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Encaustic Tiles

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Why We Love Them

Graphic tiles are hitting a major high point in design right now, and for good reason. They’re the perfect way to add color and personality to any room, and their patterns range from classic to modern (and everything in between). Breaking out from the white trend we’ve seen over the last few years, these tiles are definitely a whimsical and welcome sight.

Image Sources (left to right): 1.Navy 2. Small Floral 3. Large Floral 4.Pink Floral 5. Blue Star 6. Yellow Star

But, before you go and fall in love with a certain pattern, let’s talk about what to expect.

Graphic tiles are traditionally made as encaustic tiles, which are cement, and rather than the pattern being glazed across the top, it’s actually created via multiple different colored clays. The process gives your pattern a unique and perfectly imperfect look that’s been around for centuries (so you can count on it being a timeless design!). Because the pattern goes deeper than the surface, too, it isn’t going to fade as time and treads wear down your tiles

On the other hand, encaustic tiles can stain easily and can be difficult to install due to their imperfect nature (and there are plenty of tile sellers out there who would quickly steer you in a different direction). It’s a challenge to use them, and that’s definitely something to keep in mind. The good news, though, is that most tile shops make similar porcelain versions with equally stunning graphic prints, meaning that you get the look you want, but don’t need to spring for the authentic pieces.

Whichever route you choose, encaustic tiles (or their replicas) are one of our favorite tile options right now, and you really can’t go wrong with adding them to your home. Here’s why we absolutely love them.


Endless Pattern Options

Love a more minimal vibe? There’s a pattern for that. Dying for something bold and a little on the wild side? There’s a pattern for that, too. With encaustic tiles, we guarantee there’s a style out there to perfectly match your vision – however bold or calming you picture your space to be. Plus, in many cases you can rearrange the tiles to achieve a completely unique look. We’d call that a win-win situation.

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Adds Instant Personality

If you’ve been dying to transform that predictable bathroom or kitchen into something jaw-dropping, opting for encaustic tiles will certainly do the trick. Their patterns offer such a great splash of personality to any space, and once those babies are in place, you’ll be amazed at just how stunning your home has become.

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Doubles as Art

One of the best elements of using encaustic tiles is that they essentially double as art in your space. Because of their intricate and eye-popping color combos, it’s almost overkill to add a lot of additional art to the space (unless it’s subtle, it can serve more to detract visually since it can be more of a competing factor). Instead, because these tiles are so unique and gorgeous, we love letting them speak for themselves and serve as a statement piece in the room. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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Gives a Pop of Color to Unexpected Locations

Finally, we absolutely adore encaustic tiles because of the endless and unexpected places you can install them. From the more typical shower walls and kitchen backsplashes to creative nooks like kitchen islands, fireplaces, and stairs, you can have a ton of fun coming up with ways to incorporate these gorgeous tiles into your home. And, frankly, that’s our idea of a great design come to life – one that’s completely and totally you.


If you’re as inspired by these styles as us, we’ve got a feeling you’ll be diving into that beautiful world of Pinterest as soon as you finish reading. And as long as you keep in mind the benefits and drawbacks to using encaustic tiles (and are ready to take on the challenge), we couldn’t recommend them enough. Cheers to adding color to life!

By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Designs by D

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