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Help with cement tile alternatives

Ash Y
February 9, 2019

Hi all,

I LOVE the look of (modern) encaustic cement tiles, but I have no desire to put in the work required to take care of them and make sure they keep looking great. So does anyone know of a company that makes porcelain alternatives?

Specifically, I want the gray hex starburst look. https://www.cementtileshop.com/in-stock-encaustic-cement-tile/StarburstVI.html

I found some porcelain versions at Home Depot, but unfortunately those only come in black and white, and I'm looking for other colors. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Merola-Tile-Aster-Hex-Nero-Encaustic-8-5-8-in-x-9-7-8-in-Porcelain-Floor-and-Wall-Tile-11-19-sq-ft-case-FCDASNX/307322394?MERCH=REC--PIPHorizontal1_rr--307322389--307322394--N

Any ideas? This would be for a small (5x8) bathroom floor.

Comments (9)

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    IMO a good sealer applied before you use the space is all you need to look after cement tile, reapply if you notice it fading and enjoy. All floors require some care and attention

  • printesa

    The cement tiles require a few coats of sealer when they are installed. You do need someone who will follow the instructions carefully when installed. After that, you shouldn't have any problems with it. I love the tile you want (been looking at it for a few years now) and I haven't seen anything out of porcelain that comes close to it.

  • Ash Y

    I don't know...I've read several threads on Houzz from people who say they've regretted installing cement tiles, and it probably cuts down on the number of installers who can do it well. If I can't find the grey version anywhere I might just have to go with white or black, or just do gray hex tiles with no pattern on them.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    Go to a tile retailer near you and take a look at porcelain tiles made to look like cement tiles. They are pretty common these days and far, far less of a hassle to maintain.

  • Ash Y

    Thanks Sabrina, but I'm mostly hoping if anyone knows of a specific retailer. I've already been to every tile store in my area around Washington, D.C. (Floor and Decor, Tile Shop, Ann Sacks, big box stores) and haven't seen what I'm looking for. I'm willing to pay for shipping if there's some place specific that anyone knows of.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    @Ash, find a retailer near you that carries Arizona Tile. Here's a link to just some of the porcelain tiles they make that look like cement tiles: https://www.arizonatile.com/en/products/porcelain-and-ceramic/cementine-black-and-white

  • Ash Y

    Hi all, bumping this because I may have found what I've been looking for. Does anyone have any experience with Clay Imports or clay tiles in general for a bathroom? This makes it sound like it's exactly what I need, but can't find much info on Houzz. https://clayimports.com/product-category/encaustic-pattern/in-stock-clay/

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    Ash,,,the clay imports is basically a ceramic tile that looks like the cement version. Porcelain tiles are in the same group. the benefit over porcelain is that the coloring usually goes all the way through. if you ever chip a tile, it will be less noticeable than the clay (which you will see the clay color ).

    Overstock and Wayfair carry the porcelain lookalikes. many tile stores do too. can't believe you've been to all of these stores and haven't found anything. porcelain/ceramic cement-look tiles are everywhere now.


    I think Tilebar has this one, and many others.

    9x9 porcelain

    That being said, why are you so worried about cement tiles? what will you be doing in this small bathroom that will trash your floor tiles?? The complaints that people have about them staining is improper prep/install methods. Cement tiles MUST be sealed, numerous times, prior to install. the person who installs them must be very careful while grouting. you can't spread the grout all over the face of the tiles like you would w/other tiles. It's not a big deal, it just takes a bit more time. I sealed my cement tile 4 times the week before they were installed. when grouting, because I used black, I did one joint at a time and quickly wiped up any excess. Since then, they still bead when water hits them. If you're afraid of staining, don't drink red wine or get clumsy w/the nail polish while you're in the bathroom!

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