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What are Encaustic Tiles?

21 March 2016

What are Encaustic tiles ?

Encaustic tiles, also referred to as Moroccan tiles, Spanish tiles, Moorish tiles, cement tiles, inlaid tiles and geometric tiles. They were originally handmade ceramic tiles with ornate and geometric patterns that were produced within the body of the tile not the glaze. Thus over time as the tile was worn, the pattern remained.

They date back as far as the 13th century, originally adorning churches and later gaining popularity in the homes of the wealthy Victorians in the 19th Century. They were also popular at this time throughout the USA and Latin America before spreading to the Caribbean and throughout the world.

We often look to the past to inspire the designs of the present and future. Since 2014 there has been a massive resurgence in the popularity of encaustic style tiles, largely attributed to their innate and timeless beauty, energy and character. (I suspect it’s also a rebellion against the minimalist design and finishing that typified the early 2000’s). Combine these factors with contemporary design and manufacturing processes and it’s not hard to see how these stunning tiles have had such a massive revival.

Whilst you can still get authentic hand made encaustic tiles, numerous tile manufacturers are now producing encaustic-style tiles in porcelain.  This enables an old world design to meet the contemporary era with superior wear, durability, application and affordability. They retain the character and charm of the original encaustic tiles, but with a more refined finish and contemporary design that fulfills the needs of modern homes and businesses. 

The Tile Depot has a range of encaustic-style tiles, simply referred to as patterned tiles.  These include stunning contemporary monochrome designs, to the distressed and colourful antique style.  We have some with warm rustic tones and even some in the ultimate on trend hexagonal shape. If you want mixed patterns or repeating design, we can probably find something to suit your project.

From kitchen splashbacks, inlaid floors, feature walls and any domestic or commercial space, encaustic style patterned tiles have fabulous application.  If you are looking for something unique, timeless and  yet remarkably contemporary check out our range in store or online now.


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