Modernism and hydraulic tiles

Modernism or Art Noveau was an artistic and architectural movement which arises in Europe at the end of 19th century. But it is in Catalonia, particularly in Barcelona, where it takes on a personality of its own with architects as Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Enric Sagnier, Joan Rubió o Antonio Gaudí. Modernism breaks away from the more functional aesthetic common in that period to makes room for this new artistic movement inspired by nature which is defined by floral motifs, curving lines and asymmetry.

Modernism was conceived as a global artistic movement which not only was to reach buildings, pictures or sculptures, but also it aims to give sensibility and special design to any daily object.
At this juncture, antique tile took on a new dimension. It turned from functional and economic element to work of art which focuses the artistic explosion of this period in its designs.


The beginning of the hydraulic tiles

Hydraulic tile was presented by Garret, Rivet and Co at the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition as a new pavement which did not need to be cooked. From then, antique tile reaches its artistic expression. Antuique tile floor factories arose in Bracelona as Rivet Compañía, Osola Company, Sola y Cía o Fortuny Co. associated with the most representative artist and architects to create their designs. Antique tile variety became extensive and eclectic.




One of the indisputable hallmarks was the Escofet Tejera Company catalogue in 1900 in which collaborated artists of such a standing as de Domènech i Montaner, Antonio Gallissá, Puig i Cadafalch, Tomás Moraga o Alejandro de Riquer. This catalogue not only was a great success between Catalonian bourgeoisie, but also internationally.

The only antique tile designed by Antonio Gaudí was for Escofet Company. It was a hexagonal piece which was originally designed for Batlló House but was finally placed in Milá House and you can see it in Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona nowadays.




The tiles from the XXI century

In the second half of the 20th century, antique tile falls into disuse in favour of new pavements mass produced which are more economic and functional as terrazzo.
From Hidraulik we have undertaken to restore these works of art as a part of our philosophy and pass them into present decoration and interior design. We want to create product and designs that suit present requirements but preserving modernist period spirit.




Our hydraulik tile carpets are made of PVC because of they are hypoallergenic and are treated with bactericidal and antifungal treatments. Unlike traditional tiles, they require no maintenance and are a great thermal insulation. They also are easy to clean, you just need to wipe with a damp cloth or mop without using specific products.




We have two design collection: Classic collection replicates the traditional tiles with the characteristic modernist designs and Modern collection, which we have created new, fresh and original designs that suit actual decoration. Our rugs are customizable and you can choose colour or size and we can replicate the design that you want from a picture. Antique tile rugs bring to life your decoration combining design and functionality in the living room, kitchen or even, outdoor.

Do you have choose your antique tile rug?


  1. Margarita Siches - Logan Nov 30, 2016 - 05:53 PM

    Are these suitable for a kitchen backsplash?
    Where can one purchase them in San Diego (California)?
    I see they all come as a collage of many different designs? Is it possible to purchase them (approx. 30 sq. Ft.) in one design?

    • hidraulik Dec 01, 2016 - 12:46 PM

      Hello Margarita,

      thank you for getting in touch with us.

      All our products are indeed suitable for the kitchen and yes, you can buy just one design. Unfortunately we don’t have any retailers in San Diego yet. We’re working on it so you can have them very soon.

      Have a wonderful day!

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