The manufacture of these colorful pigmented cement tiles is an art that has been faithfully reproduced for more than two centuries by some artisans.
Each piece that comes out is the fruit of the craftsman’s work and the heritage of a tradition. They are unique pieces made by hand one by one.
For each slab design, a unique metallic mold or “climb” is made.
It is a mold that has integrated bronze, brass, or iron separators that are filled with pigment for each color. The climbs are made by hand by blacksmiths, they shape the iron, coupling pieces together to form the holes where the liquid pigment is introduced. The holes are watertight so that the colors do not mix. According to the drawing, they can be very laborious.
Pigments are also mixed by hand, this requires experience in achieving the desired colors and shades. The more colors are used, the more expensive the job, the more expensive the product will be. The result of each piece will depend on the skill of the craftsman since it requires a lot of experience throughout the process.
The decorated part has a thickness of about 4-5 mm.
The second layer consists of a mixture of sand, cement, and marble which, applied to the previous layer dry, absorbs its moisture.
Then the next layer that makes up the bottom of the tile is applied, forming a solid and adherent base for placement on the job.
The slab has a thickness of 20-25 mm. Finally, the slab is placed under a hydraulic press.
Once pressed, the piece is carefully removed.
Then go placing on a shelf. Then, they are introduced into some bathtubs of water and thus moisten them, in this way a perfect setting.
Finally, they go to a warehouse where it will remain 28 days until it sets.
The hydraulic tiles are not made of clay or fired, it is compressed cement in hydraulic presses, therefore its great resistance to exteriors.
Tile maintenance is also natural. Cleaning with neutral soap and water highlights the beauty of the slab and it improves with use and over time.
In Casa Almara hotel, the hydraulic floor is the original one with more than one hundred years old, however, quite a few pieces were broken during the restoration of the house, since we had to lift all the pieces, reform the floor and replace them. To reproduce the exact pieces, we turned to “Mosaicos Artesanos”, a family business located in Cabra, a town near Espejo, where they are manufactured entirely by hand.
They made the metal mold corresponding to the floor of Casa Almara, to reproduce each piece while maintaining the same design and color as the originals. Each piece is made with ecological, sustainable products respecting the environment as much as possible.
The tiles made by this company are identical replicas to those of yesteryear both in design and shape, although today they have been perfectly adapted to the demands of important clients, such as architects and decorators from all over the world.
The manufacture of these colorful hydraulic tiles is an art passed down from generation to generation, from parents to children, being the fourth generation. We, as a small local customer, love to chat with its owner, as we passionately share the authenticity of local crafts.
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