When it comes to “handmade cement tiles”, one common mistake is to consider “hydraulic cement tile” and “encaustic cement tile” as the same. There may not be a huge difference between the two however, personally I believe, the biggest difference is that hydraulic cement tile is air cured for at least a couple of weeks, whereas encaustic cement tile is been fired.
Hydraulic pressure is used to form the the tile’s cement backing for hydraulic cement tile. The word “encaustic” originated from Greek word “enkaustikos” which means “to heat” or “to burn in” therefore heat used in the process. Since both tiles are not glazed, the looks are very similar.
Historically, hydraulic cement tile dates back to 19th century in Europe. . Throughout the centuries, there are many examples of encaustic cement tiles all around the world, dates back to 5th and 6th centuries.The encaustic cement tile’s first appearance time period is not certainly known but we can easily say that its golden days were in medieval time (12th-13th century) in Europe.