June 30, 2022

Trends & Styles

Victorian Tiles: Timeless & practical

Victorian tiles evoke the spirit of another era. The style is easily recognisable and remains popular to this very day for both walls and floors. This article provides advice on how best to feature Victorian tiles in more contemporary interior décor. It also examines the most popular designs and explains how to use them effectively in various rooms of the house.

 

Victorial décor

 

What is Victorian décor?

The Victorian era, named after Queen Victoria, encompasses the years she reigned as monarch of the United Kingdom and Ireland, from 1837 to 1901. The common approach to interior design in this era was “more is more“. The Victorians loved to fill every available square inch of their living rooms with furnishings, fabrics and decorative objects. This was a reflection of status and extremely desirable.

The furniture of the Victorian home was generally timber with carved embellishments. Wall coverings were inspired by natural motifs, soft furnishings were abundant, and flooring featured geometric motifs. The colour scheme was sombre and conditioned by the technology of the time.

 

Victorian-style floor tiles

The architects of the mid-19th Century were obsessed with the gothic-style churches and castles of the medieval era. Floral motifs and complex geometric patterns were all the rage for interior designers. This, coupled with the availability of mass-manufactured tiles, resulted in four popular designs for Victorian tiles:

Victorian patterned floor tiles

Floral motifs in bright, strong tones are inspired by natural plants and flowers.

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ALMERIA 44.3X44.3
ALMERIA 44.3X44.3
CRAFT BUTTERFLY 14.7X14.7X0.8
CRAFT BUTTERFLY 14.7X14.7X0.8

Monochrome tiles

Monochrome, hard-wearing tiles are mostly used in areas that require resistance to wear and tear.

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CRAFT IVORY 14.7X14.7X0.8
CRAFT IVORY 14.7X14.7X0.8
CRAFT ANTHRACITE 14.7X14.7X0.8
CRAFT ANTHRACITE 14.7X14.7X0.8

Ornate complex geometric patterns 

Monochrome or highly coloured patterns can be featured in homes and public buildings.

View the entire Victorian collection →

VICTORIAN TRENZADO MARMARA GRIS 30X30X1
VICTORIAN TRENZADO MARMARA GRIS 30X30X1

Simple geometric-shaped tiles 

Geometric-shaped tiles can be laid homogeneously or organised into more complex patterns.

Read more about geometric tiles →

SADASI SAFI 12X14X1
SADASI SAFI 12X14X1
RHOMBUS CREAM 15X25.9X0.8
RHOMBUS CREAM 15X25.9X0.8

Why choose Victorian tiles today?

Even today, the Victorian aesthetic is a much admired historical look. All things Victorian are in great demand when it comes to real estate and interior design. Gothic style, cottage core and even steampunk are terms we see in the latest magazine articles, all directly inspired by the Victorians. This is also true for tiles, a finish that continues to inspire the UK home décor to this day. This article examines how we can get the Victorian look with floor and wall tiles within different areas of the home.

 

Victorian bathroom tiles

▶ Get the look

Our Victorian mosaic collection will transform any space into a haven of peace and relaxation.

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VICTORIAN TRENZADO MARMARA NEGRO 30X30X1
VICTORIAN TRENZADO MARMARA NEGRO 30X30X1

How to Decorate with Victorian Tiles

Above all else, the Victorians were practical and they recognised the advantages of tiles for floors. Nevertheless, even the most basic room in the home was provided with a flooring tile that had a decorative element. For reception areas, such as halls and entrance areas, the entire floor often had a bespoke decorative layout. Almost like a carpet of tiles with a recurring motif and elaborate border tile details.

