Tiles constitute a category of products handled by numerous dealers that can be broken down into several types, according to period, composition and shape.
In the early 20th century, the production of ceramic tiles was widespread in Belgium and northern France. Since the inter-war period, cement tiles have gradually replaced ceramic tiles.
Some tiles serve as a floor covering and are reused as such. Others were used as wall cladding. Enamelled tiles generally belong to this second category.
Tiles are often very resistant and can stand frequent washing without a problem. Ceramic tiles can be laid outdoors without risk. Cement tiles, however, are more porous and more sensitive to humid conditions.
Terracotta tiles can also be found on the market, which are used as a floor covering. In some regions, they are often produced in a hexagonal shape.
The most common products on the market are:
ceramic tiles, usually square, with patterns or plain
cement tiles, usually square, with patterns or plain
terracotta tiles, square, rectangular or hexagonal, which keep their terra cotta colour.
The main treatment offered by reusable tile suppliers is cleaning of mortar traces. Some batches of tiles are sold fully cleaned, while others retain traces of mortar. Some forms of reuse have a greater tolerance as regards traces of mortar, while others require the tiles to be perfectly clean.
Some prices recorded (displayed prices, private clients):
cleaned: 60 - 100 €/m² incl. VAT
uncleaned: 30 to 60 €/m²
Hautrage sandstone: ~20 €/m²
Did you know?
There are several ways to distinguish between ceramic tiles and cement tiles:
by eye: the pattern on a ceramic tile seems to have been drawn with a pencil, and that on a cement tile with a thicker felt-tip pen. The colours on a cement tile appear rather faded, but once wet the colours become much sharper. This contrast is less pronounced on ceramic tiles.
by ear: two ceramic tiles knocked together ring like glass. That is not the case with cement tiles.
by touch: exposed to the sun, a ceramic tile becomes hotter to the touch than a cement tile.