Historic Tile

by Jane VanOsdol on June 8, 2011

If you live in a historic home, you most likely enjoy restoring your home so that it retains the characteristics of the era it was built in. Finding the right supplies and materials to restore it can be time consuming, but three types of tile could be just what you’re looking for–and they’re just as popular today as they were when they first appeared on the scene.

Subway Tile

Subway tiles entered the scene with a splash in 1904 when New York City subway trains first started running. The white 3″ x 6″ tiles became instantly popular with homeowners who wanted to capture that same look at home in their bathrooms. Today, subway tiles are available in a wide variety of sizes, colors and materials. Many manufacturers make subway tiles, but the historically accurate subway tiles can be a bit harder to track down. The original tiles were ⅜” thick with a flat surface, a square edge and a glossy white glaze. You can find these historically accurate tiles made by Subway Ceramics at http://www.subwaytile.com.

Hex Mosaic Floor Tile

Hex floor tile circa 1800s

Victorian homes often were built with beautiful black and white hex mosaic tile flooring in the kitchen. These mosaics are perfectly flat unglazed porcelain tiles known for their classic elegance and ease of maintenance. Historically, hex tiles come in 13 different patterns. You can find the historical versions of these tiles at http://www.hextile.com/ and at http://www.restorationtile.com.

Penny-Round Tile

Penny-round tile has been around for more than a hundred years, although it never quite gained the popularity of hex tile. Still, it’s an alternative to hex tile if you’d like to go that route–it first appeared in the early 1900s. The unglazed tiny circles of tiles were used in bathrooms and kitchens and are actually making a reemergence with today’s designers in a slew of colors. You can find historically accurate versions at http://www.restorationtile.com.

If you love the look of this vintage tile flooring, but don’t have the budget to spring for the historical tiles, you’ll be happy to know that all of these tiles are available in budget-friendly options at tile stores and big box stores in most locations–certainly online. Either way, you’re historical tile home improvement will help you maintain the vintage appeal of your home with classic beauty to last you for years to come.

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