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Monday, January 15th, 2018

The rebirth of Modernism’s more decorative elements: the hydraulic tiles

Hydraulic tiles are a decorative element that brings a vintage touch to homes, and  now are no longer found just on floors

Entrance hall with framed hydraulic mosaic tilesThe history of mosaic tiles encompasses the period from the Ancient Romans to the Modernism, a time when the hydraulic tiles first references appeared (presented in the Universal Expedition in Paris in 1867 as an alternative to the classic marble). The presence of this design element on floors of the bourgeois residences had reached its peak at the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, and up to this day we can still find it in some of the central properties of Valencia , such as in El Ensanche.

Currently, whoever owns these exquisite hydraulic floors will not cover them with wood or marble, instead, they will maintain it and even restore it. The Valencian ceramic tiles are considered a cultural element and are highly appreciated at a local and international level. Geometric patterns or costumbrist images with scenes of nature decorate each tile that covers the entire floor of these unique properties or at least some of their rooms, and can even be arranged as a carpet, framed with a border.

Hydraulic tiles get their name from the manufacturing process: a cement plasterwhich is compressed by a hydraulic press, and subsequently, decorated with pigments. Its manufacturing process is fairly simple, which makes it possible to create new or personalised designsfor affordable prices, even though there are also other options such as vinyl, wood or lamination.  They are very colourful, but if one desires, there are techniques which can be applied to give the tiles an antique look.

Hydraulic mosaic tiles with a floral pattern

In this flat situated in calle Jorge Juan in Valencia, this type of decorative tile has been used. The 183m2 property is very bright and boasts high ceilings and large windows with views overlooking two of the most important streets of Valencia.

The property stands out for its great charm and its exquisite hydraulic flooring of different framed floral designs, which gives an instant idea of the style that dominates the property just from walking into the entrance hall.

Elegant lounge with hydraulic floors

The tiles have been perfectly preserved and form part of the original elements that can be found in the building where this property is located. This, in addition, is one of the most beautifulin the area and offers direct views of the Mercado de Colon; a modernist construction that has become one of the most fashionablegathering places in Valencia due to its variety of bars and restaurants.

But, if you think that this modernist element can only be found in the properties in the centre of the city and its surroundings, this is not the case. Due to its resistance and strength, this material is perfect for both the interior as well as the exterior, and although it is very waterproof and thus, more slippery than concrete, there are anti-slip remedies.

As previously mentioned, these tiles are produced in different shapes and colours, therefore they combine perfectly with the classic style decoration, but also with the modern Scandinavian style. The most innovating is that this decorative element is no longer found juston the floors, but also in the walls and furniture, for example, headboards.

Bedroom with a charming mosaic tiled floor.


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