everything you need to know about cement tiles

by clé tile | published: Apr 21, 2021

clé tile solid cement 8x8 squares in metal.

a cement floor tiled with clé tile solid cement squares in metal.

We often say that the experience of cement tile is the closest you can get to painting a room without using paint. if you’re looking for vibrant colors and a smooth and silky texture, plus the opportunity to get creative with custom patterns, cement is the tile for you.

whether you are just beginning your cement tile journey or are about to place an order, we hope to provide you with all the information you’ll need from deciding if cement tile is the best tile for your project, to tips on where to install cement tile, to cement tile cleaning and maintenance. see a complete list of cement tile blog posts below.

deciding if cement tile is the best tile for your project

where to install cement tile

cement tile cleaning and maintenance

installing tile outdoors

top installation tips: grout, sealant, and trim

clé tile cement pattern squares in moroccan 2 petite arabesque and alhambra.

clé tile cement pattern squares in moroccan 2 petite arabesque and alhambra.

ARE CEMENT TILES RIGHT FOR ME?

If cement tiles are new to you, rest assured that in other parts of the world they have graced the halls and walls of fine homes and cool cafes to regal hotels and stately institutions for at least a century. read more in our post on choosing cement tile, including how they are made and what you should expect with a cement tile from color variation to patina.

on the left, a kitchen floor tiled with clé cement pattern squares in compass. on the right, a walk-in shower with clé tile cement solid rectangles in mocha.
(left) a kitchen floor tiled with clé cement pattern squares in compass. (right) a walk-in shower with clé tile cement solid rectangles in mocha.
WHERE TO USE CEMENT TILES?
So you like the look of cement tiles but are not sure where to use them? fortunately, cement tile can be used on almost any interior surface and exterior surfaces in non-freeze/thaw climates. here is a list of a few of the places we love to see cement tile:
  • interior floors
  • exterior floors (non freeze/thaw)
  • interior floors warmed with radiant heat
  • interior walls
  • exterior walls (non freeze/thaw)
  • showers
  • steam showers
  • residential heavy traffic
  • commercial heavy traffic
  • sink backsplashes
  • stove backsplashes
  • fireplace surrounds
check out our blog post on where you can install cement tiles for more details, including questions to go over with your installer and things to remember during the installation process.
on the left, clé tile pattern cement squares in new west pattern one. on the right, clé tile solid cement hexes in black.

(left) clé tile pattern cement squares in new west pattern one. design: natalie myers / photo: charlotte lea. (right) clé tile solid cement hexes in black. design: veronica valencia / photo: megan welker

TOP INSTALLATION TIPS FOR TRIM, GROUT AND SEALANT

Once you have installed your cement tiles you will need to know how to trim, grout, and seal the tile. We follow the international model of no trim but we do give recommendations for alternatives. read our blog post on tile trim for more details on the long tradition of no trim and why we prefer it.
when it comes to grout, we always recommend working closely with your contractor and installer to pick a grout color that works well in all kinds of lighting, at any time of day. your cement tile installation can only be as good as your installer, so make sure to find a professional who has experience installing cement tile.
due to the porous nature of cement, all cement tile installations will need to be sealed after grouting, and once or twice a year depending on the foot traffic in the area.
read our post on cement tile installation for a more in-depth look at each of these important steps.
clé tile 8x8 cement patterned square in los feliz.

clé tile 8×8 cement patterned square in los feliz.

ORDERING AND RECEIVING CEMENT TILES

So you’ve read all about cement tiles and you are ready to order. our blog post on ordering cement tiles tackles a few things we would like you to consider before making a purchase. This includes industry standard notes on ordering overage, how to look at patterned tile as a whole, the importance of an experienced installer, as well as what to expect when your tile order arrives.
cement_faq_blog_4

a patterned floor created with clé tile cement rectangles in black.

TIPS ON CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE

over time, a natural patina will occur on cement floors as they naturally wear. a mild, ph neutral soap (such as meyers) should be sufficient for most cleaning, but make sure to do a spot test before general use.

check out our blog post for more guidelines on cement cleaning and maintenance.

CEMENT RESOURCES

Finally for an overview of installing cement tiles please see our video and share with your installer when the time comes.

For even more product details please review our cement installation guidelines.
Looking for inspiration? Check out our cement pinterest boards

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