By Lotte Brouwer published
Encaustic tiles might have been around since the nineteenth century, but they're coming back in a big way and are currently taking the hottest homes by storm.
From palaces to palazzos, and from restaurants to chic, residential homes, these tiles are having their moment – and for good reason.
As the patterns of original encaustic tiles are inlaid in the tiles themselves – rather than painted on – the design stays intact even when the tiles get worn down, making them particularly great for high-traffic areas. In fact, we think they look even better when they've had a good scuffing!
Made with inlaid pieces of coloured clay, the patterns start from just two shapes for a simple, geometric pattern, and can be as intricate as six or more different pieces all moulded together for a more decorative look.
These colourful, repetitive patternsare great for lifting the atmosphere of a room, adding colour and design, adding a generous dose of rustic charm,warmth and texture.
Lovely in hallways, of course, they're also making their way into modern kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms, and not just for floors – you'll find them on splash backs, up the walls, in modern shower rooms, and around fireplaces.
For a modern take on this vintage tile, stick to simple colour palettes and geometric patterns, and let the tiles do the talking.Here are a few of our favourite current collections.
Upping the ante on geometrics, Terrazzo Tiles has given encaustic tiles a cleaner, more refined look.
From the simple herringbone-patterned Herald Grey that can be arranged to create squares or zing-zag formations, to the Hexagonal Triangles that fit together like puzzle pieces and the Hexagonal Graphic tiles that create star burst shapes when laid next to each other,each tile can be pieced together to create variety of different geometric designs.
The simple, geometric floor tiles in theVictorian Floor Tiles range from Original Stylehave an authentic, traditional look, and would make a striking contrast in a modern home.
Most of the patterns in this collectionare based on authentic and original designs from Victorian and Edwardian times and are part of Britain’s heritage.
In the Modified Conway Pattern below, a simple triangle in different colours creates a geometric, repetitive pattern.
The intricate Salisbury pattern is particularly intricate. Striking for splash backs, shower rooms, fireplaces... The lot.
The modern geometric design of the Henley Ice Tile, pictured below, will instantly warm up a modern kitchen or bathroom, giving it a more welcoming and cosy feel.
For a fresh take, have them run along the walls instead – great for splash-proof bathrooms.
Not convinced about tiles in the home? Give terraces and patios a hint of Victorian antiquity, or jazz up the walkway leading up to your front door.
MAITLAND & POATE
For something refreshingly different, Maitland & Poate's Drop Tilefeatures swimming geometric fish, lilies and lily pads. Wonderfully eccentric, it would look fabulous in a hallway – or even more relevant in a bathroom.
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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