Encaustic tiles have been around since the medieval period, but they’re having something of a revival and are one of the biggest trends of the moment, popping up everywhere from chic restaurants to elegant residences, and at Harvey Jones, we love using encaustic tiles to add a bold and interesting accent to our kitchens.
For a while, kitchen floors and splashbacks were all about sleekness. A single panel of glass or composite or single shade large-format tile were the order of the day when it came to surfaces. But lately, there’s been a pattern revolution using a method that’s been around for centuries. Originally called inset tiles in the middle ages, and now more commonly know as encaustic, it was the Victorian Gothic revival that really put these highly patterned and colourful floor and wall coverings on the map.
Mass production means that they became easier to manufacture and designs were created using different colours of clay or cement put together in a mould to build intricate formations, ensuring that the pattern remains intact even if the tile becomes worn. For Victorian examples, think of the traditional hall tile often found in period properties, with its warming and welcoming tones of terracotta, blue and yellow.
Now thanks to another revival, encaustic tiles are back with a bang, featuring everywhere from traditional hallways to kitchens. If you’re looking for ideas for wall or floor tiles then they’re the perfect partner not just for traditional schemes, some of the latest designs feature geometric monochrome patterns that fit perfectly with contemporary living. In particular companies such as Bert & May are at the forefront of innovative designs, including their latest pastel inspired collection with Soho House.
This level of craftsmanship isn’t for those on a real budget though, with some costing upwards of £200 per sq metre, so many companies are replicating the look using good quality porcelain tiles, sometimes at a fraction of the price, with a surface pattern and labelling them ‘encaustic style’ or Victorian.
OUR TOP TIPS FOR ENCAUSTIC TILES
We have shortlisted our favourite designs to incorporate into your kitchen.
Looking for more inspiration? Request a copy of our brochure or visit our Instagram page.