Watch Tile Artisans

Chettinad’s fabulously decorated Chettiar mansions feature colourful, patterned floor tiles from the small town of Athangudi where the 500-year-old craft of making handmade tiles is still going strong.

On a visit to the Athangudi Tile Factory with our expert guides, you can watch artisans creating these tiles in floral or geometric patterns. Blobs of creamy oxide paint are poured into a metal frame which is then covered in sand, backed with cement and left to cure. Using locally available sand, cement, and natural oxide makes the tiles eco-friendly and sustainable. Since the tiles are not fired, no electricity is required in the manufacturing.

The standard colours used are red, mustard, blue, green and grey. The artisans claim that the sheen of these tiles is due to the unique composition of the local sand. The tiles are known to age beautifully and tend to get shinier with use.

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