Cement Tile FAQs
Are cement tiles perfect for everyone ?
No. Some people will prefer machine-made tiles. Cement tiles are hand made, one at a time, and have surface imperfections, color variations, and slight color runs. Colors are dependent on the natural pigments, and as everything in nature, the color deposits change depending on the source. All cement tile installations must be sealed. Cement tiles are not perfect and may have chipped edges, nicks and variations in texture or composition. There are no guarantees made against fine cracks, also known as crazing, that may develop in the tile's surface, it is part of the charm.
What is your minimum order ?
- In-Stock Cement Tile (US, Canada, and Caribbean)
- Standard minimum order is 30 square feet. Mix any solids and patterns, whole boxes only.
- See our In-Stock Selection Here
- Custom Cement Tile (US, Canada, and Caribbean)
- Minimum order is 50 square feet.
- Small-order charge of 20% applies for items below 100 square feet.
- See our South Beach Collection Here.
- Custom Cement Tile (Globally)
- South Beach Collection available to any port with a 35 square meter minimum.
Are cement tiles expensive ?
Our tiles are individual works of art and as such, they are a true bargain. When you see an ad for a home for sale in Florida, if they have cement tile, only "waterfront" will rank above "Cuban tile floors" in a list of features. That says a lot.
Generally custom order tile is more economical than in-stock tile. The in-stock tile has the "7-Eleven factor", a convenience which unfortunately adds extra overhead. Direct production cement tile runs about $11 to $20 per sq ft, depending on volume and options.
Our tile floors or walls are an investment with a very high "WOW!" factor. You will live with something you love and everyone who walks into your space will say "wow" ...we guarantee it !
Do you have financing options ?
Not directly, but we do accept major credit card payments through PayPal. Also, if you have a PayPal account, you can apply for their "PayPal Credit" service (US Customers only).
What size are Villa Lagoon Tiles ?
The traditional size is 8 in. (20 cm) square. Some patterns are 3, 4, 6, 10, or 12 inches. Hex tiles are very popular right now, with the most standard size also measuring 8 inches between opposite flat sides (about 23cm, or just over 9 inches point-to-point). We can get bull nose trim, perimeter sanitary skirting and step treads, also. Our tile is easily cut on a standard wet-saw with a diamond blade. Special shapes are a possibility also, but the expense is usually justifiable only for larger commercial projects (we have profiled a custom-shape project in a blog post).
How thick are your cement tiles ?
Traditional standard 8" tiles are approximately 5/8th inch thick (16mm). 10" and 12" tile may be up to 3/4" thick. We've put a lot of work into advancing the state of the art, and we are now the first cement tile company in the U.S. to offer fiber-reinforced cement tile, at 1/2 inch thick (12mm). We can order thinner tiles for walls and ceilings. Yes, some people have actually used them on the ceiling!
How long will it take for me to get my tiles if I order?
If it is in stock tile, we ship right away. Stock tile usually ships from Alabama depending on the pattern. Custom orders require approximately 8-16 weeks, depending on the collection. Custom tile is made to order for you, and ship direct from the factory.
If you have a firm schedule, please contact us as early as possible with the size and location of your project installation, and some of the options you are interested in. Based on our experience, we can guide you to the best solution, and provide the correct color palette and pattern options for your production needs. We have seen several scenarios where designers and architects will specify our tile, however by the time samples are approved, contractors bid on the job and are hired, and finally the contractor contacts us to order, there is far too little time remaining to produce the tile, and plans must be altered at the last minute.
May I order a sample tile to see how it really looks in person?
Yes. We have many of our tiles on hand and can ship you a sample, see here for ordering samples. We can also have custom samples tile made, if your schedule allows (this can take several weeks).
Why do samples cost more? Are they returnable?
Standard tile pricing is based on sales of hundreds of tiles at a time. Due to individual handling, sealing, and packaging for bumpy parcel service, we actually operate our sample operations at a loss. For these reasons, we try to restrict the number of pieces per sample order, and do not accept returns. Our sample pricing helps to defray these costs, and also serves to reduce inquiries from those who may not be seriously considering cement tile in their project.
How much do they weigh?
