Design Renaissance: Patterned Cement Tiles Are Reborn

Patterned Cement TilesLike many of the world’s most beautiful treasures, the history of patterned cement tiles, or mosaicos hidralico, as they are known in many colonial districts of Latin America, is up for debate. Some think Mexico was the first Latin American country to make them (and Cuba the second), having arrived in Central America through European trade routes. Meanwhile, Spain and France are duking it out for the title of first nation to make them worldwide. Whatever the case, there are a few things of which we can be certain. First, these elegant and vibrant tiles can be found across the globe, from Nicaragua and Brazil to Turkey and India. Secondly, they’re seeing a resurgence in the United States. The colorful and durable tiles were used in outdoor spaces in historic coastal estates in California and Florida in the US in the ’30s and ’40s, but now we’re seeing them in cities, in restaurants and bars, and applied in fresh ways like climbing up the wall behind a fireplace or mixed and matched on a hallway floor. Find out more…