“Originally decorative tiles, known as encaustic tiles, were prepared from a pigmented clay base then heated or fired in a kiln. Tiles made by this method were very popular and can still be seen widely in Europe, Latin America and the US.
Following the discovery of Portland cement and development of hydraulic presses, cement tile, as we know them today is prepared without the use of clay or heating.
Cement tile appeared in the late 19th century in the south of France. Several sources say the first tiles were made near the country’s first Portland cement plant. Around the turn of the 20th century, the tiles were very popular in the United States and were considered high-end floor covering. It was used in thousands of landmark public buildings and palaces.”
VIETNAM BECOMES HOME TO CEMENT TILE PRODUCTION
As France established itself as the premier manufacturer of cement tiles in the last century, it located much of its tile production in its then colony, Vietnam. Here it moved its best tile press equipment and trained a generation of Vietnamese tile pressers in the fine art of handmade cement tile production. Here it also embellished government buildings, public squares, and commercial centers with magnificent and ornate cement tile.
WONDERS LEFT BEHIND WHEN FRANCE LEAVES VIETNAM
|When the French left Vietnam in 1954, they left behind rich coffee plantations,
|the finest cement tile press machinery|
|excellent recipes for French baguettes,||and most experienced cement tile-makers in the world.|