One-of-a-kind craftsmanship that brings a dash of style to any house
The beauty of artisanal tile lies in its imperfections. Because each piece is designed, molded, and glazed by hand, no two look exactly alike. Create a mural on a bar wall, use them as an acccent with plain subway tile, or mix a handful in with monochromatic squares to make your kitchen backsplash, bathroom walls, fireplace surrounds, even doorways spring to life.
Inspired by early-20th-century styles, these low-relief polychrome tiles are made using the Spanish cuenca process, in which individual glazes are poured by hand into the depressions formed by raised lines in the clay.
From right: Moderne Cat's Eye, Tapestry, Left Bank, Moderne Fivesquare, Lotus; approx. $28 to $50 each; Motawi
For outdoor spaces, patios, and fountains, nothing beats traditional Malibu and Catalina tile. Often based on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern motifs, the tiles can be used individually or grouped together in dazzling patterns. Approx. $15
to $22; RTK Studios
The autumnal look of pine cones makes a fire in the hearth feel even cozier. Use the large decorative tile as a central accent, the border tile along the top and sides of the surround, and the "dots" as squares or diamonds scattered in the field. Approx. $15 to $60; Meredith Tile
Tile murals, a common feature of early-20th-century shops and eateries, are just the
thing for decorating a wall behind a bar or a kitchen backsplash. This set was created using the cuerda seca technique, in which
a waxy outline is applied to the tile and then meticulously filled
in by hand with syringes full of glaze. Approx. $32 per tile; RTK Studios
With their clean lines,
vivid colors, and glossy surfaces, these botanical-themed tiles would bring a contemporary sensibility to a Craftsman cottage or bungalow. Flowers, approx. $24 each; Foliage, approx. $45; Duquella Tile & Clayworks
For an eye-catching accent, try a few decorative cut-out tiles. These dragonflies are a century-old design created by Henry Mercer for his Moravian Pottery
& Tile Works, which operates today as a "working history museum." Approx. $14.50; Moravian Pottery & Tile Works
This elaborate, Victorian-inspired crackle-glazed tile makes a great centerpiece for a kitchen backsplash when bordered with smaller and less ornate squares or diamonds.
approx. $29; Quemere International
When choosing an accent or border tile, you may want something that's decorative without being distracting. The cool green sheen of this deep-relief tile softens its ornamental design, derived from Art Deco–era architecture. Approx. $20; Walker Zanger
You don't need to stick with old-fashioned
themes to get old-world craftsmanship. Liven up your bathroom walls with a fun, contemporary pattern, like these quirky circles or squiggly squares. Approx. $20 to $60; Ann Sacks