Encaustic Tile – The Home Depot Flooring A-Z
What’s under your feet (or how you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to the house. That’s why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A-to-Z guide that will give you the confidence to make the flooring choices you’ll love. Read the manual from A to Z here.
If you even have looked on social media over the past few years you’ve seen encaustic tiles. Whether it’s patterned backsplashes, vibrantly hued showers, and even black and white hexagons forming an intricate pattern on a floor, encaustic tile is an old-fashioned flooring that’s been around for ages. centuries.
The art, which dates back to the medieval period, uses at least two (and up to six) colors of clay to make up the design and body of the tile. On the other hand, ceramic tiles have a pattern that rests on the surface and then is covered with a glaze.
Today, most encaustic tiles – which come in a rainbow of colors, unique shapes and limitless patterns that are both eye-catching and intricate – are made from cement using ‘a hydraulic press and can help remodel a buzzing bathroom or kitchen into the highest point of the home. Home Depot offers a range of styles and sizes of tile in neutral and poppy colors, so choices abound for what works with your home’s personality (and your!).
Keep in mind the size, purpose and atmosphere
Before you start dreaming about your new powder room jewelry box, however, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are using encaustic tiles to form a repeating pattern. The type of mosaic and pattern you select should be based on three things:
- The size of a room
- The daily purpose of space
- Whether you want a more open or intimate feel
Smaller tiles create more comfortable spaces – like a small bathroom or laundry room – and can add a lot of visual interest. Larger tiles, on the other hand, can give a space a stylish feel, but often don’t have the same level of texture depth.
Say it first
“For any geometric pattern with encaustic tiles, you absolutely need to lay it out first,” says Jessica Pleasants, project manager at Godwin Residential Construction. “It’s really important to understand how this pattern is going to fit into the overall space so that it can be centered evenly or intentionally, rather than being random.”
And when you lay your tiles, always let yourself be guided by a compass. “If you imagine a compass in the middle of a floor – north, south, east, west – it’s a quadrant. The left and right side tiles must be the same as each other, and the top and bottom tiles must be the same as each other, ”explains general contractor Mark Clements.
By centering the entire field of tiles on your floor, this ensures that you won’t have problems down the line and that you won’t have to fill in the gaps with tiles sliced in half.
The smallest details matter
Since encaustic tile – or the slightly more affordable ceramic tile that has been patterned to look more like a real cement encaustic tile – can often work on the smaller side or have unique shapes (read: no square or rectangular), paying attention to even the smallest details count. For example, using spacers to ensure a uniform grout line can make or break the appearance of a space. (To learn more about the use of grout, go to letter g!) When deciding if encaustic tile is right for you, you should also consider its maintenance – the material can be more porous than its ceramic cousin.
Remember to plan for the future: buy additional tiles in case of cracks, breaks or mistakes on the road.
Creating a stunning pattern using encaustic tile can be one of the most original and personalized flooring experiences. It’s also a way to feel grounded in history, participating in a vibrant form of craftsmanship that has allowed creativity and self-expression to be a part of the home for centuries.