Though trends update and interior decorating techniques evolve, the world’s love affair with vintage home design never dies. Whether your inspiration comes from an insatiable appetite for period dramas or a fascination with traditional architecture and design, many of us aspire to pay homage to iconic interior design themes of times gone by through the way we style our homes, opting for vintage furniture and decor from celebrated eras past.
Reclaimed materials and original pieces may be hard to come by (not to mention costly) - but at Tiles Direct, we give our customers the chance to step back in time and buy tiles that recreate the lost beauty of bygone eras at an affordable price. Say hello to our collection of decadent, vintage-look Victorian-style tiles.
With a fantastic selection of patterned and coloured tiles inspired by original designs, this range is the perfect way to embrace the beauty of the Victorian aesthetic in modern home design.
A little history lesson
If you love the look of vintage interiors and truly want to encapsulate their charm and character, it can pay to brush up on your tile history. Luckily, we’re here to help with a quick look back at how Victorian tiles came to be a much-loved flooring solution from back in the 1800s through to today.
Interestingly, the use of tiles has been documented as far back as 4700 BC, but it wasn’t until the industrial revolution in the 19th century where they really came into their own as new technology and manufacturing process made them easier, cheaper and quicker to produce on a grand scale.
The pioneer of this was Herbert Minton, who was a potter by trade but an entrepreneur and innovator at heart. Combining his knowledge of pottery with the latest industrial techniques that layered different colours of clay, Minton brought the encaustic tile to the fore in mass-produced form. As a result, the demand for these hard-wearing and beautiful tiles grew, seeing them put to use in churches, palaces, houses, shops and more.
Having said that, the intricate designs of patterned tiles were still an expensive outlay for the average household. But, ever resourceful, many Victorians used different single-coloured tiles to create colourful and decorative patterns that were equally as striking, but more cost-effective. Think black and white checkerboard floors that are ubiquitous in many period properties throughout the UK.
In the modern world, there are still some stunning examples of genuine Minton tiled floors and fireplaces with original Victorian tiles that will never go out of style - but if you don’t have these in your home, we have just what you need to recreate the look in no time at all.
Emulate the Victorian aesthetic
In the Victorian era, intricate patterns were a staple of interior design - and as more and more of today’s homeowners embrace this sense of opulence while decorating their home, everything from kitchen floors to living room feature walls can be found covered in Victorian tiles.
This versatility also means this style can be adapted to modern living, giving both period properties and new builds the chance to embrace the Victorian look. When coupled with the right furniture, fabrics and interior accessories, these retro tiles can help you to channel the timeless Victorian aesthetic to best effect, whatever year your property was built.
While they may not be originals, our Victorian-style floor tiles still evoke the same sense of grandeur, and give you an opportunity to bathe your living space in lavish patterns of the era without having to break the bank on genuine vintage treasures.
Available in either ceramic or porcelain, these encaustic-effect tiles are as close as you’ll get to the real thing in terms of shapes and styles without the premium price tag that comes with it. However, the modern manufacturing techniques used mean you’ll still have all the practical benefits of a modern tile in terms of durability, low maintenance and strength.
Victorian tiles for walls and floors
Most of our Victorian-style tiles are made for floors, allowing you to trade boring flooring solutions for something stylish, sumptuous and impossible to ignore. Let your creativity come to the fore with our extensive choice of patterns and colours. Consider going freestyle and creating your own unique pattern, or taking inspiration from a pretty pattern you’ve spied elsewhere - either way, we’re confident that, with our quality Victorian tiles, you’ll have a wonderful piece of tile art to enjoy for many years to come.
Whether you want to combine fashion with function in your vintage-look kitchen, beautify your bathroom with some hand-picked porcelain or track down some authentic-looking Victorian hallway tiles, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with our Vives floor tile collection. Boasting a diverse and vibrant range of colours and patterns, this range is primed for pushing the boundaries of interior design in your home.
