Cement tiles from VIA: Introduction

Cement tiles - or cement mosaic tiles - to decorate walls and floors …


… were very popular in 19th century Europe and in the Mediterranean countries. German master builders too used such tiles for vestibules and living areas during the Wilhelminian and Art Nouveau period. Many such original floors have remained unchanged until today.

VIA has taken up and continues the ancient tradition of manufacturing cement mosaic tiles with a great awareness of and understanding for the materials and patterns involved. The cement tiles are made based on the original material composition of the 19th century. We use genuine, natural materials – without artificial additives.

Properties of cement tiles

Due to the semi-manual production, each tile is unique.

Because of this individual approach to manufacturing each individual cement tile differs slightly in thickness and coloration. The varying thickness is evened out during installation. The slightly different hues of the individual tiles produce a delightful shimmer - one of the main characteristics of cement tiles - because: no tile is like the other.

Cement tiles are not fired in a kiln but dried. They are porous and therefore sensitive to dirt and moisture until they have been impregnated. It is therefore imperative that the tiles are stored in a clean, dry place before installation.

VIA cement tiles are made from natural materials and are therefore - just like any other natural stone (e.g. marble) - sensitive to acid. Hence, they should not be treated with aggressive, acidic detergents. Acidic food (e.g. wine) should be wiped off immediately.
Cement tiles made of natural materials
Cement tiles made of natural materials

Laying VIA cement tiles

The installation of VIA cement tiles is not difficult but care should be taken to ensure that you can enjoy your tiles for many years to come.
You should be aware of a few things:
Cement tiles are laid with a very small grout joint width (max. 2mm) to show off the pattern.

The cement tiles are laid by hand using the buttering/floating method in a medium bed with VIA Tile Adhesive. Slight differences in tile thickness must be evened out at this stage. In addition, they are laid with a very small grout joint width. As a result it takes approx. one hour to install one square metre.

As joint sealer we recommend the traditional mix of trass cement and quartz sand. These are common building materials. Ready-made sealants should not be used, as they contain synthetic particles, which may enter the porous tiles leaving behind a grey film.

Impregnating VIA cement tiles

The impregnating of the tiles takes place after grouting and is done once only. You can either use VIA Tile Oil or VIA Mineral Impregnating Sealer for this purpose.

Impregnation with the self-hardening VIA Tile Oil should be carried out when the floor has fully dried after grouting, normally after approx. one week. It is therefore recommended not to clean the floor with water before impregnation as otherwise the oil cannot penetrate the pores in the tiles.

The water glass-based VIA Mineral Impregnating Sealer silicifies the surface of the tiles. Two coats can be applied cross-wise approx. one day after the grouting, which is an advantage when dealing with time-critical projects. 

Please read the relevant data sheet for detailed information on how to impregnate with VIA Tile Oil or VIA Mineral Impregnating Sealer.

It is essential and indispensable to impregnate cement tiles.
The tiles are only protected once they have been impregnated.

Caring for cement tiles

Traditionally, cement tiles have been  cleaned with soft soap. Due to its lipid-replenishing properties, VIA Soft Soap is the ideal floor-care product and its use produces a beautiful patina over time. Larger stains  can, for example, be removed with a "Glitzi" sponge and ATA (detergent) or with a so-called "Putzstein" scrubber. 

Polishing your tiles

The cement tiles are given additional lustre when treated with diamond polishing pads. During this process, water and polishing pads with different grains are used one after the other. Please note: cement tiles should not be sanded down.

Have a look at our installation video and the installation instructions on our VIA website!

Here you will find further pictures - let yourself be inspired!

You will find further pictures in the 'picture collection of tiles'.

You will find all patterns and prices in our cement tile shop.