Red oxide, Black oxide and other color oxide flooring, unique to Kerala, is back in favour after falling from grace in the seventies. Many people from the nothern India and aboard exclaim at the richness and velvety gloss of a well-made oxide floor.
The best example of traditional red and black flooring is found in the 400-year-old Padmanabhapuram Palace in Thakkala.
However, with the arrival of the multitude of flooring materials such as Marble, Mosaic, Vitrified and other floor tiles, red/ black oxide fell out of popularity in the Seventies. It became more or less a poor man’s flooring. Now it is getting back its glory.
The technique of using coloured cement for flooring is found in other parts of India too, such as the Chettinad tiles. In Bangalore too, there were many old buildings made with oxide floors. Even carpet like patterns are embossed in the floor using different colours. The coloured flooring in the old houses in Goa also.
The old technique for the coloured floor used egg white, a lot like the fresco method. However, the quality of the oxide flooring, whatever the colour, depends a lot on the craftsmanship. Only an expert craftsman can lay a perfect floor without cracks and that does not develop patches with time. The process is laborious and requires keen attention.
The biggest attraction of the oxide flooring is its economic viability. Now various colours of oxide floors are available.