Traditional Indian Flooring: Athangudi Tiles

Aug 16, 2022

Walking barefoot into a traditional South Indian home on a hot summer afternoon provides a unique tactile experience. If you're unfamiliar with South India's climate, be warned: the summers are brutal!

As a result, the materials utilized were chosen to keep the house cool. Lime plaster was extensively used to reflect the heat, and the flooring always brought a great sense of comfort. It comforts your soles as the cool floor confides beneath your feet.

Although different parts of India have their own traditional flooring, they are generally influenced by locally available raw materials, craftsmanship, and the extent to which culture represents. Tracing three infamous flooring concepts from South India, flooring reflects the critical aesthetics and the environment of a well-designed home.

The discussion brings us to Athangudi tiles!

This flooring concept is seeing a resurgence in today's architecture. Classic flooring is the new fad. Fresher than orange is the new black. Traditional flooring not only adds to the elegance of the home, but it also lasts longer.

Athangudi Tiles

This native handmade tile originates from Athangudi village, Tamil Nadu. The tradition, known as Chettinad, is exquisite with colorful and symmetrical patterns. These intricate designs display both traditional and contemporary styles.

If you ask, why are these tiles such a rage?

Imagine having a piece of art for flooring. That’s the value and legacy Athangudi brings to your design. These tiles are also adaptable to the climatic conditions. During the summer, they have a cooling impact, while during the winter, they have a warming effect.

Why Do People Prefer Athangudi Tiles?

Eco-friendly and economical.
Composed of locally available sand and oxides.
You can change the pattern to any geometric or floral pattern you want.

How are Athangudi tiles manufactured and laid?

  1. They are handmade, decorative floor tiles made over a glass surface and a metal frame box. A motif or stencil is placed over the glass and is filled with a premixed mix of sand, cement, and colored oxide.
  2. After the blended mix is poured onto the glass plate, sticks are used to make freehand swirls or floral motifs. (The tile is about 3-4 mm in thickness now.)
  3. The stencil is now removed from the metal frame, a dry powder of sand and cement is placed over the mix to hold the colours in place. (The tile is about 6-8 mm in thickness now.)
  4. After that, a coating of cement mortar is applied to the tile and compressed by hand. To obtain a dry, flat surface, the dry powder is distributed once more when it has set.
  5. The tile is dried for a day before the curing process, which takes about 8-12 days. Cured tiles are sun dried on a bed of husk to remove excess moisture.
  6. To achieve a flawless finish, a stone is softly scraped against the edges, and the tiles are then piled for shipment

Features & Maintenance

Because of its excellent durability, affordability, and flexibility to be personalized, Athangudi tiles are regarded unique.

They are neither fried or baked and come in a limited selection of colors such as red, green, and mustard, among others.

They are also easy to maintain because they are not fried or baked. In fact, when the colors are used, they get brighter, and coconut oil may be used to keep them sparkling.

Athangudi tiles provide additional health advantages. They protect our feet from heel fissures and help to reduce joint discomfort. They are ideal for all types of weather and can thus be used both indoors and out.

Available Tile Sizes:

200 x 200mm Athangudi tile

Flooring (0.75 inch thick)

  • 8 x 8 inches
  • 10 x 10 inches

Borders (0.75 inch thick)

  • 10 x 5 inches
  • 8 x 6 inches
  • 8 x 5 inches
  • 8 x 4 inches

Want to incorporate Athangudi Tiles into your design?

As creators, designers, or architects you can explore traditional and organic materials that can reduce the carbon footprint throughout the lifecycle of the building and embodied carbon. If you want to make a conscious material selection that meets extreme requirements, you can now browse for Building Materials on Arkihive to get competitive quotes, and make an informed decision!


Anusha Ashok

I believe only art can change the world! Although, I constantly critique the design approach & in dispute with my belief. But usually found having tea & listening to Coldplay.