If large-scale patterns aren’t to your taste, opting for a checkerboard design using plain colours could be the way to go. Alternatively, you could use a block colour with decorative designs that act as a framing border to add interest as well as a visually appealing statement feature. These techniques are also a brilliant way to break up expansive areas of tiling or define distinctive zones in open-plan areas like a kitchen and dining room.
Of course, if you’re looking to transform a tired kitchen or bathroom into patterned perfection, we also offer Victorian wall tiles in the form of our Realonda range - ideal for a decorative tiled border designed to break up an otherwise clean-cut design scheme.
Treat every room to Victorian tiles
Traditionally, the Victorians used these decorative tiles only in areas that were visible to the public or guests, which is why you’ll find them a lot in porchways and hallways. These days, though, the kitchen is the heart of the home and a social hub, so it stands to reason that these beautiful tiles work wonders in creating a true style statement for everyone to enjoy.
In the kitchen, our Terrades Grafito tiles can be perfectly paired with all-white fixtures and fittings and a black and white splashback, resulting in a striking minimalist colour scheme that creates maximum impact.
Alternatively, you can take your guests back to the early 1900s with Victorian bathroom tiles in iconic colour schemes of the era. Paired with an authentically styled claw-foot bath and pedestal basin, emulating this iconic interior design style is a breeze.
For an understated style, use pretty floral designs like our Eleganza Torino Gris on floors. Its soft colouring and delicate pattern can be beautifully accentuated by simple white fixtures and fittings to maintain a clutter-free feel.
If you’re looking to create a dramatic entranceway, why not let patterned tiles like the Vives Demel Multicolour take centre-stage? A patterned floor will hide a multitude of muddy footprints on those damp days, and is also guaranteed to make an impact when welcoming guests into your home.
Another simpler alternative that’s still just as attention-grabbing is a checkerboard pattern, which will never go out of style. You don’t have to stick with traditional black and white here - let your imagination go wild and mix it up with different colour combinations to personalise the design to your heart’s content.
Don’t forget that these tiles aren’t just limited to the inside of your home, either - many a period property greets you with a Victorian-tiled path and entranceway that gives even the drabbest of facades a touch of grandeur. Whether you go for classic black and white or something with a little more panache, the results are sure to be stunning.
Buying and installing Victorian tiles
When it comes to choosing the right Victorian tiles for your home renovation, it pays to do your research before you buy. Unlike typical tiles, which tend to be larger and have one specific colour or pattern, many of our Victorian tiles feature intricate designs that need to be married together to create a continual pattern - so laying them straight and in line with one another is essential.
For this reason, we’d recommend employing a professional tiler to do the job - ideally one who has experience with laying decorative Victorian tiles. While the initial outlay may eat into your budget, the money will be well-spent when you’re left with a professional-looking finish rather than a pattern that’s slightly off-centre!
Another top tip for buying and installing Victorian tiles is to draw up a thorough plan of your desired pattern or design, making sure you have the exact measurements and the pattern is drawn to scale. This will ensure you or your tiler knows exactly where each tile need to be laid and what the finished result should look like. Better yet, it will also allow you to calculate your tiling and grouting quantities - always buy at least 10-20% extra for cuts, breakages or other unforeseen problems.
Keeping these key considerations in mind when buying and installing your vintage Victorian-style tiles should mean you end up with a beautiful floor or wall that will catch the eye of every guest you welcome into your home.
Get started today
From Victorian path tiles to patterned features in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and just about every other room of the house, the timeless beauty of this vintage flooring collection is matched only by its incredible versatility.
Struggling to choose between your favourite designs? Order some samples for just 99p each and imagine how different your home could look styled to channel the unrivalled elegance of the Victorian age. It’s a pocket-friendly way to experiment with different designs before you buy to make sure you get everything just right.
If you’re itching to get started on a new vintage makeover for your home, shop our complete Victorian tiles collection now.