Heritage Collection: inspired by history

Karndean Designflooring

The architectural tiled floors of grand Victorian and Regency villas and townhouses are the inspiration for our new Heritage Collection, designed to give the opulent look of these classic geometric tiles with all the practical benefits of luxury vinyl.

The Gothic Revival movement of the early 19th century saw a resurgence in the popularity of tiled floors featuring inlaid quatrefoil and fleur-de-lis, patterns historically found in medieval cathedrals and castles.

In the 1830s the porcelain manufacturer Herbert Minton developed a method of producing encaustic tiles, whereby patterns were created with layers of different colours of clay. This meant that the pattern ran through the tile and so was more resilient to wear and fading, although the expensive production process meant that these tiles were a highly luxury product.

In 1844, Queen Victoria commissioned Minton to install an encaustic pavement at her Isle of Wight home, Osborne House, and in 1852 the company installed an encaustic tiled floor in the newly built, gothic revival style Houses of Parliament.

Following such high-profile commissions, anyone that could afford to started selecting these extravagant floor designs in key areas of homes and hotels, such as entrances, hallways and entertaining spaces.

To make these fashionable floors more affordable, designs were created with a mix of encaustic and solid colour tiles in geometric patterns. Floors ranged from simple geometric patterns of solid colours such as monochrome chequerboard with matching borders to increasingly complex patterns created with square and octagonal or triangular tiles. 

Victoria and Albert Museum tearooms featuring geometric tiled flooring  

Victoria and Albert Museum tearooms: The Gamble Room and The Poynter Room

In 1868, a terracotta octagonal tiled floor, with black square insets, was installed in the new Victoria and Albert Museum tearooms; The Gamble Room, The Poynter Room and The Morris Room, which were all decorated in the latest ornate fashions including colourful ceramic tiles, stained glass and decorated friezes and ceilings.

Period homes featuring geometric tiled hallways

Victorian hallways featuring Minton tiled flooring, images from Pinterest

By combining tiles in different colours and shapes with feature encaustic tiles, highly personalised floor designs could be created. By the 1890s geometric tiled flooring was considered an essential feature of even modest homes. These iconic floors were very hard wearing and can still found in good condition inside many Victorian homes.

Our Heritage Collection has been designed as a highly flexible luxury vinyl tile option for designers looking to recreate this historic opulent tiled flooring, or to create a truly individualised contemporary interpretation.

Suitable for commercial settings such as hotels, restaurants and bars, the collection features striking monochrome designs and beautifully blended traditional patterns to reflect both lavish Victorian living and the boldness of contemporary trends.

Available in ten exclusive colours, from timeless terracotta and gold to contemporary taupe and baby blue, alongside two Opus designs Luna and Nero, square, octagonal and triangular tiles can be mixed and matched in any combination to create a truly bespoke floor.

Discover our Heritage Collection…

Login or create a Karndean account to leave a comment…