About twice what an ordinary porcelain tile weighs. An 8" tile is about 3 lbs, 10" tiles are about 7 lbs.
How are Villa Lagoon Tiles shipped?
The tiles will be boxed and secured to wood pallets and delivered to you by "common carrier" freight trucks. Selecting and scheduling the freight is a standard part of our service, however our clients are free to arrange their own freight, if desired. We get several quotes at the time of shipment and go with the best choice. Residential delivery is always higher than a commercial address. Lift-gate service adds a premium that is not required for loading dock deliveries. Freight delivery is CURB-SIDE. You will have tracking information and the truck company will call to schedule the delivery, so you make arrangements to get your tile from the street to your storage location. The freight drivers do not perform this service.
Cement tile should always be stored in a dry and covered environment. If the tiles come in contact with any liquid when the tiles are still in the box, the surface finish may be damaged. This can be caused by the liquid itself or by the cardboard boxes staining the tiles. A cement-based product may have some efflorescence. Keep your tile completely dry until it is installed
If you have a large project, we can ship directly to a nearby port in a container. Figure about 6500 square feet of tile per 40" container.
Do you ship to my country (beyond the USA) ?
Because we work with tile makers in several countries, we can ship world-wide. It is not always practical to send small orders on long distances though. We do have well organized delivery to all of Europe for orders over 10.25 square meters. If you are outside the US, Canada, and Europe, please call 1-251-968-3375 or email [email protected]. With some information about your project's size, location, and schedule, we can find the best match for your needs.
Can cement tiles be used around pools and on patios ?
Yes , we can recommend proper sealants to allow the use around pools and outdoor areas, both for waterproofing and anti-slip characteristics.
Are Villa Lagoon Tiles frost proof ?
While we do not officially endorse our products as frost proof, we know that many manufacturers claim that they are well suited to it. We have done limited testing on our own: Read about our testing here.
The most critical thing is that you have a quality installation. Any outdoor tile installation can have a very limited life even if the tiles themselves are resilient to the extreme cold. The two primary issues with cement tile are moisture and expansion. Please discuss with your installers their experience, and how they will a) prevent water from seeping between and under the tile, and b) provide for contraction and expansion through temperature changes. This is a good discussion to have for any tile installation. Ceramic tiles, bricks, and other pavers can also pop from their setting if not installed properly.
Can I use your tiles for a kitchen backsplash?
Certainly. Just seal them well. And remember a 30 square foot minimum order on stock tile, 50 square foot minimum on custom tile. 10.25 sqM on European orders minimum. If your backsplash project is not that large, consider adding an accent wall, foyer, or bathroom project.
What rooms are cement tile used in ?
Because of the elegant design options, cement tiles are one of the few tiled surfaces that looks good in formal settings like living rooms and dining rooms. The ease of care makes them a great choice for dining rooms as well. In tropical countries, cement tiles are often used in every room in the house. They are also perfectly suited for foyers in period homes. Cement tile is often continued into closets, for the most seamless appearance. One great cost-saving idea is to use single-color tile as a border in one of the colors used in your field tiles, then continue the solid-color tile into the closet. Another note about the kitchen that many may not consider: in countries experienced with cement tile, a kitchen is often tiled wall-to-wall (even under cabinets and fixed appliances). While you may want to change out-dated cabinets and appliances in 20 years, few people ever want to pull up a well-aged cement tile floor unless they're raizing the whole structure (and then they're often removed very carefully for resale).
Are cement tiles a good choice for radiant heating flooring systems ?
Many people have used cement tiles with radiant heat systems. Just be sure everything is bone dry before you turn on the heat. We have no control over tile and radiant heat system installations, so no warranty is offered. If the heat is turned on when residual moisture is present we have seen floors experience spalling (shards of tile flaking off). Please be sure that everyone on your jobsite is aware of the risks, and do not allow an impatient subcontractor to run a quick test, so they can move on.
Are the colors accurate on my monitor's screen ?
Maybe. Every monitor is different and it is impossible to have everyone seeing the same colors at the same time. We can even see a difference from screen to screen here in the office. Order color chips or a sample tile so you can see the truest representation of the rich colors you can expect from cement tile.
