Best Tile – Adding vivid colour and design to your outdoor (or indoor) space
To create the perfect garden design focal point, consider the colours, patterns, and pizzaz of encaustic cement tiles. Top designers use them when putting together garden designs – on pathways, seating areas, and walls fountains, even inside conservatories.
Best Tile opened with a small shop in Waterford, Ireland in 1999, then quickly grew to become the UK and Irelands largest online Encaustic Cement Tile specialist. In 2019 they opened their colourful and eye-catching tile boutique showroom in Bexhill.
“We sell a wide array of colourful Moroccan, Spanish and French tiles which are popular with interior designers and homeowners,” says Manager, Richard Wells.
Encaustic cement tiles are an age-old creation. Due to their environmentally friendly production process, they have become the tile of choice for the environmentally conscious.
“Our Encaustic tiles, responsibly sourced in Vietnam, are created using a traditional process, learned from a master craftsman over a number of years,” says Richard. “These handmade cement tiles can be customised for small batch orders, allowing a variety of colours and designs that are not available in modern tile production.”
The process begins with a handcrafted metal mold, constructed with sections to hold the various colours in the design of the tile. The first layer that’s poured into the mold contains a mixture of white cement, marble dust, sand and mineral pigments like iron, cobalt and chromium oxides. These naturally occurring oxides provide the vibrant colours that are so desirable in cement tiles.
The coloured pigment is hand-poured into the mould, with some sections only millimetres wide.
This process calls for a steady hand and an abundance of patience. Another layer of cement and sand is added until the mould is full. The mould is then placed under a hydraulic press, pushing any excess water out of the tile, ensuring the maker is left with a solid, vivid coloured tile.
The tile is then left to cure naturally in the air for a few days, differentiating it from the more traditionally ‘fired’ tile. The absence of this firing process is what gives the encaustic cement tile its environmentally friendly edge.
Whether you’re looking to improve the appearance of your home or garden, encaustic cement tiles add sophistication, create an impact, make a bold statement and ooze appeal – and are definitely not for the faint-hearted.