Moroccan Cement Tiles are sometimes known as Hydraulic Tiles and more commonly as Encaustic Tiles. These colorful tiles are often used to embellish a floor, adding color and vibrancy to a dull surface. You can travel the world, but if you’ve been to Marrakesh you will have noticed the striking Moroccan cement tiles – you can’t miss them! Wander through the vibrant medina or take a moment to unwind at a riad. Take in the colorful scenes, bright colors and interesting designs.
The cement tiles really stand out, with their striking designs and audacious patterns. Although the style could be described as “current,” the production techniques are certainly not from the modern day. Tiles are made using methods that have remained unchanged for generations. Many Moroccan tiles are still made by small workshops, or those that are very much a family affair. You can find such places in many locations across Morocco – keep your eyes open for displays of colorful and intricate tiles (and sometimes piles of sand nearby are a bit of a give away)!
The production of Moroccan cement tiles comprises artistry and a science – production is a fine art and only the most skilled craftsman can boast that they are true masters.
Moroccan cement tiles date back to the 1850’s and first made an appearance in Catalonia. The popularity of the tiles grew and they were particularly liked in Europe and America. They share their name with the encaustic clay tiles and the term encaustic relates to a procedure which involves enameling. You won’t find a glaze on the Moroccan cement tile, but they are tough and durable. This is due to a cement layer and the use of sand cement in their production. Known for their color, the Moroccan cement tile is a perfect example of an age-old tradition, produced by skilled craftsman who have learnt this ancient art from their family members and have taken the time to develop their abilities.