The Machuca tile-making process is the heart and soul of our passion of over one hundred and twenty years. A process that has been perfected in every facet, poured into every handmade Machuca tile created.
Our process is akin to a purist art form, utilizing techniques that are eco-friendly and sustainable to the environment but deliver the timeless quality that we have come to be known for.
Machuca tiles are artisanally hand-crafted by our expert Filipino tile makers, trained with century-old techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. Our skilled tile makers meticulously mold, pour, and press our tiles into perfection, turning every handmade Machuca tile into a masterpiece, all since 1903.
Step 1: Creating the handmade steel tile mold
The patterns on our handmade cement tiles come from the handmade steel tile molds that we create. These steel tile molds are intricately pieced together using generation-old techniques and modern 21st century materials. Each steel tile mold takes days to produce but lasts for decades at a time.
Step 2: Color pigment preparation
The vibrant colors that make up our cement tiles are from high quality iron oxide pigments.
These durable & strikingly vibrant pigments are accurately weighed, ground, and sieved before being sent to our tile making stations.
Step 3: Tile making
At the tile making area, water is added to the prepared pigments. The handmade steel patterned mold is then carefully placed inside the steel frame casing. The colorful liquid cement mixture is then hand-poured into the enclosed shapes of the steel mold that make up our famous patterned tile.
Step 4: Adding the 2nd and 3rd layers of the cement tile
Once all enclosed shapes of the steel tile mold have been poured into, the steel tile mold is removed from the steel frame casing, and the 2nd & 3rd tile layers are added. The second layer is made up of dry fine sand, while the third layer, the base, is made up of high-quality Portland cement.
Step 5: Using the tile press
After the cement base layer is added and the steel frame casing is sealed, the entire steel frame is pushed underneath our mechanical human-powered tile press. Fondly referred to as the barra, the tile press machine is operated using centripetal force, compressing all of the raw materials encased inside the steel casing into one solid piece.
Step 6: Removal of steel frame and tile curing
Once the barra has been used and the tile has been compressed, the steel frame casing is removed, and the tile is left to cure for approximately 7 days. The cement tile does not undergo firing or baking. Once cured, the tile is sent to the quality control team.
Step 7: Quality inspection and packaging
After curing for several days, the tiles are all washed and cleaned before being inspected for quality. Any cracks, chipping, discoloration, or erroneous production defects that do not pass quality standards are separated and sent to our rejects stockpile. The tiles that pass the quality standard are then either pre-waxed or pre-sealed, before being packaged and released.
A Green Product
All of our handmade cement tiles are manufactured with 100% natural materials, do not contain any lead, are non-flammable, are neither baked nor fired, and are 100% recyclable.