Cement Tile Backsplash Beautiful Patterns & Vibrant Colors

A cement tile backsplash can add a beautiful and unique focal point to any kitchen. Cement tiles, also known as encaustic cement tiles, are made by pressing layers of colored cement into molds, which creates intricate patterns and textures. Unlike ceramic tiles, the designs go all the way through the tile, rather than just on the surface. Cement tiles come in a vast array of colors and patterns, from traditional moroccan-inspired tiles to modern geometric designs. Installing a cement tile backsplash is an easy way to transform the look and feel of a kitchen.

What are Cement Tiles?

Cement tiles, also called encaustic cement tiles, are tiles that are made by pressing layers of pigmented cement into molds. The pigment goes all the way through the tile, rather than just on the surface. This manufacturing process allows for deep, rich colors and intricate patterns.

Cement tiles have been around for over 150 years and originate from Europe. They were first made in England in the 1850s. Later in the 19th century, the manufacturing process spread to France and Spain. Cement tiles are sometimes called “hydraulic tiles” in reference to hydraulically pressed cement.

Today, while cement tiles are still handmade and pressed, the process has been modernized. Cement tiles are known for their longevity, hardiness, and unique visual appeal.

How Cement Tiles are Made

Cement tiles are made by layering pigmented cement into molds and hydraulically pressing the cement at high pressures. Here is a brief overview of the cement tile making process:

  • Pigments are mixed with cement to achieve the desired colors.
  • The pigmented cement is poured into metal molds and hand-stamped one layer at a time.
  • The layers build up the design, with the bottom layer as the background, middle layer adding detail, and top layer creating the focal point.
  • The cement tile is removed from the mold and allowed to cure.
  • Once fully cured, the cement tiles are treated to achieve a smooth finish and sealed to protect from moisture.
  • Finally, cement tiles are checked for quality assurance.

This intricate process allows for stunning designs and visual depth in cement tiles. No two tiles are exactly alike due to the handmade artisanal process.

Benefits of Choosing Cement Tile

Cement tile offers many benefits for residential and commercial projects:


Cement tiles are very durable and long-lasting. The tiles harden with age. The compressed cement makes them resistant to cracking and chipping. With proper sealing, cement tiles can withstand decades of wear, even in busy kitchens.

Visual Depth

The layered manufacturing process gives cement tiles deep, saturated colors and striking visual textures. The tiles develop a patina over time that adds to their charm.

Custom Designs

Cement tiles come in endless combinations of colors and patterns. Many manufacturers offer bespoke custom tile design services as well. This allows for true one-of-a-kind tile installations.

Water Resistance

Properly sealed cement tile is highly water resistant. The tiles will not warp or deteriorate when exposed to water. This makes them great for backsplashes.

Easy Maintenance

Cement tiles require minimal maintenance. Simply sweep or wipe with a damp cloth as needed. Occasional resealing is recommended. Avoid abrasive cleaners.

With the right sealant, cement tiles are stain resistant as well. Their durability also makes them very pet and kid friendly.

Cement Tile Patterns and Designs

One of the biggest benefits of cement tile is the variety of gorgeous patterns and colors available. From bold and graphic to subtle and neutral, there is a cement tile design for every style.


Classic Moroccan patterns like encaustic hexagons and geometric stars are some of the most popular. The intricate patterns and vibrant colors create a dramatic focal point.

Moroccan cement tile backsplash


Patterned cement tiles let you incorporate bold prints and textures. Chevrons, fish scale motifs, and intricate floral designs catch the eye. Combine colors and patterns for personalized designs.

Patterned cement tile backsplash


For a modern, sleek look, geometric shapes and lines create impact. Herringbone and tessellated patterns in bold colors make a statement.

Geometric patterned cement tile


Metallic cement tiles add a glamorous touch. Iridescent glass tiles in gold, silver, copper and other shimmering finishes brighten up a space.

Metallic patterned cement tile


The rectangular shape of subway tiles make them versatile and easy to install. Use a single bold color or opt for an eye-catching pattern.

Subway cement tile

Neutral Tones

For a muted look, neutral cement tiles in earth tones and natural hues create a subtle statement. Soft textures add depth and interest.

Neutral toned cement tile

With limitless colors and designs, it’s easy to find cement tiles that match your unique kitchen style.

Installation Tips for Cement Tile Backsplash

Installing a cement tile backsplash is a great DIY project. Follow these tips for a successful installation:

Select the Right Grout

It’s crucial to use unsanded grout for cement tiles instead of sanded grout. The fine particles in sanded grout can get caught in the intricate tile designs and scratch them. Unsanded grout provides a smooth finish.

