The encaustic floor tiles everyone wants

The modern way to do encaustic floor tiles

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 patterns are 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.

Herald Black & White tile, £3.80 per tile from Terrazzo Tiles

The Geometric Midnight Blue and the more abstract Candy Encaustic Cement Tile are also particularly striking.

Geometric Midnight Blue, £3.83 per tile from Terrazzo Tiles


The simple, geometric floor tiles in the Victorian Floor Tiles range from Original Style have an authentic, traditional look, and would make a striking contrast in a modern home.

Most of the patterns in this collection are 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.

Conway Pattern, from £211.66 per m2 from Original Style

The intricate Salisbury pattern is particularly intricate. Striking for splash backs, shower rooms, fireplaces… The lot.

Salisbury pattern, £5.81 per tile from Original Style


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.

Henley Ice Tile, £10.01 per tile from Topps Tiles

For a fresh take, have them run along the walls instead – great for splash-proof bathrooms.

Henley Cool Tile, £10.01 per tile from Topps Tiles

The playful pattern of the Berkeley tile creates an instant rustic and homely touch. Frame it with a matching border tile.

Berkeley Slate Blue Tile, £9.99 per tile, from Topps Tiles

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.

Grosvenor Beige / Blue Tile, £6.75 per tile from Topps Tiles


For something refreshingly different, Maitland & Poate’s Drop Tile features swimming geometric fish, lilies and lily pads. Wonderfully eccentric, it would look fabulous in a hallway – or even more relevant in a bathroom.

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