How to Get the Look of Patterned Cement and Encaustic Tile for Less

How to Get the Look of Patterned Cement and Encaustic Tile for Less

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Dabney Frake
Apr 30, 2015

Cement and encaustic tiles are everywhere these days, but they are also not cheap. I’ve noticed a few homes that capture the look of patterned floors with entirely different materials, which let you get that handmade, old world look for a lot less. Here are five inspirational spaces with gorgeous tile, and suggestions for similar, but more affordable, alternatives.

INSPIRATION: FLORAL TILE FLOOR

(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

Adrianna and Paul chose black and white tile for a decorative touch in their kitchen, using tiles from Granada Tile's Echo Collection.

THE ALTERNATIVE:

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Home Depot sells encaustic tile lookalikes by Merola Tile that are inspired by vintage designs. At $1.79 each, it is a great price.

INSPIRATION: GEOMETRIC BACKSPLASH

(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Tamsyn's backsplash is all geometric goodness in the form of handmade Mexican tiles, which add just enough interest to her otherwise simple kitchen.

(Image credit: One Kings Lane)

On the other hand, Megan Pflug painted basic ceramic tiles to get a similar modern feel. You can arrange them in any configuration to change the pattern.

INSPIRATION: PATCHWORK FLOOR

(Image credit: Dwell)

Above, a collaged floor from Paola Navone's line of tile, as seen in Dwell.

ALTERNATIVE:

(Image credit: Carpetright)

For U.K. residents, there's vinyl flooring from Carpetright that costs about £10 per square meter and is extremely practical. In the United States, a combination of Merola Tile's Twenties Collection is a close proximity.

INSPIRATION: MOROCCAN STYLE STAIRCASE

(Image credit: Cottage Living)

A staircase from Cottage Living's Idea House in 2008, using tile from Exquisite Surfaces' Terre Line.

ALTERNATIVE:

(Image credit: Lonny)

This staircase, located at Peacock Pavilions in Marrakesh, was hand stenciled by Royal Design Studio. You can buy the stencils through their website, and do it yourself.

INSPIRATION: 3D TILE KITCHEN

(Image credit: Egue Y Seta)

A Barcelona kitchen designed by Spanish designers Egue Y Seta using a tumbling cube design. Similar tile is available through Villa Lagoon Tile.

ALTERNATIVE:

(Image credit: Crogan Inlay Floors)

Inexpensive vinyl floor (VCT) can be cut and installed in custom patterns. The kitchen above was done by L.A. based Crogan Inlay Floors, but it's possible to do the process yourself as well. The smaller the pattern, the more labor intensive.

INSPIRATION: BLACK & WHITE BATHROOM FLOOR

(Image credit: New York Times)

A bathroom designed by Jessica Helgerson, with black and white cement tile, as seen in the New York Times.

ALTERNATIVE:

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Another Merola Tile, called Petal from the Twenties Collection, available from Home Depot.

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