Often seen in southern European countries such as Spain and Italy, patterned ceramic or encaustic tiles can be used to create striking decorations for floors and walls.
Durable and easy to clean, in warmer climates tiles can even function as a decorative alternative to rugs, as seen in these ten projects from Dezeen’s archive.
Narch Architects removed a number of internal walls to create the interior for this apartment in Barcelona, shining a spotlight on its encaustic tile floors, which back to the 20th century.
Without the walls to mark the boundaries between the different rooms, the tiled floors, previously in separate rooms, now sit together to form rug-like floor decorations.
Kelly Werstler’s warm interior design for this hotel in Austin, Texas features a wall clad in joyful Portuguese-style tiles.
Vintage rugs have been placed on the wooden floors, creating a vibrant pattern clash that adds to the hotel’s bohemian vibe.
A more subtle take on patterned tiling can be found in this bathroom in London’s Tsubo House. The graphic pattern of the tiles creates a trompe l’oeuil effect that complements the jet-black bathtub.
Monochromatic floor tiles were used in all bathrooms of the house, which was originally built during the Victorian era but has undergone a complete renovation.
Architecture studio Azab gave this apartment in Bilbao, Spain, an update to complement the existing elements of the house, including its hardwood floors and window frames.
In the kitchen, a herringbone floor was given a playful feel with a mix of different-coloured tiles.
Some tiles are peachy orange or minty green, while others are cherry red, in a nod to the colour of the communal staircase at the centre of the apartment block.
The bedroom of this apartment in Ahmedabad, India, features a patterned tile floor in dark blue and turquoise hues with orange details.
The tiles complement the dark-brown teak wood used throughout the flat and, together with an arched doorway, help demarcate the sleeping area of this studio apartment.
Architecture studio Vora renovated this apartment in Barcelona by arranging the walls to highlight its original patterned tile floors.
The surrounding walls and ceilings were painted white so as to not draw attention from the flooring. In the kitchen space, new patterned tiles were added to create a splashback with a playful graphic pattern.
Original mosaic tiles decorate the floor in this 19th-century Barcelona apartment, which was renovated by local studio Built Architecture.
The tiles were used in the bedroom as well as the bathroom and hallway of the modernist apartment, giving each room a different feel.
London studio David Kohn Architects went for a modern graphic effect when designing the floor of this Spanish apartment.
The decorative floor tiles are made up of 25 different designs and gradually change in tone, with green tiles by the two bedrooms and red tiles framing the kitchen.
This New Orleans hotel features original tile work, including a porch with tiles from 1861. The pale yellow and clear blue hues of the tiles contrast against the surrounding greenery of the plants and the porch’s dark-green painted pillars.
The patterned floor livens up the outdoor space and is also a hardwearing solution for a high-traffic area.
This art deco home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was extended by PK Arquitectos, which kept its decorative orange tiling to show the house’s history.
The tiled floor runs along the house’s entryway and adds a warm, welcoming feel to the space.
This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing mezzanines, U-shaped kitchens and calm living rooms.