May I order a custom design or custom colors ?
Yes. Use our online tile design tool which has many of our patterns or email us and we can send you a black and white line drawing for you to color. You will need to furnish us with a line drawing for a custom pattern.
How do I install Villa Lagoon Tiles?
Can I install cement tile on a wood floor ?
Assuming that your floor joists are sufficient and not flexing, you can install tile on a wood floor if you first put down a cement or magnesium oxide backer board like you would do in a shower behind the tile. In some situations your best option may be an uncoupling membrane such as produced by Schluter® Systems. Please consult with a installation professional on the best products for your application.
Can I use epoxy grout with cement tile ?
We can only recommend using cement-based grout with cement tiles. While we cannot tell you not to use epoxy grout, we have no experience or testing with these newer products. Also, because cement tiles are a niche product, it is unlikely that epoxy grout manufacturers have tested their products with cement tiles. Problems, particularly with expansion and contraction, occur most where dissimilar materials meet. The final application(s) of sealant also protect the grout, negating the waterproof and anti-stain benefits of epoxy grout.
Can you show me how Villa Lagoon cement tiles are made ?
Yes, we have a short video on How Cement Tiles are Made, with an explanation and additional photographs.
Will you help me design a tile rug design for my floor ?
We can make suggestions only. We recommend you obtain the services of an interior designer who can study your space, and make suggestions that harmonize with your other aesthetic goals.
Can you tell me how many tiles to order from my project ?
No, we leave that up to you or your tile contractor to calculate. We do not do 'take-offs' on architectural plans. One thing that is important to note is that we recommend ordering a minimum of 10%-15% over your installation size ( BobVila.com recommends 15%). You will always loose some portion to cuts along the edge, as well as accidental breakage. Remainders can be placed in an attic or other storage space, so that you have matching tiles for repairs in the future.
Are Villa Lagoon Tiles the same as Cuban Tiles ?
Are Cement Tiles fired in a kiln ?
No. Cement tiles are not ceramic, there is no need for energy-intensive kiln firing. Technically, cement tiles are "concrete", and cure by the same chemical processes.
Why don't more people use this kind of flooring in the USA ?
Encaustic tiles were made in the USA in the early part of the 20th century. You will find them in stately homes and government buildings, especially in California and Florida. When new-fangled linoleum was introduced, people got all excited and wanted to go modern. The cement tile factories in the USA closed. In the Florida area, this kind of tile continued to be imported from Cuba. People still call it " Cuban Tile" in Florida. The trade embargo with Cuba put an end to Cuban imports. Now many artisans are working hard to re-introduce this marvelous "green" flooring to the United States. We are proud to have been in the vanguard of the internet distribution of cement tile.
Can old cement tile floors be polished or restored?
Your best bet is to contact a good marble floor restoration expert.
If I end up needing extra tiles can I get them ?
Order carefully and allow for extras as any additional small order is going to be expensive and may not match well. A minimum of 10% is recommended on residential jobs and 15% on commercial jobs.
Are your tiles like the ones we have seen in Europe and Latin American countries ?
Yes, they are the same, made the same way since their invention in 19th century Europe. Cement tiles are often used in elegant public buildings as well as homes and restaurants. See our photos of antique cement tile floors.
Can I design my own tile pattern ?
Yes. It may even be less expensive than you think, just ask!
Where are you located ?
We are in the Football Capitol of the Universe: Alabama. Gulf Shores is on the coast between Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL.
Can we visit a showroom ?
How do I place my order ?
Simply call us during normal business hours (US Central) or e-mail any time. If you're in a hurry and have already selected the minimum 30 square feet for in-stock orders, you can help by being ready or e-mailing ahead with your desired patterns/amounts, and destination. It can speed the process by providing your shipping address as soon as possible, as well as letting us know whether it will be a commercial delivery (you have a loading dock or forklift present) or residential (delivery truck will need a lift gate). With your order and address, we can obtain freight quotes, and prepare your invoice.
Villa Lagoon Tile is not responsible for any erroneous installation, misuse, or damage caused by the direct or indirect use of the content of this website. Please consult professional installers.
What does "tessellation" mean?
See our special page about Tessellation.