While I love a good subway tile as much as the next girl (it's classic, inexpensive, and will NEVER go out of style), I'm downright obsessed with spaces that use something a bit more bold. From striking patterns to unexpected colours, there are few things that say "I am mother-effing confident in my sense of style and no one's the boss of me" like a great statement tile!
Lucky for me the design world has been using it more and more lately, and old-school techniques and materials have been making their way back onto the scene. One of the tile types seeing a modern day revival is encaustic. Commonly referred to simply as cement tile, encaustic tiles have been used for hundreds of years the world over (in countries like Morocco, France, and Spain), but stopped being popular here about a hundred years ago. Now that people are getting more daring with their tile choices, new companies are popping up and new patterns are being produced. From walls to floors, the results are stunning:
Confused about what these actually are? A recent House and Home blog post describes encaustic tiles as "cement or clay tiles where the pattern on the surface is created with different colours of clay. The pattern is inlaid or moulded into the body of the tile millimetres thick so that the design remains as the tile is worn down."
That means that if encaustic tiles chip or scuff, the pattern won't disappear, and they'll look lovingly worn rather than ruined. The process is also much greener than that of a lot of other tile options!
Need a visual? This video from Popham Design shows just how much work goes into each and every tile, and is really fascinating:
If you're interested enough in these beauties that you'd like to add them to your home, I've put together a little roundup of sources that offer some fantastic options. Virtually every pattern featured above is made by one of these manufacturers!
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