"Manufacturing cement tiles is an art form passed down from generation to generation. Each peace that comes out of the workshop bears not only the Azule logo on the back, but also the pride of each individual craftsman. For them, the tile represent the fruit of their labour and the heritage of a tradition" uit het boek: Cementtile: Evolution of an Art Form.
A good Cement Tile is compact, waterproof and very durable. During the production process, only the best natural materials such as real marble and pebble powder & organic pigments are used. These materials are then machine pressed under high pressure. The different patterns in this pattern tile are formed by manually inserting the different colours one by one into a handmade copper mould. The tiles are made individually and entirely by hand. It is a very careful and traditional process that can only be carried out by very well-trained craftsmen. The final quality of the tile is determined by its maker. Cement tiles are made up of two different layers which can easily be seen when viewing the tile from the side.
For each new pattern, a new copper mould is made by hand. This pattern tile fits exactly into a frame, which in turn is placed in a hydraulic press. The frame determines not only the format, but also the quality of the top layer of the cement tile. The pigment is poured into the mould colour by colour, exactly according to the desired pattern. The pigment consists mainly of marble powder, fine white cement, organic pigments and other minerals.
After the mould has been removed in a special way, the colour layer (first sight layer) is sprinkled with a mixture of very fine sand and cement. This ensures that the abundant moisture is well absorbed.
The third step in the process is to fill the frame with a thicker mix of sand and cement that is carefully smoothed. Then the frame is completely sealed and the tile is pressed together in the hydraulic press.
After the pressing process, the frame and the sealer are removed and the tile is carefully inspected for the desired quality and pattern. Next, the tiles are placed in a water bath for 24 hours to harden. Finally, the tiles are stored in drying racks for another 7 days for the final hardening.
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