Encaustic or “Inlaid” tiles originated during medieval times when different coloured clays were used to form patterns and fired in a kiln to create quite hard wearing tiles which had a considerable wear surface that would not fade with wear, providing an attractive durable floor. Early examples are often seen in medieval places of worship and buildings at the centre of medieval societies, although at this time manufacturing these tiles was done by hand, both arduous and time consuming.
Fast forward in time to the 19th century and specifically the reign of Queen Victoria, the Victorians saw the first real boom in home improvements and took great pride in their homes which they regarded as a symbol of their status in society. Encaustic tiles saw a revival in popularity as the Victorians sought hard wearing, highly decorative materials for their homes and in particular hallways and kitchen floors. This coincided with the tail end of the industrial revolution when mass manufacturing techniques had meant that the availability of encaustic tiles and choice of designs improved, and more importantly their cost became less prohibitive for the middle class Victorian. Designs evolved through the 1860’s with popular black and white monochromatic, geometric patterns popular but more intricate and colourful designs became commonplace. Designs had varying influences from Gothic and Baroque to Oriental as well as contemporary artists influence such as William Morris , but probably the most influential was his friend William De Morgan who not only developed the Victorian tile designs but also sought to improve their practicality and was an early developer of frost proof tiles for external use.
Today Victorian influenced designs are again incredibly popular and much sought after. At Total tiles we are delighted to be able to offer a selection of Victorian effect floor tiles at a fraction of the price of an original Victorian floor. Our designs have been carefully selected to offer a cross section of styles, from the monochrome Victorian black and white octagon through to the beautifully decorative Victorian style floor tiles.
All of our Victorian effect tiles are ideal to use with underfloor heating, making them great to use in any room in the home. Creating a traditionally inspired floor but with modern technology combining beauty and practicality.