Mintons: the art of turning hydraulic mosaic into porcelain tile
Continuing with the presentation of new products, it is the turn of Mintons, a series of porcelain tiles, in 20x20 format, with pre-cuts that imitate hydraulic mosaic tesserae. We combine beauty, design and functionality to create this collection of floor and wall tiles that combine history, tradition and avant-garde.
The hydraulic mosaic is a ceramic flooring that has been manufactured since the end of the 19th century. This decorative tile, made with pigmented cement, was created by the company Garret, Rivet y Cía, that is located in Barcelona, Spain. Its use as an alternative product to natural stone, quickly became popular, but its breakthrough did not occur until the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867. Additionally, it continued to be used until the middle of the 20th century. The beauty of the design and the wide range of combination possibilities offered by these tiles, are the key to their prominence in interior design.
A mix of cultures
The hydraulic mosaic, coming from the Mediterranean Arabic craftsmanship and the Assyrian, Greeek and Roman civilisation, reached its splendour during the Victorian Era thanks to the company Minton Tiles. This leading European ceramics factory located in Staffordshire, created new production techniques. It also drove the manufacture of decorative hydraulic tiles by working closely with the leading architects and designers of the moment.
Minton hydraulic mosaics show a clear union between the English medieval design and arabic colours and patterns. This type of ceramic product turned into the perfect decorative element that symbolized high status and good taste. A clear example of this is that the most important buildings in England and the USA are paved with this hydraulic mosaic.
Design as key element
Regarding the design, hydraulic mosaics present geometric forms and floral or plant motifs. The colored pieces combine with each other to create the patterns. The decorators, generally, simulated a carpet that took up the room. They also used to create differentiated spaces by creating borders which would limit the perimeter. The complexity of this product was the laborious placement of the pieces to achieve the desired result. Thanks to the evolution of these ceramic techniques, today, it is possible for us to recreate the whole essence of Victorian hydraulic mosaics.in our Minton series.
This new collection of porcelain tiles, in size 20x20, recalls the piece by piece work, in which the artisan obtained the chosen colors by mixing marble powder, cement, sand and pigments. Each color was poured into its corresponding mould, called “trepa”, thus achieving the chromatic combination. Therefore, Mintons is characterized by its versatility and variety of designs and colors. Moreover, thanks to the evolution of the manufacturing techniques, these tiles are still a clear example of resistance and endurance, suitable for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Mintons format and colours
Mintons has the advantatge of being a tile with pre-cuts that imitate tessera. Thus, once all the grooves have been grounted, we obtain a perfect hydraulic mosaic effect with the benefit that it is much easier and quicker to lay than traditional mosaics. In addition, this new series allows you to play with the colour of the joint to get different looks. As a result, an off-white tone gives continuity to the tile and a more quiet transition between colours. On the other hand, if we want to highlight the individuality of the pieces, the best option is to choose a tone for the joint that matches the design of the tile and also the rest of the elements of the room.
The range presents 9 tiles with a hydraulic mosaic design, 3 in neutral colors (Canterbury, Buckingham and Old White, which is the plain white colour used to match the coloured designs), 3 in pastel colours (Harriet, Catalina and Victorian) and 3 in Victorian colours (Lancelot, Balmoral and Bellamira). The geometric patterns of these tiles make it possible to create floor and wall coverings, in which the ceramic takes centre stage.
Washbasins to combine
To complete the Mintons series we have designed 3 washbasins in Victorian colours. These pieces are completely handmade. Their irregular oval shape offers an outward appearance similar to that of raw porcelain, which contrasts with the liveliness of the interior color, highlighted by the brush strokes. A great choice for creating stricking bathrooms.
Moreover, to give a comprehensive response to residential and contract projects, the Mintons series is thought to be combined with Flat & Exa, which comes in the same neutral, pastel and victorian ranges. Same essence, endless combinations!