 

Victorian hallway tiles

For the Victorians, the hallway tiles started outside the house. The pathway from the street to the entrance porch (or setback) was considered an important transition zone. Encaustic tiles laid in a geometric pattern were typically laid within a strip to form a path, with lawn or planting on either side. The great advantage of the tiled hallway is the easy maintenance and extreme resistance to wear and tear. To get the look there are two infallible options:

  • Monochrome floor tiles. Black and white chequerboard create an authentic Victorian hallway look.
  • Pattern floor tiles with border detail. A pastel shade floral pattern tile with a contrasting colour border tile will make a great first impression.

 

Victorian bathroom tiles

The indoor bathroom was popularised during the Victorian era. That’s the reason we tend to associate Victorian floor tiles with bathrooms. The classic choice was black and white chequerboard which might be turned to 45 degrees to create a more visually dynamic look.

Here are some ideas for Victorian-style floors and walls:

 

Victorian floor tiles ideas

  • Choose the monochrome colours with a pastel shade twist to recreate the classic Victorian bathroom in a fresher, more contemporary style.
  • Combine a geometric tile with border detail in a similar colour.

 

Victorian wall tiles ideas

  • Butchers or metro tiles installed on walls to dado height with a decorative trim tile evoke the Victorian bathroom décor like no other finish. Combine with a free-standing roll-top bath for the authentic ambience of a Victorian bathroom.
  • For a more contemporary take on the Victorian bathroom décor, add a mosaic wall tile feature panel.

▶ Want to learn more? Discover how to create a Victorian-style bathroom.


 

Victorian tiles in the kitchen

Nowadays, incorporating a traditional or country look into a contemporary kitchen is trendier than ever. One of the reasons is our newfound interest in wholesome foods. These tips and ideas will help incorporate Victorian-inspired charm into your kitchen décor.

  • The Butcher’s tile or Metro tile appeared towards the latter years of the Victorian era and became the go-to tile for kitchens. Its hygienic qualities and good looks made it an instant hit in kitchens everywhere. To bring the Victorian tile look bang up to date choose a strong colour tile.
  • The backsplash can be a focal feature in modern kitchens. The intricate geometric pattern mosaic tile so beloved of the Victorian era is an ideal choice that will simply never look dated.
  • Lastly, floor tiles in a strong monochromatic colour scheme are another clever way to incorporate the Victorian look. To make this look more contemporary, choose a pastel shade floor tile.

 

Vitorian kitchen tiles

▶ Get the look

Our Craft tile collection features geometric motifs and patterns inspired by old hydraulic tiles, with the primary colours being blue, yellow, and white.

 

CRAFT FLOWER 14.7X14.7X0.8
CRAFT FLOWER 14.7X14.7X0.8

 

 

The Victorian colour palette

Because the Victorian period spans over 60 years there are several shifts in fashionable colours during that time period.

  • Popular colours in the earlier Victorian era included strong but lighter shades, influenced by the Georgians.
  • Meanwhile, the later Victorian era palette is marked by darker colours, and deep tones like plum, crimson, blues and greens. The lighting in Victorian homes was provided by gas or candles, so rooms would look very dark to our modern eye.

Consequently, to recreate the authentic Victorian tile patterns we recommend choosing these rich tones. Colours like deep greens, dark blues and gorgeous crimson wines and reds are, therefore, recommended.

 

Victorian black and white tiles

However, the simple monochrome combination of black and white deserves special mention.  The Victorians were masters of an overstatement, so even a simple combination of black and white could be transformed into something highly decorative in their hands.

As well as the classic chequerboard pattern, geometric pattern tiles in black and white were also popular. Therefore, the sizes and shapes of black and white tiles were contrasted to create eye-catching floor and wall pattern designs. For instance, feature borders surrounding a geometric pattern of black and white tiles were a simple but highly effective decorative resource. Similarly, the square white metro tile on the walls of functional spaces was a practical and aesthetic solution to hygiene considerations.

 

Victorian black and white tiles

▶ Get the look

The geometric shapes and glossy finish of the Deco Marmi collection visually lighten the space.

Find it in your local store

CUBIK MARMI 59.6X150
CUBIK MARMI 59.6X150

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