Use Proper Sealing

Sealing the cement tiles and grout before installation is highly recommended. This prevents staining and damage from moisture. Reapply sealant periodically.

Check Tile Spacing

Cement tiles have slightly uneven edges. Check each tile and adjust spacing as needed for the most seamless layout. Use tile spacers for consistency.

Use Paper Facing Out

Position tiles faced down during installation. The backing paper helps protect the surface of the tile while adjusting spacing.

Clean Grout Haze

Grout haze is common with cement tile. Use a grout haze remover to safely clean tiles and prevent staining.

With the right prep and care, installing cement tile backsplash is very achievable. The project can completely transform the look and feel of a kitchen or bathroom.

Cement Tile Backsplash Design Ideas

Cement tile backsplashes make a gorgeous focal point in any kitchen. They come in diverse colors and patterns to suit any design aesthetic. Here are some beautiful ways to incorporate cement tile backsplashes:


A Moroccan-style backsplash uses vibrant encaustic tiles in geometric patterns. The mix of colors and shapes creates visual impact.

Moroccan cement tile backsplash kitchen

Modern Graphic

For a sleek modern kitchen, graphic cement tiles make a statement. Keep the color scheme minimal for a cohesive look.

Graphic pattern cement tile backsplash

Farmhouse Style

Incorporate vintage-inspired cement tiles in soft hues for a farmhouse or cottage kitchen. Mix with wood elements for contrast.

Farmhouse style cement tile backsplash

Bold Statement Backsplash

Make the backsplash the star of your kitchen with graphic cement tiles in contrasting jewel tones. Opt for saturated colors.

Bold colored patterned cement tile backsplash

Blue & White Coastal Kitchen

For a beachy feel, blue and white cement tile backsplash pops against warmer wood cabinetry. Keep lines clean and crisp.

Blue and white coastal cement tile backsplash

Neutral Earth Tones

Creamy neutrals and earth tones in cement tiles create a soothing, organic look. Opt for natural shapes like hexagons or subtle patterns.

Neutral earth toned cement tile backsplash

The design options are endless with stunning cement tile backsplashes. They allow you to add unique artistic flair and make your kitchen truly one-of-a-kind.

FAQs About Cement Tile Backsplashes

Are cement tiles suitable for kitchen backsplashes?

Yes, cement tiles are highly durable and water-resistant, making them an ideal choice for kitchen backsplashes when properly sealed and maintained. The tiles add beautiful visual interest while also protecting the wall from splashes and stains.

How durable are cement tiles?

Cement tiles are very durable and long lasting. The tiles harden over time and are resistant to cracking and chipping. With proper installation and sealing, cement tiles can last for several decades, even in busy kitchens.

Do cement tiles need to be sealed?

Sealing cement tiles is highly recommended, especially for kitchen backsplashes. Sealing prevents staining and damage from food and liquids. Most manufacturers recommend applying sealant before installing the tiles, then reapplying yearly or bi-yearly.

Are cement tiles hard to install?

Cement tiles themselves are easy for DIYers to install. However, there are some important installation tips to follow. Using the right grout and tile spacers, sealing the tiles properly, and cleaning grout haze immediately help ensure a successful project.

Can you use subway cement tiles?

Yes, rectangular subway tiles make a versatile cement tile backsplash option. They can be designed with a single bold color or intricate patterns. Mix and match subway tiles for a one-of-a-kind look. The simple shape makes them easy to install.

Do cement tiles work with all kitchen designs?

With the huge variety of colors, patterns, and shapes available, cement tiles can work beautifully in any kitchen aesthetic. From modern minimalism to farmhouse rustic, and everything between, there is a cement tile design to fit your unique style.

Cement tile backsplashes make a gorgeous focal point and are highly functional. With proper care, they will add artisanal charm to your kitchen for years to come.


A cement tile backsplash can elevate any kitchen with its gorgeous color, pattern, and texture. Cement tiles come in diverse designs, from Moroccan mosaics to bold graphics. Their layered manufacturing process gives cement tiles striking visual depth and durability.

When properly sealed and maintained, cement tiles are highly water-resistant, making them an excellent backsplash choice. Their versatility allows for endless design possibilities, whether aiming for a vintage or modern look. Installing cement tile backsplash is an achievable DIY project.

With the right creative vision, a cement tile backsplash can be a true work of art. Cement tiles allow you to add a personal artistic touch and focal point to your kitchen. Let your design vision shine through with the limitless possibilities of cement tile backsplashes.






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