7 heritage tile brands to shop in 2023
From reclaimed terracotta to handmade designs inspired by antiques, tiles are a versatile way to bring colour and pattern into your home. Here are the best tile brands for 2023...
Tiles have been used in homes for centuries, from beautiful mosaics decorating ancient Roman villas, to the encaustic floor tiles beloved of the Victorians for their decorative properties and durability.
These qualities mean tiles remain popular today, not just in hard-worn areas like kitchens and bathrooms, but throughout the entire home – think hallway floors, garden rooms and conservatories.
Reclaimed tiles are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in period homes, and so are new tiles offering a traditional aesthetic and style, paying homage to those made in the past.
From encaustic, porcelain and terracotta to hand-painted, glazed and block printed, these are the tile brands to know about if you're thinking of adding colour, pattern and character to an area of your home.
Bert & May
After opening a boutique hotel in Cádiz, Lee Thornley discovered he was adept at sourcing reclaimed tiles, and after meeting local business owner Juanma, Bert & May was born. The company sources reclaimed terracotta tiles in France, and each has its own unique shape, texture and colour; perfect for a rustic, yet timeless feel.
As well as their reclaimed tiles, Bert & May also offer a wonderful range of new, hand-made artisan tiles, including encaustic, glazed, terrazzo, cement, marble, porcelain, terracotta and zelige. Whether you're looking for pared-back metro tiles or a bright, patterned statement, Bert & May's selection will please a variety of interior styles.
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We also featured Bert & May in how to add character to your home with tiles
You probably know Little Greene best for its world-renowned wall paints and heritage wallpaper designs, but more recently they have collaborated with Bert & May to take eight carefully selected paint colours and translate them into beautiful tiles.
Ruth Webber, Bert & May's creative director, says, 'We couldn’t be more excited to have collaborated with Little Greene on this new collection', adding that 'the eight new colours add an extra dimension to the Bert & May palette, and allow customers even greater choice to develop colourful, layered interiors with personality.'
Each colour has a selection of different tile styles, including rectangle, square, hexagonal, herringbone and skirting tiles. The eight Little Greene colours chosen for this collaboration are:
You might also like the best Little Greene paint colours for 2023
Maitland & Poate
Chris Gulson-Brooke founded Maitland & Poate after buying some reclaimed encaustic tiles in Andalucía. When sourcing reclaimed tiles, his criteria are quality, a unique pattern and good batch size – due to their nature, it can be difficult to source reclaimed tiles in large quantities.
This is where carefully handcrafted new versions come into their own. ‘Our new tiles are handmade in Andalucía by third-generation artisans using traditional methods,’ says Chris. ‘They’re made with high-grade marble dust, cement, sand and natural pigment dyes, and sun-baked to dry.’
We also featured Maitland & Poate in our guide to finding the perfect tiles
At Fired Earth, the choice of tiles is vast – from hand-painted wall tiles to classic metro styles. The company also offers reclaimed terracotta tiles from Europe. ‘They were originally used in farm buildings, barns and dairies,’ says Colin Roby-Welford, creative director at Fired Earth. ‘The terracotta bricks in our Lubelska collection are 19th-century.’
Colin feels that knowing your tiles are unique adds something special to a home: ‘They may even feature the fingerprints of the maker, and you’ll be adding your own patina and story to them for years to come.’
British-based tile brand Claybrook formed when the founders realised there was a gap in the market for top-quality tiles at affordable prices. Their ethos is to make the process of choosing and buying tiles easier for the customer and, most importantly, that the tiles they sell are of exemplary quality, made with only the best craftsmanship and also that they are visually appealing.
Claybrook's portfolio offers a vast range of floor and wall tiles, from the always-popular encaustic, porcelain and metro tiles to more refined styles including mosaic, stone and terracotta. A unique touch from this company is that they also offer paint, many colours of which either match or complement the tiles available.
Based in the picturesque rolling hills of Monmouthshire, family-run Mandarin Stone was founded by Alma Small over 30 years ago. With a vast knowledge of natural stone, and just as much passion, she has created a beautiful range of tiles that are certain to stand the test of time.
Over the years, the collections have grown, and as well as the natural stone tiles the company is known for, they also offer man-made porcelain, ceramic, decorative, patterned and outdoor tiles.
Founded in 2014 in Istanbul, Otto Tiles was created by Damla Turgut after seeing the need for well-designed tiles on the market. Then, in 2019, she opened a showroom in London, where she and the design team are now based, while the tiles are still hand-crafted in Turkey.
'I realised there was a gap in the design world for a blend of my homeland’s culture and art with a contemporary, rustic touch. I am inspired by Turkey, and the many civilisations and cultures who have called it home, mixing these traditional patterns with contemporary art to create something new and unique,' says Damla. By combining traditional design with more modern style, she has created a portfolio of beautifully unique tiles, which has put her company at the forefront of the industry.
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