but also from our numerous trips around the world.
Available in hexagonal or square formats, in about 20 different patterns and 100 tones, and suitable for paving floor and walls as well as decorating furniture, îlot Colombo cement tiles offer endless possibilities ! We also enable you to personalise your tiles with the colour(s) and pattern of your choice. Just send us a drawing or picture of your dream tile and we will strive to reproduce it.