Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Encaustic tiles are making a big comeback and have been seen in countless decorating blogs and magazine spreads. They’re eye-catching, hardwearing and versatile enough to suit a wide range of spaces. But before you decide to splash out on this statement tile, read up on what they are and how to use them to create your perfect space.

Unlike ceramic, encaustic tiles don’t need to be fired in a kiln to gain strength or durability. Instead, they are made of a base layer of clay (or in modern times, cement) with an overlay of different coloured layers that are ‘squeezed’ together under high pressure to make the pattern.

This process, which dates back to medieval times, has a rich history and can produce patterns in many different colours. It also produces very durable and long-lasting tiles, which will stand up to high traffic areas, so they are perfect for bathrooms, laundries, kitchens and outdoor areas.

As an added bonus, encaustic tiles are easy to clean and maintain. Simply wipe them down with hot soapy water to keep them looking their best and, if sealed correctly, will develop a natural patina over time that looks beautiful against the backdrop of your home.

The production of encaustic tiles went through a few rough patches over the decades, but started to pick up in the 1970s. This was due to the liberation of Vietnam at that time, which saw the influx of several large manufacturers that could take over from the small producers that were left producing encaustic tiles.

Despite the decline in popularity in the 1980s, encaustic tiles are still produced today by small independent makers who have a passion for this style of tiling. With the rise of social media platforms, these artisans now have a global platform to display their work. They offer a unique and eye-catching alternative to the mass-produced tile options available in most hardware stores.

Because encaustic tiles are handmade, they will not always be perfectly uniform in appearance. This is a feature that many people love, as it means no two tiles are the same. They are also likely to have some chips and tonal variations, which can add a lovely texture to your space.

When choosing your patterned tiles, it’s important to keep in mind that it is very easy to go overboard with too much pattern. Instead, opt for smaller doses of pattern. Often, the best way to use patterned tiles is to combine them with plainer options, such as subway tiles or pressed metal.

As these tiles are a work of art, they should be installed by a licensed and insured tradesperson in accordance with prevailing Australian standards and safe-work practices. It is also essential to store the tiles in a dry location before installation, and mix tiles from several boxes to get the best distribution of colour & pattern across your space.

By Admin

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