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cement tile - 100 years later and still looking good!

a little cement tile history uncovered in san francisco. 

cement tiles are making a huge resurgence. they have been used all over the world for hundreds of years and prized for their ability to take on their natural environment; however, in the united states there is a lack of familiarity with this “new” old surface. we have found that there is a misunderstanding out there that the development of patina in cement tile is a quality issue. this couldn’t be farther from the truth! and you don’t need to take it from us… check out this cement tile that was found peeking through a patch of lawn in a spot that was once home to a much-celebrated san francisco conservatory. this bit of blue and white encaustic tile would have been installed nearly 130 years ago! patina’d yes… ruined… absolutely not! it’s more beautiful than ever!!

patina is an inherent part of the heirloom experience of your cement tile! 

it's also the reason that cement tiles are specified for so many projects requiring a surface that will age beautifully with the structure it protects. patina, a mysterious and enigmatic surface, is what separates new materials from antiquated ones – creating objects and surfaces that are prized as heirloom quality.

below images| Beck Diefenbach via SF Gate 

130 year old cement tile unearthed in san francisco!


the tile was uncovered several years ago during an open class-room research project where a work study group unearthed the amazingly intact tiles.  


the tiles had apparently been a part of the flooring of the once grand sutro conservatory which was demolished in late'30's where the land was then converted into the golden gate national recreational area. 


buried, walked on, and patina'd- cement tile at it's best! 


and hey... those tiles look like our modern roman holiday pattern!




learn more about cement tile patina here.

read more about the research project here.


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