Some trends stand the test of time for a reason. Case in point: cement tiles. Although they've been making waves in the decor scene for a looong while now (historians date some versions back to the 12th Century), these beautiful tiles started to pop up inside the most design-savvy contemporary homes across the globe in recent years in a big way.
And it's not difficult to see why. Along with creating artfully polished displays, cement tiles are crafted from natural materials (i.e. sand, clay, and color pigments)—making them both extremely durable and eco-friendly. And considering they work wonders just about anywhere inside your home—floors, walls, fireplaces, etc.—it's no surprise that cement tiles are a trend that has persevered. Read on for seven gorgeous rooms that prove why the encaustic tile craze is here to stay.
Above: Why opt for a boring backsplash when you can have a functional and beautiful one like this space by Emily Henderson? Although tiled backsplashes have long been the archetype for well-designed kitchens—they're water-resistant and easy-to-clean—incorporating a more stylized scene behind your stove or sink is a chic way to streamline your cooking space while making a decorative statement.
Cement tiles can turn your shower into a visual masterpiece, as showcased above in a bathroom by Byrd Design. Not only can encaustic tiles help you create an eclectic shower scene, a properly sealed bunch of tiles can last for years and years without showing any signs of water damage or distress.
If you're searching for a clever way to upgrade your laundry room without sacrificing any style, consider the perks of decorating with cement tiles as Studio McGee did in the project shown here. Along with being water-resistant and unbelievably sturdy, cement tiles look super sleek and make laundry time feel like less of a chore.
Whether it's a colorful mantle piece or an artful hearth you're after, cement-tiled fireplaces are as attractive as they are functional. Not only can you craft your own unique pattern for display, cement tiles are completely fireproof—meaning they'll probably last longer than your chimney. The black and white versions shown above in a home designed by Consort are from Clé Tile.
Few things make a bigger impact in a bathroom than an exquisitely tiled wall, and it's easy to see why. Unlike certain wallpapers and paints that can't withstand moisture over time, cement tiles are totally waterproof, so you'll only ever have to worry about what the humidity in your bathroom does to your hair (except who cares what your hair looks like when your bathroom is as gorgeous as this one by Bright Design Lab).
Considering how strong and aesthetically pleasing encaustic tiles can be (just peep the bathroom above—from M Plus—to understand), it's no wonder they're being used more and more as an alternative to standard hardwood (and gasp!) linoleum flooring. Even better: most cement tiles have the added bonus of color depth—meaning you can etch or scratch their surface and still see the same color underneath.
Just because it's practical doesn't mean you can't use cement tile purely for aesthetic purposes, either. Along with looking and working great on your kitchen walls and bathroom floors, a sophisticated tile motif can bring warmth and character to just about any surface inside your home and will last a lifetime. Here, via Decor8blog, it covers the front of a bar, but could just as easily be applied to a kitchen island for added character.
Six Places to Score Savvy Cement Tiles
Amethyst Artisan: Known for their wide assortment of colorful encaustic tiles, Amethyst Artisan is your one-stop shop for idiosyncratic styles.
Granada Tile: Although their headquarters are in Los Angeles, Granada Tile works directly with Granada's top architects and designers to capture their creative vision through decorative tiles.
Fireclay Tile: Created with bold colors and recycled materials, Fireclay Tile handcrafts each and every one of their cement tiles inside their California workshop.
Overstock: Turns out that along with affordable home decor items and furnishings, Overstock.com has an impressive selection of handmade cement tiles to choose from.
ARTO: Made from locally sourced recycled materials, ARTO's cement tiles are made-to-order and truly one-of-a-kind.