Encaustic Tiles – Bold and Elegant
Encaustic Tiles have recently been featured in a number of home design blogs and magazine spreads. Their patterned look is both bold and elegant, making them perfect for many types of homes and spaces.
The encaustic tile revival has been fueled in part by the use of social media platforms to promote individual artistry. These handmade tiles are a much-needed alternative to the mass produced options found in many retail stores today. They have also gained popularity as people are searching for ways to make their homes truly unique and reflective of themselves.
Unlike traditional porcelain or ceramic hand painted tiles, encaustic tiles do not have any surface layer that is susceptible to wear and tear. Rather, the pattern is embedded within the tile which helps to ensure that the design will never be lost or faded. This is what makes encaustic tile so durable and long lasting.
Because encaustic tiles are created in small batches and by individual artisans, they are able to create unique patterns that would be impossible for large manufacturers to reproduce. In addition, most encaustic tile producers can also take bespoke orders for those who are seeking a true one of a kind design. The result is a floor or wall that is entirely unique and reflective of the homeowner or designer’s personal style.
The term “encaustic” is a misnomer and the actual process of making this type of tile does not involve any burning at all. Rather, a mixture of tinted cement and fine sand is placed into the top 5mm of each tile where the colored designs are then poured in. Using this technique allows the tile maker to create some very fine detailed patterns that could not be produced with its ceramic counterpart at the time due to the firing process required in a kiln.
While the encaustic tile is not considered a modern material, it has been used throughout history in both period and contemporary homes. In fact, some original encaustic tile floors are still in place in old churches and villas across Europe where they were laid hundreds of years ago.
The best thing about encaustic tile is that it can be used in almost any environment. It can be laid in bathrooms, kitchens, foyers, and patios as well as bedrooms. As with any floor or wall surface, it is important to properly prepare the area where they will be installed. This includes ensuring that the substrate is level and solid before laying the tile. It is also a good idea to test the tile in a small area to verify that it will work for the desired space and resolve any issues that may arise. The encaustic tile should be sealed after installation to protect against the elements and to help prevent it from becoming stained or damaged. The sealer should be applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is best to avoid acidic cleaners and solvents as these can damage the surface.