Trend Watch: 12 Rooms with Colorful Patterned Encaustic Tiles

published Oct 15, 2014
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Encaustic tile at The Grounds Coffee Shop in Australia, spotted on Yatzer. (Image credit: Yatzer)

Encaustic tile is nothing new. These colorful tiles have been around since medieval times, but they’re currently enjoying a bit of a moment. I’m a huge fan, and can’t help but think that their popularity owes to their timeless beauty. You can get them in intricate curlicues or modern geometric patterns, but they always have a certain “been here forever” rustic charm.

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These tiles are produced by using two (or more) different colors of clay in the body of the tile, so that the patterns you see are integral to the tiles (rather than glazed onto the surface) and will never wear off. Old-school encaustic tile, which can be seen in many European homes, can have incredibly intricate patterns, but lately there’s been a wave of tiles created with more modern designs. A lot of modern encaustic tile is made from cement, so you’ll occasionally hear it referred to as ‘cement tile’ as well.

Love the look? Check out Apartment Therapy’s guide to sources for encaustic tile.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Black and white encaustic tile in a kitchen from Jessica Helgerston Interior Design. The design is pretty modern — but don’t you think the tile gives the kitchen a certain rustic charm? Like a lot of things, the beauty of encaustic tile is in its ever-so-slight imperfections.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This Moroccan home, spotted on HomeLife, is positively stuffed with wonderful encaustic tile, which is no big surprise because the owners of the home also own Popham Design, which sells… encaustic tile.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

These tiles in the living room are gorgeous… no need for a rug here. And I bet all that tile feels wonderfully cool underfoot on a hot day.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

In the same home, a colorful tile backsplash add just the right amount of liveliness to a modern kitchen.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Black and white encaustic tile, spotted in a bathroom from The New York Times.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I love how the tile covers the floor and the wall in this kitchen by Shubin + Donaldson.

(Image credit: Milk Magazine)

Another colorful backsplash, in a kitchen from Milk Magazine.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Colorful encaustic tile in a bathroom from D Magazine.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Vintage Spanish tile adds style and warmth to a modern bathroom. Lots more photos at House Nerd.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Old-school encaustic tile looking very European. Spotted on Planete Deco.

(Image credit: The Style Files)

And finally, an airy bath with a beautiful floor, spotted on The Style Files.