Yesterday, I blogged about a few trends to avoid, but here’s a current trend I love: encaustic tile. These are ceramic tiles where the colours are embedded as layers rather than glazed or painted patterns, and they can have two colours or be multi-coloured, although you don’t tend to see more than four or five colours, including white.
Encaustic tile can come in sheets with a pattern embedded into it, or be composed of individual tiles that are installed to form a pattern. They are made of ceramic or porcelain and are often hand made or hand printed.
Originally, I saw these tiles on-line and loved them, but I didn’t see them in person until Euro Tile started stocking them this year. Now many of the big box stores are carrying a good variety as you’ll see below.
This first one is the one I installed in my investment condo and one of the first patterns I saw, back in May:
These particular tiles were in large sheets that required a water saw to cut, so they were finicky, and super thick so great for a foyer. They have a slightly worn look that I really liked as well. The tiles, without installation, worked out to about $ 325 for this space.
A less expensive option (or options) can be found at Lowes. I helped a client pick out this tile for the ensuite bathroom in her new home: they are individual ceramic tiles and much easier to install. I think they looked gorgeous, and I know she’s very happy. I suggested a light grout so as not to detract from the pattern.
These Merola tiles from Home Depot show the variety of tiles, and the range of prices in just one line (black, grey and white).
They have others, also by Merola, in other colours: these three coloured blue and white ones are gorgeous:
And here’s a four colour example carried by Home Depot (white being the fourth colour):
And here’s a five colour one I bought at Euro Tile that’s just waiting for my next renovation! This is one that I can see working equally well at a cottage — I love the rich colours.
These are tiles that can be used in a front foyer, a bathroom, or a laundry room, to add a graphic touch or an old world feel. Tiles like these have been around in Europe for hundreds of years and are still gorgeous, so it’s a trend I think we can live with for a long time.
When I was at Euro Tile picking up mine, every single contractor in the lineup was buying them, too. The nice thing is that there is so much variety in colour and pattern that nothing is cookie cutter. Just lovely!