There have been several books written about cement tile, or encaustic tile, and various tile patterns used in each. We highlight a few for you to seek out, if you'd like to do additional research on cement tiles.
By Mario Arturo Hernández Navarro and Hernán S. Bustelo Morán, published by The Pepin Press. The newest in this series of books about Mosaico Hidráulico tiles around the world is available. The images it contains do not seem to me to be significantly different from the previous books; the author states that many of the Puerto Rican tile companies focused on continuing motifs already popular in Spain and elsewhere. The text (translated in six languages) is really interesting. Before I read this, I had always thought that the basic process of this kind of tile was begun in France, but these authors may have discovered some new information. They say the technique is based on the banchetto method which originated in Italy in the 12th century making tiles to simulate marble. Buy this book to read more of the details of the history of hydraulic cement tile. More than 150 vivid tile images on the included CD and the books contains photos of cement tile floors in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico these tiles go by several names including criolla, losa nativa, losa isleño.
By Mario Arturo Hernández Navarro, published by The Pepin Press. Mario Arturo is a Puerto Rican graphic designer trained at the University of Georgia (USA), a researcher of the hydraulic tiles, and a world traveler. This is a fabulous little book, full of graphic representations of mosaico hidrálico tiles and floor layouts. If you walk into a bar or restaurant in Barcelona and chances are that you will enounter a beautiful tile pattern on the floor. In the late 19th century, mass reproduction of intricately designed floor tiles became possible, and they became a common feature in the interiors of buildings in cities all around the Mediterranean. In Barcelona, the design of such tiles reached its peak in the age of "Modernismo", the Spanish expression of Art Nouveau in the early 20th century. Barcelona Tile Designs features a colorful collection of carefully restored and digitized designs. Both single tiles and whole layouts with borders are shown, and the tiles on the CD make it possible to create designs in any shape and size. A great resource for design professionals and hobbyists alike.
By Mario Arturo Hernández Navarro, published by The Pepin Press. Bold, colourful tiles from the early 20th century still decorate homes and public buildings throughout Cuba. Havana Tile Designs contains many stunning examples of these tiles, carefully digitized and included on the enclosed CD-ROM for use as a graphic resource or for inspiration. Cuba's history with cement tile is so strong that in much of South Florida, they're known only as "Cuban Tiles", and can be as big a draw in real estate marketing as "waterfront".
We received this kind note from the author of many of these great books, Mario Arturo Hernández Navarro, May 2008:
I just want to thank you for your web page. I am the author of Barcelona Tile Designs and Havana Tile Designs and it was a big thrill to do a Google search on tiles and find your page, and with my books in it. Your page is an excellent source for further research.
Thanks a lot again!
Note: At the time, he was referring to our "History of Encaustic Tiles" page. Now that we have so many great books to recommend, we thought they deserved their own space.
By Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, published by The Pepin Press. Unlike the previously listed titles, this book doesn't focus so strictly on Cement Tile. Much of the book focuses on ceramic tiles, but there are cement tile patterns, and many patterns that would translate well to cement tile. Perhaps most interesting is the heavy use by the Portuguese of exterior wall tiles.
By The Pepin Press. Leave it to the Italians to have the snappiest and most colorful tiles around. Book and CD of tile designs.
This beautiful book by Jorge Aguayo, et. al.spans the history of cement tiles, beginning with their origins in 19th century Europe, through their revival and contemporary use.
In his excellent book, Cuban Elegance, Michael Connors provides wonderful photography of Cuba's historic interiors. Cement tile, also called "Cuban Tile" is featured prominently in this book. These antique installations show how Cuban cement tiles have aged so gracefully and still retain their beauty through many years of wear and extreme weather. See more about Cuban Tile.
In Inside Havana, Andrew Moore takes you on a journey of Havana interiors. No such tour can miss some beautiful Cuban Tile installations. See more about Cuban Tile.