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Portuguese tiles

Portuguese tiles, or Portuguese cement tiles, are originally an Andalusian art form. These are Portuguese cement tiles on which different patterns can be seen. The production process is as follows: an under layer of cement is applied. A marble powder is mixed on top with a pigment and poured into a mould. Then the Portuguese floor tiles are pressed under high pressure. The under layer of the Portuguese tiles is made of cement, hence the name Portuguese cement tiles. The Portuguese cement floor tiles can be used both indoors and outdoors. The size of the Portuguese tiles can vary. These Portuguese mosaic tiles give an attractive atmosphere to the interior. In old Belgian and French houses these old Portuguese mosaic tiles can still be found. Mosaic tiles like these can also be found in Morocco: Moroccan cement tiles. These have the same production process but are more porous and are of an inferior quality. They must not be confused with Moroccan zelliges. As a rule, these cement tiles are produced in Portugal, Spain, Mexico, France and Italy. In Italy the cement tiles are worked into Italian terrazzo.

Portuguese wall tiles are blue/white and have been imported on a large scale from Delft in the 18th century. These were already painted in the Netherlands with Portuguese scenes. The characteristics of Portuguese cement tiles are the bright colours and scenes (tableau).

The Portuguese and Spanish word for tiles is Azulejos and originates for the Arabic: al zulaydj, which means more or less the same as zellige. The word azul (blue) possibly originates from azulejos. The Moors brought the art of painting polished tiles from Persia.


Inspect the tiles before laying. Remove any white edges with fine abrasive paper or an abrasive sponge with water.

Wooden underfloor

It is advisable to first screw a waterproof underlay panel to the wooden floor, and to glue the tiles with a flexible tile adhesive, and to grout with a flexible grout. On larger surfaces, it is better to use an expansion joint.

Concrete underfloor

The tiles can be fixed with cement mortar or glued.
(for interior use we recommend 711 special adhesive from Eurocol). For large surfaces, use an expansion joint.

Underfloor heating

We recommend use of flexible grouting. Ensure that the space beneath the plinths is left free.


Given the continuous pattern of the tiles, we recommend laying the tiles cold against one another, but also grouting. When gluing, you can best use a 6 mm glue comb. During laying and grouting, immediately remove any adhesive and other residue. Allow the tiles to dry for at least 3 days prior to impregnation!


Joint width approx. 2 to 3 mm. We recommend grout 706 from Eurocol; the silver-grey colour delivers the most attractive finish.
It is very important to grout each m2, and to immediately remove any excess grout with a wet sponge. After grouting, allow the floor to dry for at least 2 days, ensuring good ventilation.
You can then cover the floor (preferably with linen cloths; absolutely no cardboard) if you have to walk through the room.
Once the floor is clean and dry, first remove all dust. You can then impregnate the floor.
• If you wish, you can pretreat the floor once before grouting, but then apply only one layer on a clean floor, and following treatment, allow the floor to dry thoroughly before grouting.
• If you grout the floor as instructed, no cement scum will arise; never use cement scum remover on cement tiles!

Laying in a bed of sand

The tiles can also be laid in a bed of cement or sand. It is extremely important that you do NOT use black sand but clean river sand. This sand is mixed with cement. The tiles should be laid in the bed of sand extremely moist (as with laying natural stone) to ensure good adhesion. The floor must now be allowed to dry and harden for at least 3 weeks (1 week per cm3 cement bed). First leave the tiles to dry for 3 weeks before impregnating. The cement bed must be at least 3 cm thick. Because the tiles have been thoroughly soaked, the tiles must first be allowed to harden. The tiles are fully hardened after at least one month. During this period, you can of course walk on the floor, but no spot load may be applied. You can best cover the floor with linen cloths, to prevent any dirt being absorbed. If other work has to be carried out in the newly-tiled room, we recommend that you place blankets beneath heavy equipment (ladders, grinding machines, etc.).


Lithofin MN Dirt solution: using this product you can remove all dirt before treating or maintaining the floor. Faint cement scum can be removed with Lithofin dirt remover MN. If necessary, all product information can be requested.
Lithofin –Vlekstop (anti-stain): for years the best-quality long-term protection against water and stains. Remains invisible. This impregnation is applied to a dry and clean surface with a cloth or mousse roller, until the tiles are saturated. Then, with a dry, non-fluffing cloth, remove any excess product. The product offers optimum protection after 2 days.
Pre-impregnation: by way of pre-impregnation, apply Lithofin anti-stain to the dry tiles ( NOT to the edges of the tiles).


For daily maintenance, the floor can be vacuumed and mopped clean. Occasionally, thoroughly clean the floor (rough brushing).
Lithofin gloss and clean ensures a deeper floor gloss.
Once the floor has been impregnated, the upper layer is protected against stains. Nonetheless, we recommend not applying any excess loads to the floor for the first 3 months, until the tiles have dried thoroughly. If further work has to be carried out in the newly-tiled room, please do not leave heavy equipment, ladders, etc. on the floor. We are not liable for any damage.

The floor is low-maintenance and typically takes on a deeper satin gloss after each cleaning. For daily maintenance, simply vacuum and mop the floor.
Always use natural soap D or soft soap


A personal advice without any obligations? Contact us at Portupalace.