Floor Tiles: Encaustic, Geometric & Quarry
Bookmark and Share

image 1 Encaustic tiles are a ceramic tile where the pattern is inlaid into the body of the tile. The patterns were made up of different colours of clay, heated into a liquid (slip) and poured into a mould and fired. Encaustic tiles were first developed and used in the medieval period. It was in the Gothic Revival of the Victorian age that brought them back into popular demand.

The tiles were often unglazed but were very hardwearing, being thick and heavy and were often used for floors in churches and cathedrals, great houses, railway stations and public buildings including the Houses of Parliament. Hull Museums Collections



Encaustic tiles


Geometric tiles

Geometric tiles are small plain tiles set in a repetitive pattern of two or more colours, using a very fine grout line between.

Domestic properties from 1870 to around 1910 usually had a modified suspended timber floor. Joists were laid at the same level as those for surrounding boarded floors, with battens and pugging boards added at the bottom of the joists to form troughs. The troughs were then packed with a lime pugging, and the tiles laid on a wet screed of around half an inch (12mm) pulled over the top. Victorian & Edwardian Tiles Floors by Peter Thompson

1 2

Quarry tiles

Traditionally red or grey made from hard unglazed clay. Found in kitchens and other areas that recieve heavy wear and tear.

Plain coloured tiles were often laid in staggered courses like brickwork, or diagonally, rather than in the square grid pattern favoured today. The Victorian Society

1 2


Architectural Tiles: Conservation and Restoration

Architectural Tiles: Conservation and Restoration

The Tile Book

The Tile Book

Tile Sourcebook

Tile Sourcebook


Useful Links to Tile Products

Encaustic Tiles by Philip James

Craven Dunnill Jackfield Ltd

Original Features

Decoramic Tile Centre

Maw & Company

Original Style

London Mosaic Restoration


Useful Links to Articles

Decorative tiles: The Victorian Society

G & J Ackson Tilefixing

Victorian Encaustic & Geometric Floor Tiles: T.A.C.S.

A brief history of tile making: Stroke on Tent City Council

Victorian & Edwardian Tiles Floors by Peter Thompson: Building Conservation

Cleaning Victorian Encaustic & Geometric Floor Tiles

Decorative tiles : The Victorian Society


Youtube: Moroccan tile: encaustic floor tile


Forum Debates

Tilers Forums


Channel 4 Homes Forum


Useful Research Websites

BBC Homes 1920's:

BBC Homes 1930's

Hidden House History

Francis Frith Photo Archive

The Geffrye Museum

English Architecture: Britain Express

Looking at Buildings: Pevsner Architectural Guides








Post War

Web www.freepedia.co.uk