Arts & Culture

Love Those Patterned Cement Tiles? Here's How Machuca Tiles are Made

Machuca tiles have been in the country for over a century with roots that go as far back as 1903

Photography: Shutterstock (Main Photo)

If you’ve ever been to popular Metro Manila restaurants like Mary Grace, Wildflour, or Nikkei, you’ve no doubt encountered Machuca Tile—you probably just haven't realized it yet. You can also find them in churches, private residences, and even historical sites like former President Jose P. Laurel's ancestral home in Paco, Manila.

READ: Expert Advice: What You Need to Know About Cement Tiles

Now, there's a common misconception that all patterned tiles can be considered Machuca-made tiles, but the authentic kind are actually created by just the one manufacturer and they're the oldest handmade tile company in the Philippines.

Machuca tiles have been in the country for over a century with roots that go as far back as 1903 when, according to the company's Vice President Jaime Machuca, his great grandfather Jose Machuca Y Romeo first brought the Spanish- and Mediterannean-inspired tile designs—as well as the technology of making handmade tiles—to the Philippines. The family name Machuca actually comes from the Spanish word "machar," which means to grind or hammer.


READ: 7 Ways to Use Cement Tiles Around the Home

How Machuca Tiles Are Made

Machuca tiles are made through a careful and laborious process that can take days to finish. The procedure has remained largely the same (with just a few manufacturing improvements) since the 1900s. Using pattern tile molds along with a mixture of color pigment, cement, and dry sand, the tiles are handmade one piece at a time by expert craftsmen. As Machuca points out, each order supports local artistans and helps preserve both the art form and the rich history behind the tiles.

While just describing the process already makes it sound like a complex and artful undertaking, nothing can compare to seeing it done up close. To give you a a better idea of how each tile is made and help you learn more about the history of the art form, we visited the company's factory, got an up-close-and-personal look at the process, and spoke to Machuca himself. You can check all that out in the video below:

watch now

For more videos like this, subscribe to's YouTube Channel.


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

More on


Latest Stories

Did You Know That Yassi Pressman Has A Lakehouse Airbnb in Canada?

Get a tour of Redkey Lakehouse in Ontario.

Ward Off Mosquitoes: Products to Buy During the Rainy Season

Because we want our homes to be safe havens.

Minimalist Furniture 101: How to Pick the Right Pieces for Your Home

Create a space that exudes simplicity and sophistication by choosing the right minimalist furniture for your home.

We Tested Different Mattresses, Here Are Our Top 5 Picks

Our writer tested (and lay down on) the beds in these mattress showrooms to see what feels good and which ones would fit within your budget

20 Common Construction Terms, Decoded

Don't get lost in translation with your foreman and avoid mistakes with this handy, on-site guide by a project manager

Here Are 7 Hotel-Like Bedsheets You Can Buy Online

Invest in your sleep and add these to your cart.

This Airbnb in Zambales Seamlessly Blends Modern Design & Probinsya Feels

This property can comfortably fit up to 40 people!

Check Out Jennylyn Mercado & Dennis Trillo’s Charming Mountain Hideaway

It has a greenhouse, several viewing decks, and much more.

MUJI’s New Airbnb is the Perfect Place to Experience A Slower, More Sustainable Lifestyle

Its design marries the traditional Japanese aesthetic with MUJI's trademark minimalism.

8 Practical Ways to Give Your Bathroom a Relaxing Vibe

Learn how to transform your bathroom into a peaceful retreat with these practical tips and tricks. Create a spa-like atmosphere and enhance your relaxation experience.

Everything You Need to Know About Minimalist Asian Aesthetic

It's worth the budol, if you think about it.

10 Pieces to Help You Work From Home in Comfort and Style

Fill your home with furniture and décor that marry coziness and functionality.
Load More Stories