Business makes Cuban tiles by hand

Made in South Florida: Cuban Tropical Tile

MIAMI - Old world Cuban tile is regaining its popularity, and one business in South Florida is making them the traditional way -- by hand.

"This is art. That's the most important and I like it," said Manuel Moreno, President and CEO of Cuban Tropical Tile

Each tile begins when colored cement is poured into molds. A sandy mixture is then added before each tile is carefully pressed, unmolded, and dried on a rack. No tile is exactly the same.  

Moreno also recreates original 1920's designs to match old tiles.

"I try to catch or continue with the work, just exactly what the tile was made of," said Moreno.

Developer Venny Torre uses the tiles in new construction projects, hoping to preserve South Florida's heritage.

"They were so easy to make at the time when industrialization just started. That was one of the products you can get and actually create products you liked," said Torre. "I think it is the utmost importance that we keep it here. It belongs here. It ties us to the past."

"Very Miami, that's right, said Moreno.

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