Encaustic floor tiles were first developed in England around the middle of the 12th Century. The tiles were made by Cistercian monks for the decoration of their places of worship.This practice continued for some 400 years until the closure of the last monasteries, by Henry VIII, in 1540.

It was not until the 1820’s that the art of making encaustic tiles was revived, by the ceramic producers in Stoke-on-Trent, to embellish the fine new buildings of the Gothic Revival period. This time the use of encaustic tiles was not confined to religious buildings alone but were used extensively in many of the world’s finest and new public buildings of the period as well as in a great number of private homes.

Tile Source represents the only remaining factory producing genuine encaustic tiles. We can reproduce tiles from such 19th century companies as Minton, Craven Dunnill, Maw and Malkin Edge.

The Encaustic process still involves a great deal of work by hand. Once the clay has been moulded, each indentation is filled with coloured, liquid clay. Further colours are added to build up the pattern, when colours are adjacent each is allowed to dry before the next is added to ensure a clean outline. The tile is then ‘scraped back’ to an exact thickness then fired for 24 hours before being cut to a precise size.

These tiles are used primarily for renovation and restoration. Each piece is handmade and therefore quite expensive.